Friday, March 30, 2012

Sanity has prevailed!

Today was a good day! A really good day! Not only is it Cam and my 5th Wedding Anniversary but we have had two (major - in my opinion) wins with Metricon this week. Go us!

We finally have a resolution on the position of our gas meter (see previous rants posts HERE & HERE). We marked in where we would like to have the gas meter, which was directly to the left of the house along the fence line and the neighbours garage wall. Well SURPRISE SURPRISE... it was actually moved to that very location and no longer impacts the façade of our house! Well Done SS... its nice to know you listened to us :)

So this week's 'item of discussion'  has been about a expansion/control joint typically within the plaster board around the stairwell. We THOUGHT that we had requested it to be included in the contract. But this week it became apparent this was not the case as the fixing carpenters nailed an ugly piece of MDF to the join between the plaster sheets (which is a standard inclusion!!!??#) instead of the nicer expansion joint.

After a bit of toing and froing with our new CSC (yes... nice to meet you too!), our SS and CM... SANITY HAS PREVAILED!

Thinking back to middle of last year, I know we spoke about this item in detail with our sale consultant when we obtained the advice.  Did we follow it up in writing via email ??  Well with a little bit of digging - you betcha.  An email from us to our Studio M consultant on the 23 June clearly states we want this finish/joint around the stairwell and we actually requested that it was to be stated within subsequent version of the contract to avoid any confusion.  Our Studio M consultant responded in writing on the 29 June and I quote "Yes, I will raise a variation to include this as a clarification."  Nice clear and active reply from our consultant.  

To cut a long story short, for whatever reason, the Studio M consultant didn't action the request, we overlooked its omission from the contract and here we are.

A copy of the email trail was provided to Metricon for their records and as a result Metricon have allowed us to include the control joint for its cost without incurring the $1000 mid-construction variation fee...

Key for this blog - have EVERYTHING in writing - including any conversations.....See our Top 10 Pre-construction tips from October last year.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Late last week we received a letter from Metricon saying our customer service consultant (CSC), Alana, had left Metricon and is being replaced for the balance of our build.

Really disappointed about this change. Not that our new CSC (KB) isn't any good / experienced etc etc as may well be but Alana was really very good and extremely helpful. We have had the odd item to 'discuss' and she was excellent in keeping us informed and made it as easy as possible. She worked with her customers and not solely for Metricon, if you know what I mean. In my view, that is what customer service is really about.

So we are up to our 2nd CSC and our 3rd SS (if you count Metricon's CM being our second).

Lets hope our new CSC is just as good and hopefully no further changes re the Metricon team.


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Weekend Purchases!

Last Sunday morning we took a little trip over to the E & S Trading (a kitchen and bathroom appliance specialist here in Melbourne) Warehouse Sale. We had been told by a sales consultant at E & S mid last year that these warehouse sales were the best place to snap up a bargain and boy was she right!

Doors opened at 9am but we were running a little late and go there by 9:20am. There were hundreds of people there and by the time we got to where the dishwashers were all the semi-integrated Siemens dishwashers that we wanted were already sold. Boo Hoo! Most of the items were manufacturers seconds with cabinet damage. I didn't see one dent or damaged cabinet on any of the items at all so I suspect they are mainly at the back and sides. 

After wandering around a bit more I found a row of Bosch dishwashers (which are exactly the same company and factory as Siemens in Germany) which although they weren't as sleek as the Siemens, internally were identical! For $800 off the regular price, yes $800.. we decided that we could live with the difference especially since it will be semi integrated.

Additionally all of the Fisher and Paykel French Door Fridges were sold by the time we got there, but we decided to look at the them anyway and a F&P sales guy came over and told us that around the corner, the new model was also being sold discounted but they weren't in stock. 

Cut a long story short... we bought this beauty for $900 cheaper than the shops too and E & S will store it in their warehouse until we move in and then delivery and install it for the measly sum of $45.

Moral of the story folks... if in Melbourne and in need of great kitchen appliances, or bathroom ware go to e and s trading website and sign up to be reminded of their next warehouse sale in 6 months time. It was so worth it!

Very pleased with our little shopping trip!


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Action Stations...

Well after quite a few weeks of little activity, we have some quality action on-site.

A quick recap of this week included,
  • the sparkys cutting out the holes for the downlights, switches and power points. [ for Jon & Ron’s (check out their blog here) amusement they missed the bracket in a number of places …],
  • the renders started and finished the base/undercoat in white,
  • the bathroom areas have been waterproofed [ thanks to B (B is building a house), J&R and Nat (Paul and Nat's House Build) for their comments re: the waterproofing requirements – watch this space regarding this one ]
  • the fixing chippies have fitted all but a few doors, the architraves have been cut to size and mostly fitted, and
  • lastly and most importantly for Kirst all the cabinet were delivered and installed.
Only one updated pic of the front façade with white render - poor iphone quality. Sorry no pic’s of our new Kitchen as yet but will be in to inspect over the weekend, so expect to see an excited post by Kirst shortly.


Front facade with white base / undercoat render

Cabinet Fever!

Thursday was perhaps the most exciting day of the build so far… I called in on my way home from work and to my absolute delight the cabinetry has all been installed (bar the overhead cupboards in the laundry). Alas, I was without my trusty iPhone and so I couldn't get any photos. So today we all paid a visit to the house and I had a good look at all of the beautiful joinery that has been installed.

If you want a little reminder of our choices see this post - "Studio M at last"

Here’s the pic fest you’ve all been waiting for…

The Powder Room cabinetry, looking forward to a lovely pendant light in here. Waiting for the caesarstone in "Ice Snow"

Laundry... but without the overhead cabinets or plaster bulkhead above. Waiting for the caesarstone in "Ice Snow"

Ta-Da... our lovely kitchen! It looks a little brown in the pics but it actually a textured grey colour called "New Graphite". I think that the Waterfall caesarstone in "White Shimmer" for the island bench and oven bench is going to be divine!!!
Our lovely oven wall...loving the under oven drawer and concealed rangehood, not to mention the star of the show... OUR HUGE WINDOW SPLASHBACK!!!

Kitchen wall in Laminex "Polar White Gloss" (vinyl wrap), space for fridge, microwave tower, pull-out pantry and corner pantry

The pull out pantry!

The corner pantry.

The family bathroom. I'm so glad we added the extra basin! Waiting for the caesarstone in "Ice Snow"

Our beautiful wall hung white gloss ensuite vanity. It will look awesome with the thick apron caesarstone on top in "Urban".

There's plenty more that has gone on this week at the house but as Cam mentioned last post (Action Stations) i wont go on about them.

(& I guess Cam would say a happy wife is a happy


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

What's behind DOOR number one??? Perhaps its a sparky?

Yesterday I got a nice surprise when the boys and I dropped by in the afternoon.

The sparky's were there cutting out the holes for the down lights, heavy pendants and powerpoints. They had just about finished and i must say everything was nice and even in each room... no ridiculous down light locations... all squared up... which is great. We didn't know they were even booked in which made it an even nicer surprise.

Also it was apparent that the renderers had been on site to prep the front for rendering. There were some metal mesh brackets fixed to the corners of each of the front pillars and corners of the façade that are going to be rendered... another WIN :)

Finally the chippies had been and had installed all of the upstairs doors and door frames (except the Master bedroom as the door is damaged). They had also pre-measured and cut all the door and window architraves for the whole house and these were labelled and sitting next to each door/window ready to be fixed on (today, i would assume!)
Our little inspector in front of one of the bedroom doors :)
The upstairs linen cupboard... with doors!

This is what is supposed to be happening from now on (as per the SS a few weeks ago!)...
Week commencing 19th March….
- Fascia, gutters etc installed on garage,
- Cabinets delivered and installed

The following week commencing 26th March….
- Roofing installed on garage,
- Waterproofing.

It definitely progress...WOOT WOOT!


Saturday, March 17, 2012

20,000 CLICKS....

WOW... our little home building blog turns the big 20K! Well... 20,200 by now!

It started just as a way to log our build, have something to look back on, keep the friends and family informed. But it's grown into something bigger than we could have ever thought and we have 'met' some really nice people along the way.

Thanks to all the readers who keep coming back despite the mostly negative updates of late... We promise we will try and see the glass half full from now on...

Kirst & Cam

Stairway to Heaven???

How terribly cliche...

Well after a non-existent start to the week, it appears we had trades on-site on Thursday and Friday. Given the rate things are moving we probably shouldn't be expecting much else.

Last week we were told M had now contacted Jemena (gas installers) regarding the gas meter position. We had already found out they had been to site as they have notes on their system re: our property via our friend who works in this division at Jemena. The SS was awaiting confirmation of a site meeting with Jemena to discuss positioning of gas meter and our SS requested that we also attend as well. Well... that phone calls from our SS never came on Tuesday confirming the meeting for Thursday, nor did the call on Thursday, as to discussion while Jemena were onsite. So who knows what (if anything) happened. It was unlikely we could have attended a midday meeting (b/w 1 &3) anyway given we both have a prior arrangement commonly referred to as 'work'.

Anyway, the good news is that the 2 days of work completed this week included the removal of the temporary ladder/platform and the actual staircase went up on Thursday.

Our lovely stairs!!!!

Under the stairs storage.
The lovely stairwell window... 3m high!

Sitting room and stairs. Just need the Jetmaster in the middle... :)

Fixings materials were also delivered on Thursday (doors, arch’s etc).

We haven't heard hide nor hair from our Supervisor this week and only two brief phone calls for the fortnight prior to that. Poor form given HE said he would call Tues, Thurs and his usual Fri update during this week. Cam left him a message on Friday afternoon and mentioned that we are a little disillusioned with his inability to call and let us know what is going on. Just because he had two hand overs this week shouldn't mean every other job is put on hold.

Cabinetry was supposed to be delivered on Friday but to our knowledge it wasn't. I guess that it will be delivered and installed early next week but I wouldn't put any money on that :(

The front of the house still looks like a bomb site. The balcony still hasn't been finished, the garage has roof trusses and nothing else, the ground floor bricks and windows haven't been cleaned, as they were supposed to have been after the scaffold came down. My best guess at this point is that our SS isn't that flash at scheduling trades. Who really knows? It isn't really good enough either way from a building company purporting to be the "BEST" in their current marketing certainly isn't the best from where I'm sitting.

Hopefully this week should get things moving again... Cam's just hoping for a return phone call. We're not holding our least the stairs were a small win this week.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

All about waterproofing…..

Could someone out there in the blogger world help me out?
One very quick question regarding wet areas waterproofing.

I’ve been told the BCA’s or something similar requires all wet areas to be fully waterproofed including the entire floor area especially where bathrooms (wet areas) are upstairs on timber flooring – not just the shower recessed area. What has been your experience?

This is a questions well ahead of where we are up to in our build but keen to get an idea of what is the correct process and what is the approach / experience of others.

Thanks in advance.


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Filling up the piggy bank! (and then emptying it)

We got a nice surprise in our bank account last week.

Some company from the USA.. Google or something like that paid us the hefty sum of $1.02 as payment for the advertising and clicks that have taken place on our blog in the past 12 months.

I have spent the whole week wondering where I am going to spend it! 

Freedom's divine new winter range, that where!

Loving these beauties...

I love the natural textures of wool and wood in these. I'd love this sort of thing in our sitting room. Cant you just imagine sitting in front of the Jetmaster on a cold Melbourne day?

Not sure if this fits with our modern look or bamboo floors, but the timber is lovely, has so much character!

I'm especially loving the pendant in the centre! Clean and contemporary  but not too industrial!

This gold side table is DIVINE! and at $129... a steal!

The new cushion range are also pretty special! Soft colours to brighten up winter! $34.95 each...
Finally I've still got my eye on this bad boy... The King Furniture Concerto 20 modular package in beautiful black leather... just waiting for the mid year sales...

Until next time (stay tuned... things are hotting up in the next few weeks... FINALLY!)


Sunday, March 4, 2012


As I hadn't heard anything from the SS this week re progress, we popped down to our house (quickly looking and feeling like a house rather than a construction site) this afternoon. The plasterer I spoke to on site Friday morning mentioned it would be all done by Saturday afternoon. I was a little skeptical, but you never know your luck. It has been a case of over commit and under deliver thus far. We are impressed with the speed of the plasters none the less.

Thankfully nothing was closed up so we were able to have a quick look through out. The team of plasterers had a red hot go at it over the past three days hanging plaster to all walls and ceilings. They had also plastered all the corners using the metal 90 degree things (whatever they are called) and smoothed out the joins between sheets etc. They have also plastered the portico and the outdoor room. A huge pile of cornice is sitting in the kitchen/dining area presumably ready to be hung Monday. Looks pretty good from the quick walk through we did.

The scaffold guys must have been back on Saturday to pick up all their stuff so itwas our first real chance to have a look at our colour choices and we like what we are seeing….

Afew pic’s of the plaster work and the view from the street as itstands today.

Formal sitting room with stair well to right


Kitchen with window splashback

View down hall way from kitchen to front door

Master bedroom upstairs

Upstairs sitting area

Upstairs sitting area looking at stairwell

Front from left hand corner

Front from right hand corner

Til next time.


Friday, March 2, 2012

Finally some movement

Finally some movement…
Well finally the scaffolding has been taken down, just not away as yet. But the SS did say it was coming down, he didn’t specifically say it was going to be taken away. That was my assumption…. It has in some cases been piled up ready to be taken, while other parts of it are spread across the remainder of the block. Wouldn't be as much of a problem if we were in a new estate – but we are in a well established inner suburb.
The Plasterers (x7) were on-site yesterday and back again today. I only know this because I saw their van at 7am this morning on my way to work and again at 7pm on the way home... I stopped briefly this morning and counted at least 7 of them but only one van…'s a little odd..... but we are happy to have them there. The plaster has been there for nearly two weeks waiting for them. The guy that spoke to me said they had finished hanging walls etc downstairs yesterday and were hoping to finish upstairs today. Cornice etc tomorrow. All done in 3 days and much quicker than the SS prediction of around 10 days. Maybe he didn’t realize there was going to be so many of them.
Anyway a quick photo of our place with the scaffolding everywhere.

With scaffolding down but yet to be removed

Anyway, will try to pop in late tomorrow (Saturday) while the plasterers are working away for a quick look at their handy work. Didn't get a weekly call from our SS today so not sure what is next. I'm sure I'll find out Monday.
Til next time.