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.

2013-08-07 003 2013-08-07 013

 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. 

2013-07-31 002

2013-08-10 020

2013-07-30 003

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.

2013-08-03 001  2013-08-03 004  2013-08-03 008  2013-08-03 009

Other:

The door handles are all on and look fantastic.

2013-08-10 025 

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

2013-08-10 002

The bench has been recut and waterfall edges installed.

2013-08-10 021

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.

2013-07-05 035 2013-07-30 002

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

2013-06-16 0152013-08-10 054

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!!

 

Advertisements

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…

2013-06-20 014

2013-06-20 010 2013-06-18 008 2013-06-18 009 2013-06-18 017

2013-06-20 054

2013-06-18 015 2013-06-18 024

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 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

2013-06-06 030 2013-06-07 005 2013-06-07 006 2013-06-07 008 2013-06-07 009

 

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!

 

 

 

 

Roll Out, Roll Out…

NBN rollout NBN ready

NBN!!

Found a news article that reports Redland Bay will become the first suburb in the Redland City to be connected to the NBN network!

Construction is expected to commence in June 2014 with the first connections happening in 2015 and will hopefully see the entire suburb connected by the end of 2017.

Luckily for us we are NBN ready with the inclusion of that in our electrical selections.  We look forward to welcoming that into our new home in the near future.

Day 35 – Hold that Frame

holding frame

So today’s visit to the block saw the frame just about finished.  The second storey is almost complete and the scaffolding is up for construction of the front balcony. Tomorrow should see the completion of the frame stage and that stage invoiced.  Next should be guttering and fascia delivered and put up and then the roof sheeting going on starting Wed or Thursday?

We had our first minor hiccup with the build as David discovered the concrete slab edge for the alfresco bi-fold doors had not been rebated.  It was found that the concreter’s drawings did not indicate the rebated edge so they were not aware of it.  Which now begs the question….

bob the builder – YES METRICON CAN!!

As always, Metricon give you options as to whether you want to leave it without a rebate and receive a credit or if you would like them to rectify the oversight.  Of course, we requested rectification as that was one of the first things we put into our contract.  Basically it just means the door frame won’t step out, it will drop down in line so less of a trip hazard and looks neater.  It was great as David was straight onto it and had the concreter back up there Friday wet saw cutting the rebate for us.  So now the finished result will be the same, it was just a different process to achieve it. Fine by me! Sometimes human error just has to be accepted and luckily it could be fixed without too much hassle.

Anyway here are some updated photos of the frame and scaffolding…

23 April 2013

 

2013-04-23 005 2013-04-23 006 2013-04-23 007 2013-04-23 009 2013-04-23 012

24 April 2013

2013-04-24 001 2013-04-24 002

25 April 2013

Lest We Forget – ANZAC DAY

anzacs

 

26 April 2013

2013-04-25 005 2013-04-25 006 2013-04-25 007 2013-04-25 009

28 April 2013

2013-04-28 001 2013-04-28 002 2013-04-28 003 2013-04-28 004 2013-04-28 005 2013-04-28 006

 

 

Days 19, 22 and 23 – Waffles & Slabs!

Image  Image

Ahh – enough about food and drink for now – I’m talking about building a house!

Day 19: Friday, 12 April

I went to see what was being done on the block today. There were busy little bees on site boxing everything up and laying out the waffle pad, ready to pour the concrete slab.  I have learnt the following about waffle pods slabs:

– they require no trench work and are therefore of simpler construction

– less work means faster turn around time

– able to proceed in adverse weather conditions

– interlock components hold pods in place to prevent movement under pressure of the concrete pour

– cost effective

– higher accuracy method for different concrete specifications

– little or no waste as there is less soil disturbance

– the design uses an on-ground slab which contains air pockets which contribute to the provision of a layer of insulation between the ground and building

Diagram example:

Image

Here are photos of our waffle pod slab

Image

Image

Image

Image

The concrete slab was due to be poured on the Saturday, however, as mentioned previously, the rain quickly put a stop to that.  So the pour was then rescheduled for Monday.

Day 22: Monday, 15 April

I decided to take the boys up to see the cement mixers up close! I got there just in time to catch a few action shots. The boys were really excited to see the concrete coming out of the chute at the back of the mixer and then out of the hose onto the slab.  They were also really lucky that one of the drivers let them sit in the driver seat of their truck for a quick photo! Thank you.  You can see by the huge grin on my son’s face, that you made his day. He couldn’t wait to get to kinder and tell everyone about it! Image

ImageImageImage

Image

Image

 

Day 23: Tuesday, 17 April

I can’t believe how quickly that was done! Pour concrete in the morning, Whala – one house slab ready in the afternoon!

I met the building supervisor on site this morning to see the finished slab. It looks amazing – although smaller than I thought. I am sure it will look much larger once the walls go up. It was great to walk around though and really get a feel where the rooms will be and what sort of space there is.

We have ideas about the backyard design, but think we’ll get someone in to help us plan it out properly.  For now, the plans include a nice large alfresco area (of which Metricon do the ceiling – but not the floors. You can request them to do flooring as well, although they openly say it will be more cost effective to do if yourself after handover), a pool, room for the boys’ jumbo trampoline, the clothes line and room for a future boat down the side of the third garage. Trust me, it looks really small, but I am sure it will all fit.  We just need an expert to assist us with the design of it!

I must say here that Metricon have been excellent in the fact that there is absolutely no pressure whatsoever for you to do things through them and no pressure for upgrades either.  They are just really helpful in letting you know what the majority of their clients do upgrade which is great as some people may not have thought about some of those things.

We found Metricon to be quite flexible when we decided to supply our own appliances, (of which they are designing our cabinetry around) our own carpet after handover and our own ducted vacuum system. Thank you!

Also this morning the huge piles of dirt have now been carted away allowing a more level and clear area to work and store materials at the front of the block.

Now for some photos of the finished slab to end this very long post!Image

Image

ImageImage

ImageImage

Image

ImageImage

Where’s all the dirt gone mum?!

Rich Red Soil Removal

Calling all those who want clean fill!

megaphone image

Our site supervisor requested on Friday, that we try to organise removal of the excess soil on the block by Monday if possible.  This is mostly due to the fact that it is a large house we are building on our block and there is not enough clearance at the front of the block for work to continue to the next stage.

Again, David gave us the choice as to whether we would like him to organise through Metricon or by ourselves.  We were happy to arrange ourselves. He was very helpful and offered the phone number of a contractor that a previous client used on another job.  So the process of finding someone to cart away and dump the soil began.  We rang 3 contractors (including the one David referred to us through a previous client) and we have managed to book that one in for Tuesday, 16 April! They are called Eagle Alliance Earthmoving if anyone is interested! (alliedearthmoving.com.au)

The slab was scheduled to be poured Saturday, however the weather had other ideas and the the rain absolutely poured down.  So the slab is now being poured today. (Further post to come!)

The frame is also due to be delivered tomorrow, despite David’s best efforts at trying to delay it a day to help provide extra time for the soil removal.  However, we have been fortunate enough to book the job in for tomorrow morning which hopefully will finish just prior to the frame delivery around lunchtime! We also had another stroke of luck in finding a block around the corner who wanted clean fill so now we can dump it there and not have to pay to dump it at the local tip! Bonus win!  So all in all, it is turning out to be a really lucky day and everything can go ahead as planned without further delay!

4 leaf clover image