Q & A with Con Constantine: Race Week for Home Buyers
Our guest columnist – Con Constantine – will present readers with a cleverly written send-up and an ironic imitation of the building industry.
Con hopes that by enjoying his articles – you will learn about the building industry and not fall into carefully concealed traps that can be costly, stressful and time-consuming.
Con strongly supports the concept of ‘buyer beware’ but at UltraCon Constructions – its more about what he doesn’t say!
By Special Guest Columnist – Con Constantine
Welcome back and thank you for all your mail regarding the Building Industry.
I will answer as many questions as I can, but as you all know, the Spring Racing Carnival is upon us and here at UltraCon Constructions, we consider this our prime marketing opportunity of the year.
Mrs. Constantine saves all the profits from sales of her fruit flans so we have a healthy budget for our Melbourne Cup extravaganza which includes an UltraCon Dream Home Marquee in which champagne flows freely.
When each Dream Home is completed – we leave a couple of bottles of champagne for our clients as a surprise when they move in. Invariably the client will call me being over joyed at my generosity with the gift of champagne.
The client usually tells me I really shouldn’t have (left the champagne) and I agree with them and go to the house to take back the champagne. By the time the Racing Carnival arrives – we have dozens and dozens of bottles of the best champagne to serve in our UltraCon Constructions marquee.
I organise sky writing over the race course which is invaluable aerial advertising for UltraCon Constructions – after which Mrs. Constantine and I arrive by helicopter.
I make sure I have bits of hay stuck on my bespoke tailored suit so I look like a racehorse owner.
The façade of our UltraCon Constructions marquee is a replica of our most popular Dream Home – The Flan Royale – and our brand stylist Kyllee has created a sumptuous interior in which our guests can feel really at home!
Mrs. Constantine is hostess in the marquee and my time is divided between co-hosting the marquee and walking around the racecourse handing out business cards and inviting everyone and anyone to come to our marquee for a glass of champagne. I have done a crash course in equestrian studies so I can also answer questions about being a racehorse owner. The bits of hay on my suit work a treat!!
I lose count of the number of Dream Home builds we sign up at the races but due to the speed at which we construct – this does not pose any issue at all.
The venerable Mike Heathcote cannot resist the temptation of visiting our Flan Royale Marquee in spite of the fact that he doesn’t get any business at all from UltraCon Constructions because our Dream Homes are defect free.
Mike has his own Building Masters Inspection marquee the façade of which is a giant magnifying glass.
If any Real Estate Agents stand in front of the magnifying glass at the wrong angle to the sun – they can catch fire – obviously oblivious to the subtleties of sun physics!!
Mike of course, needs to perpetuate the myth of building defects in order to keep his flash mobile office on the road – and his business flourishing. The alternative for Mike is bleak – pedalling on his bike to meet his clients and Real Estate Agents and double dinking those conned into the myth of building defects for a road-side picnic and grassy debrief.
Back to your emails and questions which I am delighted to have the opportunity to answer.
Darren from Dandenong is concerned about living with his wife and young family near high voltage power lines.
Mike Heathcote’s opinion would be that this would increase the risk of health problems and he would encourage his clients to do their own research on this issue.
I have a completely different take on the subject and disagree with Building Inspector Mike Heathcote.
The distinct advantage of living near high voltage power lines is that you will never have to pay an electricity bill.
When we build our Dream Homes near high voltage power lines we throw in a DIY kit to connect the house directly to the power lines, so our clients never need deal with power companies or those harassing phone calls about reducing the cost of power bills, because our clients don’t have electricity bills.
We have two Dream Homes specifically designed to be in close proximity of high voltage power lines – the Zing Luxury and the Up-Market Zap – both being defect free.
Mrs. Constantine and I live in our Flan Royale Deluxe Dream Home in close proximity to power lines and the only difference we have noticed is that before we moved in Mrs. Constantine had to-die-for straight hair and now she boasts a head of tight curls. As for me – I come from a lineage of straight-haired people but now I have curly red hair. Vive la difference!!
Spring is here and gardeners are coming out of hibernation. Planter boxes seem to be the latest suburban must-have and I have received an interesting email from Jeraldyne from Jeparit who had an encounter with Mike Heathcote over the planter boxes in a house she and her husband were interested in purchasing. The planter boxes were on the boundary fences in the garden and looked stunning with their billowing masses of white flowers.
Mike told Jeraldyne that the planter boxes needed re building with masonry earth retaining walls to prevent the fencing being in a state of gradual collapse.
I refuted Inspector Mike’s opinion and told Jeraldyne that if she builds masonry earth retaining walls they will become a permanent fixture and if planter boxes become the latest suburban must-not-have – getting rid of them will be costly and every builder’s nightmare.
I suggested that every six months or so – Jeraldyne visits her neighbours and leans up against the fence from their side whilst having a coffee and exchanging the news of the street. The neighbours will be unaware of the collapsing fence and it will all look good from Jeraldyne’s side.
Inspector Mike also warned Jeraldyne about incorrectly built planter boxes creating a freeway entry for termites and dampness due to inadequate water-proofing up against house walls.
Freeways for termites! What’s wrong with that! We all like a freeway for easy travel and remember at UltraCon Constructions – we don’t have a vendetta against our fellow non-human creatures – it’s live and let live here at UltraCon.
Dampness combined with a summer breeze can have an inexpensive air-conditioning effect – most welcome as the temperature soars.
Next time I want to talk about swimming pools because summer is on its way and we all love a dip – skinny or not.
Our landscaper extraordinaire is Gary – proprietor of our subsidiary, Gary’s Glorious Gardens. Gary is famous for the accelerated growth of his plants around our UltraCon swimming pools.
Therein lies another of our closely guarded Building Industry secrets to be explored next time.
Hope you have a big win at the races – I’m certain I will (after my meeting behind the stables early this morning with cousin Vinnie the jockey – who will earn a defect and debt free Divine Deluxe dream home for his efforts – or lack thereof).
Mike Heathcote is the founder of Building Masters Inspections and a veteran builder with decades of experience. Utilising his industry knowledge, Mike and his team of experienced Builders provide an Inspection Service offering expert opinion on the true condition of buildings, including estimated repair costs, helping home buyers find their perfect property, Melbourne wide.