Saturday, August 6, 2011

Progress is Good

Lots of activity on site, given few rainy days but mostly sunny ones!

The roof tiles were finished over a week ago now.The plumbing (both storeys) has gone in too. FYI it's flexible black PVC pipe with brass fittings where connections need to happen. To our slight surprise, all the shower and bath mixer taps have already been fitted - one of which is already scratched. I understand why, I just wish greater care is taken, understanding that some bits and pieces are part of the end result (as well as the fact that someone is paying money for all this...).

Moving on... we extended the retaining wall between us the next door neighbour's (included in our package) to run all the way to the back of our block. This has now left us with a more usable and level backyard. And the fact that we did this now also means that we kept the cost down since all the machinery was already on site. Thanks to Davnic (local retaining wall specialists and also subcontracted by Metricon) for accommodating us and for doing a good job.

There is a bigger retaining wall to be built street-facing, on the side of the house - but I don't want to think about it now. We're getting quotes and saving extra cash for it. The thinking for that wall is Outback Sleepers or rendered Besser blocks.
Moving on... we knew that recycled water was included in the deal and we noticed that all three toilets are plumbed into the recycled water supply (purple pipe running through the house) and there is an extra tap in the laundry for the washing machine to be potentially plumbed in the same supply. The lady of the house is feeling a bit unnerved about that though...

I guess the next couple of weeks will see parts of the heating & cooling system and electrical work.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Looks Like a House

Despite the cold weather, the frame is going up at a good pace. Wayne, the SS, and Chris, the chief framer, have been battling the cold weather and have been hammering away for the past two weeks.

Of course, such is life and nothing ever goes to plan... Communication breakdown between Metricon HQ and the heating consultants resulted in an unpleasant surprise: two voids in two corners of one of the bedrooms (to route cooling ducts to the downstairs) without having been consulted first (angry emoticon).
Thankfully the guys on the ground sniffed the discrepancy between our plan and their plan and brought it to our attention. After 10 days of to- and fro-ing, we reached a compromise. The two voids were combined into one but we still lose 30cm from the said bedroom - however we are getting a better look in the end.

And yes, we are getting impatient - it's been over a year now since we signed the deal. Looking at our new neighbours' houses, they are going up so quickly (being single storeys)! But it is what it is, patience is a virtue and all that (compromising emoticon). Looking forward to next winter in front of our new fireplace!

Friday, June 10, 2011

It's not raining, its pouring.

But in the most acceptable sense of the phrase!... Which made us very happy, because a 'no rain' day meant that our concrete slab has been poured!
After all the wait and anticipation, having all that gray matter on the ground is the best news of the month!!!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Mud, glorious mud!

Well, well, well! That's exactly what the block looked like last night :) every hole dug by the crew who are preparing for the slab was full of water. Still, it was very reassuring to see that, despite the unfortunate weather, work is underway.

And today, the plumbers were on site, digging the trenches and installing the PVC drain and waste pipes. The block was a big pile of sludge but credit due to the guys for pushing on!

To top it all, I got to meet Wayne, our Site Supervisor. He comes across as a straight and honest guy an it was really useful to hear him share some of his insights about building on The Range. It was impressive and reassuring to see him giving up his Saturday morning and dropping in to see that work was under way on all Big M houses with subcontractors working over the weekend.

Fingers crossed for dry weather next week.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Good News Week

It appears that the Site Start Date which I was given over the phone from our CSC was not the right one. Instead, Big M had us down for May 19th.
On the day, major activity was taking place on our block. Water taps were already there (both normal and recycled supplies) and so was the excavator! After 2 days' work, we have a level (cut and filled) block of land, as per picture attached.
All we need now is three or four weeks of very little or no rain.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


If only it was as easy to guess lottery numbers as it was to guess that it wouldn't happen on the day (or the next day for that matter).

Biggest hold-up: our lender, Homeside. Two days before D-Day they turn around and tell us that the builder's (Metricon) contract (standard and HIA-approved) does not meet industry standards when it comes to maximum number of construction days. Metricon state 'up to 411 days' and all their customers sign to that and, arguably, finish well within that timeframe. But Homeside think otherwise and we are to-ing and fro-ing.

What makes no sense whatsoever is:
- Hasn't Homeside dealt with Metricon before? One would like to think 'yes'.
- Homeside had already approved an initial amount; we had to reapply for an extra $20K (yes, 20 - Not 200) to cover our cooling extra.

The next 24 hours will determine whether we will be taking our business elsewhere.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Maybe tomorrow ?...

Well it's been a long time since the last post. The reason? No activity whatsoever till late January 2011 when our land settled. Then, a slow process to finalise some necessary extras (cooling) and the overall house plans. All done now so... word from Big M is that tomorrow
Tuesday May 10th 2011
is our site start date. We are quietly ecstatic because we have been waiting for months now.

Of course, Sod's law says that tomorrow rain is expected, with more rain on Wednesday and Thursday.

Anyhow... hopefully this is the last time our block looks like this (picture below), used as a dumping ground for the neighbouring houses under construction :)