Week 20 – handover

We have keys!

On Friday, we did a bunch of paperwork and handover stuff, I gave our site managers (both old and new were there) the cheque and they gave me the keys.

So that’s a 20-week build period and 45 days before the contracted PCI date. Our site managers both kept a tight rein on the contracting services and we only had 1 rain day. We had no changes to our contract that delayed the build – we only had the gutter cut and the rendering added after the build started, which did not affect the timing of anything.

You can see my review here: http://www.productreview.com.au/r/metricon/1349829.html

Husband and I were at our house yesterday (10 June – my birthday!) for our furniture delivery (Fantastic Furniture – Toronto design). With help from a couple of friends we’ve unboxed and built everything except 3 boxes (4 x dining chair and 2 x bar stools). I have all of next week off work so I’ll be moving and unpacking as much as I possibly can.

Fencing starts on Monday (we already have a lot of materials sitting at the front of our house) and our gas gets delivered/installed (LPG bottles by ORIGIN). Tuesday is whitegoods delivery day and Thursday or Friday is when our air conditioning will be getting installed.





Week 18 – PCI

We had our PCI today. While husband and I weren’t very helpful, our BISQ inspector was. However, he only found minor things.

We came straight home and sent off the paperwork to get the final invoice paid – we have requested a bank cheque so we can hand it over at the handover (9th June, 730am). So exciting!


Week 16 – Pre-PCI check, flooring, landscaping and fencing quotes, furniture buying

We had a pre-PCI walk through with our site manager and his manager (our construction manager) on Tuesday. Sam, the construction manager, walked us through each room and put bits of blue tape in places that need to be fixed.

We checked all our lights, looked in cupboards, ran all taps and checked shower screens for leaks. Overall, it’s pretty good quality. The biggest of the things were: leaks in shower screen in ensuite, a different light switch installed near on one of the 3-ways in the main bedroom.

Sam also proposed a really good solution to the major thing that our building inspector picked up. Around the pier of brick in our outdoor room, because it’s right on the corner, one side slightly doesn’t match up to the concrete – there’s a sliver of concrete that hasn’t been tiled. We are getting 1-m of exposed aggregate (the same as our driveway) on the L shape of the house from the laundry and meeting up with the outdoor room. Sam suggested that it gets filled with the aggregate instead of a sliver of tile – which we are happy with.

We also had our landscaping/fencing quote (and met our neighbours more fully) after the pre-PCI inspection. David from SEF has provided us with quotes, and we have to get back to him today to cut it down a bit – the rear fence is costing us $1600, which we hadn’t factored in, and the paving we had requested is $3000, plus we are going to put a small retaining wall at the front. In total the fencing/landscaping quote came to $17,000, and we need to knock it down to about $14,000 at the most.

Yesterday, we spent shopping.

We got to the Warehouse Furniture Clearance at 750am (for an 8am open) and stood in line – back to the road – until the doors opened. By 820 we had chosen our furniture – 3rr + r + r sofas and double bed – and by 9am had finished paying for them. After we had paid we went back to our sofa, and sure enough they were all sold out.

Photo 13-5-17, 8 13 33 am

Then we were onto JB-Hifi Home. We already had our fridge/freezer and washing machine picked out so it was just a matter of organising the paperwork, delivery (set for 13 June), and financing. We got all the way through the HSBC application with the customer service chickie, and it was “pending” for quite awhile. While that was happening I saw a sticker that said they do offer interest-free with GE (I already have a card) so we ended up using that.

Next up was sticky-beaking around our house. The laminate flooring has been started, and all our security screens are in.

After some lunch, we headed to Fantastic Furniture in Windsor. Sem helped us through the finance application for the group that they use for interest-free finance, and we got our tv unit, coffee table, extension dining suite, chest-of-drawers and two bedside tables. Some of it has to be ordered and we’ll organised to get it delivered directly to our new house after handover.

Next week, our driveway (+ rear L-shape) is poured, I believe our blinds are installed and our flooring will get finished. 11 days until our PCI, 3.5 weeks until handover, and in 6 weeks time I’m hoping to be waking up in our lovely new house!

Build week 15

Nothing much to report here.

I visited the site on Wednesday, 3 May. The plumbers were there doing the final fit-off. We had a slight hiccup with our electrical fit-off – the powerpoints we had selected have been discontinued so we got an upgrade to the Clipsal Iconic. We had already upgraded our light switches (clipsal impress sc2000 with LED) so are sticking with them. Hopefully the electrical fit-off will be completed before our pre-PCI on Tuesday afternoon. We’ve organised a meeting with our fencing/landscaping contractor at 430 on Tuesday as well.

We’ve had some hiccups with our fencing as well. Back in October, the sales rep who sold us the land had emailed me confirmation that the rear fence for our property (backs onto a road) would be completed by the developer. I contacted him to start organising getting it completed straight after handover – because our side/front fences can’t be started until the rear panel is done. Unfortunately I was given the wrong information and we are responsible for the rear fence. Going off the advice I received by several people, I emailed our solicitor who handled the settlement. It’s not that we want something for free, but we were told about the fence in October and it’s only now, 6+ months later and when we need the fence to be done, that the mistake was rectified. It’s probably going to cost us another $1200-1400.

Rather than contact us and talk to us about it, our solicitor contacted the sales rep, who contacted me. I spent 10 minutes talking to him: he basically said it would come out of his pocket if we pursued this avenue with the solicitor and he “didn’t think we looked like the type of people who would want something for free”. I’m so frustrated that the solicitor hasn’t contacted us at all. I’m so frustrated that he made out like he was the victim. We are going to wait to see how much the rear fence is quoted for – it’s on top of a retaining wall so I can imagine it’s going to be more expensive.

Next weekend is the Warehouse Furniture Clearnance in Aspley and we’ll be heading there bright and early on Saturday morning to (hopefully) buy our sofas. Then we’ll be heading to JB-Hi Home for our fridge and washing machine, and to Fantastic Furniture to order our furniture. We are 2.5 weeks out from our PCI and 4.5 weeks out from our handover, with any luck the stores can hold our whitegoods and furniture until then, and deliver it straight to our house.

I’ll update after Tuesday about how our pre-PCI and landscaping/fencing appointment went.

Build week 13

As of Thursday, our base coat and ceiling have been finished.

Our site manager gave me some awesome updates in our weekly call on Friday. We have PCI and handover dates (providing nothing goes awry).

All our electrical and plumbing fit offs and our technology package and solar will be completed in the first week of May (by 5 May).

Our ceiling insulation has been booked in for the 8th May, then we have a pre-PCI booked in for 230pm on 9 May. Also in that week we have security screens, carpets and laminate flooring being installed.

Then the driveway is the following week, on 17 May. They have a week to clean the site and our PCI is scheduled for 25 May, with our handover two weeks later on 8 June.

So that’s 7 weeks away. Time to get moving on everything we need to do post-handover. I’ve already:

  • emailed the sales rep for the land to start organising our rear fence (being completed by the estate developer)
  • emailed the aircon guys we’ve chosen to go with
  • emailed our landscaper
  • contacted Origin energy – we were using them in Melbourne and want to use them for electricity again

Next weekend, husband and I will start purchasing furniture and whitegoods – hopefully the Warehouse Furniture Clearance in Aspley is on next weekend, or the following weekend.

Week 12

Tiling is finished, Fixing invoice has been received, and we have a garage door!

We met with Dean at midday today to have a walk through. The first thing I noticed was that the security fencing is down.

The second thing was the garage door has been installed!

Photo 13-4-17, 12 10 30 pm

We had a walk around the outside of the house – where we noticed that the rear tap hasn’t been installed yet, and the outdoor tiling looks fantastic.

Photo 13-4-17, 12 13 33 pm

Inside, all the tiling has been completed as well. The tiler (Harry) did a great job of lining up the tiles going up the walls and bath hob to match the floor tiles. The recess looks great, the laundry looks great, and I am so happy that the splash back looks great as well (I was a little worried!)

Next week it’s pre-painting, we have organised an external inspection for Monday and I am heading back to the block to sign a variation with Dean on Monday afternoon. We have queried and then requested that our driveway be cut into the gutter – it’s a pain driving over the gutter onto the driveway at our current place!

We also have to head back there over the next couple of weeks and move the bricks that we want to the back of the house, or else they’ll be thrown out. We are getting a box of each tiles put aside from the leftovers as well.

We have electrical and plumbing fit out, carpet and laminate flooring, security screens and roller blinds to go, as well as the driveway and painting. Still no updated PCI date, still being told the end of June, but we’ll see!

Week 11 – Tiling

Our site manager told me yesterday the tiling is going well. It should be finished by Monday with possibly some grouting to do on Tuesday. Then, it’s pre-paint work for Week 12 of our build. Week 13 will be the actual painting. Dean said that should take a week.

Other than that, our landscaping appointment fell through, but I think if we organise it for early May we should have a better idea on PCI and handover dates.

I have organised for BISQ to do two inspections on the build – at the fitting and PCI stages (the only two we have left). I mentioned it to our site manager and he called back quickly after that, explaining that it might be better to just do the PCI and that Metricon build to AU standards (he mentioned waste of money). We want it done because:

  • a lot of other people I’ve spoken to have had them done at other stages and found a lot of problems,
  • we aren’t builders, so while everything is looking fantastic to us… maybe it’s not?
  • peace of mind knowing someone’s looking at the quality who hasn’t got an invested interest with just getting the job done.

We shall see how it goes.

We walked through and met our tiler on Tuesday morning, that was quite quick, and we also measured out where sofas could go, so we have a better idea on spacing. Our neighbours both have their frames up, I think one should have bricks and the other their roof the next time we look.

Week 10 – TC Debbie and kitchens

This week has been a disaster for many people in Queensland. Personally, we got through it pretty much business-as-usual. I had a sick day on Tuesday, then worked for 2 hours before leaving work (they were closing the office) on Thursday and decided to work from home on Friday.

Our site manager called me on Friday afternoon and ensured us that our house was fine – we were worried about flash flooding. Our waterproofing had been completed on Friday and our kitchens had been installed as well. YAY!

We’re due to have a meeting with the tiling next week to check the tiles are correct before they start. I’ll be able to put photos up after that.

So this week it’s tiling. Next week I would assume it’s final electrical and plumbing stuff (lights and fittings, tapware). Dean (SM) couldn’t give me an updated PCI yet, he said it’s still on track so whatever Stephen had told us – end of June. That sounds like a lot of spare time to me. I’m estimating mid-May.

In other news, one of our neighbour’s have their roof on, and our other neighbour has a slab done and framing sitting their ready to go. Even one of the blocks across the road and down a bit look like their land has been cleared.

We have an appointment (but no time yet) with our landscaper next Saturday (8 April) too.

Update: PHOTOS!

Week 8 – bricks and plastering

We had our first walk-through the house at 630 am. I was extremely surprised to see so many vehicles out the front of our house (and our neighbour’s place) at that time.

We had 2-3 plasterers, and 4-5 brickies there this morning. It looked (to me) like the major part of the plastering was done – every wall had the sheets on, and they were joining/finishing off the edges.

It looks fantastic so far. The ceiling heights are just lovely, the stacker doors make me so glad we ended up going with them (instead of the 1 slider) and there are holes poked into the plaster at each point where the powerpoints should go.

Our new site manager seems quietly confident as well. He is still finding his Metricon feet, but sounds like he knows what he’s doing.

Next week (build week 9 – 23rd March) is carpentry – architraves and doors installation, with waterproofing around the 30th of March (build week 10) and tiling due to start 4th April (build week 11). The site man (Dean) said the tiler will call us and set up a meeting before he starts so we all know the tiles are correct. Luckily that will fall at the start of the school holidays so that meeting doesn’t have to be at 630 am (and husband can attend without us rushing for time). Dean also said the cabinetry will go in some time before the tiles are installed as well. It’s coming together really well so far. I know our old site manager said an estimated practical completion was 4 weeks prior to the contract finish date (so end of June), but from the timelines I’ve seen, we’re on track for a late-May completion date (fingers crossed, touch wood!)