Building query

jennybel75 4 January 2011 26

Hi all, I’m wondering if any of you have had experience with either of two companies, Chateau Investments or Urban Design Architects/ Builders.

My partner and I are currently looking at building a place in Bonner and have noticed these guys have some properties on AllHomes which seem to fit into the “too good to be true” category.

I’ve tried Googling them and came up with very little for Chateau and a webpage for Urban Design that has little information and doesn’t seem to have been updated in quite a while.

Thus I’m asking the hivemind for their knowledge and experience of both/ either companies.


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26 Responses to Building query
far_northact far_northact 4:13 pm 04 Jan 11

Probably a subsidiary (sub-contractor) of Metro Constructions, or another bulk-building company in Bonner/Casey.

vg vg 4:22 pm 04 Jan 11

No doubt I will be pilloried for this, but, through experience, avoid them like the plagie if their principals are of eastern European extraction. Corners cut, shoddy workmanship, avoidance of liability

Bones Bones 4:30 pm 04 Jan 11

A little off topic, but I just built in Bonner, and while the suburb and area are lovely, I’m continuing to have terrible trouble with my builder – I had a hard time getting any information on them before we started and went for it anyway. Now I’m paying for it with massive problems.
I recommend doing as much research as possible!

georgesgenitals georgesgenitals 4:33 pm 04 Jan 11

“No doubt I will be pilloried for this, but, through experience, avoid them like the plagie if their principals are of eastern European extraction. Corners cut, shoddy workmanship, avoidance of liability”

Pilloried? I thought it was spot on. Not all such builders in Canberra are shonks, but enough that you wouldn’t take the risk.

jennybel75 jennybel75 4:40 pm 04 Jan 11

Bones, who is your builder? We’re looking at a few options and it’s always good to get first-hand feedback. Is it Pavillion? They’re another mob we’re looking at.

itsallme itsallme 5:25 pm 04 Jan 11

You will find that these companies are owned and run by people that own and run other building companies. You may find more reviews and feedback online for the other building companies even though they are run by the same builder. If you do not know who the builder is get your lawyer to do a company search and find out who the director(s) is (or are) of the company.

The companies you have suggested (Chateau, Urban Design and Pavilion) are well known to experienced people in the game (eg agents, lawyers, builders) so keep asking around and don’t go with anyone until you have received a number of good reviews/feedback or you will have headaches.

sdcno1 sdcno1 5:33 pm 04 Jan 11

Be careful not to confuse Urban Design as architects.

Holden Caulfield Holden Caulfield 6:28 pm 04 Jan 11

@vg: Erm, wouldn’t that rule out building a new home anywhere in Canberra, then, haha!

Bazz Bazz 8:08 pm 04 Jan 11

If you mean Urban Design in Griffith, take your large bulging wallet (and endless amounts of patience) with you. I had the distinct impression that they are more used to clients who want very large homes or unit developments (along with an endless line of credit). If you have your own ideas and want to save money, make some sketches yourself and get a draftsman to draw them up professionally instead. Many building companies can point you in the right direction in that regard. Some insist you use their own draftsman from the very beginning!

Builder wise, we have used Aspect Building based in Hall. We could not fault any part of the workmanship and sub contractors were all excellent. Best of luck!

cranky cranky 8:33 pm 04 Jan 11

Bazz @ #9.

Same builder, diferent experience.

Generally OK, but a couple of dodgy subbies.

Worst was the invoice at the end of the job for ‘additionals’. These were supposed to have been priced and signed off as the job progressed. We were constantly assured that the ‘swings and roundabouts’ resulted in a fairly level cost. Not so.

First a massive final invoice, followed by a solicitors letter, and finally a Sherrif at the door.

Absolutely no attempt at justification or mediation. You may note the similarities between one of the partners names and a local solicitors office. Not coincidental. The HIA were absolutely useless as an intermediary. We discovered that this was not an isolated event.

Their business model sucks!!

Bazz Bazz 8:46 pm 04 Jan 11

Oh dear cranky!! Very sad to hear that. We had all extras priced, agreed to and invoiced along the way. Sorry to hear your experience was woeful. I guess it does show that no matter what recommendations you get, everyone will have a different experience.

jennybel75 jennybel75 9:09 pm 04 Jan 11

Yep, Urban Design in Griffith. Looking at the Allhomes listing the plans are already drafted.

Sorry about your experience Buzz and thanks for letting us know.

jennybel75 jennybel75 9:10 pm 04 Jan 11

*Bazz, sorry!

jennybel75 jennybel75 9:13 pm 04 Jan 11

3 post nutbag. Should have been, thanks for the info Bazz and sorry about your experience Cranky.

OzChick OzChick 10:54 pm 04 Jan 11

A good thing to do is ask contractors such as kitchen renovators, roofers, plumbers, septic tank suppliers etc as they have dealt with plenty of builders during the building process and can generally give you feedback about the builders and their standard of work. They are a useful point of contact as they are in the industry.

Bones Bones 9:14 am 05 Jan 11

I used a company called Ram Constructions. They also trade under the name Briarwood

CoffinRX2 CoffinRX2 10:02 am 05 Jan 11

Jamie from Urban Design is a good guy, down to earth. … I was looking at having built one of his designs a year or so ago, but ended up buying something established

EvanJames EvanJames 10:47 am 05 Jan 11

Stuart Marshall has a good reputation, his company is in google.

p1 p1 10:05 am 06 Jan 11

Some quick searches of the ABN Lookup…

Chateau Investments

Urban Design

Some further searching using the names associated with those registered business tend to turn up other businesses run by the same people. This seems to be something especially common in the constructing industry (and used cars…).

jennybel75 jennybel75 11:33 am 06 Jan 11

Thanks p1!

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