Thursday, January 13, 2011

Yes, we are in!!

Thanks for your comments and messages folks!!  I can confirm that we are...and have been in our new Metricon home since late November.  Unfortunately, its been a bit of a trying time over the last month or so with the loss of a family member, dealing with moving, and more recently flooding in and around our investment property in Brisbane.  Amongst all of this we have had no end in trouble trying to get ADSL connected at our new home.  It appears that there are no available ports at our local exchange and the only connection available is on a pair gain line :(   .  Our normal ISP, AAPT continued to try and request a dedicated port at the exchange for about 1month with no success, so after struggling with (dare I say it....Dial Up), I have had to do the unthinkable and go back to Telstra to get any sort of Broadband - NextG.  I said I would never go back to them again after an absolute debarcle a few years ago.
Anyway folks, unfortunately, I am really short on time for this post.  Trying to get some sleep before getting up early tomorrow to inspect our (hopefully high and dry) unit at Fairfield......not holding my breath on that at the moment.

I will provide all the photos from the last month....or so in the next couple of days.  For those in Brisvegas around the River, lets hope that we become the "Sunshine State" again!!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Its the Final Furlong

We have now done our final walkthough with our SS prior to practical completion (which is just a few days away as long as everything goes to plan).  With so many final touches happening around the house, it has been really good to have taken some leave to see it all happen.

We had some really good news in the last week with the final resolution of the saga with our garage door for the shed.  The initial door was delivered with a bent shaft and we had to wait about a month for the supplier to agree and then provide the replacement.  With the door replaced, the shed is now finished ready for the new boat and to store our furniture until we get the keys to the house.  It seems the comments from both neighbours and friends about the shed have been unanimous - "F#@K that's a big shed".  It needs to be to fit the floating cash pit in it.

The painters have been frantic for the past few days completing all the external painting and doing all the touch ups inside.  Overall we were really happy with the quality of the tiling and painting.  On the external, the only thing that remains outstanding are the finials for the colonial features about the Entry Portico, Garage and Bedroom 1.  It does feel like the colours are all ironstone/blue and dune.  We're really hoping that when the timber decking is completed next week that it balances the colour scheme out.

The front door has now had its first stain.  There was a bit of water/weather damage to the door that occurred between when it was installed and staining.  It looks like the painter has used some sort of "reviver" to repair the door.  Nonetheless, the entry door has no visible signs of repair after staining.

The kitchen is almost complete apart from the Metricon supplied appliances.  The appliances are due on our practical completion/handover day.  The glass splashback was installed in the last week.  The splashback is probably the first thing on the house that we are regretting our selection at Studio M now.  It just doesn't seem to fit with the remainder of the colours in the kitchen at the moment.  At Studio M we were considering doing a tiled splashback rather than the glass one supplied as part of Metricon's "Reflections" promotion.  who know's, maybe the colour will grow on us.  There was a little mistake from the electricians doing the installation of the lighting.  There should have been 3 batton style light fittings above the main kitchen benchtop so that we can install pendant lights later (Metricon could not supply what we wanted), however the electrician installed 3 downlights.  Unfortunately, the recess made for the downlights creates quite a big hole and means that the ceiling now needs to be repaired.  The airconditioning control panel and the HSTP controls have now been installed as well.  We wanted these to be in the main kitchen/family room area for ease of access.  The Biolytix HSTP system panel includes a audible warning if things go wrong with the unit.  Basically, if the sewage system goes offline, we want to hear the warning, therefore the placement in this area.  Apparently Metricon generally installs the HSTP controls in the laundry.

We were asked in the last few days for some more details and photos of the bathroom and ensuite areas.  Our tile selections made at Studio M we posted here.    I have included some updated photos of these areas.  We really wanted a deep brown/chocolate colour in these areas to contrast with the stark white floor tiles.  Metricon generally includes 2 m high wall tiles from their standard range only to the shower recess.  We decided at Studio M to continue this tiling all the way around the bathroom and ensuite at 2m height to add a more strong effect.  Looking back now, we should have taken the tiles to ceiling height.

We have located a bit of an issue with the installation of our rainwater tank.  The tank was supposed to be located as close as possible to the far wall to leave the window uncovered, like it is on the plan.  Our SS is looking at how they can fix this.

It is about time that we introduced the security for the house site, yup Brucie has been on the job since day one.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Getting so close

With so much going on with the final fitout, it was really good to take a walk through today with our SS and get some photo's.  Our access to the house has been limited to the outside and to our joint visits each Thursday morning.  This mornings visit was the first official walkthrough to mark up any issues with the fitout.  We are expecting our Practical Completion walkthrough within the next 2 weeks (yes......not far away now before we get the keys).  Overall, there is really only one major issue we identified (again) today with the build and that is the stacker doors to the dining area are sagging in the middle.  Our SS has already organised for the door to be "packed" under the centre where the sagg is, however there is still approximately a 5mm sagg from each of the ends.  After some "strong opinions" being aired between Maya and our SS regarding the sagging door, it sounds like we are going to get the issue resolved prior to corking.  We have also requested a change in the location of our Airconditioning control panel.  The panel is currently installed in the main hallway wall, however we had advised our SS thast we wanted it on one of the kitchen walls.  Given that the aircon control panel was never drawn into/on any of the electrical plans and we were advised to tell our SS where we wanted it, our SS is happy to organise relocation of this.  The idea is that we wanted all our control panels for the house (main lights panel, Aircon and HSTP controls) in the one central spot.

While we were doing our walkthrough today, the eletricians were doing the final electrical fitout.  Our SS let us know that the downlight that we originally ordered through Stratus during our Electrical appointments were currently out of stock through Beacon (Metricon's supplier) and that it would take 3 weeks to get the selected downlight back in.  This would have taken us past our proposed handover date.  Our SS offered us an alternative downlight that was very similar which we decided to take.

Here are some photo's from our walk through -

The rainwater tank, taps and downpipes have all been fitted off in the last week.

We've also had thew first of our landscaping jobs done.  The photos below are of our new retaining wall and of the electrical conduit cable were installing to run power from a junction box on the house to the shed.  We're really happy with how the retaining wall was done.  This is the area where we were really restricted with space so we had to keep the retaining wall as close as we could to the fencline.  Thank you to Mark @ Lude Landscapes for doing a fantastic job.  If you are looking for someone to do landscape work on or around the Sunshine Coast, given Mark a call.  We've arranged for a trench to be dug between the house and the shed to put this in.  Only concern with this is that they may cut through some existing plumbing.  Metricon apparently do not provide customers with a copy of the plumbing plan.

Lots of work completed on the inside too.  The carpet was put down yesterday.  Pretty happy with the colour.  It was back in May when we made our selections at Studio M and we actually couldn't remember what carpet we had chosen.

The bathrooms and enuite have been completed apart from installation of the bath.

The gas hot water and airconditioning compressors have also been installed, but not wired up yet.

The wardobe sliding doors have all been installed and the kitchen is completed apart from the glass splashback.  Apparently the splashback is being delivered on Friday.

Lot's happening over the next few days including all the external painting and heaps of touch up's inside.  Hopefully I can get some photo's!!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Its game on!!

Its been an eventful couple of weeks, and therefore very little time for doing any posts.  With so many work commitments on we have had very little time available to have a look at progress at the block.  At the moment we only get access to the house at our weekly meetings with our Site Supervisor.  Its really great to see our Site Supervisor has kept the pedal to the metal.

Since our last post all the tiling is complete including grouting and the whole internals painting finished.  The painters had the whole house "wrapped" for a week completing their work.  Here are some photo's of the progress so far -
Floor tiling in Main Bathroom complete

Ensuite with the wall tiling complete.  The floor tiles we covered with plastic while painting was completed.

Ensuite Shower recess.  The tile on the back wall is actually "Silk Olive", but unfortunately the photo doesn't pick up the variations/design of the tile very well.

Walls, ceiling architraves and skirting have all been painted.  We're a little unsure now about painting the architraves and skirting in the same colour as the wall, "Mosaico".  We are hoping that it evens out a bit when we start painting a few feature walls after handover.

Looks like such a looooong hallway.

There is still a fair bit of work to be completed outside including to the colonial feature poles.  This last one needs to be bevelled off (like the poles in the photo below) and the feature trim added to the poles.

We have also had our shed almost completed about a month or so ago.  Unfortunately, the industrial style garage door that was delivered to the block was damaged and could not be installed.  The shed was due to be totally completed over 1 month ago, but the shed builders have had no end of dramas trying to get the supplier to fix/repair.  To date, we still have a garage door with a bad bend in the roller.  Its getting close to name and shame time for this supplier with a clear recommendation not to use them.  Stay tuned and we'll post the outcome to this one.
The next weeks are going to be really busy and it looks like we will definitely have handover before the end of November.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Day 79 - Tiles and Preparation

While its been a really wet week on the outside in QLD, we have had a fair bit of work going on inside the house.  We were provided with a few updates from our Site Supervisor earlier in the week and met with him  on Thursday for our now regular catch up on site (due to being at lockup).  Sounds like we'll see some paint, tiling and eletrical work in the next week.  We are apparently also due to have the brickies, renderer and electrician back this week to fix the eletrical rough in issue and frame overhand issue (from previous posts - Frame and  Eletrical Rough In ).  

Also on Thursday we had our meeting with the tiler (pre start) to go through confirming our tile selection and layout.  It was really good to chat with the tiler about what can and can't be done and what he can do with the layout.  Today we thought we'd head out to the block, mainly to give the dog a run and found the plasterer doing the final repairs pre paint.  I was able to get these photo's on the way through -

Our Super White Porcelain Tiles are down in the Kitchen, Dining, Family and Entry.  Looking Great!!!

The tiler has also finished laying the Super White tiles for both bathrooms and shower recesses.  Really pleased with the tilers work in all areas he's completed.

The carpenters have also finished all of the architraves and skirting around the house.  They have also completed all the cupboard shelving.

We also had the chance to do some check measurements for window furnishings today.
We got a few quotes back on the window furnishings during the week.  Looks like our initial plan of doing shutters in most rooms is going to cost big $ (in fact about $1750 each window).  It prompted us to do a bit of a review of what Metricon has used in its display homes.  When we did another walk through, we noticed that most of the Metricon displays primarily used either wood or PVC venetians with either a pelmet or a sheer curtain over the top to dress it up a bit.  Metricon has used shutters in their displays, but primarily for smaller windows and for wall cutouts.  It makes a MASSIVE difference in pricing when a venetian blind for the same sized window is only $300-$400 at worst.  Its just down to colours now.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Day 72 - One photo says it all!!

An this is it!!  As from Wednesday, we have been locked out of the house, so from now on its going to be a lot harder to get photo's of the progress inside.  Our Site Supervisor has been really good in organising a meeting onsite each week from now on so that we can have a look through.  Our first one was on Friday morning.  Our SS talked us through where he was up to and what was due to happen in the next couple of weeks.  Seems like there has and will be a lot of trades on site over the next 4 weeks including the tiler, painter and the final fitout carpenter.  We managed to get these photo's on the way through -
In the main bathroom the wet areas have been waterproofed during the week and the cabinetry installed.  We originally weren't 100% sure of our choice of "Fudge Stream" laminate for the cabinetry doors throughout the house, but they really stand our and should look fantastic once the white tiles and the caeserstone benchtops are in.
The ensuite has been waterproofed and cabinets fitted as well.  Happy with the work here.  These cabinets will have a basin on each side.

We have noticed a few issues in this area.  The cabinetmakers apparently did not get the "final" plans from Metricon with the updated kitchen fitout.  On the walk through with the Site Supervisor, we noticed that the piano hinged cabinet that was supposed to be used in the corner had been missed.  We've since been told by our Site Supervisor that it was a Metricon mistake and that it will be fixed (apparently at a cost of $600 to Metricon).

We've also had all the internal doors and framing installed.  Amongst these are some Corinthian INF21 doors which we are using for the entry to Bed 1 and to the walk in robe (which seems HUGE!!).  These look excellent and will stand out when they are stained.

The sinks have also been delivered this week.  Unfortunately, I cannot remember anything about what they look like.  Its a wait and see game.......

We have noted a few other building issues as well during the week.  The electrician has installed wiring in incorrect spots (not as per the electrical plan) in 4 spots around the front portico.  Two of the spots are obstructed by the portico poles, the other two are obstructed by the stormwater downpipes.  To be fixed, both of these require the removal and replacement of brickwork.

Also, the power and wiring for the HSTP has been covered up by the kitchen cabinetry.  It will be interesting at how they'll retrieve the wiring from between the cabinetry and the wall in the photo below.

The garage "Man Land 2" is also nearly complete.  The one thing that stands out with it is the height (just short of 4m at the highest point).  It should provide plenty of room to get the boat and trailer in with some extra work space.  The access door and window have been installed, but we have come up with a bit of an issue.  The industrial roller door was damaged (roller bent) when it was delivered and its going to take another 3 weeks to get another one.  I guess the boat will have to wait..........again.