Thursday, June 30, 2011

The House Has Got It's Hat On

Yesterday saw rain showers and grey skys but that didn't stop the roof trusses and  the rest of the frame going on.
With Roof - From Front

With Roof - From Back
There was a flurry of activity on four other blocks yesterday including the one directly behind us which will be another Metricon home. It looks like Wednesday was site scrape day! Good to see other builds starting, didn't want to be moving in all by ourselves.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

We Got Frame

More framework was delivered yesterday for the first floor plus they finished constructing the portico and outdoor room frames and the trusses have been put on the garage roof. The boards are in position between the ground and first floor with some "scaffolding" so they can start up stairs.
Garage Trusses and Scaffold

Garage Framed

Outdoor Room

Down on site this morning they have made extraordinary progress on the first floor framing - boy these tradies are moving fast. The house looks AaaaMazing!!!

Front and Left - That's My Master Suite Up There!


Rear and Right - Look At That For An Outdoor Space I'll Need A New BBQ

The Rear

Left Side Looking Into Kitchen and Laundry
In the pile of framework on the site I can see more roof trusses for the outdoor room which looks huge by the way and some other bits and pieces which I guess go on before the trusses for the roof proper which will be arriving in a day or so.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Frame Photos

Here are the pictures of our lovely shiny, silver stainless steel termite proof frame.

And They're Off - Frame Start - This Will Be The Formal Living Room

Frame Ground Floor - Garage and Front - Taken From Driveway

View of Front From Street - Front Door Will Be In Central Opening

View From Rear Looking Through Into Dining and Kitchen From Outside Outdoor Room -
That Big Opening Is For One Of The Two Bi-Fold Doors
We love it. The area where our land is is semi-rural so a steel frame is a sensible choice given the high risk of potential termite activity plus it was only a $3000 upgrade as part of the promo package. Shame it took two weeks longer to arrive than expected.
The pieces of frame in the foreground of the last shot are the trusses that go between the ground and first floor and add strength to the house. Its amazing to think they had done all this in 5 hours; can't wait to see what they will achieve next week!

Progress on the Plantation Homes build two blocks over: They are a double story and have had all timber work for frame completed, ground floor windows in and roof on. The roof tiles were delivered and roof tiled in less than a day! That was impressive. Its looking nice and should complement our Nolan nicely.
No work has commenced on any of the other blocks, plenty of builders boards are up but other than a single site scrape there has been no activity of note.

Hopefully for us next week should see the first floor frame delivered and installed.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Frame (Day 2)

Friday saw more framing action, with the trusses for the first floor being installed and the portico/balcony bracing erected. Looks like there is still a fair bit to do downstairs but we are pleased with the quality of the job so far. There are a couple of twisted and dinged parts of the frame that we have spotted so will be sure to point these out to the SS.

It was great to be able to walk through the house this morning, the room sizes are excellent, couldn't be happier with the layout and the amount of windows we will have. It was awesome imagining where everything was going to go and what the kitchen would look like once it has cabinetry and an island bench.
We had hours of fun picking up all the dropped screws and playing "house" with our boy. Really funny until I fell in the imaginary swimming pool. We have decided to keep the pool shape and dimensions as we originally planned but push it further down the left side of the house and about 500mm closer to the boundary to give the amount of clearance needed for the sewer. This means instead of the end of the pool being flush to the end of the outdoor room it will be flush with the end of the house. Yes, it will be costing us more for shoring up around the sewer but we have decided that is one expense we will simply have to swallow so as not to compromise the outside space  as after all having a decent sized garden to run around in was the main reason we decided to build rather than buy.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Frame (Day 1)

"Frame thy mind to mirth and merriment, which bars a thousand harms, and lengthens life" William Shakespeare. Thought it might be nice to add a little culture!

The frame was delivered bright and early and work had already started before 8am. By lunch time we had a fully framed first floor. Wow and wow again it looks great! For the first time we can appreciate the size, shape and layout of our home. The windows in the family, dining kitchen area are huge and when you factor in the two sets of massive bi-folds we are going to have so much natural light in this space that it will be incredible. It also means that no matter which part of our outdoor areas our son is playing in we will be able to keep an eye on him with no trouble. Perfect.
I can see a few roof trusses in the delivery and guess these must be for the garage and outdoor room roofs as there doesn't seem to be enough to do the whole house. Our theory is that they will complete the ground floor then deliver the frame for upstairs.
I haven't had a chance to walk through yet but Sandy reassures me that all the rooms are big enough and that I won't be disappointed.

The digger and truck also arrived before 8am to move the soil and deliver it to our soil swapper as arranged however the guy who was supposed to take it off our hands was an incompetent tosser and hadn't got his site organised to take delivery. Rather that have the truck driver sitting around for several hours whilst said tosser got his act together we made the decision - a costly one - for him to take the first load to the tip, putting an additional $550 on the price!! Aaargh - lesson - buyer beware when dealing with people on the internet as not everyone is as organised, honest and reliable as you are.
Luckily the frame looks so good nothing can spoil my day!

Now for some pictures............. ahhhh you'll have to wait until later.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Something's Coming

Something's coming, something good, it's made of steel not of wood, it's called a frame! (sung to the tune of Something's Coming from West Side Story).

The steel frame is being delivered tomorrow along with a team to start putting it up - at last we are about to get vertical.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Moving The Mound

No luck getting the SS to agree to move the considerable mound of soil still piled up in the back left corner of the block but we do have someone locally who is willing to take it off our hands. The diggers and truck are coming on Thursday and then taking it to their place to be used as fill.

If you need to get rid of soil it costs a fortune to dump it so try advertising it on sites like soilswapneeddirt or fillwanted and then you only have to pay for diggers and removal, in some cases people will even offer to split the costs of moving the fill with you.But either way you're bound to save some money as we were told it was approx $50 per tonne to just to have it dumped. We have around 100 tonnes so that would be pretty expensive!!!!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Nothing Going On But The Bills

So we've had no action on site this week but Metricon accounts department have been busy sending out the invoice for the first progress (or lack of it!!!) payment. It had totally escaped our attention that now the build had started so would the bills. Base stage is 10% of construction cost and needs to be paid as soon as possible.We are part funding the build so we will make the first 4 payments ourselves so no need to sign papers and put invoices into the bank. This will be what happens later in the build when the building loan kicks in to cover the rest of the expenses.

So what's the hold up? Apparently steel frames are now extremely popular and there is only one company that makes them (hmm really?) so ours is in a production queue even though it was ordered almost 2 months ago. Hopefully it will arrive later this week and we can start getting 3 dimensional.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


No action on site yet this week apart from a couple of bobcats spreading some of the large mound of soil around, looks like they've hardly made a dent in it so we have advertised it on a soil swap site in case someone wants to take it off our hands. We will also do the same when the pool is excavated.
We were hoping the steel frame would have arrived by now so we remain frameless - the frame was an upgrade as part of the Neo Dusk promotion and only cost us an additional $3K which I thought was a fair price.
I see Metricon are now including solar - would have liked that as well but can look at getting it installed once the house is completed (assuming we have any money left!).
Get the feeling there will be no progress now until next week.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Pool Planning Problems (Possibly?)

We have just received a call from our pool builder apparently the pool now needs to be 3 metres further away from the rear boundary due to not being able to excavate too close to the sewerage system. Planning department have said No to our original plans now as when we drew them up we didn't know that the sewer pipes would be in this corner. 
This means we have 4 options 1) move the pool to a different place 2) keep the pool where it is and slide it down the side of the house 3m and end up with a really titchy pool 3) change the shape and size of the pool and how we were going to have the fences 4) Pay $3,000 to shore up area around sewer move the pool 2 meters down the house and a meter closer to side boundary if possible.
Looks like we'll have to make some compromises and pay more money to get what we want as we don't want to change the aspect or position of pool too dramatically. Guess we'll be having a meeting with the pool builder this week.

Friday, June 10, 2011

We Have a SLAB

The Slab Team In Action
Concrete Pumping

Make it Smooth
Sandy went down to the block around 8am yesterday just to see if anything was going on to find concreters, concrete trucks and a half finished slab! Seeing as we were told this would happen today (Friday) it was an excellent surprise on what turned out to be the coldest day I can remember since moving to Qld; we topped out at 11 deg C (warm for Melbourne but absolutely sub zero for Brisbane!)

We popped down after work  to see the finished product and as anticipated we immediately did the "oh it doesn't look as big as I thought it would" thing that everyone does when they see an expanse of grey featureless concrete. It will look bigger once the frame starts going up - it's a very strange optical illusion which I call "can't see the space without the rooms syndrome". After picking up several empty cans of coke and red bull which evaded making their way to the site bin we took a few photos, appreciated how much garden we have and rushed back into the warmth of the car.

The Finished Slab
Planning to go back later today to take a longer look and get more piccies.
Steel frame should start after the long weekend on Tuesday.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Pipes, Electricity Box and Form Work

Trench for storm water and electricity pipes

Pipes and Electricity Box

It's been all go on site with more diggers and tradies working from dawn to dusk on Tuesday digging trenches, laying pipes connecting water meters, sewerage, drainage and electricity box.

Yesterday it was the turn of the concreters who have put in all the form work and under slab insulation ready for the slab pour which could either be today or tomorrow. The weather forecast is for rain showers so I hope it stays dry enough for everything to go ahead.

Form Work pre-slab
I can't believe how much progress there has been this week its all very exciting as now we get to see the size of the house and how it sits on the block. It looks like we'll have a little less garden than anticipated at the rear of the house but as we have plenty either side I don't think this will be a problem.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Bin Part 2

 This time with piccies. That's our rubbish bin and we got big gravel on top of the dust that was pretending to be the base for the drive. 
The Bin

New Gravel Drive

Saturday, June 4, 2011


More action on site we have a cage bin!!!! Looks like we are ready for some serious action - I will have to post a photo later as Sandy broke the first rule of Site Club - never go to the site without the camera - there will be serious consequences tut tut tut.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Diggers and Dunnies

Or Site Scrape and Porta-Loo

Much excitement this morning as the digger was on site and the scrape well underway when we arrived with camera at the ready. Looks like we've got some nice soil, shame he's piled it up on the spot where the pool is supposed to go! The idea was to leave us some top soil so we could use it for levelling out and garden beds once the build was finished, however I think we should have been more specific about where we wanted the pile to be. Will have to speak to SS about that as it may cause a potential problem. Just having the scrape done starts to give us an idea of what a big, no massive house we have chosen as we can make out the different levels for the triple garage and that alone is ginormous!

Decided to pop by on the way home after lunch and yeeee haaa we already have a porta-loo. Awesome its red my son's favourite colour. He was less impressed with it once he'd opened the door to check it out. Peeouuoow what a smell and that's a clean one!!!
It feels official now we have porta-loo and soil retainer, erosion barrier thingo (what are those things called? Hang on I will google it and find out......It looks like they are called soil erosion and sediment barriers).

It'll be pipes, electricity box and slab pour next week.

Digger in Action
Site Scrape from left front of block
Site Scrape and Porta-Loo from rear of block
Porta-Loo and Sediment Barrier

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Slow Start

Good meeting with the SS he seems to be a nice man and he only deals with the premium builds. He just went through some basic information, answered our questions and suggested that the build will take around 25 weeks, weather permitting. That will bring the build in around Christmas which is a bit of a downer if there are any delays as I know they all shut down for the holidays so it could mean more like February. No point getting pessimistic yet.

Any how nothing happened on site today (boo) but the diggers are coming tomorrow (yes!).
A loose timeline is slab next Friday and 10 weeks until the roof is on, then the pool builder can start at that stage.Diggers on a Friday works well as it is my day off so guess where I'll be tomorrow?!

Have found out the other build that has started is with Plantation homes and is most likely a single story.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

One More Sleep

Can't believe the build starts tomorrow 208 days or almost 7 months after buying the land at auction. I will need to change my widget to start counting how long from build start to handover and make a build label for future posts.
Optimistically would like to be in by the end of this year but realistically think it will be more likely early next year. We haven't received an estimated time frame yet, perhaps when we meet with the SS tomorrow he will give us some indication of how long the build is expected to take.
Building has started on the block one over from ours (not next door), they have had site scrape, pipes and electrical box installed. Not sure who they are building with or if it is single or double storey. It will be interesting keeping an eye on progress and watching all the other builds start and take shape. I hope to be able to pop by at lunch time tomorrow and then again after work to see what has happened and of course take loads of photographs.