Field report part 2:
A satisfactory solution was nevertheless found. The diversity of light switches, sockets, intercoms and spotlights offered by Hanse Haus was also rather poor. The various designs differed visually only slightly. The choice was usually only between rounded or angular. In retrospect, we only learned that even individual manufacturers already have a far more extensive product range to offer than what Hanse Haus had given us to choose from. The provision of appropriate product catalogs and brochures in advance would have saved us a certain disillusionment during the material inspection and we would not have had to make a choice between "halfway OK" and "goes just so". The range of products in the Smart Home category was also disappointing. Here, only one expensive and, what's more, proprietary solution from Loxone was available. KNX-based systems, which score points for openness, flexibility and different providers, were not available at all. But what if the manufacturer should cease to exist at some point? Who will then offer support and security updates, where will spare parts and further expansion stages come from? Anyone planning a future-proof house with extensive smart home functions had better get another independent service provider on board.
In the weeks following the sampling, there were many exchanges of floor plans, sketches of the electrical installations, and equipment lists, since there were always errors or requests for changes on our part (usually in writing and always very precise) were either not incorporated at all or not incorporated correctly. We actually had to point out some errors several times in succession until they were finally corrected accordingly. Particularly annoying was the fact that some discrepancies reappeared in later versions of the planning documents after they had been corrected. When checking subsequent documents, one naturally does not necessarily have an eye for such details if one had already convinced oneself beforehand that the correction had been made correctly.
The house itself could then be erected at the beginning of 2021, after the floor slab had been poured in the fall of the previous year. In connection with the floor slab, everything went absolutely smoothly and according to plan. However, there was one small change with regard to the erection of the house, which concerned the parking space for the crane. According to the previous planning, for reasons of space, this could not be set up at the actual access road to the future house, where the subsoil would already have been of a suitable nature, but had to be laid out in a much more unfavorable location. This was unfavorable because, on the one hand, the subsoil had to be prepared first (additional costs) and, at the same time, it would have been necessary to drive through the neighboring property. Due to a communication error, however, the possibility of driving through was no longer guaranteed shortly before the start of construction, so we had to quickly find an alternative. And lo and behold, suddenly the space at the originally planned access road was large enough to accommodate the crane there after all. So what exactly did we spend money on to create another parking space? Never mind, it's just expenses for the builders... But there were no further complications during the construction of the house and two days later we already had a finished hut with roof on our property.
With the start of the interior work, isolated errors occurred, most of which could still be traced back to the planning phase and then had to be subsequently corrected on the construction site. Admittedly, some of them were our own fault, but most of them were not our fault. For example, the electricians on the construction site were provided with an already outdated planning version of the electrical installations (clearly indicated by the version number printed on it). This should not happen to an experienced service provider. We had already noticed some discrepancies in the execution at the beginning of the interior work. But although we had asked several times for an inspection, none had obviously been carried out. One example is the sink in the technical room. A washing machine was supposed to fit between the sink and the wall, which had already been communicated and drawn in by us when the plans were drawn up. Nevertheless, the connections for the faucets and the drain were placed in such a way that no washing machine would have fit next to it if the sink had been installed in the middle. In the end, the sink had to be installed slightly offset from the faucet because the installation in the wall was already not in the right place. Our concerns beforehand were brushed aside with a "we've checked it again, it'll fit like this". With regard to the final execution of the work on the house, there were still some points of criticism, the complete presentation of which would go beyond the scope of this evaluation. A prominent example is the multi-section entry, which was not properly adjusted to the final floor level and could not be corrected afterwards. Instead of being flush with the floor covering, the installation now stands about 3 cm higher into the room. "There's nothing you can do about it now," the construction manager said, instead of making sure beforehand that the dimensions really fit. As builders without experience, we actually relied on the fact that the professionals already know what they are doing and give things the necessary attention. We should also mention a visibly crooked wall, wallpaper whose joints are clearly visible in places, and a whole series of minor visual defects in the exterior plaster and interior paint. Unless all this was "still within the tolerance range" (which is apparently huge in the craft and construction business compared to some other industries), rework had to be done in various places. Unfortunately, mostly only after multiple and emphatic requests by the builders. The construction management seemed to have no eye for detail. The fact that some craftsmen themselves seem to lack a critical eye for obviously defective workmanship is something that building owners must first learn. Also something like pride in one's own work cannot be presupposed apparently. The painting work, which was very sloppy in places, had to be extensively reworked. Filler damage to the matching white plastic hatch to the attic meant that the entire hatch had to be painted over to conceal the damage. Of course, the sloppy workmanship could also have been due to the fact that the painters had to work under considerable time pressure as well as off the original schedule. As with the tiles, the amount of paint provided had been more than generously planned. After completion of the work, there were still buckets of paint left over, even from wall paints that had only been used selectively throughout the house. Such a waste should not have been necessary, especially when it was someone else's money. The work of the tilers, on the other hand, was remarkably precise and well-considered. In comparison, the work at this location was really above average in terms of cleanliness. The result is definitely something to be proud of! A short note also to the installed solar panels: The catalog of Hanse Haus advertises here with brands of German origin in the standard. What ended up on our roof, however, came from China.
The building inspection was finally scheduled with a significant delay to the original schedule and then also at very short notice. At this point, it should only be mentioned that a really careful inspection by the builders was practically impossible within the short time allotted for this. In addition, many surfaces had only been roughly cleaned of dirt, so that minor damage and visual defects would not have been visible at all. This was also the case with a window in the stairwell, which, at a height of three meters, could not even be reached for a visual inspection without a stair ladder. On top of that, the window pane was smeared with paste and paint on the inside and outside in such a way that it was impossible to make a meaningful assessment of its condition. Since neither a suitable ladder was available nor any of the other windows had been damaged, we generously assumed that there was nothing to complain about here either. As is usually the case, we were wiser after cleaning the window for the first time after moving into the house. A deep long scratch adorned the middle of the pane. However, after we had already removed the construction, Hanse Haus no longer considers itself responsible here. What do we learn from this? Next time, despite the time pressure, we will insist on proper cleaning and, if in doubt, send the site manager to organize a suitable ladder. In addition, in the future we will no longer rely on our property being treated with care by strangers when we are not standing next to it. [--> Continued: Part 3]
first of all we would like to thank you for your detailed feedback as well as the positive words!
We are very sorry that you were not completely satisfied with your construction manager. However, we are all the more pleased that you were able to find such nice and praising words for Mr. Selinger's construction team.
Of course, we are happy to pass this on directly to the crew.
We are confident that the outstanding issues within the construction phase will be resolved to your complete satisfaction. Your feedback is extremely important to us and we will ensure that all concerns are addressed and closed appropriately.
If you have any further questions or comments, please feel free to contact us at any time.
We, the entire Hanse Haus team, wish you and your family all the best and good health.
In addition, we wish you a successful completion of your home and wonderful moments in your dream home.
Many greetings from Oberleichtersbach
Your Hanse Haus team