Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Day 99: Internal plumbing, roof flashing

Realised when we got to our house around 7pm that the days are definitely getting shorter and darker already - note to self; pack a big flashlight in car for future visits! Didn't think anything would be done this week except for the scaffolding, but happy to be proved wrong!

Anyway, while it didn't look like anything was done on the outside, we've had our front tap replaced and water connection to the water meter done, and internally the plumbers had been busy connecting up all the "hidden" piping for the basins, showers, baths, toilets etc.

This picture is standing in the dining room, looking up at the bathroom plumbing. The big pipe on the right leading nowhere will be connected to the bathtub, the pipe on the left connects to the vanity and shower. Other connections have been installed for the toilets and other waste outlets.

Also all the mixing mechanisms had been installed for the showers & baths; and the ensuite shower floor had been put in - though the rainfall showerhead still hasn't been moved - need to remind our SS next time she calls. Another thing to follow up on is the floor waste to the laundry hasn't been moved yet.

Also, flashing for the ground floor roof had been installed; the metal gutter-like thing running alongside the tiles. Plus a few tiles broken in the process! There's also 2 pipes connected to the plumbing, that look like they drain from the roof. Not sure what they're for.


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Day 98: Scaffolding erected, auction results from the weekend.

Yesterday someone came to clean out the rubbish cage, but today I turned up around noon just in time to catch the crew who had put up the scaffolding this morning; apparently it took them about 3 hours.

Makes it a bit harder to get into the house now! Not sure if much else will be done this week, we'll see how it goes. Also went by Balwyn to pick up the keys for a 3 month housesit there, we'll move in this Good Friday.

We also had a busy weekend, following a bunch of auctions in our area that were of interest! One of Melbourne's busiest auction weekends ever with over 1000 auctions. First one was the Metricon Liberty in Mont Albert North, on Whitehorse Rd.

Not a big turnout, maybe 20 people and passed in at $1.6m, but later had a sold sign up, final price undisclosed, but probably between $1.6 to $1.7m.

Next was a neighbour's house about 7 houses up the street. This is a 40sq AV Jennings house on a big block of land built about 3 years ago. Had a nice modern floorplan, with a great double storey void over the formal rooms and massive 2nd/3rd bedrooms. We love the facade on this house, was one of the things that attracted us to this street, and also played a part in us choosing the Chateau design with weatherboard cladding on the first floor, like this house. Sold after auction for over $1.25m.

Finally, this tired old weatherboard on 750m a few streets away from us, on a busier road, facing east/west. Sold for $890,500! We'll probably see 2 - 3 townhouses there by the end of next year. Pretty glad we bought our redevelopment house when we did - if we bought it today, we'd be paying another $150-200k for it!


Friday, March 26, 2010

Day 94: Steel lintels for balcony & garage installed

Happy Friday everybody! Not much done on our house today, just the steel lintels (beams) installed.

It looks like the beams are just placed on top of the supporting structures, then held in place by mortar and the interlocking brickwork around it? I couldn't see any holes for bolts or anything else. Hopefully the brickies will be back next week to finish off the ground floor before Easter.

It was raining quite a bit when I got to the house in the late afternoon, and with the wide eaves the top floor was bone dry - yay! Unless there's some severe wind/rainy weather coming, I think our frame and flooring is safe from rain, even without the first floor bricks.

Tomorrow, got a busy day of house inspections and auctions to check out in our local area (we're keeping a very keen eye on our local property market of course), but the one that will interest everyone else building with Metricon is this Wingrove 28 that Tina found on Domain.

This one was in the same development as the Tribeca that went to auction about a month ago - we think the result for that house was approx $1.15m sold after auction. This one is quite a bit smaller at 28 squares, and since there isn't a display home with this floorplan available, it'll be interesting to see how it feels on the inside! The above picture shows the Contemporary facade fully rendered. Nice modern colours on the facade, exposed aggregate driveway.

This picture shows a kitchen island bench with a bend in it, like the Tribeca's kitchen. two big pot drawers either side of the oven and a couple of windows either side of the cooktop. The floor tiles are quite nice, but beware of a dark colour across such a large area - makes things feel smaller. Also the light grout will discolour and get dirty over time. I'm not sure of the light beech colour laminate kitchen doors though- a little bit 80s there!

Anyway, if you'd like to have a look at this Metricon Wingrove (and buy it?), click here for the link to Domain. It's open tomorrow at 11am.

However we won't be at that Wingrove tomorrow, because at the same time (11am) there's this Metricon Liberty in Mont Albert going for auction which we visited a couple of months ago, and we want to see what the action is like. Asking $1.5m to $1.7m.


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Day 93: One week of bricking, not much left for ground floor to be completed

Our brickies started last Thursday, and it's pretty impressive to see what the team have managed to do in a week!

From the front, the portico now sprouts two big brick pillars, plus the "rear" pillars for the balcony were completed. These pillars and the balcony will be all rendered.

Also a more work on the garage was done; the side wall is pretty much complete, the brick piers are all in, and the rear bricking for the roller door was done as well.

Need to get the chippies back to erect the garage roof, then the people for the gutter/fascia, and then the tilers!

For the ground floor bricking to be complete, we need the rear bricking over the bipart door and home theatre window finished off, plus a bit more bricking on the west side. Hoping it'll all be done by tomorrow afternoon!


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Day 92: Garage wall bricking commenced

Some more work by our brickies today; starting on the garage wall adjacent to the fenceline was the most noticable thing today. It's about halfway done - it should reach almost to the neighbour's eaves when this wall is done.

This is a freestanding brick wall - no timber frame to tie onto. You can see 3 brick pillars/piers along this wall. In-between each pillar, there's just a single brick wall, with the "nice" side facing out... towards the fence. Anyway, I'm planning to add in built-in garage shelving in these niches, so it's not a big deal. Each brick has 2-3 "nice" sides, and one crappy side, which is normally hidden by facing inwards towards the timber frame, or in this case with our garage wall, in towards the garage. On the other side of the garage, the "nice" side of the bricks are facing towards the garage.

After this wall is done, we have to decide whether to replace the paling fence there (we had 4 sections of fence removed, but 2 sections were destroyed in the great site scrape of mid January 2010) or simply leave an exposed brick wall to our neighbours. I'm inclined to put all the fence back/get the missing sections remade, as that's what we promised the landlord of the neighbouring property, but we can decide on this later.

More brickwork was done around the west side of the house, with the dining room window (pictured above) bricked over. You can also see the outdoor room pillar has been complete, which is great - there was only a single timber pole holding up this corner of the house before, and with the added weight of roof tiles, we're feeling much more secure now there's a brick pillar supporting the roof! The exposed beams in the outdoor room will also get painted in Surfmist to match the fascia.

The weather forecast is looking good (fingers crossed still!) for the remaining days in the week, some fog tomorrow and minor showers on Friday - so we're hoping to have the ground floor bricking complete by Friday! What remains to be done for the ground floor is the garage brick walls and piers, and to complete the west side bricking.


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Day 91: Ground floor, east side bricking completed

Turned up around 3:30 today, and found the brickies going hard at it. Apparently the team of 5 come from Rye every day! Bought them some beers to celebrate finishing up at the end of the day which was much appreciated.

Today there was more bricking at the front, over the front door, and up underneath where the balcony will be. Not quite sure how they're going to build the balcony there, but after all the bricking is done, the balcony will be rendered.

The east side ground floor was completed today too, with the bricks at the home theatre room wall nicely tucked up the ground floor fascia. Also some more bricking done on the west side, including installation of lintel over the kitchen window splashback, and a bit of bricking at the rear around the bipart doors.

Also got a message on my voicemail from our SS. She mentioned that we were lucky enough to get the brickies in a few days early, which means the ground floor should be bricked up by the end of this week, and scaffolding should go up next week. Brickies probably wouldn't be back until after the Easter long weekend, so it means there won't be much happening next week.


Monday, March 22, 2010

Day 90: Bricking continues

Today, some more work done on the east side of the house (garage side), I think they've bricked up as high as they can go without proper scaffolding. Plus the first floor needs to be wrapped before any more bricks can go up on that side.

They've also bricked up & over the study and family room windows, with steel lintels installed to hold the weight of bricks over the windows.

This picture shows the colour difference between freshly laid mortar and dried mortar. The bricks at the top were laid today and the mortar is still a little wet, and very dark. The bricks that were laid 4 days ago has the mortar drying out nicely, showing the off-white colour; we reckon they look awesome against the dark Hawthorn bricks! We were a bit concerned when they were first laid because the mortar was so dark, but it's come up a treat now! From what we can tell, the brickwork is being done nicely, with consistent mortar width and everything lining up nicely!

Up on the first floor in the leisure area, we can see about 2 courses of bricks above the existing level of the weather wrapping. When the scaffolding comes back for the first floor, they should wrap the first floor and then continue bricking.

And finally, I messed about a little with Photoshop and came up with this composite image made up of 5 photos in the open plan area. From left to right: Family room, home theatre room, dining room (with bipart door) and then kitchen with window splashback, and on far right the fridge alcove/walk in pantry. Will have to try this again, but using a tripod to take more even photos so the joins are less visible.

Pray for good weather to continue, we're hoping to have the ground floor bricking finished this week!


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Day 87 (yesterday): Bricking continues

Didn't go by the house yesterday as I was invited to the launch of a new Tag Heuer watch - the Silverstone. But man, it's one ugly watch, limited edition or not!

Anyway, catching up at the house today, it seems the brickies managed to get a bit of work done yesterday, plus another delivery of bricks and sand.

From the front, we can see quite a few more pallets of bricks hanging around, and the sandpit has been topped up as well. Talked to our neighbour across the road who says there were about 4 people on the bricking team. Also some low scaffolding erected in the garage and a little further down the east (left) side.

The facade has had a little more bricking done too - looks like that timber pole holding up the master bed extension is there to stay as the bricking is going up around it.

Having another look at the portico, the brick pillars holding up the balcony have also been started. There was a tiny chip in the portico concrete at the corner under the nearest brick pillar - this hasn't been repaired adequately yet.

At the outdoor room, the temporary wooden pole that was holding up the corner of the roof has been shifted a couple of feet, and the proper brick pillar has had 3 courses started.

At the rate things are being done, hoping to have the ground floor bricked by maybe midweek. And the one thing always on our mind is when will everything be finished? We've got housesits continuously from April to July, then August to September, and maybe an offer of September to October.. but it's hard to commit to a housesit if our house will be done by then! Our SS will hopefully give us a more definite idea at lockup, which is probably 6 weeks away.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Day 86: Doors in, and brickies started early! Plus: Cooling discussion

We were a bit rushed tonight as there was a dinner seminar to get to - but getting to our house, we were a bit surprised to see.... heaps had been done!

Let's start with the chippies - they were a little busy today! Front doorframe & temp front door, internal access doorframe, rear birpart frame was all installed. Also many issues detected at Tuesday's frame inspection were fixed up today: missing noggin from study, home theater door height corrected, bed 4 to bathroom door relocated, master bed doorframe secured. Well done boys!

This pic shows our front door - love the sidelights! The temporary front door is hanging open, the final door is 2340mm high, 1020mm wide - plenty big! But now more and more of the house is coming together, I'm realising there's a few things that I might have changed - though we put in hours and hours into planning this house, you can't always get everything in! One thing might have been to get a quote on upsizing the front door to 2340x1200mm - the front door would be 18cm wider, but then each sidelight would get 9cm narrower. Anyway, can't change it now, and the current door is already massive! Another thing might have been to upsize the internal access door - it's a standard 820mm door, but making it a little bigger might be useful as I tend to go in & out with big things a lot to the garage.

Here's a pic of the rear bipart door - this was part of the promotional package, upgraded from the standard aluminium bipart door. This one is a standard door height, 2140mm I think (so is the laundry sliding door), whereas every other door is 2340mm high. Not sure this timber bipart comes in a taller door size; pretty sure we checked this with our CSC at preliminary contract, otherwise we would have got the taller one. The two sliding doors haven't been installed yet.

Now here's a question for everyone out there - if you look at the bottom of the bipart, the aluminium rails for the sliding doors are on the outside - should it be this way? It just looks like it should be inside as there's a line of black felt you can just see in the photo, but so far the chippies seem to know what they're doing :)

The other big surprise was that quite a lot of bricking had been done - one one side of the house only 1-2 layers of bricks had been put down, but on the other side quite a bit more of the wall had been done already.

This shows the home theatre room from the backyard, and looking up towards the front of the house you can see quite a bit of bricking has been done today. This was a real treat, as Monique mentioned they'd start next Monday, or maybe Friday (tomorrow) if they could! When we inspected closer, all the mortar widths were pretty consistent, and the flush finish seem to be quite even all the way around. We picked off-white mortar, which looks quite dark now because it's still fresh, but as it dries out, we should see it lighten considerably!

We're very happy to see bricking start ahead of schedule, and to see the minor issues seen in the frame to be fixed up so quickly, testament to our SS paying attention to our concerns and passing on words to the tradies to get them fixed promptly - top marks there! Let's hope the good run continues!

Finally, to respond to Glenn who asked about cooling, in our prelim contract M won't put evaporative cooling ducts to downstairs in the build (but I've heard that in NSW they will?). If you add in refrigerated cooling however, then that would include ducting to downstairs. Our plan is to install a big evaporative cooler upstairs (we added "evaporative cooling provision" to our contract which gives reinforced roof trusses, powerpoint and water point for cooling), and later add a split system AC to the downstairs open area. My parents have this setup in their 2 storey house, and it works very well - especially being able to leave the evaporative cooling on low overnight during the hot humid nights, makes it a "breeze" to stay cool! We decided to add the evaporative cooling after handover, as you'll get a more powerful, capable system with more ducts for the same price.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A blast from the past...

No work on site today, a bit of a lull in activity waiting for the brickies to show up.

Thanks to our future Metricon redeveloping neighbours down the road (you know who you are :) who dropped off this interesting bit of nostalgia about our street, back in a time when you could get a whole street graded for 7 pounds, 10 shillings!

When we bought the old place last May, the owner said he'd been there 30 odd years or so and it looks like it was one of the original 3 bed weatherboards that you can just make out in the article. Someone with a better knowledge of old cars could probably date the article from the shape of the car in the picture?


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Day 84: sand for bricking delivered, Frame inspection walkthrough complete

Turned up after lunch to see that we've gained another huge lump of sand in front of the garage - sand for bricking!

But the big deal today was our frame walkthrough with our new SS Monique - very impressed with her knowledge and thoroughness! Here's the issues we picked up on, and her answers. This won't make any sense to you guys, it's just so we can keep track of how these issues are being fixed!

TIMEFRAME - Next things to happen is that the chippies will be back onsite to install the front, rear and internal access doorframes either Thursday or Friday. Needs to be done before the brickies start working, which should be this Friday or following Monday. Ground floor should be bricked in 7-8 days, then scaffolding appears so the first floor can be wrapped, then first floor bricking will take another week, then cladding and eaves go in. Electrical roughin will happen about the same time as the first floor bricking, maybe. Hopefully full lockup will be at the end of April, and then we'll get a better indication of how long the remaining stages will take. With no delays so far in tiles or bricks, things are going well!

LOCKUP INSPECTION - Our SS is fine with having a lockup inspection, providing it comes after the Metricon lockup inspection. She'll keep us in touch every week to let us know when we need to organise that. The inspectors that M are using for each stage are Checkpoint Surveyors, and apparently their inspection was only just done and should go through to Monique tomorrow. Change to electrical plan: can upstairs leisure light be moved? See next.

LIGHTING - I realised that one change I made to the lighting plan upstairs wasn't really a good idea, and wanted to change the lights in leisure room to be one light point in leisure and one in passageway, which is the standard Nolan lighting plan. No worries - gave Monique a printout of the changes, signed it, and she'll pass it onto the sparkies. Also, Tina wants to finetune the position of the downlights over the kitchen island, and we'll do that at a later walkthrough once the kitchen goes in.

Timber poles front & rear only held in by one bolt - not load bearing poles, only there to hold up frame until bricking done.

Floor waste to laundry - will be moved to correct position under washing machine location

Torn/open wrapping at sitting room wall - will be fixed prior to bricking, just needs more tape

Stud at meter box unsupported & loose - will be fixed (Friday?) when chippies fit doors

Missing noggin to study/family wall - will be fixed at lockup

Rumpus room door too low (needs to be for 2340 door) - to fix Friday

Also front door & internal access too low – will be fixed when doorframes put in.

Home theatre double doors: Changed so that the left door opens, the right door has mushroom stop.


Ensuite rainfall head wrong position – will be fixed after ensuite shower floor put in (currently a big hole)

Bed 4 door to bathroom - will be fixed - need to move over about 2 feet.

Roof access door - will be placed in Bed 4 robe, as Bed 3 access blocked.

Master bed doorframe stud unsupported & loose - will be fixed by door installers

Possible to move light position in upstairs leisure room, to have one in leisure, one in passage - done!

Other issues: Keep an eye on water patch near outdoor room - there's no plumbing in that area! Monique also pointed out the reinforced trusses we upgraded for a future evaporative cooling unit - about 5 trusses with 120mm thickness instead of the usual 90mm.

So, pretty happy with how today's walkthrough went, and Monique certainly seems well organised, and quite knowledgable about our house and aware of most of the issues we brought up.

All we have to do now is sit back, and wait for the doors to go in and then a few weeks of watching bricks going up - yay!


Monday, March 15, 2010

Day 83: Roof completed, bricks delivered!

Today the ground floor roof tiling & pointing was completed - nice to know that everything is undercover now!

This is a view of the ground floor roof from Bed 3. We love how they look close up!

Also had a big delivery of other items today - I think it was about 15 pallets of bricks, around 7200 bricks in total, weighing something like 24 tonnes - if the delivery invoice is to be believed! Still waiting on another 9000 bricks or so in a later delivery. Funny thing was, I was driving through Heidelberg this morning and saw a big Austral Bricks truck going the other way, and was thinking to myself "Maybe those are our bricks?" Can't know for sure...

Checking things out in closer details, these are the correct Austral Hawthorn bricks that we chose. They look like a good batch - nice dark brown bricks with many black specks in them!

Internally, we noticed the drain pipe for the powder room sink had been moved about a foot - we also need to let our SS know the laundry waste pipe also needs to be moved. Hopefully they won't damage the laundry sliding door in the process, as the powder room was full of concrete bits when that pipe was moved.

Meeting our SS tomorrow afternoon - need to print off a list of minor things we need to check up on.

D&E: Glad to hear you're finding our blog useful! If you need any other details don't be afraid to post a comment anywhere on the blog.


Friday, March 12, 2010

Day 80: Happy 100th blog post! First floor roof tiling completed

OK, so I think this is the official #100 blog post - woohoo! And to celebrate, today was a beautiful Melbourne autumn day, just right for the tilers to finish off the first floor roof tiling including pointing.

Kind of hard to see from this angle, but the first floor tiles are all up there. Plus at least another hundred smashed on the ground! We'll go in on the weekend with brooms to sweep out all the crap from last weekend's hailstorms.

The other thing done today was that the carpenters came back to cut out the bottom part for doorframes - you can kind of see the trail of sawdust in the doorways above. Unfortunately the wrong door position from Bed 4 to the bathroom hasn't been corrected, so it's another thing to add to our list of things to be fixed. Plus there's a couple of doors which haven't been cut out, I think to the linen cupboards, and all the sliding robe doors, so the chippies will be back a few times for that anyway. I'm never quite sure why tradies turn up to do 30 minutes of work each day - wouldn't it be more efficient and practical to do one job at a time until it's complete? Anyway, not my responsibility to organise all that, as long as it all works out in the end!

We also got the frame stage invoice today, dated from yesterday - while officially the frame stage isn't complete as the external door frames aren't on, we'll just pay this invoice as there's a list of minor things which we'll raise as items to fix on Tuesday when we next meet with our SS. We're hoping that by our meeting, the ground floor tiling will be complete, and hopefully the doors all on too!


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Day 78: Wrapping commenced, beams delivered, frame inspection booked

Got a call from our SS this mornin, and we've organised a frame inspection for next Tuesday. It'll just be us and not a formal building inspector - we're working on choosing a building inspector for the lockup stage. Our roof is meant to be complete by Friday (first and ground floor roof tiling) and hopefully doors in by Tuesday as well.

After a huge amount of traffic, got to the site to see our house has now changed colour, and is wearing a raincoat!

Yup, we've been wrapped! The wrap covers the ground floor all around, and from what we can tell has been done well except for an area near the meter box which is hanging loose - you can see it in the front right corner of this photo, on the side wall just flapping around a bit. It's stapled to the frame, joins sealed with tape, and sealed to window frames with tape as well. Internal surface is a reflective foil. When bricking is complete, we'll have a brick layer, a small air gap, then this weather wrap, then internal insulation (walls are R2.0 insulated) then plaster. Much better insulation than our old weather board, which had weatherboard, then plaster, and that was it! We're hoping that with our 5.5 star house, it'll reduce/minimise our need for artificial heating/cooling in winter/summer.

I got out my broom from yesterday and started sweeping out the ground floor - the amount of mud, wood shavings and general dirt was incredible! I think we'll spend our weekend just cleaning up the house, since I doubt any of the tradies are going to pick up a broom - and we don't want plaster going up locking in all the dirt/mud inside the frame! Also went around retaping the protective plastic over all the windows - right, I know it's a bit anal but wouldn't it be better for everyone concerned if our brand new windows stay brand new (and unscratched!) until handover?

Also had a delivery of some steel beams/lintels; these should support brickwork over openings like windows/doors. I think the longest one is for the garage front/rear doors, then the smaller ones to go over windows. We got rid of all standard infill for brick infills; just think it looks a bit better even though few people would ever notice it!

Other things done on site today: the water lead-in pipe has been buried (and someone removed our front tap as well?!).

Crossed fingers - hoping for no more rain until roof is complete (and ideally wrapping complete as well!)


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Day 77: More roof tiling, windows finished, fence replaced

Last day of a 4 day long weekend, and I thought I'd go mop up the damage at our house... the ground floor covered in 2" of water (at least we know the frame is watertight!

When I got there, a bloke from Jim's Fencing was replacing the rear fence (which was infested with ivy).

Said he had been there from 7, and the tilers were there about 8:30 but couldn't finish the job because a truss was missing, or something. The ground floor roof has had the tile trusses installed, and the first floor is about 50% tiled now.

I went to buy a broom and misc things from Bunnings, and when I got back the carpenters were finishing up putting all the windows in. They installed all the remaining windows, as well as the master bedroom french doors.

View of home theatre. You can look out the window on the left to the backyard, and the window on the right to the outdoor room. I mentioned that the wrong window had been put in the family room, and they moved it so it was in the HT (double glazed awning windows).

Asking about when the remaining doors would go in (front door, rear bipart door and internal access doorframe), they said they were waiting on something, but should be done this week sometime - and that would mean frame complete! Hopefully a wrap will be added this week, that might stop some rain coming in.


Monday, March 8, 2010

Day 76: The "Once In A Lifetime" hailstorm takes vengeance!

So the plan this long weekend was to first enjoy a game of golf yesterday at Tahatuan (Rowville). Of course, I can't even fit my golf clubs and cart into my car (which I'm trying to sell) so I borrow Mum's old Mitsubishi 4WD to get to golf.

Nice hot morning, but after lunch and by the 17th hole, the sky suddenly turned black - getting out my umbrella, hailstones the size of the golf balls we had been hitting all morning started pounding down - felt like I was being shot with paintball pellets!

So within minutes, the golf course had flooded, and a blanket of hailstones started piling up. What a disaster! Plus... only found out on the Sunday that Mum's car didn't fair well, with about 100 dints from hailstones on the bonnet and roof. Sorry mum! And with hundreds of cars/houses damaged, it'll take forever to get the repairs done... at least I didn't drive my car to golf; I think the dents would make it even harder to sell!

Anyway, our house was (of course) flooded on the ground floor, seeing as we didn't really have any walls or roof to speak of. Might go in tomorrow and use a broom to push out the water if it's still there. No pics worth putting up here.

stefan: yup, we were worried the tiles would be cracked, or that the piles of tiles on the roof would fall off! From ground level all seems OK, but will have to check closer once the weather makes it safe to get up on the first floor.

The one big score for the weekend was when Tina remembered there was a new "estate" just around the corner from my parents. I remember thinking it was a bit pricey when I checked out the first release about 4 years ago, I think asking $500k+ for the the smallest 500m blocks? Anyway. when we drove past there on the weekend, about 60% of the blocks had buildings on them, most still in construction but a few completed ones, and a great variety of styles. And... at least half a dozen Metricons going up! Here's one of them.

This one has almost the same facade we're getting (ours will also have the balcony rendered). Tina's figured out this particular house is a Riva with home theatre extension at the rear. Looking at the side of the house. you can see a narrow vertical window where the stairs are, plus on the ground floor a horizontal kitchen window splashback. This house also has standard eaves, about 450mm projection at the facade, but a few metres back on the side the eaves stop altogether. There's timber windows to the facade (and also strangely enough, the rear of the house), two-tone gutter & fascia, with downpipes matched to the gutter.This house must be close to completion, as there's an aerial on the roof and hot water system installed.

There's also a pretty big slope on this bit of land, with a 1m retaining wall on the left, and the garage is setdown at least a meter from the house slab - plus you can see three steps leading up to the portico. I'd imagine site costs would be a fair bit on this particular house - but then again, there's no flat blocks at all in this estate (we saw one house with a front door about 3m off the ground - I'd imagine a massive set of stairs would have to go up to that!). The bricks are similar to the Austral Hawthorn we've chosen, but not exactly the same. The light cladding is similar to the "Surfmist" matching colour we've got on our cladding.

Some of the other builders in this estate are Porter Davis, National Builders Group, Simonds and a few others that I can't remember. Will post up with other Metricon houses from this estate in later posts, if there's no work on our house being done! Should be quite a prestigious estate when it's completed, as the cheapest blocks were $500k and the house build costs at least $350k - not many single storey houses in this estate.

The weather outlook is pretty bleak for the next few days. MyMetricon has been updated and we're meant to be wrapped this week, and have the roof tiling completed tomorrow - both things that won't happen if the storms continue. sarahv: we've also seen some houses with roofs first, and other with bricks. I think it doesn't make much difference, as long as both are completed before plaster goes in!


Friday, March 5, 2010

Day 73: Roof tiling commenced

Despite the intermittent showers today, we've had a bit more work done on our roof.

The first floor has had all the tile trusses installed, and lots of little piles of tiles have been moved up to the roof (hard job, I wouldn't want to have to lift all those tiles up!).

Seems simple, doesn't it? Screw together some lengths of wood, then lay tiles across them, and that's a frame and roof done! Love these tiles, seeing them up close again they have these cool lines of different widths running through them.

This pic is standing in the master bed, look up & out of the french doors. Some roof tiling installed up here.

Won't expect anything to be done until middle of next week - unfortunately predictions are for constant showers for a few days!

We also received a variation for the ensuite vanity - just need to change to slightly narrower handles, no big deal. Tina says that there's a sticker on the house saying the kitchen had been measured up for cabinetry already on 2.3.10, so it looks like things get organised quite far in advance!


Thursday, March 4, 2010

Day 72: Happy, 95th blog post! Ground floor roof, gutter & fascia installed

*edit* Apparently this is not blog entry #100 - there were some draft entries still hanging around. Anyway, we'll probably hit blog entry #100 by next week at this rate!

Missed a call from our SS this morning - apparently carpenters would be onsite today, and roof tiling to start tomorrow, and hopefully finished by next Tuesday! Tried to call her back, but no answer on her phone - need to organise a frame walkthrough end of next week.

This pic is standing in the backyard, looking at the corner of the home theatre. We're loving the two-tone combination of gutter & fascia still! You can see the eave width on the ground floor roof is standard, compared to extended eaves on the first floor roof. There's no protection to the ground floor roof - I guess it's not that far to fall!

This pic taken from Bed 4, looking out over the home theatre and to the backyard. There's meant to be roof access from Bed 3 to this ground floor roof area, but from the looks of where the roof trusses are, there's not going to be enough space for that - add that to the list of things to check on. No windows installed today, but at least all the remaining windows/doors are undercover on the ground floor so they won't sit out in the long weekend's rain that is predicted.

The chippies didn't install any tile trusses to the roof - I'm not sure if that's the chippies job or the tilers job. Forecast for tomorrow is for occasional showers and the odd thunderstorm, so we're hoping for clear skies over our little patch of land!


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Day 71: Scaffolding & bracing removed, first floor windows 80% installed

Another glorious day, stuck indoors at work. But at least every hour at work is an hour closer to 5pm, when we can leave to go check on our house progress!

Today we found that the scaffolding for the roof trusses/gutters had been removed, just the railing to the roof top remains. Also, all the internal bracing has been removed, but it's left quite a few small holes in the first floor that you can see right through to the ground floor! Of course, it'll be covered up by carpet, but it's still a little offputting but what can you do?! Also, most of the upstairs windows have been installed.

This photo shows two fixed windows in the upstairs leisure area, and I'm standing where the garage will be looking up at them. From this angle you can also see how wide our extended eaves will be - all 600mm of them! There's also a black pipe hanging down the right side of the photo, I think this one will connect to a water tap to be installed behind the rear garage roller door.

This photo shows a little awning window that will be over the bathroom bathtub, then to the right of that a loop of black piping which is carrying hot/cold water to the mixer tap for the bathtub. The last window on the right is the Bed 3 window, which we relocated to the south facing wall (rather than the hot west facing wall). To comply with rescode, it has obscured glass up to about 1700mm, then clear glass in the opening awning part.

Windows still awaiting installation: Home theatre windows x2 (relocating one from the family room installed incorrectly), leisure area sliding window, master bedroom awning window and french doors. Plus waiting on installation of the front doorframe, rear bipart and internal access doorframes.


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Day 70: Scaffolding to roof, more trusses, roof tiles delivered

Turned up this morning around 10am, and a truck pulled up to deliver some more roof trusses for the rear of the house. No carpenters were onsite this morning, which was surprising to the roof truss delivery driver, who was told the carpenters would be onsite waiting for his delivery. Anyway, soon after another truck came along with some blokes to install protective scaffolding to the roof.

Came back in the afternoon, and was surprised to see a whole bunch of roof tiles had been delivered already!

Bristile Charcoal Grey in "Shake" profile - almost flat, with cool lines running through them. Can't really see much as they're all tied up on pallets, but the colour is great - a good match for the Woodland Grey gutters. But before these can be installed, still need extra truss things across the roof for the tiles to lay on. We're hoping a bit of tiling might even start before the weekend, though the forecast is for some rain on Friday. The sooner these tiles are on, the sooner the first floor is protected from rain, dust, and bird crap! These tiles are also "colour through", instead of just having colour on the surface. The great thing about these tiles is that they won't need repainting, as when the surface wears down, they'll still be the same colour!

Finally, received an unexpected call from our colour consultant this morning - we optioned in a bank of 3 narrow drawers to the ensuite vanity, and we also chose a wide square handle for all wet area cabinets; but they're too wide for the drawers. Just need to give our OK to switch to a narrower handle, and that should be fine. Apparently the cabinets are being made already (!!!) even though we're not even finished frame stage yet. A good sign, I think!

We've also been tracking a Laguna being built in Blackburn - they started a week before us, but we've overtaken them now as they were only getting their roof installed today -woohoo! Just in time too, as the RBA has increased the cash rate 25 basis points to 4% today, meaning everyone's mortgages go up a notch...


Monday, March 1, 2010

Day 69: Gutters, fascia - and lots of plumbing!

Went by our house on the weekend, and realised why the family room window was bugging me on Friday - turns out the awning window they put there was meant for the home theatre room (double glazed), so I'll pop by the site tomorrow morning, and if the chippies are there putting in the rest of the windows, I'll let them know.

Building a house is a bit like Christmas every day - you get to the site in the afternoon after work, and if you've been a good boy/girl, someone's left you some presents already unwrapped! (And if you've been bad, maybe nothing's been done!)

Anyway, we must've been good on the weekend, as not only are the gutters & fascia on the first floor, but also a whole lot of plumbing has been run through!

Gutter is Colorbond Woodland Grey, and fascia is Colorbond Surfmist. Looks great! With any luck, the Surfmist looks close enough to the white windows to complement the facade. Need a roof & gutter/fascia to the rear of the house though - waiting on the chippies to come back for that job.

Plumbing: They must have had a fairly big or efficient crew today, as pretty much the entire house has been plumbed! Hopefully they've fixed the leak at our main entry pipe, as we had a huge bill for the final quarter of 2009 - I think the demo crew didn't cap off the main water feed when demolishing the old house, plus there was also a puddle of water in the front yard after the demo. This picture is of the ensuite; a whole lotta pipes to feed the twin basins. I wonder how the plumbers keep track of which one is hot, and which is cold - i"m sure there's a system in there somewhere!

They've also installed pipes for the solar panel for the hot water system (plus insulated copper or brass pipes)

Pipes for the island bench go in one pipe under the side kitchen bench, and pop up in the middle of the slab. Waste for the sink/dishwasher pictured behind water pipes. We added a floor waste in the laundry, but it's in the wrong spot (under the cabinets) so this is another item to bring up with our SS - it's meant to be located under the washing machine.

Checking how things have gone today, only only little thing about the plumbing is wrong; we have two showerheads to the ensuite shower. One is a mixer feeding a normal rail showerhead on one site which has been installed correctly, the other showerhead is a mixer feeding a ceiling-mounted rainfall showerhead, but the plumbing has been installed for a normal wall-mounted showerhead. Will have to mention that to our SS.

And "hi" to our neighbours down the road who dropped by today, yet another M redevelopment on our street, starting soon!

Yesterday we spent a bit of time wandering through some furniture shops on Church Rd - lots of fairly pricey stores there like Natuzzi, King furniture etc. Not sure I'd spend $15k on a big sofa from King... Suite Deals also had a store there with some nice items (lots of ex display home furniture), and then after we went to Ikea to check our their "sale" which wasn't really a sale. I don't think we'd get furniture from Ikea (though I have my eye on quite a few storage items for the home theatre, family room and study), as their furniture prices aren't that competitive compared to some of the deals available from dedicated furniture stores. We're at least 6-7 months away from seriously looking for furniture, but it's nice to dream!



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