Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Facades, and prewiring a new house

No work on the site today - we got a call from our old CSC Mendo yesterday saying the work won't recommence until end of next week at earliest, but hoping to have a slab down by end of January.

We've managed to spy a few Metricon designs in the inner suburbs while driving around, but of course you're much more likely to see builder's homes in the estates. While we were at Keysborough, spotted two double storey Metricon houses with the Manor facade. So... let's talk facades and street appeal for a moment!

This one has a kind of red/orange brick, perhaps something like Austral Cotham? Note that with Manor/Traditional style facades, you typically don't get much (or anything) in the way of eaves - mainly because these style of houses are better without eaves. For example, Georgian style houses look the best with flat roofs or very low pitch setback rooflines.

Also note the facade window treatments for this facade, square-ish mouldings in a contrasting colour to the brickwork. Columns to the portico - well, it's a matter of taste whether you like them or not - I think they suit the facade quite well. The minimal balcony is probably sufficient - we've got a much larger balcony at the front of the house that I doubt we'll ever use - I mean, I don't really want to be lounging out there in full view of every passerby!

I like the mailbox - some kind of stone treatment; though it looks a bit modern compared to the house.

We elected to have 600mm eaves for our Chateau facade, as it looks much better with eaves, and also provides better shading in summer. Of course, any options will cost you, and the big eaves were around $3000.

Another Manor facade, looks like the same kind of floorplan going by the facade windows. Take a look at this mailbox too - not as modern as the other one, blends in much better with the house I think. Now this house is sited on a corner block - some people like corner blocks, others don't. Personally, I'm not keen on corners, because the side of the house is too exposed - people walking/driving by can see into the house, unless you keep the blinds/curtains closed all the time, which is a bit of a pity. However, if there's a good view to be had from this side of the house, maybe a tradeoff worth making. From an investment perspective - undeveloped corner blocks are good potential targets for subdivision and redevelopment to dual occupancy.

As with most builders, Metricon offer a variety of facades. Cheapest ones are usually Traditional and/or Manor, with the most expensive being the Vogue/Contemporary (and I'm not sure whether the facade options include render or not - make sure to make your own enquiries about that!). Also, be aware that different facades will also change the size of your house! Our Nolan 41 is 41 squares (inc garage) with the traditional facade, but once we changed to the Chateau facade, it becomes around 43sq because the master bedroom has an extended retreat area and wider balcony. I guess this goes some way to justifying the increased price of the facade (something like $8-10k more than standard?)

In addition, our facade has a feature cladding to the first floor master bedroom (instead of brickwork). We love the look of this, but be aware that it will require more maintenance than brick - something like repainting every 10 years or so, which isn't a big deal to us. Also, we've heard reports that the cladding doesn't insulate quite as well as brick (no real surprise there) so potentially cooler in winter, warmer in summer. Of course, this area will still have R2 wall insulation all around.

And finally, this will (probably) be the last post for about 10 days as we're off to NZ tomorrow morning, to try and take a little holiday before the building starts. sarahV: hope they finish your house soon, and Renee&Tom, good luck with your selections! Go in with an open mind and open chequebook :)



  1. Tim,

    I guess this is a question to you. Which site did you order all your cables, etc from. I am thinking of doing the same as you then. We still have not had our electrical appointment yet, but if you say $500 for HDMI - Forget it! Did you get a price list of the various electical charges?


  2. Thanks for the advice Tim, enjoy your break to NZ and hopefully when you get back you'll have a slab perhaps!

  3. t&t
    M following your blog as I am going with METRICON. Currently accepted draft plans. Going for penisula 42 with kingston facade.
    Please keep this going.



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