Pre-acceptance. The point at which our new build was supposed to be “finished”.
It also marked the one official point during the building process where we could survey the flat and address any issues which must be changed before our contractor hands the key over in July. I had both anticipated and feared this day since we signed our sales contract in April 2012.
With only eight short weeks after our pre-acceptance appointment, we wanted the flat to be as perfect as possible without any glaring mistakes before we got to this meeting. This is the reason why we made sure to visit our flat as often as possible during building, so we could verify that no time-intensive or irreversible mistakes were made.
On May 12th, I stayed up late into the night preparing the list of all lists indicating the mark and make of almost everything in our flat. What color is the floor? Is it the right material? Is the fridge the right model? And so on… So when we started out in the kitchen on May 13th, I could open the dishwasher and check my list to see that it really was the correct model we ordered.
Yup. It was.
But not everything was finished. Our appliances were all in, but the kitchen floor and wall tiles were not yet installed. That utility shaft hole was also still in the process of being patched up. Hrrmph.
But our granite counters were in and they looked great. Below you can see that they still need to trim the cabinet door for the trash system to close properly.
The contractor meeting us there (the one we kind of loathe for never answering our emails or calls and always going on holiday) walked around the flat marking cracks or wall defects that still need fixed. It almost made him seem useful! Below is the other side of the utility shaft from the living room side where we saw the hole before.
But other than not being finished, I was pretty happy with the kitchen.
The electricity was not turned on yet so we couldn’t test that or the temperature controls. Nor could we test the air ducts in any of the rooms and because the window handles were not installed for security reasons (workers could leave them open and people could break in) we couldn’t open and test the windows. The shutters were also not installed yet.
Have you already noticed a growing list of things “not done” yet?
Workers actually were pretty lazy about installing the wood molding into the apartment and the screws are not flat. Many hang out quite a bit and could catch on something. They look shitty when you look at them from standing, but our contractor doesn’t think this is a problem because it is “within the tolerance”. We’ll see about that. I’m mostly concerned that if we think it looks shitty and we try to sell the flat to someone else, they’ll say it looks shitty too. And that would be a problem.
This is inside our built in wardrobe, where I mentioned to you last time we are expecting an outlet to show up at some point:
Yep, still no outlet there. But a nice little picture…
And the main difference from the last time we saw the house is that they have now installed the bathroom hardware for the soap dishes and toilet paper holders.
We checked the height of the hardware, opened mirrors and counted the shelves included. We tried to be pretty thorough, but the contractor was moving through the flat pretty quickly and with his assistant and Kay, we had four people trying to shuffle through all the places in the flat at the same time… it got a bit tight in the half bath and pantry!
For now, all the soap dishes and cup holders for the bathroom are wrapped up somewhere safe to be handed over when we get the keys.
I was a little disappointed the glass shower cabin and towel rack are not installed yet. Something else to check later!
Inside we checked for outlets and shelves.
We couldn’t go outdoors because the darn balcony/window handles situation, so all the balcony doors were shut, but here you can see they are still in the process of laying the tiles and building up the privacy fences.
We have been told that fence should continue the rest of the way and not suddenly become so short. I really hope that is the case or we’ll get to know our neighbors very well… No sunbathing for me?
View from the balcony looking over towards the kitchen side of the flat.
The master bath. Oh the master bath.
By the time we got here we’d been through the kitchen, living room, hallway, pantry, guest bath, guest bedroom and master bedroom. It was actually the last place we visited and the first place we really noticed something huge.
Here you see all our bathroom hardware in and it looks great. The whole bathroom looks great at first glance.
Then I look over here and check my all encompassing List. “Grouting color” I read. Hmm.
We were pretty specific about the bathroom and kitchen tile grout. We wanted white grout on the walls and black grout to match the floor tiles. You know… all light, all dark. You know what those lazy suckers did?
Yeah, they used light grey for everything. Fuck!
All of the sudden I was overwhelmed by this ugly grey grout. “No, no, no” I was saying. “This is not what we ordered.”
I went back and checked the shower, which of course was the same. Why didn’t either of us notice this when we visited the flat a couple weeks before? Re-doing the grout is a huge pain requiring lots of work for them to rip out all the tiles and redo properly. I really would have liked to inform them of their mistake as soon as possible.
Grey, grey, everywhere. Make it go away!
We actually wrote them several times about the grout color, called them on the phone and then Kay even went in person to the bloody tile appointment IN the flat to discuss which color goes where and how they lay it. We literally could not have done anything else other than to grout it ourselves (which wasn’t really allowed.) And they still screwed up.
Grrrrrrrrrrr. I took one more look at our problem and left.
We had a couple issues to deal with after our pre-acceptance, with the top three issues being our main problems.
1. Grout color wrong in all tiles (we hope to have them install the kitchen ones properly!)
2. Threshold from bathroom to bedroom or hallway is not even. Larger on one side than the other (measured with coins). Fixing this would also require them to completely redo the floor to make it even.
3. Wood molding: Crappy installation
4. Tiles not installed in kitchen yet
5. Some cracks and spots on walls here and there
6. Trash can cabinet not trimmed yet
7. The spots in the hallway were on but you could not turn them off. That might be because the electricity wasn’t turned on properly to the house yet.
8. Plumbing/Electricity/Air ducts all need to be turned on and checked
9. Balcony needs to be finished
10. Soap dispenser in kitchen needs installed.
11. Soap dispenser needs to be installed
12. Wardrobe socket needs to be installed
That was about it! The company would have eight weeks to fix all these problems and finish the flat before we move out of ours. If they don’t do it on time, they’ll have to pay for a hotel for us, so I’m sure they are itching to get done quickly!
Want to catch up?
- Nobody buys a home in Switzerland
- How to rent a flat in Switzerland
- Dreaming the impossible
- How to buy a house in Switzerland
- Shopping for houses
- The World of Neubau
- Flat A vs Flat B: Location vs. Cost
- Paying for Sunshine
- We (I) make a decision
- Our future home: Part I
- How we found our giant terrace
- No Mortgages for Americans? Signing the Contract
- Neubau Progress: I
- Neubau Progress: II
- Neubau Progress: Shower vs. Bathtub
- Neubau Progress: Changing the Electric
- Neubau Progress: Bathroom
- We have a mortgage!
- Neubau Progress: III
- Neubau Progress: IV
- Neubau Progress: V
- Neubau Progress: VI
- Neubau Progress: Kitchen
- Neubau Progress: VII
- Neubau Progress: Walls, Woodwork and Everything Else
- Neubau Progress: VIII