Sunday, September 26, 2010

Day 65 - Slowly getting locked out

Its been a bit of a slow week all round with quite a bit of rain about slowing things down outside and very little happening inside.  The main action this week has been for the colonial facade.  The gutter and roofing has now been completed which really helps to balance out the Blue Rio bricks.  Can't wait to see it when everything has been painted in "Dune".  The garage door and tracking has also been installed.

Internally, there are still a few sections that still require plastering and cornices.  We also had a few "special deliveries" during the week in the form of Architraves, skirting, door frames and all the internal doors.  We chose the "colonial style" archiutraves and skirting to match with the theme of the house.  We were surprised that the ugrade cost at Studio M was actually less than $1000 for going to these (top of Metricon Studio M range).  It will also be good to see what the stained doors for the main bedroom will look like hung.

After having the slab down for the shed for the past couple of weeks, work finally started on construction of our 9m x 6.5m x 3m shed.  The shed was supposed to have started a couple of weeks ago, but has been delayed by rain.  It looks enormous (in height mostly) due to the fact that it needs to have a 3m high garage door opening.  It will apparently be complete by the end of the week.  It will definitely come in hand when we start moving in.

On our last update from our Site Supervisor, he let us know that we would most likely be "locked out" by the end of this week.  From then on we will have to wait on our meeting with out Site Supervisor each Thursday morning on site to have a look around inside...... or look for a door or window that the trades accidently leave unlocked.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Day 58 - On the right track

Its been a bit of an eventful week.  After sending through on "Request for Rectification" of issues identified on both our private inspection and the private certifiers inspection on the frame we had a meeting organised with our SS and Construction Manager on Thursday morning.

Prior to Thursday morning the Site Supervisor had been in contact with us already starting to work on the issues identified in Metricon's Certifiers report.  The main issues identified by the certifier were the frame overhanging the slab between the garage and bedroom and bolts missing from the top connection point for the front and back porticos.  Unfortunately, Metricon had continued bricking over these areas even after we notified them of the issues.  The missing bolts to the porticos have now been replaced and the frame overhang issue is partly resolved.  The photo below displays the bricks removed so that Metricon can install a metal bracket to support the frame overhang in this area.
We arrived at the block on Thursday morning expecting to meet with our SS and the Construction Manager and were informed by our SS that the Construction Manager was "angry" with us for going on site.  After nearly 1/2 an hour of working through the issues with our SS and waiting for the Construction Manager, we decided to leave the block without meeting him.  Given that he really wanted to speak to us around going on site, we're a little disillusioned as to why he didn't turn up.  I guess it shows the respect that he has for customers.  I would have expected at least a phone call, even if he was busy.

The issue of the incorrect mortar being used has been addressed but has not been finalised.  Metricon has decided to provide "some" compensation for getting it wrong.  While we did not get what we wanted (or what was in the contract) which was the white mortar with white sand, we can live with the error.  We are awaiting a variation letter from Metricon confirming the variation/compensation amount.

In the mean time, we have received the Fixing Stage invoice.  I think we'll hold that payment off until we get our variation confirmation.

We went out to the block this weekend to have a look around and do a bit of a tidy up.  Nearly all the plastering and cornices are complete.  The render to the front portico and outdoor room is also complete now.  It looks surprisingly close in colour to the "Dune" colorbond on the gutters even without being painted.  Also, our neighbour on the left hand side has started work on our bordering fence which looks great.
Just a few photo's below -

Main Bedroom

Living Room

Toward Front Door from Dining Area

Finials for the Colonial Feature on the roof

New Fencing

Monday, September 13, 2010

Day 54 - Some sort of redemption

After letting fly yesterday and send a fairly direct email to Metricon this morning it appears that we may have stirred a bit of a hornets nest.  Soon after sending the email this morning, I received a phone call from ourn Site Supervisor requesting a meeting on site on Thursday morning with the Construction Manager, SS and us.  What can I say????......We're happy to have a face to face meeting to try and resolve some of the issues we have raised.

I received a few follow up calls from our SS today and it appears that he is attempting to make a start on the issues we raised, starting with the items that were requested to be fixed by Metricon's Frame Stage Certifier.

Bricking has now been totally completed, including the front portico and plaster sheeting is mostly completed throughout the house.  I managed to slip out to the block this afternoon and get these photos.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Day 51 - Time for a dummy spit

Yup.  You would think that people can read a plan and some variations when ordering things.....

Instead, what has happened is Metricon ordered the wrong brick mortar (we paid extra to get White Mortar with white sand and we were provided with Off White Mortar with white sand).  At first we did not note the difference as we throught that it was just the mortar drying given it was a darken colour than expected.  It was only on last Sunday when we visited the block that we decided to check the right colour was being used and found bags of off white mortar in use.  At that stage the brickies had already completed the whole front wall of the i.e. making it a huge cock up).  We made a call to our SS very early Monday morning (once we'd checked our variations) to advise him of the mistake.  At first he denied the mistake and it was not until we made him call the bricklayers (3rd call from us) that he confirmed the error.  So how do we feel.......guttered.  When we asked what were our options to fix we were provided with a) knock down the wall and start again (expensive option for Metricon) and not necessarily a good option for us time wise   b) Seek an adjustment/compensation for the error and continue on with the off white mortar.  We know that there is a significant price difference between the bags of white and off white mortar and if Metricon had to start again, it would most likely require more bricks (which were also a Cat 6 upgrade).  We are still awaiting an answer from Metricon on this one and our patience is quickly running out.  All the while, bricking and other work is continuing on covering up the staff ups.

In addition to this, a number of our "minor" defects from our Private Stage Inspection Report and the Frame Stage Certifiers inspection remain unresolved.  The main issues identified were -
  • Only 2 bolts were installed to hold the metal posts bracket to the frame on the outdoor room and front portico, even though there is provision for 4.  The remaining 2 holes are held in place with a nail in each.  The remaining bolts need to be installed.
  • In between Bedroom 2 and the garage, framing overhangs the slab by approximately 20mm and needs to be rectified.
  • The "Blue Rio" bricks have a "rough" side and a good side.  The bricklayers have installed rows of bricks above the windows and doors on the back side of the house using the "rough" side which is a MASSIVE colour variation to the good side.
  • Some tie downs strapping is missing from the trusses and requires installation.
The last week has also seen a massive amount of work going on.  The colonial feature posts/portico has been completed, the air conditioning ducting and unit has been installed in the roof.  The plasterers also started work on the internals on Friday and have already completed nearly all the ceilings and the 2 bathrooms.

We have also made some progress with the shed this week as well.  On Wednesday the shed site was cut and levelled (not that there was much to it) and on Friday we had the slab poured for the main shed (6.5m  x  9m) and some extra slab to put a rainwater tank on.  The tank was a bit of an afterthought and was only ordered about 2 weeks ago.  With a fair sized shed, we thought we might as well use the collection area to irrigate the back yard.  Its good to make a start on Man Land 2.  It means that the getting the fishing rig is getting even closer.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Day 44 - Lots of Deliveries

With training on over the last couple of days this week, I didn't get much of a chance to get out at the block.  We are still yet to hear back from our site supervisor regarding the issues raised on our private stage inspection, but to be fair all issues were minor (but still require rectification).

There have been a stack of new items delivered and installed.  Also the brickies have made a quick start and have completed nearly 1/4 of the house already.  I received a call from our site supervisor on Thursday morning letting us know that the bricking was starting and wanting to confirm that we wanted flush faced mortar and not recessed.  Maya organised to the visit the brickies on the block and view each mortar profile.  We are definately sticking with flush faced.

The bricks already create a strong contrast feature and do match ok with the roofing and gutters/fascia.  In fact, I think that it is good that we went with "dune" coloured render to the portico at the front and outdoor room at the back.  Anyway, just some photo's to show the progress........

Bricking so far

Pivot Entry Door and Electricals/Data installed

Termite Glass installed

Stacker Doors and Windows Installed

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Day 42 - Frame Inspection and so much more

It has been a bit of a tumultuous couple of days with our first real disagreement with our site supervisor.  Prior to starting on site we had gone back and forth with Metricon trying to get them to correct both plans and also the variation documents in relation to the Colonial feature posts and roofing outside of bedroom one.  This issue had been outstanding from when we were dealing with the Sales Consultant and over the time between then and now, the feature roofing had been agreed to and then removed by Metricon on at least 3 occasions.  When we received our compliance variation just before site start, we noticed that Metricon had once again removed the feature roofing.  We addressed this on day 1 site scrape with our SS and he advised that he would be able to resolve the issue to meet our expectations.  Within a few days we received an updated compliance variation and updated "final" plans reinstating the roof how we wanted it.  On Monday evening this week we noticed that the Carpenter had installed the posts for the colonial feature at 450mm from the brickwork where it should have been at 600mm according to the updated plans (i.e. this was back to Metricon's original plans again and definitely not what we asked for.  It appears that the chippy was simply working from the old plans (prior to the final variation) and that he was not advised of the update.  I called our SS on Tuesday morning and left a message for him to call back urgently in relation to the colonial feature and also sent an email noting our now significant issue.  

Within the hour I received a call from our SS stating that he "should have told us, but on Monday the chippy said that he could not fix the roofing to the outer wall of the ensuite and therefore had to revert to the 450mm eave.  It was at this stage that my BS meter was hitting the roof!!  Maya got in contact with our SS and requested to meet on site to try and resolve the issue.  The SS apparently provided Maya with just about every reason why he could not fix the beam and posts at 600mm.  Having some drafting background, Maya ended up negotiating "Maya's way" and ended up getting them to extend/move the posts back out to 600m.  Nice one Maya!!  It's times like these that I like having Maya on my team rather than theirs.  Photo of the corrected posts/feature below -

The long awaited Private Frame Inspection that was pushed back on two previous occasions was completed this morning.  Our inspector was really helpful in explaining some aspects of the building, particularly those aspects where he was happy with the extra detail that Metricon's contractors have gone to.  Overall the inspector only picked up 4 minor items on his inspection -
  1. Extra frame needs to be removed to allow for the linen cupboard doors to be installed
  2. Additional bolts need to be installed in the post fixing for the outdoor room where only 2 bolts were installed
  3. The frame needs some final finishings throughout and planing off throughout the house
  4. In one part of the newly installed colorbond roof the capping has been bent out of shape (minor)
We have also had a few significant deliveries in the last couple of days as well including our Blue Rio Bricks and our windows, stacker doors and even the front door.  The whole roof is now complete and the whole house has been wrapped so there is LOTS going on.