Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Front facade.... In piccies.

Our front facade is coming along. The balcony doors have been installed and they have started the front entry portico. I'm lovin' it!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Little change vs. Massive change

Well upon return from our short holiday away and the follow few days, we have seen little change to the construction of our new home but massive changes within M.

Construction - lack there of.. 
Lets start with the changes - or lack there of - in the construction of our new home.  Below is a list of action proposed by M prior to our departure and what was actually achieved.
  • Upstairs front half - tiling finished.  -  YES
  • Frame inspection by M and scaffold down.  -  NO
  • Building surveyors inspection, rear ground floor roof trusses done.  -  SORT OF (survey done but as scaffold not down the rear roof was incomplete so survey will need to be done again !!)
  • Plumbing roughed in.  -  NO
  • Roof tilers back to finish off the rear ground level roof.  -  NO
  • Duct work, house to be wrapped and site cleaned.  -  SORT OF (house wrapped)
  • Brickwork to commence  -  NO (whole other story - refer below)
One 'YES', four 'NO' and two 'SORT OF' = FAIL........ 

Well it came of no surprise to us that our SS has resigned.  He was a nice guy, working hard to achieve the desired result and our open communication was such that he gave me the heads up he was on the way out.  He simply had too many "discussions" with the CM re the process for the construction of our home and others.  Its safe to say there is/was no love lost there.  Time will tell who is right and the better operator....

Thankfully our SS was never interested in a reverse build (previously discussed) largely because its Melbourne.  We're not in northern Queensland.  Melbourne's weather is just too unpredictable.  With his discreet help, the CM intended process was stopped before it could commence.  So must thank him for that.  It was discreet, past tense now I guess.....  He has finished up so no harm done.

He had been planning to commence his own building company for sometime and had recently signed up a number of projects himself so it all works out for him.  The word on the street or construction site.... is that a few other SS from M central Melbourne team are about to call it a day as a result of this CM.  Lets wait and see what happens there but hopefully doesn't impact any of this blogs readers. 

But what about us.......
Its safe to say I've had several phone calls and emails to the CM regarding the next steps, who will be taking over as SS etc etc.  Talk a plenty - action a little..... and no reply to emails.....  Those who know me, know that approach doesn't work well.

Well via other means, we have been unofficially told who our new SS will be.  Interesting enough, its a SS who we requested at day one but was told was unavailable.  If it all works out, it will be the absolute best result possible (other than having him from day one).  He has an excellent reputation within our area of Melbourne as one of the best SS and comes highly recommended by one of my mates (a SS with another residential builder) who has worked with him and still remains in contact with him.  From all reports, he is a guy I can have open communication with and he can be trusted. 

The Great Brick Debacle - part 2

Whilst we were away, we were informed our bricks will not be available on 24 November as previously advised.  The expected date is now 14 December.  WTF - a week and a half pre-Christmas....  So the better part of 6 weeks late.  Looks like lock-up pre-Christmas is out the question.
Still waiting on a satisfactory explanation from the CM as to how this can happen.  Especially given M have a pre-construction ordering step....

Oh yeah - 14 December.... I'll believe it, when I see it...

Construction - since we have been back
The scaffolding has come down and the framers have been back.  The rear of our house is now complete as is the portico.  Our new home is on the way to work so I know they were there around 7am yesterday morning and still there at 7.30 last night when I drove past last night. Good effort from the guys.

The plumbing and duct work has also been roughed in.  A few issue there but I'll save that for another day.

Until then....

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Flat out!

There's probably stuff going on at our house this week, but we are on holidays busy with some really important other stuff so we aren't really in the loop....

This photo was taken at my fave spot! The Boathouse at Cottontree (Sunshine Coast) at sunset... With a lovely glass of vino of course....

Friday, November 11, 2011

We have a HAT .....

Well the great brick debacle, as its been called, has been sorted.   After a few bit of mucking around we are sticking to our original plan.  The wait is only a few weeks and as many have pointed out a few weeks isn't long considering we will be living in our new home for many years to come.

Well I met with our SS this morning at 8am to discuss progress etc and the roof tilers were hard at it.  Stopped by very quickly on the way home tonight and we have a HAT on it.  Its a two storey so you don't really see a great deal of the roof so no pic's this blog.  The roof is probably 85% done.   There was at least three of them climbing around up there.  No mucking around with these guys.

We are heading off on a 10 day break up north so it was important for us to get an update and an understanding of what is scheduled while we are away.  So this is the plan (subject to weather as they say in the building game),
Monday - upstairs roof finished,
Tuesday - frame inspection ahead of building surveyors visit and scaffold down,
Wednesday - building surveyors visit and chippie' back to finish rear ground floor roof trusses (couldn't be done because of the scaffolding),
Thursday - potentially plumbing roughed in,
Friday - roof tilers back to finish off the rear ground level roof.
Next Monday to Wednesday - duct work, the house to be wrapped and site cleaned,
Next Thursday onwards - brickwork to commence (assuming delivered on time).

I'm happy to say the whole reverse build process wont happen.  I wasn't happy about it and told them very clearly I wasn't.  We are in Melbourne not Queensland - didn't they see the down pour the other night... Anyway apparently they were listening...  It appears the SS wasn't a fan of it but the office was pushing for it - implied this was the case anyway.  No doubt the office view is - quicker its done the quicker they can invoice...

Til next time

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Help needed!

We just received a call from our SS to say that our chosen bricks the Selkirk "Tawny Heritage" (which were our 3rd choice after the first 2 were discontinued) are in short supply and we wont be able to have them delivered until 24 Nov at the earliest!

So our SS wants us to see if there are any other bricks that we like and would be happy to substitute? The only ones from my memory would be the Austral Hawksburn but they will cost us an additional $5k for the whole house! Arghhhhhh. Apparently the Austral Hawthorn that we originally were told were discontinued are also available...

Not sure what to do... should we stay with the bricks at the risk of stalling the build for a minimum of 2 weeks (the brickies are ready to get going next week) OR choose some new bricks which may end up blowing the budget!


Monday, November 7, 2011

City Views!

After a visit to the house with my sister on the weekend, we realised that we have some city views of Melbourne from our master bedroom, infact I probably won’t have to even get out of bed to see them :)

There are powerlines and trees in the way but city views nonetheless. I am very excited as I guess they will be easier to see from the balcony once it is constructed!

What a wonderful surprise!


Gutters, Windows and Walk throughs

We came back early from the coast on cup weekend, organised for the kids to be looked after by Cam’s parents and hotfooted it out to the house last Monday to meet with our site supervisor and walk through.

The chippies were there working on the roof trusses but 3pm came and went and our SS didn’t show. He didn’t answer his phone, nor did he return any messages until 4 days later. Not Happy Jan!

Metricon did however send through the invoice for the frame stage last week, even though the frame isn’t completed and the ‘independent’ building surveyor organised by Metricon has not been to rubber stamp the frames. We are waiting until that happens and given we haven’t had an official walk though (this will not happen til Friday this week); we have no intention of paying the invoice until this is done.

Despite the lack of communication with our SS, work has still progressed last week and we now have 75% of windows installed (although I don't have any photos of the installed windows upstairs) along with all the gutters/fascias, which is great. The chippies are a good bunch of guys and we are happy with what they have accomplished so far. They are friendly and happy to answer any questions and at the moment they are able to give us so much more information than our SS.

Here are the piccies from the past week.

Front View with gutters and Fascia
Rear view, Rumpus and Grand Outdoor
Our Front Door with clear sidelights

Sitting Room with space in the middle for the Jetmaster

Powder Room

Lounge Room

Kitchen Window (also our splashback)
Dining Room and Bipart Doors leading to Outdoor Room
Bipart Doors (3m wide)
Landing/Leisure Room at the top of the stairs

Lachie's Room

Kids Bathroom with the shower on left and bath hob under window

Hamish's Bedroom

Walk In Robes for Hamish's Bedroom and the 4th bedroom
4th Bedroom

The master bedroom (balcony and return wall)

Whats happening the rest of this week?

Site has been tidied to make way for roof tiles to be delivered.
Roof tiling to begin (lets hope the weather holds out!) 
Frame Review by our SS and another of his colleagues 
Visit and review by the "independent" building surveyor