Day 145 – Spotty Wot or Dotty Wot?

Friday 9 August 2013 – Defect Inspection:

building inspection  spotty wot and dotty wot

Welcome to our house of dots!! Thankfully it’s not due to illness but a house build inspection!

David had already been through the house prior to our meeting and put some red dots on things he found needed touching up and/or fixing. Paul and I then went through the house with David this morning and after 3 hours of finding touch ups and placing dots, we were finally done.  Luckily the most dots were to do with painting touch ups where we spotted small dents, blemishes, drips, brush marks or orange peeling in the paint on the walls and or skirting and architraves and doors.
The other most common dots were in conjunction with skirting and architrave splitting or door frames and/or cornices.

The cleaners had also been in to do a builder’s clean and David was not happy with the floors of the clean as it was just a sea of dusty red footprints everywhere. He phoned them and had them come back out straight away to clean the floors again. I am just really thankful that we had the tiler seal the grout! The cleaners washed the tiles with chlorine of all things! And wouldn’t you know it – it worked a treat! There’s a tip for you!

Here is an example of what the house looked like with dots!

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The rubbish had also been collected and so the house was now free from obstruction – all that was left was the tree on the nature strip and of course the old port-a-loo!

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The flyscreens were installed later that morning and the ducted vacuum was also installed later that day.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013:

Today Paul organised a bobcat to come and dig out the rest of the red dirt pile in the backyard and level out the front yard a bit and deliver some crushed rock to put around the perimeter of the house to try and combat the red dirt/dust and also in preparation to future concreting to be done after handover.  It makes the backyard look a fair bit larger now and certainly has reduced the amount of red dirt that will be tracked into the house!

The silicone man had been working there yesterday and today.  A big job and one that is often forgotten about! He has done an absolutely fantastic job!

The mirrored robe doors and shelving units were installed and also we had the curtain and blind people out to measure the windows in preparation for making and installing the window furnishings.  We have chosen white translucent roller blinds downstairs with dual charcoal sunscreen rollers on the front windows, blockout blinds in the bedrooms upstairs with bedroom 3 and leisure as dual rollers with sunscreens as well (due to the view into the neighbour’s house), and the master bedroom and bedroom 2 at the front of the house with a dark sheer charcoal curtain.  A White timber shutter in the bathroom and just a small translucent blind in the ensuite.   Plain, simple and practical!

Here are a few more photos of work that has been carried out inside and the water tank!

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I noticed when having the windows measured for blinds and curtains, that the fly screens installed were incorrect.  We had requested aluminium mesh which is a bit stronger and a more robust alternative to the basic standard fibreglass mesh screens. They have a baked enamel finish which prevents corrosion and strengthens the weave. They also reduce the glare allowing for a greater visibility and are able to withstand tougher climates. Perfect for the Qld sun!!  A quick phone call to David and the correct screens were ordered and will be replaced shortly.

Our actual practical Completion Date has been set for Monday, 26 August at 3pm.

The jobs remaining on the list for practical completion are:

– side panels of glass splashback in butler’s pantry to be installed

– fix tap in butler’s pantry (the handle knocks into the glass splashback- so they are going to position it on it’s side to fix that issue)

– painting on external façade (finish cladding and skirting of balcony)

– staining of stairs, front door and balcony posts

– glass balustrades for the stairs

– remainder of painting on façade and paint touch ups

These jobs will mainly hopefully be done by PC on  26 August, and if not will remain on the list until completed – allowing 10 working days after practical completion prior to handover.  After our practical completion, David should be able to provide us with a hand over date which is roughly between 5-10 working days after the inspection. So all going well, it looks like we should be able to move in around the end of the first week of September! Cool!!

I am meeting David on Monday for another look at what has been done last week so hopefully some of those above jobs can already be ticked off!

 

Day 137 – Render Reveal! (7 August 2013)

Hello and welcome back – to me! –  for finally getting around to updating you all on our house build! Sorry for my delay in updating. I had problems with the computer and then trouble uploading my images onto the site! : (

There has been some detailed work going on inside the house which has just finished things off really well.

Painting:

The internal painting has now been completed and gloss to skirting and architraves and doors done also.  Today I finally saw that the render has now been painted and I am really happy with the look.  To finish off the façade, the cladding just needs to be completed near the render and the balcony skirt needs painting also.

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 Electricals:

The electricians have done their fit off of the lights and switches and powerpoints and I am very happy with that too! We requested the ceiling fans be pre-wired and ready for fitting after handover. In order to test these they put powerpoints in that place! A clever idea to be able to be utilised while finishing off odd jobs!  I have not yet had a chance to see the stair lights or the outdoor lights in use.  The front façade lights look good and the outdoor spotlights are now in place.

The pendant lights above the bench look great and the wedge lights below the cabinets highlight the splashback perfectly.  All the downlights are in brushed chrome and look fantastic. 

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The solar hot water and solar power have been connected and units put in. 

Plumbing:

Down the Toilet?! Unfortunately the plumbers are not having a great run : (   When they attempted to fit the toilets, the pipes were somewhere between 5-15mm out.  Not a big deal – unless you have the toilets we have chosen which require accurate measurements for them to be fitted! So unfortunately some of the tiling had to be removed in order to move the pipes to fit the toilets.  Secondly, the baths didn’t seem to be sitting quite in the right place for the tiling and plumbing. That needs to be adjusted also.

plumber in toilet

Tiling:

Ahhh – the main flooring has now been tiled.  The tiler has done an amazing job and the floor tiles look perfect – really spectacular and the finish is just like glass – exactly as I was hoping and pictured.  Couldn’t be happier! We agreed to pay the tiler directly the seal the grout again and definitely think it was well worth it.

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Other:

The door handles are all on and look fantastic.

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The glass panels have now been installed on the balcony and love that!

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The bench has been recut and waterfall edges installed.

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The glass splashbacks have been installed.  I did notice upon seeing them that the colour was not the final colour I had selected. I had 3 selections – and the one that was installed was my 2nd choice. I actually thought it looked great and was quite happy to leave, even though David did give me the option to change seeing as it was the correct final colour requested.  The colour I had chosen last was pretty much just a shade lighter as I was worried my 2nd choice might have been too dark.  However, pleasantly surprised by the incorrect colour, I decided to keep it!

The timber panel has now been reconstructed and looks 100 times better! Just waiting to see that and the stairs stained, along with the front door and timber posts on the balcony!

The temporary building fence has now been taken away.  Just waiting on the rubbish skip to be emptied or taken away now by the end of week!

The bricks have been fixed up at the back of the garage door.

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While I have that before and after shot giving an example of metricon’s work, here is another of their fantastic jobs in which you would never know the error of their ways during the build

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Still to be done:

Staining of balcony posts, front door and stairs.

Stair glass balustrade panels

Kitchen oven tower

Mirrors, drawers and wardrobe doors installed

Flyscreens fitted

Silicone in bathrooms

Ducted vacuum fit off

Automatic door opener to back garage door to be fitted

soft closer to aluminium garage door

Stiker plate to front door remade and refitted

Cleaning

Defect inspection and fix ups

Carpet to go in after handover.

So at this stage now, it looks like we only have about 5.5 weeks till handover! Tomorrow the cleaners are scheduled to come and David has advised that it is just a “builders clean”.  The final clean will take place just prior to handover and that is when the house will be clean and presented in the same manner as their displays!

We are meeting on site Friday morning to do a “defect inspection.”  My understanding of this is that it’s a pre-completion inspection only a bit earlier to allow more time to fix things before practical completion and handover. The ducted vacuum is also scheduled to be fitted off that morning.  We should know a bit more about what is still to be done and what needs fixing up etc after that meeting.  I cannot believe it is so close to being completed!

Therefore, with the completion in sight, it is now a mad panic to try and get the other things sorted out, such as booking in the carpet once we have a handover date, finalising window furnishings and ordering ready to be installed on handover date, obtaining quotes for the excavation & removal of excess soil, retaining wall in remainder of backyard and front yard, driveway and concrete quotes, quotes for paving of alfresco and portico, letterbox, clothesline, side fencing/gates and storage shed, electrician to install ixl neo tactics in the bathroom and ensuite and fans throughout the house. Not to mention insurance, change of address, booking of removalist, packing up and setting up of trampoline and of course the packing etc, etc!!

checklist

Never a dull moment when building a house I tell you!!

 

Day 117 – Woah…Slow Down

slow down

It seems like the house has almost been at a standstill for a few weeks even though I know it hasn’t really.  Because we are now nearing the end of the build, the inside work takes a fair bit longer to complete.  The plasterer’s have now completed the cornice in the wet areas and done the prep work prior to the painter coming in.  The painter has painted the  inside, and put a coat of stain on the timber slats for the screen behind the stairs and that is now being reconstructed.  The painter  is due back next week to complete the painting inside, adding the gloss coat to the skirting and architraves and doors etc, and finish the staining of the stairs, front door, balcony posts and screen behind the stairs, then complete the painting on the exterior (which I am still hanging out to see!).

painter

I must say I am truly amazed that they are painting (especially with white!) inside while there is still red dust and dirt inside the house!?!  David just said it will get a sweep out before the tiler does the main floor but no actual cleaning will take place until pretty much the completion!  David has advised that the painting should be complete next week and then the plumber and electrician will come back to do fit offs and door handles, bathroom accessories, mirrors and robe doors will get fitted also etc. Then the tiler will return to tile the main floor for us, and a “builder’s clean will be done” at that stage which is  approx. 4 hrs by a team of professionals.  Defects from a Q&A inspection will be rectified and then the “new home/display home standard” clean will be done and appliances fitted just prior to practical completion.  Then we are to allow 5-10 working days for any “touch ups” that were found during the final inspection before handover will take place.  I just hope Metricon have good cleaners as I do not want to see one spec of red dust inside that house!

Apart from that, just waiting for the back glass door in garage to be fixed up externally with the bricks, (which should happen next week sometime), the oven tower to be completed and the front door striker plate to be re-made and fixed up.

David said 6 weeks till practical completion and then allowing 2 further weeks for touch ups before handover.  It’s getting closer!…

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Day 110 – An end in sight!

Well, it’s been a while since my last post announcing the starting of the tiling .  The tiling of the wet areas was completed Thursday last week and looks fantastic.  We ended up deciding on getting the grout sealed so we paid the tiler direct to seal the grout for us on Friday.  We are hoping it might stop any red dirt that may end up inside from staining the grout too badly.  Fingers crossed that the wet area tiling is safe now and tradies are requested to remove their shoes when walking on the floors of those rooms!  The main floor tiling will be one of the last things to get done.

In the meantime, we have had our back roller garage door installed and discovered another error when I was asking when our back garage door (aluminium and glass door) would be fitted.  That was a bit of a surprise to David as it had not been ordered and had been overlooked! David of course immediately made a phone call to have the door ordered.  Unfortunately he also found out that the door we requested was wider and a bit taller than the other door! So the surrounding bricks and whole door frame had to be removed to fit it.  I would say someone didn’t read the plan/contract properly and didn’t allow for the door we chose and instead accommodated only the standard door! – Oopps! We are currently just waiting for the bricking to be fixed up hopefully by the end of this week. I hope it will look ok!

Also early last week our bench tops arrived and were installed (all except the kitchen island bench, which seemed as though the cabinetry wasn’t square, so that needs to be fixed up also). We noticed a couple of chips on the edges which had already been marked for fixing also.  The other bench tops all look great and the sinks were all put in too with the exception of the kitchen and butler’s pantry sinks.

The front portico ceiling has now been plastered and a few touch ups now being done this week inside the house in preparation for painting which should start early next week. I can’t wait for the outside to be completed to see the overall look of the external façade and also see the inside get it’s first coat!   The mirrors and robes were measured last week also so they won’t be far away from being fitted either.  Other than that the progress has slowed down as a  few fix up jobs are being rectified and the main job of painting will be started next week.  But overall nothing really that exciting.

Anyway the biggest news is that we have an anticipated completion date – well sort of.  David estimated it would be about 6-7 weeks until practical completion and 8-9 weeks till handover. So that should mean we can hopefully move in around mid September! Whoo Hoo!

Here are some photos of the updated progress.

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Day 93 – Tiling Begins

This morning I met David and the tiler at the house. Had a quick chat about the tile placement etc with the tiler and I went inside for another tour with David. tiler

The plumbing and wall in the powder room had been fixed up ready for extra waterproofing probably at the same time they come back to waterproof the balcony before tiling.  David has requested Corinthian come out to the house to look at the front door and striker plate to sort that out and the timber screen company has offered to come out and re-fit the screen so the gap won’t be as marginal at the bottom of the floor and it will be able to be stained.  Also the oven tower will be remade shortly. Everything on the list so far has been actioned!

The bricks have also been cleaned, just waiting on the scaffolding to be taken away.  The tiler is starting today tiling the wet areas – mostly upstairs and the walls downstairs in the powder room and laundry.  He will tile this week and next.  The tiler mentioned about sealing the grout, especially since we have to deal with the horrid red dirt and recommended sealing it straight after he has completed the tiling.  David said he did not have a problem with that and thought it might be a good idea for the same reasons.  He said it was an ideal time as there was no one else scheduled to work on the house during that period so it should stay red dirt free?!. We are considering it, just waiting for the tiler to give us the details and a quote for the cost.  We were going to seal all the grout after handover but am now worried it will be stained with red dust and hard to remove if we leave it…

question mark

If anyone has any advice regarding that to share, I’d love to hear from you!

Next on the agenda is the continuing of the painting scheduled for around 4 July.  That will see the external façade painting finished and ceiling to portico completed, then he will move inside and do the prep work – filling all the nail holes, patching and sanding etc, then the actual painting.  It is quite a large project and there are a few coats to put on.

We have been told the caesarstone bench tops have all been measured and will be installed in the next 7-10 days also.

But for now – here are a few photos of our gorgeous cabinetry which has turned out exactly how I pictured and I am really really happy with it.  Even the soft close drawers in the kitchen are fantastic! It wasn’t very expensive to add in and I think it will help preserve the life of the cabinetry! The piece that goes on top of the overhead cabinets has not been put up yet as it requires 2 people to lift and hold it in place!  The benchtop will have an overhang of 300mm for stools to fit and we have opted for waterfall edges which I hope will frame the bench nicely and finish the look.

Bricks cleaned

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Internal cabinetry

shelves in butler's pantry

shelves in butler’s pantry

butler's pantry

butler’s pantry

butler's pantry

butler’s pantry

laundry

laundry

pull out draw for washing basket in laundry!

pull out draw for washing basket in laundry!

media cabinet in family room

media cabinet in family room

kitchen

kitchen

kitchen back bench cabinetry

kitchen (see the oven tower is too low!)

kitchen side view

kitchen side view

fridge space and overhead cupboards

fridge space and overhead cupboards

inside of island bench in kitchen - space for integrated dishwasher and microwave and drawer

inside of island bench in kitchen – space for integrated dishwasher and microwave and drawer

bathroom vanity

bathroom vanity

ensuite vanity

ensuite vanity

screeding for tiling

screeding for tiling

tile delivery!

Day 90 – 3 month mark!

90 days

and what a whirlwind it has been! whirlwind

It is hard to believe what has been accomplished in just 90 days of building our house.

This week the painter  painted the eaves and cladding, the balcony balustrade was put up, the skirting and architraves have been fixed in, the doors have all been hung, the scaffolding has come down, the downpipes were put on, the garage doors have been put on (with the exception of the top few panels on the third garage door) and the cabinetry has been installed.

Nothing short of amazing work from all the tradies and with thanks to our building manager. Exceptional organisational skills in getting everything to happen consecutively! The only things that appear not to have been done is the scaffolding being taken away and the bricks being cleaned. But then the rain has paid a visit today with a top of just 15!  Just to remind me of winter in Melbourne I’m sure! I am sure the rest of the qld people here were in hibernation today!!

Here are a few pics of how the house is shaping up now…

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The painter will be back in another week or so to finish painting the render, the bricks will get washed and I am meeting David and the tiler on Monday morning to take a look at the cabinetry and just confirm the tile placement. Tiling will then start for the bathroom, toilet and ensuite upstairs and the walls in the powder room and laundry!

Then there are some items requiring attention, to which David is giving all his TLC to resolving and so we know they are in good hands! Of note they are:

– bottom of timber screen needs finishing off (too much gap once tiles are in) – supposed to look like it is sitting on top of the floor (which it will) and is in the process of rectification

– front door strike plate is too short for door jam width and has been installed a little roughly – in the process of rectification

– plumbing in powder room was too close to wall to seal properly – in the process of rectification so it can be properly water proofed prior to tiling and fitting the toilet.

On the prudent word of our building manager, I decided to double check our internal elevation plans and …DA DA DAAAA (cue the dramatic music!) – there it was – I had found a mistake!! The drawings of our kitchen, in particular the oven tower, had been drawn incorrectly to what we had requested back at our Studio M appointment all those months ago! There was to be a large pot draw under the oven, then steam oven, then overhead cupboard.  The drawing (which I have now discovered is incorrect) showed a small single draw, then the oven and steam oven and cupboard.  If it was left this way my oven would almost be on the floor and we would have been better off having an under bench oven! The incorrect drawing was presented as final and of course the cabinet maker had made up the tower accordingly and I was told it had already been installed.

shocked  AAAHHHHH

But never fear super fix-it Metricon are here! A quick phone call to David, an email to our customer care contact in the office, a confirming email and phone call and the issue was in the process of correction within a few hours on the same day! The oven tower will be remade in accordance with our original request at Studio M.

mr fix it  Phew…

Two things to note here: – Firstly, definitely check, double check and triple check all your paperwork and hope everything is picked up before it becomes too late to change it without ramification.  Secondly, make sure you are building with Metricon so that you get this kind of service when something does not go according to your plan (literally!) I honestly could not be happier with the level of service shown by Metricon staff, especially today upon notifying them of this error and the haste in which they acted! Another big thank you.

Needless to say we are extremely happy with how the build has progressed and the quality of the work undertaken so far.  Looking forward to another week of great surprises.

 

 

 

Day 87 – Weekend Waterproofing!

I made a quick visit up to the house yesterday and saw the waterproofing of bathrooms, laundry, powder room and toilets.  Looks really good, fingers crossed no leaks!

I was also surprised to see the doors had been delivered, some frames installed and some doors hung!  All our doors on the ground floor are 2340 high as it would have looked funny to have shorter doors with such high ceilings! They look extra tall with the lines but I am really happy with them.

Another surprise was that the front door has now had it’s handle and lock installed and looks great.

Hopefully this week should see the external painting being done and bricks cleaned, and inside the rest of the doors hung and cabinetry delivered and installed and maybe some skirting and architraves??…. just another big week at the Franklin house site and I’m so excited!!

laundry

laundry

powder room

powder room

ensuite showing space for tile ramp

ensuite showing space for tile ramp

ensuite and bathroom

 

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toilet!

toilet!

Doors

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Day 82 – I see a staircase!

Thursday, 13 June 2013

stairs

A huge milestone for anyone building a double storey (or highset as they call it here in QLD!) is the day the stairs go in. I was so very excited to see that. They look fabulous. Imagine when they are stained!! Exciting.  Of course, Paul and I chose the most expensive stair option! A hardwood open tread single stringer – still attached to one wall though.  Instead of a plaster wall behind the staircase, we chose a wooden slatted wall so that the staircase could be viewed and open on both sides of the downstairs floor.  We were required to put something there for structural support, however, if we were not required to have anything there we would have preferred to leave it open. The other option other than a plaster wall was frosted glass.  I am most happy with the option we chose as it was in the display home we saw and we loved it, and again I think it works well with the overall look of the house. I wasn’t fussed with not utilising the space underneath the staircase as I have quite a lot of storage already.

With regards to the balustrade, we again chose the most expensive option.  It just looked sooo good we couldn’t help ourselves! And we decided the stairs in our home would be a main feature so it was worth going all out to choose a great design make them look as good as possible! The handrail is timber to match the stairs and then a few aluminium posts and glass panels.

The base staircase option with Metricon is plaster and carpet with wooden balustrade posts, followed by wooden stairs, half open, half closed in, iron posts and handrails and then metal posts and wooden rail, then wooden handrail and glass.  There are plenty of options to choose from to suit your budget or style so you have a bit of freedom to create your own design.

The ceiling above the stair void had been painted also.

Another surprise today was the rendering of our centre column area was completed. That is a great smooth look.  I am looking forward to seeing that painted (ironstone) too, together with the cladding.  That is scheduled for next week sometime, as is the painting of the eaves.  Then the scaffolding can come down and the bricks will get a clean! David advised that a temporary balustrade would be put up on the balcony until our chosen balustrade was ready to be installed a few weeks down the track.

Stairs

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Render

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Friday, 14 June 2013 – Day 83

I drove past the house this afternoon and saw the “Dry Man” parked out the front, so the waterproofing must be being done today!

photo

Also today I received the “enclosed” stage invoice which is stage 4 out of 6 invoices so only 2 more stages left; ‘fixing’ and ‘practical completion’!

 

C for Cool cornice, Ceilings and Cutting out of power points!

Happy Birthday your Majesty!

Happy Birthday your Majesty!

Monday 10 June 2013 – Queen’s B’day – PUBLIC HOLIDAY

 

Tuesday 11 June 2013 – Day 80

After a quiet long weekend, I had yet another house inspection.  Today the plasterer’s were back putting up the cornice. We chose a cornice that was not a Metricon cornice option.  Instead we requested a fairly recent product by Boral called Linear Cornice. http://www.boral.com.au/b4b/linear-cornice.asp.  Contemporary in it’s design, it is a practical alternative to square set. We chose it as it suits the contemporary look we are trying to achieve and we were not disappointed – it looks fantastic.  I can’t wait to see it painted!

measured and cut, ready to install

measured and cut, ready to install

photo

photo (2)

photo (4)

photo (2)

While I was there, the electrician was also on site cutting out our electrical points here and there…

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David spoke to me about the tile ramps we had requested also, and measured those out at the correct angles.  It will end up being about a 50ml angle.  The bathroom and toilet will be short steep 50 degree angles and our ensuite will be a larger more gradual 50 degree angle as marked in this photo…

photo (8)  We chose the tile ramps so we wouldn’t have that 50ml step up which you always seem to stub your toe on!

Tomorrow, Wednesday should see the ceiling painted in the stair void, the stair platform removed and the stairs measured ready for installation on Thursday.  The waterproofing is scheduled for Friday and then Monday should see the cabinetry delivered and start to be installed!

 

 

Day 76 – Plaster & Cladding

plastering

I honestly cannot believe how quickly everything is progressing.

I was able to talk a walk around with the site supervisor this week to get a good look at what progress had been made and got an update on what was expected to happen next week and week after.

The plasterers had been busy and it truly is amazing how different a house looks once its walls are in place.  I remember looking at the slab thinking “tiny” then at the frame and thinking “still pretty small” and now “huge”! The upstairs looks slightly smaller as the ceilings aren’t as high. I think the walls do open it up a fair bit – a trickery of light perhaps?! Nevertheless, I was pretty impressed with the job so far even though there was still a bit of work to be done.

garage

garage

laundry wet board

laundry wet board

Entrance and stair location with our site manager, David

Entrance and stair location with our site manager, David

looking into kitchen from bifolds

looking into kitchen from bifolds

alfresco ceiling

alfresco ceiling

 

wet board in bathroom

wet board in bathroom

recessed shelf in shower and plumbing changed

recessed shelf in shower and plumbing changed

the secret escape hatch!

the secret escape hatch!

the temporary platform for the stair void

the temporary platform for the stair void

one of our louvre windows

one of our louvre windows

our wardrobe behind the bed - will have mirror sliding doors

our wardrobe behind the bed – will have mirror sliding doors

There was also progress made on the exterior of the house.  The cladding had been fixed to the second storey. It  looks great, just needs a coat of paint now! We have selected shale grey to match the fascia.  I can’t wait to see it painted.  You can also see close up shots of our beautiful timber posts on our balcony and the centre column which will be rendered shortly. The eaves have been put up and they also will require painting soon.

timber posts ready for staining

timber posts ready for staining

flashing

flashing

upstairs balcony

upstairs balcony

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Upstairs internally, our floor boards have been sanded on the edges as well to achieve a nice flat even surface, even though Metricon are not providing the carpet! – Ahhh, it’s the small details – and a really great manager.  Thanks David.   We put in a late request for some plumbing in the bathroom to be relocated to the opposite wall.  This was only a few days before plastering was scheduled, but David met us up at the house that day and we explained what we wanted moved and he had us sign a handwritten variation on the spot, that way he was able to get the plumber back to fix it prior to the plastering. We are very grateful and only sorry we didn’t pick that up earlier to save the trouble and a few extra dollars! Needless to say at this stage we are really impressed with the build and level of work so far.

We are looking forward to the cornice going in, ceilings being painted, stairs going in and cabinetry being installed next week and the following week.  Also hoping the render and painting on the exterior will happen, followed by brick cleaning.  So much to look forward to!