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

2013-06-22 001 2013-06-22 007 2013-06-22 0082013-06-24 030side of house completed

 

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!