Thursday, February 17, 2011

2 months and counting

I can't believe how long it has been since my last post. 

Our chunky king size bed looks pretty small in our new bedroom

We received our keys on Friday December 3rd at about 6pm and we started moving in the next day.
We've had a few ups and downs since then and at times it feels like we're in a never ending nightmare.  I'll write up posts about that shortly, but I thought I'd answer a couple of questions that people left in the comments section.

Firstly, Robert - our contract length was 383 days and we received the keys after 191 days.  Way back at site start time we thought we'd be in the house around February of this year so it actually went a lot quicker than we anticipated.  That being said - the house was essentially finished in late October, there were only minor things that needed to be completed and there were weeks where no one was on site.

Secondly, DMFAN - we love the Denver, there's plenty of space and it works really well for us.  Check over your plans carefully as there are a lot of wall cut outs and you may not want them all.  Also, if you're going with the 43, the back of the workshop/garage is open.  You have to pay extra to either have it bricked or an extra garage door put in. 

In terms of lay out and selections there is nothing that we would change.  I'll add a qualifier here - your level of happiness with the finished product will come down to the site supervisor you get.  While overall we're happy with our house, the lack of attention to detail and poor finishing really drops the quality from a great house down to a good house, which is incredibly disappointing and frustrating, particularly given the amount of money paid.

I'll be back over the weekend to fill you in on our ongoing problems.

Friday, December 3, 2010

It's over!

At 5pm today the keys are officially ours.  191 days.

Monday, November 22, 2010


I think that might be what our SS said today (or perhaps something stronger?!). 

We were concerned that the expansion joint in our slab had received no termite protection treatments.  Our building inspector at work suggested I contact the company that issued the building permit as they are required to have all the termite treatment information prior to a Certificate of Occupancy being issued.  To cut a long story short the company contracted to provide the termite protection treatments were never told that we had an expansion joint and so it hadn't been treated.  We're furious.  It's like an all-you-can-eat buffet for termites.

I'm impressed with the service we received from Plan Scan.  I was put straight through to the surveyor who issued our permit - he listened to my concerns, promised to follow up on it and then rang me back to let me know the outcome.  I only wish Metricon's customer service was half as good!

We had our final inspection last Thursday and when I have calmed down a bit more I'll post about it.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Red dots

No pictures today.  The house is finished.  The Certificate of Occupancy has been ordered and it's time for the final inspections to begin.  Hopefully this isn't going to be a drawn out process as the sale of our house settles on the 8th December!

I went up to the new house today and there are red dots everywhere!  I'm assuming this means that the Metricon quality assurance people have been through the house and it looks like our tradespeople have some work to do.  We can't get inside the house so I'm not sure how many dots are inside but there are a lot of red dots on our windows.  There's a number of bent frames where is looks like they've been dropped before they've been installed, there's windows that meet at the top and have 7mm gaps at the bottom and yet other windows that have gaps at the top, meet in the middle and have gaps at the bottom again.  Short of pulling out the windows I'm not really sure what can be done to fix some of the problems - but I'm sure Metricon will come up with something.

Still waiting on a few other issues to be resolved.  They include:
  • Obtaining a credit (or at the very least not being charged) for work we completed,
  • Adequate termite protection,
  • Payment of the electricity bills (as our land is larger than 700m2 we had to arrange the electricity connection so it's in our name, not Metricon's)
  • Credit for the tree guards (temporary fencing to go around trees on our nature strip) listed in our contract.  When we signed our contract we argued that these weren't necessary and it would be better to put a guard around our water meter, but we were told they were mandatory and couldn't be removed from the contract.  The tree guards were never even on site, let alone erected, but our water meter did get run over within days of the site start!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Are we there yet?

We're so close now we can almost feel the keys in our hands.

As you can see the top coat has been applied to the portico.  The colour is Malay Grey.

All the bathroom mirrors are in and so is the bath in the main bathroom.

I'm already loving the shelving in the butlers pantry.  Plenty of room for anything I can think of.  We have plans to change the shelving on the left.  After handover we'll remove the middle two shelves and put in a benchtop.

This is the wardrobe fit out in the master bedroom.  The additional shelving and drawers were part of the momentum promotion we signed up for.

Here's the ensuite with the double mirrors.

So what next?  I spoke to our SS last night.  The kitchen splash backs should already be in (but aren't) so they should go in this coming week.  The painter is due back next Saturday and the Metricon inspectors will come through early the following week.  Our SS has said that we'll probably do our inspection on Friday 12th.  A neighbour suggested that we remove the 'chinaman's hat' light shades before we do our inspections as they make quite a difference to the way the finish on the ceiling looks.  We think that the plasterers have done a pretty good job but it won't hurt to take them down.

Had a look at some carpet options today - quotes ranged between $10,000 and $19,000 for 100% pure NZ wool carpets with premium underlay.  Now we're only putting carpet in the bedrooms, kids leisure area, theatre room, sitting room, study and walk-in-robe so $19,000 is a lot of money (and out of our price range) - but boy was the carpet beautiful!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Closer and closer

Thursday night I went up at the new house while a potential buyer inspected our current house. Hadn't seen any tradies there for quite a while so I got a pleasant surprise.

The portico has had two coats of render and is just waiting on the top coat which will have the colour in it. This was done about a week ago - I just haven't had a chance to post pictures. So far we're really happy with it. You can see our front door in the picture above - it still needs to be replaced due to the door handle issue.

The kids' mirrored robe doors have been installed and we think they look really good. We disagreed over the mirrored doors - I wanted the framed ones and Wade wanted the frameless. In the end we've gone frameless - I'll probably regret it because they only have a small handle for opening and closing but they do look good.
Excuse the poor quality photos - I had to take them through the windows. The shower screens and mirrors have also been installed. You can see that in the ensuite we've gone for two smaller mirrors with a bevelled edge, instead of one large one. Easy enough to change over if we decide we don't like it in a few years time.
All the fly screens have been installed and a bit of patch work has been done inside the house ready for the painters to arrive. The down pipes and toilets will go in on Monday (we're putting those in) so we're edging closer to the finish line.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

So what's left?

The answer to that question is...not much.

We met our SS on site tonight and I was really keen to get a close up look at the tiles and the bathrooms and get a bit of an idea about what's left to do.

Firstly - the bathrooms. Really love the way they look. In the ensuite we chose to have the short wall of the shower (where the tapware is located) in a dark tile. The idea came from a Metricon promotional magazine, I know not everyone will love it, but we do.

All the electrical work is complete - we can now turn lights on! There was a small hiccup with the front door. The beautiful $450 long bar handle we selected wasn't installed, instead a standard lever door handle and lock were, so that means a new front door needs to be ordered, stained and installed. No biggie.

So what's left? Well we've chosen to install our own cooling, carpet and curtains after handover so all that is left is the installation of the shower screens, kitchen splash back and the pantry/linen cupboard/wardrobe fitouts and rendering the portico. The toilets and downpipes need to be installed - but we're doing those and they should happen within the next week. After that it's the touch ups and house clean and then it's on to quality control and inspections.

I started writing this post last Tuesday (12/12 and today is 18/10) and have only just had time to complete it. Since then the temporary fence has been removed, the undercoat has been applied to the portico, the bricks have been cleaned and a partial site clean completed. We're also in discussions with Metricon over the poor workmanship with the termite control and the slab. I will provide more details and pictures in my next post.