Faux Pas {Tiny Wee Mistakes}


Its been a while (I know) I'm sorry, we have had a few ups and downs which I'll share in another post.  Nothing to worry about per say more just an annoyance outwith both our control and McDonald Jones' control, so no one to blame except for bureaucracy.

Now that we are near the end of this journey (although this final hurdle, might be enough to break me) I thought I would take the time to think back and talk about things that I wish I had done and/or completely missed until it was too late.

Thankfully there aren't too many of these.  First of all here are some of the things that became rule of thumb with us very quickly.
  1. Be specific - as in so specific that you expect the people you are talking to roll their eyes and think "I get it already"  because even though a lot of things seem like common sense to you, it may not be to the person doing the job.
  2. Speak Up - I'm totally guilty of this, I think something, have the whole conversation in my mind and then assume that they can read my mind and that their common sense will eventually catch up to mine - Newsflash, people can't read minds {I know I'm shocked too} If you think it, say it - if your wrong your SS will tell you or they will give you an explanation that will put your mind to rest.
  3. Put it all in writing - Yes its lovely to have a chat, but its a lot harder to get what you want from "Remember that conversation we had" as opposed to "Please see attached our email of ## date specifying blah blah blah..."  that's not to say you shouldn't have those conversations with your SS or whoever, but afterwards write an email to them confirming that conversation and save it for a rainy day (hopefully you don't have any).
  4. Be Professional - It is a highly stressful time seeing your house being built.  Your desperate for it to be finished, you want everything perfect, your frustrated that things don't go the way you think they should.  I get it, I felt all of that too, however just like in a working situation you have to remain professional.  Talk don't shout. Discuss don't demand (initially).  Treat people the way you expect to be treated and if that fails, go higher within the company.
All common sense isn't it.  Unfortunately in the building trade our version of common sense doesn't always transcend across the people who are doing the job.  I think the issue is that it is drummed into some of the trades that the plan is rule... so if there is something smack bang in the middle of the wall where it shouldn't be on the plan - guess where its going?  Also bear in mind that English is a second language for some of the trades, actually some of them did not speak a word of English, I have no idea how they knew what they were doing.

Moving on, let me share some of my faux pas 


This is where the rule - Be Specific comes into play. 

When you do your electrical selection, be very specific about where you want powerpoints/datapoints/switches to be.  We roughed it up and were told, don't worry you can specify on site - this did not happen!!! We asked to be present when they were installed but we weren't notified.  We then had a scheduled site inspection and a few of them were in the wrong place. Of course we requested for them to be moved and they were moved but we were constantly reminded about the plan and how everything is installed as per the plan.  Do not assume that common sense will come into play here because it doesn't.  The electricians look at the plan, they don't think about why you want that powerpoint or whether it should be half way up the wall or not, they just put them wherever they are on the plan. 

At the end of the day, it wasn't a big deal, it was just an inconvenience but one that can be avoided if you're very specific.  Plus we didn't really want any power points on that back wall, now we have one smack in the middle - MDJ did offer to remove it but it was easier for both of us if we just left it, I'll probably replace the cover eventually to a slimline darker one.

Bench Heights

As you can see from the picture above, we had our laundry fitted out.  At the time I specified that I needed the benchtop to be high enough for my washing machine to go under.  This was discussed at my colour selections but back then I was a complete novice, I didn't even know or understand about screeding and tiling and things like that so I didn't really take much notice of the allowances for height, I just told my colour consultant the height of the machine.  In fairness, she did take all of this into consideration but measuring things out now, I think (not 100% sure yet) but I don't think my machine is going to fit.  If it does it will be very tight.  Again, its not the end of the world, it will just mean a new washing machine but its an additional expense that I don't want or need.  I think to be safe you should measure, allow for screeding and tiling and then add a further 15-20mm for safety.  Better to have a little gap than for it to be too small.

I have no idea what to call this - a border wall, edging...????

This is something that as soon as I walked into the house and saw it I realised my mistake.  I totally own this one, it did not even cross my mind, so hopefully someone will benefit from my mistake.

See if you can spot it.

Can you see it, does it stick out like a sore thumb to you as much as it does to me.... here its easier to see in this picture.

Got it yet?

Okay I'll tell you....

I like straight lines and symmetry .  I like neat and tidiness and everything to line up and fit correctly {trust me, I even hate using bowls for storage in the fridge, putting rounds into squares makes me cringe - I know I'm weird}.  So when I walked in and saw this, a shiver ran right up my spine.

Okay, I notice it and now you guys will notice it {because I pointed it out to you} but realistically once I get some cabinetry in those recesses no one else will notice it, but in an ideal world I would have made it symmetrical. 

Looking at the plan it doesn't even cross your mind until its too late and you're looking at it in real life.  I was thrown because it looks symmetrical on the plan because you can see the thickness of the dividing wall... ahhh well we live and learn.


Generally I think I did okay when it comes to lighting, apart from one little area - the activity room. 

This area has no natural light unless you keep all of the bedroom doors open.  There is very little light coming from the front door either.  In hindsight I wish I had just put a couple of downlights into that area.  I put a batton light in thinking I would find a funky lightshade of some kind (which I still intend to do) however, if I had realised just how limited in light it was going to be I would probably have put two lights in that area ~ again nothing that can't be overcome, still living and learning.

I also put a switch on/off light in my pantry ~ in hindsight I probably should have put in a sensor light.  I still stand by the fact that it isn't difficult to turn off a light, but with 3 kids in the house, I can imagine the light in there being left on a LOT.

Well I think that is all for now.  I'm sure once I move in and really get to know the house I will think of many thing that I wish I had done or hadn't done.  When that time comes I will come back and edit this page.  Hopefully I won't have any major disasters to report.

Ms Betsy xo

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