Saturday, April 23, 2011

Some Good News...Mostly Bad

When our SS got back from leave we called him on his very first morning back of course. He was of course a bit busy at the stage and needed to catch up with the construction manager who had been overseeing things in his absence. We met him on site later in the day and the news was pretty bad. In his opinion, is wasn't possible for them to have the house ready for handover by 29 April. This effectively meant that we would have to move house twice. This was exactly what we didn't want to hear. Apparently there was very little progress whilst he was absent due to tradies just not doing what they were supposed to do when they were supposed to do it. The flooring didn't get done because when the tradies who were doing came to start, they realised the floor hadn't been levelled by the company that poured the slab. The slab company had just decided not to turn up when they were scheduled to do so. This seems to be the typical scenario with the building industry, no matter which builder you use. The SS schedules the work but if the tradies don't feel like it they simply don't turn up. There is all sorts of excuses but there is no recourse for us, the hapless buyers. Later in the week our SS called with more bad news, they could not get our downlights until at least 2 May because they are out of stock at the supplier. Are you freakin kidding me? How can the biggest builder in Australia not be able to source downlights. We've been waiting almost a month for them. Why couldn't they just go to a different supplier, surely they have more than one supplier on the books for most things? This item is apparently essential for the QA, which was supposed to happen on 18 April, but now is pushed until at least 3 May, the day after we settle on our current house and have to leave. Thank goodness we have family we can stay with for a bit, but moving 2 young kids twice in a short period of time will be hell, as will moving all of our stuff.

Anyway, now that we have cleared the air bit, time for some good news. We went down to the house today to erect a letterbox, and were pleasantly surprised to see two tradesmen hard at work on our place. The carpet layer was completing the carpet to the ground floor, whilst the bricklayer (brickie #3) was putting the top of the exterior of the fireplace back on. We also slipped in to take some more pics:

This picture shows our mirrored wardrobe doors and no, they weren't my idea:

This picture shows what they had to do in order to prepare the slab for the timber flooring. First they grind the slab and then they put a thin layer of cement and polish it or something. At this stage (below) they have just grinded it (nice cracks too):

The next picture shows one of the timber floorboards. It's the flooring option available straight from Metricon, which is Boral Silkwood. Our chosen variety is Blackbutt, and this particular one looks fantastic, can't wait to see it laid:

This next shot shows the Balcony Tiles. Very happy with our choice here, was probably the easiest Tile to chose our of the whole lot. You'll notice that we still have no actual balcony rail, and the saga here is that first, the developer made us change to a glass rail, then, within the last month, the law has changed and now M have had to re-order a thicker glass, and they are waiting for this to come in. What a crock!:

These 2 photos show the finished shower screens, firstly in the ensuite and then in the main bathroom. We're happy with the way these came up, would be even happier if they had some taps etc as well:

Yes, we have toilets too (well, at least 2 of them, with 1 still missing). Two of our basins are also missing. Funny how these things just 'walk away' after they've been on site for a while:

Quite a few bricks still need cleaning, here is one of the many window sills we had to get them to re-do due to them laying very wonky bricks originally:

This picture shows that the carpet goes well with the feature wall in the master bedroom:

The brickie is shown below putting the 'lid' back on the fireplace exterior. You can also see the posts for our fence which is presently half way through being built. Now Adam, our fence builder is one tradesman who does what he says he will do when he says he will do it. He also kindly offered to fix the crappy rear fence that Australand built. Once he finishes our fences we will post his details here. I think he's already picked up a number of other jobs whilst being at The Range.

And this is my current effort toward building the new house, a crappy little letterbox, which we needed as we had already directed mail here thinking (stupidly) that we would be actually living here by now:

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Garage Door Installed and Flooring Delivered

Dropped by again today and found that the Garage Door has been installed - it's a pretty common garage door found around the estate, but I think it's the best one out of the inexpensive options that are provided - otherwise we would have been forking over several thousand for a timber one (which is the only other option provided through M) The roller door at the rear of the grage has also been installed. This one matches perfectly with the colour of the guttering We were hoping to find someone at work there today but it was not to be - We did find that the timber flooring has been delivered and it is sitting in my theatre room waiting to be installed - It's the Boral Silkwood that is available through Metricon - our colour choice was Blackbutt which we hope will continue the theme of 'warmth' throughout the house. This shot shows the underlay for the timber flooring. It also shows(hopefully you can see it) that we now have fly screens on all our windows, part of the promotion that we purchased

This last one is a bad photo (zoomed in mobile phone pic) which shows the tiles in the downstairs powder room, looking forward to getting a better pic of these

We're still hoping (but not expecting) that the timber floors will be installed tomorrow (Sunday). You'd think that because big M has delayed us in so many ways that they would be willing to do some weekend work to recover lost time and help us meet our settlement date. What should be happening next week is the following:

  • Timber Floors installed

  • Carpet Installed

  • Down Lights and all other lights installed (including stairlights)

  • Appliances Installed

  • Metricon's QA

  • Down Pipes fixed and going somewhere.

  • Fireplace Installed including Cornice, Skirting, Painting, Exterior Brickwork and Jetmaster.

  • Bi Part Door Handles Replaced

  • Main Bathroom Bath Installed

  • Mirrored Robes Installed

  • Taps installed

  • Toilets installed

  • Bricks Cleaned and Expansion Joints Filled

  • All Plumbing complete

  • Everything Cleaned

That's quite an ambitious list for 4 days work. Needless to say we will be seething if things are not happening. Thankfully our SS is back next week.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Heating Ducts, Tiling and Careless Paintwork

We snuck into the house the other day whilst it was being cleaned. Apparently the first of 3 cleans. The cleaners were cleaning all the windows and sweeping the slab, hopefully in preparation for our timber floors and carpet, which was scheduled for this week but didn't make it in time. While we were in there, we took a few quick snaps:

The shot below shows one of the many heating ducts we now have all over the place. Quite different to our current house where all ducts are in the floor. Not really sure why they put them in the roof these days but I'm sure there is a very good reason.

The 2 shots below show that, although they did a good job painting our feature wall, they were careless with the edges and we have brown paint bleeding into the white. Not a good look at all! Rest assured we will not be accepting this.

On a more positive note, most of the tiling is complete, including grout. We're happy with it as it is very tough choosing tiles without any way of seeing how they will look in the final layout.

We drove buy today and saw that they have just fitted our garage doors, but it was a bit dark for a good photo. More tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Things are happening, slowly but surely...

Now that I've done one Blog post, my wife inisists I keep going. That's fine as long as she keeps taking the photos, and of course things keep progressing. I'm happy to report a lot of progress even since the last post. The photo below shows the wall of the study, which previously had a massive hole where they hadn't quite got the positioning of some water pipes right, and they were actually sticking out of the wall (see older post). An excellent repair job here, just hope that it holds up over a long time. They actually had to jack hammer away some of the slab, which our SS fixed himself, nice job too. We even have smoke detectors now, hopefully that ugly yellow plastic is just a cover? The tiler is working quickly and doing a very good job by all reports. We were worried about the tiles because we couldn't remember what we selected at all, as it was over a year ago. This is the ensuite shower. Our (actually, I should say my wife's) spa has also been installed and some of the tiling is done. Good to see that it's level, that way my stubbies won't tip over! This is a feature wall in our bedroom and yes it's Brown. Well, Sea Elephant to be exact. Will look great with our new King Size bed in front of it!! Can't wait for that. This is the wardrobe doors in the remaining bedrooms. A bit bloody yellow we think. Really can't remember the colour we chose but I doubt it was this. I remember the selection was very limited, but we will be checking this very carefully. This shot shows the floor tiles in the main bathroom. Nothing too exciting but nice rectangular large tiles, which seem to be the thing to have these days. And yes, this is the fireplace, starting to look as it should with a wall projection and the fireplace being up off the floor. Some skirting, some cornice, some paint and an actual Jetmaster and we'll be laughing! Ah yes, my cave, also known as the Home Theatre Room, except that it will be a Hi Fi Room before it becomes a Home Theatre Room as I love my music more than movies. Although with the size of it, both music and movies can be nicely accommodated. Just can't wait to get our new recliners in there and, well, sleep a bit. This little gizmo is a 'Vac Pan'. It's connected to the ducted vacuum. The idea being you can do a quick sweep, kick the Vac Pan with your foot and it will get sucked into the vacuum. This is our kitchen cupboard shelves, complete with unknown bit of wood on top. All of these things get us very excited and hopeful that we can be into the new house before our current home settles and we have to get out. Fingers will remained crossed. The big test will be the Metricon QA which is scheduled for April 18. If that goes well they will give us a firm handover date, and we will start packing like crazy.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Getting There...

Thank goodness my wife has been keeping this blog up to date, I've been slacking off for the majority of the build (which seems to have taken forever!). Anyway, we are finally getting close to the end, as this post will show.


When we looked at the Tribeca display home in Berwick, there were many features we liked and asked for these to be included in our home. One of these was the projected Jetmaster Fireplace. As this was a standard Display Home option, we thought that there would be no issues building this. Turns out we were very wrong. Apparently a 'drawing error' led to them building a completely different Fireplace in our home, which we only noticed after plaster went in and painting was about to commence. Hang on, the wall is flat, there is no projection! What they were building for us was a Fireplace which sat on the ground on a piece of Hebel! This caused major issues as not only did the projected wall frame need to be built and the plaster re-done, but there was a steel lintel in the brick wall which was too low to allow the correct Fireplace to fit. So now they have ripped out the plaster and a section of bricks from the wall in order to raise the lintel, and with only 10 days until supposed handover - ARGHHH. So we are just praying that they can fix this by tomorrow at the latest.


We got our electrical fit out (off) done last Thursday, except they forgot one small detail...every single downlight (of which we have about 50!). Apparently they were 'out of stock' or something. At least the powerpoints, light switches, ducted vaccuum an TV antenna was done.


All of the tiling has been laid out but nothing has been grouted yet. Not sure what they are waiting for here. This pic also shows that the doors have been stained (although they need another coat)

Outdoor Room

Apparently we needed another manhole, this time in our Outdoor Room. So now we have multiple manholes again. One of the pics below shows our SS attempt to fix a gaping hole under one the roof beams. The other pic shows a gap above the bi-part doors which will apparently be fixed with a nice looking piece of wood (one of these days)


We still have a few downpipes leading to nowhere, and the downpipe that is supposed to come down from the roof to the ground in front of the garage is still not done (apparently they just didn't read the drawing and put it wherever they felt like it!) At least the hole in the gutter has now been moved to the correct place (now put the damn pipe on!!!)

Feature Render

Our front feature wall of the facade has now been rendered with the final colour, and thankfully we are very happy with the result

Other Bits and Pieces

We now have one of our baths (in the dining area at present). Painting inside is pretty much all done, except for the Fireplace wall of course. Our neighbours (Lot 112) have had a fence built for them by Australand (as it is adjacent to a boundary road). And, well, my daughter just loves the new home!!!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Painting, decking, more fixes

Handover's getting close and we're a wee bit nervous! So much to do still and unfortunately our SS is on leave from the 15th April. Then it's finishing and handover with someone we've never dealt with. Not what you want at the end of build. Our SS is pushing for completion before he leaves which will be fantastic but tight!

The latest activity is painting. Really excited about this as it brings us that much closer to the finish line. Hopefully it won't take too long as they spray rather than use the domestic roller. First coat finished today I think. The painters didn't speak much english so I couldn't really chat and our SS was at another location. Looking good anyhow.

It's a little hard to tell but the walls are a cream based colour called Natural White and the ceiling is a white called Lexicon Half.

This is the theatre room. Hope they've just done the base coat the same for all walls because we had selected a darker tone for this room given it's mostly for watching movies. Might mention that to the SS ... just in case.

Those extra man holes have been patched and spray painted over too. Looking seamless which is what you want! Still not an ideal spot for the actual manhole but oh well, a small thing to get used to given lack of other options.

Great to see everything covered up properly to avoid paint drops. In this you can just see the Antartic coloured splashback in the background. Lifted the plastic for a good look and it looks awesome! Can't believe I forgot to take a photo though! Looks great, trust me ;)

Got a call from the SS on Tuesday informing us of a potentially big problem. Wardrobe cupboards and doors in the master ensuite don't fit because the carpenter had made the opening too short... well, standard and we had opted for a bigger wardrobe. A few conversations later and it appeared as though the best option was to cut the shelving and door to size to fit in the wardrobe. Wasn't too happy with this as the bigger wardrobe was an upgrade.

Turns out in the end, the bulkhead at the top of the wardrobe was made too low! So everything should fit and no need to cut. woohoo! Just glad they discovered the problem before we went ahead and agreed to cut everything to fit!

Said bulkhead raised just this morning so we didn't lose half of this top shelf which is supposed to be for shoes. Bit silly I think given I'm too short to reach them!

The other exciting works is the decking in the outdoor room. Was told the front portico decking wasn't done due to rain but not sure how this back bit got done though. Hopefully the front will be finished too but guess the later it's done, the less traffic damage.

Woohoo! Tiles have arrived too. Awesome! Can't remember exactly what we chose so looking forward to seeing them :)