Saturday, August 28, 2010

Inspecting display homes - what kind of quality can you expect from your house?

This afternoon took a little drive up north to Mernda to have a look at some display homes to see what kind of finish was on them.

Surprisingly, some of the display homes (I won't say which builder!) have some pretty poor detailing when you look up close - one of the houses we saw, I swear the bricking on the balcony pillars was done using all the crappy brick sides facing out! For those who haven't looked at a single brick closely, there's at least one nice "face" side which should be facing out, and at least one "crappy" side which is usually facing "inwards" and hidden by the frame. Lots of overspray in one house, where the gloss paint from the door architraves was all over the adjacent wall, and no-one seemed to have picked that up. Bad brickwork was everywhere, lots of bricks not flush with each other plus mortar blowouts. Bad tiling in wet rooms, with tiles not flush, sticking up enough to catch your feet. Plenty of doors that didn't close properly, with latches not catching and holding the door shut. Feature wall painting done badly with ragged edges. Anyway, the point is, don't think your house should be of "display home quality" because your house should be a lot better!

Anyway, some photos... one of the Metricon display homes we went into had the right solution to the little question about doors opening against each other. In this pic, the door to the bathroom opens towards the door to the shower.

To stop the door smashing into the shower door, a little stopper is put on the back of the door itself - a simple, elegant solution, and it works. If our bathroom door is left "stopperless", we can just pick up one of these stoppers somewhere and fit it ourselves easily. Actually, we'd probably go and buy a whole lot of nice designer stoppers to replace the little rubber bumpers stuck on the plaster, a lot more durable I think.

In another house, saw a super cool, almost built-in wine rack in an alcove near the kitchen.

Quite clever - each 2 bottle holder section can link into another, secured with a single metal rod running down the centre of it all. Readers - has anyone seen this kind of wine rack before and know where we can get it from? Or can suggest any other funky wine holding solution?

And finally, a couple of the Metricon display homes in Mernda have rainheads (the little box above the downpipes, used for draining flat roofs or balconies). Our inspector picked up that our rainhead coming off the balcony doesn't have an overflow, which is just a hole cut into the rainhead to allow excess water to gush out the side. Both these rainheads have overflows - though even these are probably a little undersized, as they're meant to be the same diameter as the downpipe. Anyway, a pretty easy fix for our house as it just needs a hole cut in the side of the rainhead - takes about 3 seconds using a drill and fine-toothed holesaw bit - but another thing to check off the list at PCI.

The point is, the overflow hole is there to provide an escape route in case there's sooooo much water coming through the gutter, so the water comes out the side rather than backing up and flooding the flat roof or balcony, which then would end up flooding your internal walls - a bad thing! Who would've thought a little hole would be so useful!



  1. Re: the door stopper. Bunnings is your friend! They have the ones you have pictured today, as well as a wide range of other ones. We have one on our front door that is screwed to the floor that we could put anywhere. In our case it meant we could sit it quite close to the wall the front door comes off. It looks similar to this one
    and was about $10 from Bunnings.

    Re: wine rack, try Howards Storage world, I think I have seen similar there.

  2. Tim,

    Found a website for door stoppers, here is the link, it's not that expensive at all.


  3. Hi T&T

    We upgraded to proper door stoppers during our Studio M appointment for I think about $100. The problem with those little rubber thingies they put behind doors, is that when they come off, they'll take the paint away too. Maybe you could ask NOT to have them put on?

  4. Thanks April, will stop by Howards sometime - got a lot of fitting out to do, have also looked at Store (which has pretty much exactly what Howards has)


  5. As for upgrading door stoppers at Studio M - if we'd been offered that, we probably would've taken it up. Metricon would be a lot more profitable if they learned how to upsell properly at Studio M! People won't upgrade their house if they're not offered these things; this is where Henley have it all over Metricon as they've got a huge book specifically about options and upgrades for your house!

    Anyway the rubber stoppers are already on the walls, we'll just leave them there and add in proper doorstops after we have the house.


  6. I agree re: Studio M. Half the stuff I asked for was never offered to me and I cant even imagine all the other things they could have upsold me on and missed out on!

    IMO its a big downfall on Metricons behalf.

  7. hello Tim, we are thinking of building a metricon home too and I was wondering how come you have decided to do all the tilings and floorings by yourself? Was it a money related decision or wider choice or what?

  8. Probably a bit of both - better choice, quality, price, range if you do flooring yourself. If you do flooring through any builder, you've got at least 30% markup, but at least you don't have to do it yourself after.




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