Update from ANSA Homes regarding COVID-19

1. The Role of the Supervisor – Managing Subcontractors

Steve Grayson – ANSA Site Supervisor

The role of the supervisor is multi-faceted, with the ability to organise and communicate at the hub. It involves having a strong relationship with you, with your new neighbours, council authorities and of course trades and sub-contractors. My years of building experience, together with inspecting finished work is key to ensuring the finished elements of your home are just right.

Subcontractors live and die by the quality of their work and the ease by which we can deal with them.

The supervisor has to manage the checks and balances from both sides – the sub-contractor and ANSA Homes. Sign-offs are necessary at every stage. It is also important to remember that there are regulatory standards to be meet to ensure that your home is safe, secure and comfortable to live in.

The hidden areas of a home are the most important – for example electricity and plumbing. However these are relatively straightforward to manage and determine if everything is in good working order. Electrical connections are tested and are either on or off. There is also quite a time after electricity cables, connections and fittings have been installed to continue testing. Plumbing works in a similar fashion. Once the connections are in, the plumbing is always on and so pipes, taps and toilets are under continuous pressure.

As a supervisor, I need to ensure that the fittings are correct and in the right places based on the building plans and the product selections you have made prior to building.

The finishing trades will give your home the look and feel to make your home comfortable. We surround ourselves with tradesmen that have the same mindset of achieving high customer satisfaction and getting the job done right first time.

2. The Role of the Supervisor – Keeping You Informed

Steve Grayson – ANSA Site Supervisor

Having a sound relationship with our customers is the most important aspect of a supervisor’s role. I find that having the right level of communication with you during the build does require a level of balance. However, I understand that for many people the buying process has been long, at times stressful and it is time to get things underway. You want to move into your new home as soon as possible.

Your expectations will be high and my job is to meet the building timeframes committed to you.

The progress reports that I provide are designed to make you comfortable that everything is under control and the timeframes committed to you are on track. I understand that there may be situations where you become frustrated with the progress. So I have to assure you that is in your and ANSA’s best interests to build your home on time.

You will find that progress may seem slow at times – particularly in the early stages because it is difficult to see the underlying infrastructure that is being built. Depending on the stage of the build it may appear to be moving slowly, whereas other times there will be rapid progress. For example one of the most time-consuming of tasks is the brickwork. It is difficult work and requires precision and for many of our clients, this can feel like a slow part of the build.

Like most homeowners, you will visit the site regularly and it is natural to make assumptions regarding the build progress. You will also find that I may not be on site every day. This is completely normal process, so there is nothing to be alarmed about.

I will however be available to talk to you whenever you have questions and explain exactly what we are doing and the progress against the committed timeframes. I also provide you with weekly updates to make sure that you are up to date with the build progress of your home.

3. The Role of the Supervisor – Keeping the Peace with Neighbours

Steve Grayson – ANSA Site Supervisor

Keeping your neighbours informed and happy is a key element of the supervisor’s work – whether we are building a new home in a new estate or a knockdown rebuild. Today, it is very common to have narrow blocks less than 12.5m in some of the new estates so many homes are being built very close to the boundaries.

Similarly, for a knockdown rebuild you will try to maximise your home in the available land which may mean getting as close as possible to your neighbour’s boundary.

Quite often it is necessary to access your neighbour’s property and the first conversation will set the tone for the relationship.

The biggest neighbour’s concern is always damage to property and the impact on their home. I need to win their trust and assure them that ANSA Homes takes full responsibility. We put preventative measures in place such as temporary fencing and make sure that everything is restored to their original condition.

We aim to keep you involved with our conversations with the neighbours but not involve you directly in these discussions with neighbours. After all, they are your neighbours and we need your relationship with them to start well.

4. The Role of the Supervisor – Handing Over Your New Home

Steve Grayson – ANSA Site Supervisor

Without doubt the handover process to a new home owner is the most pleasurable part of a supervisor’s role. There are not too many jobs that you can take a blank canvas and within 6 months build a home fit for a family. A home that is not just comfortable and functional, but is the result of all your hard work as well as ours.

It is a privilege for me to walk through your house with you and experience the excitement on your face when your home is ready for you to finally to move in. This is the opportunity for both us to review every aspect of your home and for us to ensure you have an understanding of the responsibilities we have to you. Areas of concern are fixed prior to handing you your keys.

What you will find during the initial walk through is that the appliances are not installed. The reason is one of risk and safety precautions. If you are not living in your home there is always an opportunity for vandals to steal from a vacant home. These however will be installed for you when you actually have the keys to move in.

When you are given the keys, we explain that your house now enters into 3 warranty periods. The first being a major structural warranty for the life of your home. All the appliances in your home also begin their warranty periods and obviously these have varying time periods.

Lastly, there is the first 90 days as the home settles in. With timber frame homes there is always some timber shrinkage as it continues to dry out. This may cause minute hairline cracks, but you can be certain that your home is safe and is solidly built. This period also gives all the features and functions of your home time to settle. Together we will carry out a final inspection at the end of the 90 days.

5. The Role of the Supervisor – First Tasks

Steve Grayson – ANSA Site Supervisor

Arriving on site with all relevant files at hand, my first task is to take a big picture look at what lies before me. I use the same process and my experience whether this is a “greenfield” (a new estate site) or a knockdown-rebuild project. Attention to detail is vital throughout the entire build process but particularly in the early stages to avoid complications later in the build.

Site Familiarisation:

Standing back, I visualise the entire landscape for the new building site and surrounding sites. I make note of the defined building area within the block and what I need to do to get the project underway without delay and with minimal issues. Areas that I need review include:

Accessibility:
  • Having access to the site is the first consideration:
  • How do we move materials and machinery onto the site quickly, easily and with minimal impact?
  • Are there power lines overhead that might affect delivery of and movement of materials?
Proximity:
  • How close are the neighbours and how close to the boundary we will be building?
  • Our client’s relationship with their neighbours begins with ANSA Homes and we have to ensure that they receive due consideration which is important from the very beginning.
Clearance:
  • Has rubbish been dumped on your site and needs to be removed?
  • It is not uncommon for a vacant lot to be used as a dumping ground from nearby building works.
Contours:
  • If a brand new home build, what is the contour of the land and initial thoughts on excavation needs?
  • If a knockdown rebuild, has the site been levelled according to plans and site ready for construction to begin.

Preparing the Site

After the surveyor has pegged out the block, I prepare the initial site setup. This involves ensuring that the site is safe and compliant to regulatory standards. Tasks will include:

  • Installation of protective fencing
  • Reviewing access for both vehicles & authorised personnel access. This may involve a discussion with the neighbours.
  • Arranging excavation equipment to level the build area.
  • Ensuring appropriate sediment controls are in place to comply with Council requirements. Top soil that is exposed due to excavation must not enter water ways nor surrounding infrastructure.
  • Arrange temporary toilets facilities.

Once I am satisfied that every aspect of the property is well understood, we can then prepare for the work to begin and that is when you will start seeing progress.

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