Home Stretch

Sadly there was no Christmas in July at the new house this year. The majority of readers who played the blog’s handover date guessing competition picked a date in July. Unfortunately the saga over the timber flooring cost us precious time. Good news is that we are back on track and handover is just around the corner. 

This week is all about inspections, inspections, inspections! 

  1. The Construction Manager completed his inspection on Monday. 
  2. Our independent inspector Houspect went through the house this morning to carry out their final checks of the exterior and interior finishes. We hope to receive their report within 24 hours. 
  3. Finally, Metricon’s Quality Assurance will conduct their separate checks tomorrow. 

Depending on the list of items from each inspection, our fantastic site manager is quietly optimistic of presenting the house to us next week. We actually had an informal walk through with JM today and the only red flag was painting issues. JM duly noted our concern and he reassured us that the painters are on standby for the final touch ups. So, we think that Practical Completion will be short and simple. 

Handover will be dependent on a few things, the major one being the interim occupancy certificate (IOC). One of the conditions of the Development Consent is a privacy screen along the South-Eastern side of the first floor balcony. The screen is our responsibility but as per the terms of our contract with Metricon, we will need to have this job attended to after handover as they do not allow clients’ contractors on site. We hope the appointed Principal Certifying Authority (PCA) Local Group don’t hold back on issuing the IOC. Fingers crossed.

Now for the visual updates…

Here is the infamous H-trim across the hallway. Not the prettiest sight in the world but one we have to live with! 

Expansion gap across hallway

I have to say JM and Carpet Call have really gone the extra mile to keep me happy. I couldn’t be any more satisfied with the rectification work around the kitchen and butlers pantry. The caulking around the island is fantastic and looks a million dollars😄

Caulking around the waterfall

 

 

Butlers Pantry

Appliances have been delivered but only the microwave has been installed.  

Microwave in situ

One of my first world problems is no more😜 Square shower heads are in and they look awesome.   

It now looks like a close race between Trixee (11th August) and Deb (13th August). Good luck ladies. I will be in touch as soon as we have a date😄

   
   

Playing catch up

Well, that was some storm that struck Sydney last week! I’m talking torrential rain and cyclonic winds, definitely not ideal weather for house building. We finally had a small window of good autumn weather and boy am I glad the Metricon boys took advantage of the reprieve! Our site was a hive of activity on Tuesday and Wednesday, with the team of electrician and carpenters playing catch up.

We now have electrical wiring for lighting, power, tv, sound, data and home theatre. The Vaccaro guys also installed the air conditioning ducting. The carpenters installed the framework for all the cavity slider doors. We have a total of 3 going in the Study, Home Theatre and Powder Room. They also replaced the damaged front door frame.

Now for the obligatory photos…Not the most exciting I know, more to keep the blog updated for our record 🙂

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Data cabling for the home theatre

Data cabling for the home theatre

Meter box recessed into the Study wall

Recessed meter box installed in the Study wall

Cavity slider framework installed in the Study

Cavity slider framework installed in the Study

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Cavity Slider in the Powder Room

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Home Theatre

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Balcony balustrades all waterproofed ready for the Matrix panels

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Our independent building inspector Houspect conducted the pre-lining inspection yesterday (30/4). They had already completed slab and frame inspections and found Metricon’s work compliant with standards. They haven’t sent the pre-lining report yet but to our untrained eye the quality of the workmanship to date seems to be top notch. So hopefully they give this stage the thumbs up.

I actually had a walk-through with J today, the first official one! He went through the electrical plans room by room. It’s a shame that Nick was tied up at work and couldn’t be there as the electrical stuff is his domain. Anyway, I couldn’t resist asking J the million dollar question…how long till handover?

We are more than half way through the build and nearing the very exciting internal fit out! Here’s the very rough tentative schedule.

  •  Mon (4/5) – Tray deck roofing
  • Tue (5/5) – Cladding, painting
  • Wed (6/5) – Insulation
  • Thurs (7/5) – Gyprock (estimate 4-5 days)
  • Fri (15/5) – Stairs, cabinetry fitout
  • Fri (22/5) – Waterproofing and tiling to wet areas (estimate 2 weeks)
  • Fri (5/6) – Painting (estimate 2 weeks)

So, the bottom line is he thinks we are looking at handover towards the end of June to early July. I don’t want to jinx myself but that’s pretty much bang on my mental timeline. Christmas in July at our Hudson sounds fabulous!!! Here’s hoping 🙂

Frame Stage Report

We received the construction report from Houspect for the wall and roof frame complete stage that our inspector Tim conducted last week.

The following items were checked for compliance and workmanship and all were deemed acceptable.

  • Check bonding over openings inspected
  • Floor Framing to AS1684
  • Sheet flooring squeaking, peaking
  • Strip flooring – squeaking, joins, cramping adequate
  • Flooring secured as per AS1684
  • Expansion Joints to floors
  • Correct thickness and type of flooring to wet areas
  • Wall framing level and plumb
  • Wall framing straight
  • Wall framing to AS1684
  • Room dimensions checked
  • Windows and external doors flushed
  • Ceiling heights correct
  • Holding down straps secured correctly
  • Slab edge exposed

Tim told us he was impressed with our site manager J. He rated the site safe and tidy and most importantly he found no defects. He did note that some items were being finalised on the day of inspection which we’re waiting on J to confirm have since been completed.

Rear balcony steel column to be installed prior to the tiled roof being installed

Rear balcony steel column to be installed prior to the tiled roof being installed

Valley boards to be installed prior

Valley boards to be installed prior to the valleys installed

Concrete rebate to be cut prior to the stacker door

Concrete rebate to be cut prior to the stacker doors being installed

6 holding down

6 holding down bolts to be installed in the bottom plate to rear of the house

Plumber to install waste caps to upstairs

Plumber to install waste caps to upstairs and downstairs

So there you have it, another huge milestone ticked off. Well done Metricon👍

Here’s a sneak peek at our bricks. Weather forecast for Sydney is looking dandy for a solid week of brickwork. Roll on the next stage!

Austral Whitsundays 'Orpheus'

Austral Whitsundays ‘Orpheus’

 

Independent Building Inspections

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Houspect Inspections

Building a new house is undoubtedly a huge financial undertaking. It’s a commitment not for the faint hearted, and such a significant investment requires a close check on the works carried out to ensure they are built to your specifications and in accordance to relevant building codes and Australian standards.

We all hope for a faultless construction but the reality is even the best builders make mistakes and it can be daunting and overwhelming to deal with the builder to address these issues. Most of us also have little to no building background so may not be able to recognise poor workmanship and inadequate materials.

Metricon use a private certifier to conduct inspections throughout the build. To err on the side of caution, we also decided to engage an independent inspector to provide advice on the standard of work being carried out at critical stages and to identify defective workmanship or incomplete works. The cost of a stage inspection range from as little as $300 up to $700. After recommendation from fellow builders, we hired Houspect to carry out 4 standard construction inspections as outlined below.

Houspect Construction Inspections

Houspect Construction Inspections

Inspector Tim was assigned to our job and I met him on site for the slab down inspection. I had a million questions not only about the quality of the slab but also about the building process in general and he patiently answered and explained in layman’s terms. Thumbs up!

We received his report within 24 hours of the inspection and overall he found the site to be generally tidy and he rated the workmanship satisfactory.

  • The concrete slab showed no signs of shrinkage and the plastic membrane was present around the perimeter of the slab
  • The waterproof membrane was in place and appeared to be acceptable
  • Plumbing wastes appeared to be installed correctly and in the correct place
  • Geotech material was in place along the lower side of the property

Well done Metricon, you passed the slab stage! Now onto frames…