Council Hiccup

Houston we have a problem ūüėĘ

Just as we thought DA approval was around the corner, we were advised that Council had flagged a few issues with our application. I spoke to the Design and Technical Consultant at Metricon yesterday and she gave me a comprehensive rundown of the issues. It was reassuring to know that the builder is on top of it. She told me that she had already contacted the Assessment Officer at Council and discussed the issues one by one and that a response to Council will be submitted ASAP.

1. GARAGE LEVEL: The proposed finished floor level of the garage is considered excessive. Metricon disagrees with Council’s assessment. The garage level is approx. 500mm above natural ground, not 600mm as is suggested in the letter. Council allows up to 500mm of exposed fill so the reply will include an argument as to why this should not be amended.

2. PROPOSED DECK: The proposed deck to the side and rear of the house is shown on the submitted landscape plan but not on the architectural and stormwater plans. All plans must be consistent. Metricon will amend the architectural plan to show the proposed deck.

3. FRONT FENCE: The submitted landscape plan shows a 1.2m high front fence but this is not shown on the architectural plan. Metricon will amend the architectural plan to show the front fence.

4. RETAINING WALL: The landscape plan shows a retaining wall on the north/western boundary but not the return section at the rear of the dwelling. Metricon will argue that returning the retaining wall into the property is unnecessary as a batter would be sufficient.

5. FIRST FLOOR BALCONY: To reduce direct loss of privacy from rear balcony, a suitable privacy screen to a height of 1.8m will need to be provided. Metricon had already flagged this potential requirement during the design process so this was not a surprise to us.

6. NEIGHBOUR SUBMISSION: The adjoining neighbour raised concern over the bedroom window in the Master Suite. Metricon had discussed and received verbal agreement from Council that no change to the window is required as it complies with the DCP. YAY for us and go Metricon!

7. STORMWATER DRAINAGE PLANS: Council earlier identified an issue with the proposed retention pit under the front landscape. The hydraulics engineer was quick to respond to Council’s concern and submitted an amended stormwater plan. Council is currently assessing the revised plans so fingers crossed no further changes are required.

We are hopeful that the DA is still on track to be approved by the end of October. Thank god the issues identified are not significant and should be easily addressed. My advice to anyone thinking of building – do yourself a favour, avoid the lengthy council approval process and take the CDC route!

Demolition Time

Five months after buying the house, it’s now time to get this knockdown show on the road. How freaking exciting!!!

We were lucky to have found a tenant who only wanted a short term lease. He moved in straight after settlement and moved out last Friday – a week before the demolition contractor starts work.

So, after the school run on Friday afternoon, I made a quick dash to the real estate agent to pick up the keys. With three excited girls in tow, we finally had a good proper walkthrough around the house. I wanted a record of the old house before it makes way for the new dream home. I can’t wait for the transformation to begin. Playing the waiting game has been agonising especially during this last bit of admin.

Lounge room with a feature wood fireplace

Lounge room with a feature wood fireplace

Jury is out on the choice of colours

Jury is out on the choice of colours

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Custom built BBQ

Custom built BBQ

Outdoor room - perfect place to enjoy the great view of the fruit trees

Outdoor room – perfect place to enjoy the great view of the fruit trees

As I mentioned in this post, we have an abundance of fruit trees in the garden. We took home a basket full of oranges and I made a couple of batches of orange and poppy seed muffins and freshly squeezed orange juice. Yum!!!

Organic oranges - the best!

Organic oranges – the best!

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We also took a stroll around the neighbourhood and met the neighbours as we had to give them notice at least 7 days before demolition starts. We have wonderful and friendly neighbours and we fell in love with our street even more. It really felt like home!!!

Love Luxury

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If you live in NSW and thinking about building with Metricon, check out their latest Love Luxury promotion.

The inclusions in this round of promotion are hands down better value than the previous Hot Right Now¬†promotion. I’m jealous of the FANTASTIC inclusions ¬†that we missed out on.

  • Bosch Security Alarm – $1,400
  • 20 LED downlights – $2,600
  • Ducted vaccuum system – $2,500
  • Under tile floor heating to Ensuite – $1,000
  • Caesarstone bench top to 2 extra wet areas – $1,000
  • Pull down sink mixer – $1,000
  • 3x timber internal doors – $2,000
  • Upgraded front door and handle – $1,000

I reckon there’s over¬†$10,000 worth of extras on offer. If we could swap promos I’d do it in a heartbeat!¬† I’ll have to¬†try my luck to see if Metricon can give us a better deal on some of these goodies. Here’s hoping!

Studio M Stalemate

Nearly three weeks since colour appointment, the kitchen saga remains unresolved and continues to drive me insane! We are still negotiating with Metricon over the ridiculously inflated quote.

It’s so annoying that Metricon only provide a total ‘in lieu of standard’ price so there’s no transparency and we are left in the dark as to how they came up with that figure.

Even with the 25% builders margin, the quote is still over $3,000 more than what we anticipated the variations would cost. Now you may wonder if it’s possible we may have under-estimated the cost of the upgrades. Anything is possible I guess. However Metricon provides a very handy list of upgrades that you normally see in their display homes. This list aka ‘DOL’ or displayed options list shows all the non-standard items and their prices. It is the DOL that we based our budget on so we are confident that our estimate is on the money.

At this stage of the game when every dollar counts, we can’t afford to throw away that kind of money especially when it’s clearly highway robbery!¬†So, with frustration mounting at every email and telephone call, I’ve had to call in reinforcement. DH is now in charge of negotiation. Let’s hope he manages to talk some sense into Metricon so we can move forward and sign off on this final piece of paperwork.