Rating our Metricon Build

Sorry for the long absence from the blog. As you can guess, moving in and turning the house into our home have taken priority. It’s now been 6 weeks since we moved in and boy does it feel friggin amazing to be living in our new house! Metricon’s “love where you live” slogan is absolutely ringing true for us and I pinch myself with gratitude that I get to live in such a beautiful home. 

I’ve had people asking me about our experience building with Metricon Homes. Did we have a good experience? Would we build with them again? So to ease myself back into blogosphere, here’s a brief review of our Metricon build.

THE GOOD

Design

We looked at countless display homes before deciding to build the Hudson. It was a bit of a gamble choosing a design purely based on a YouTube video. But I’m happy to report that the real thing has exceeded all of our expectations. We just love the layout of the house – the spacious, open plan design works extremely well for our lifestyle. 

We love the generous bedroom sizes, especially the master bedroom. We love that the children have their own zones upstairs. So far they have managed to keep their stuff away from the main living areas downstairs. Let’s hope it stays that way!

Sales

Our Metricon journey started two years ago when we first met our sales consultant back in August 2013. We were bright-eyed and bushy-tailed to kick start the knockdown rebuild process. No thanks to the hot Sydney property market, it took us 8 long months and countless auction misses before we finally secured the ideal block to build the dream home. Our consultant was fantastic and provided us with preliminary sitings of the many blocks we considered building on free of charge. 

She was also good at giving suggestions on design aspects and expertly steered us away from unnecessary expensive variations. For example she persuaded us to go for aluminium bifold doors rather than the more pricey timber doors, which she also pointed out required more maintenance. The price estimate she provided after the initial meeting ended up being right on the money so no nasty surprise when the tender finally came back. 

Construction

Going into the construction phase, we were a bit wary of the long road ahead. We were prepared for a challenging, stressful and not so enjoyable few months after reading nightmare stories of bad experiences during construction with issues and delays aplenty! But thank goodness our experience was fantastic. 

The hero of the build was without a doubt our super awesome site manager.  Right from the first site meeting through to the end he was nothing but professional, helpful, patient, polite, friendly and easy to deal with. He went above and beyond on a few occasions and we really can’t thank him enough for being as hands-on, thorough and pedantic as he was throughout the build especially given he was managing 18 sites concurrently. We would definitely build with Metricon again if we were guaranteed of being allocated JM!

THE NOT SO GOOD

Price

Having considered other builders, we know we could have built a similar sized house with a similar level of finishes for a lot less than what our Metricon house ended up costing. 

Honestly we found Metricon’s level of inclusions a bit average compared to other builders. For example, Caesarstone benchtops in the kitchen and wet areas were not included in the base price. The standard Metricon kitchen appliances were also not on par with the standard offering from other builders. Personally we would be far happier with a Smeg, Bosch, Blanco or Westinghouse kitchen than Metricon’s Technika or Elba by Fisher & Paykel.

Studio M

The colour selection process could have been the highlight of the pre-construction phase. It certainly was the stage we had been looking forward to the most but the reality turned out to be a frustrating and stressful experience. In hindsight, we should have insisted on including all variations and upgrades in the tender specifically the kitchen re-design. The saga over the kitchen design turned into a royal pain in the you-know-what and left a bad taste. 

Our consultant was lovely but she didn’t really provide any proactive advice or suggestions during the interior colour selection appointment. Luckily we had done our homework beforehand, otherwise it would have been a more unpleasant experience. We also found Metricon a bit inflexible and not accommodating in allowing non-standard variations. For instance, we asked about upgrading the kitchen appliances to Miele but were told we could only upgrade to their supplier’s stock. 

Electrical

Perhaps we should have done more legwork before the electrical selection instead of relying heavily on the consultant’s expertise to guide us. We felt under prepared and rushed into making decisions and unfortunately there were a few things that were missed or turned out to be done poorly.

Here are a couple of classic examples of epic fails😡

Maybe someone can enlighten us as to why the electricians wired the step lights to the same switch as the stair pendants? So we can’t actually turn the step lights on without the uber bright Moooi balls lighting up the stair void. First world problems we know!

Step lights were wired to the same switch as Moooi pendants

We were also left scratching our heads over the location of the bedside light points that the electricians saw fit to place nearly 1 metre from the edge of the queen-sized bed. Now we are left with holes in the ceiling to patch! We also need to relocate the switches closer to the bedside tables. Arrgh😈

I spy with my little eye a hole in the ceiling👿


Overall we are very happy with our Metricon experience. They delivered a beautiful, high quality house that we are so proud to call our home. Big thumbs up! 

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😄

   
   

Moving on

We met the SM this morning and begrudgingly accepted Metricon’s decision in regard to the flooring issues. Whilst they agreed to remove the trims around the kitchen and waterfall edge, they stood firm on the expansion joint in the hallway. We challenged the join as the floating floorboards in their display house – ‘Henderson 42’ in HomeWorld was laid without trims in the hallway.

The response was there had been a policy change and it’s now mandatory to install a join if the floor area spans more than 15 meters in length. This bit of info should have been clearly communicated to us but at no point during our flooring appointment were we told about it. I feel very much let down especially given all the to’ing and fro’ing over the scotia beading! Honestly I would gladly take the edge trims over the in-your-face join across the hallway any day.

As disappointing as it is to have the join, the good news is they agreed to replace the C-channels with a H-trim which should hopefully give us a much nicer finish. We are relieved to put this hiccup behind us so the SM could move forward with the rest of the final touches.

Apart from the flooring dramas, we couldn’t be any happier with the house. It still feels unreal to be so close to the end after months and months of planning, designing and stressing over every little aspect! Our Hudson is almost ours! Excitement level is running at an all time high right now! Eeeek😄

Guest powder room

  

Shower screen (with a door) in guest powder room

 

Kids bathroom


 

Kids bathroom

  

 

Ensuite – dual rail shower head still to be replaced

So where to from here?

The line up for next week looks something like this…

  • Carpet Call are committed to finishing rectification work by no later than Monday
  • The carpenters and Castlewood Kitchens are back on Tuesday to re-fit the skirting and kick boards respectively
  • Painters are coming on Wednesday for touch ups
  • Brick and house cleaners on Thursday

If everything goes to plan, the Construction Manager will be carrying out his inspection on Monday 27th July and then the QA inspection on Wednesday. We are praying they both pass the house so we can get our independent building inspector in for his final inspection. Only when all these checks have been signed off will the SM present the house to us. So as much as I have my heart set on getting keys this month, I just don’t see it happening. Your guess is as good as mine😄

If you haven’t already played, enter your handover date guess for your chance to win a copy of The Block judge Shaynna Blaze’s book.

Guess our handover date competition 

It’s not much of a Monday in Sydney. No clear blue skies to welcome in the new week. It’s wet, cold and plain miserable – just the perfect weather for sleeping in. Too bad work beckons and staying warm and toasty under the doona is not an option. To combat the Monday blues, I thought we could have a bit of fun on the blog today. I have to thank the lovely Dea from Majestic blog for this inspired post 😄

So, as the title of the post suggests I’m running our Hudson’s first ever giveaway. Guess the date Metricon hand over possession of the house to us and this little pocket of interior design genius awaits you.

  
The rules are short and simple!

Handover date is deemed the date we get keys to the house. The first person who guesses the actual date (or closest date) wins. Easy peasy!

To enter, simply submit your guess by commenting on this post.

Competition is open to Australian readers only and entries close 11:59pm AEST Monday 20th July. The winner will be announced on the blog a week after handover date.

Good luck and thanks for playing😎

#FirstWorldProblems

I drive my husband crazy sweating the small stuff. It’s very easy to lose sight of the big picture and focus on the negatives when things aren’t done to expectations. I’ve tried following hubby’s lead and gloss over the little imperfections but some things are just too important to play down! To keep the blog honest, I thought I would share our list of building dramas. Thank goodness it’s a short list!

Welcome to my first world problems😄


Floor Trims
The first one is the mother of all FWP. As I previously rambled here, we paid the hefty variation to delete all beading throughout the house so imagine my disappointment at seeing trim edging all over the kitchen floors. JM hasn’t given me an update in regard to the kitchen trims but guess what else made me see red this morning? It would appear the installer saw fit to put a join smack bang in the middle of the hallway! Pardon my French but seriously WTF👺I duly sent a “please explain” email to JM.

What’s wrong with this picture? 

Shower head
Well, my pedantic nature saved the day! By chance, Nick and I were at the house during the plumbing fitoff. I noticed straight away that the round shower heads were installed in the ensuite instead of the square ones we selected. It turned out we overlooked the typo in the colour schedule and Metricon’s reply was short and sweet, “sorry but you signed off so bad luck”! I was kicking myself for not picking up the error especially as I recall discussing it with the colour consultant. I feel slightly embarrassed to admit this but I spent hours in bed thinking back and berating myself for being so careless when I had a flash of genius. It dawned on me to cross check the product code on the colour schedule with the code on Reece’s website and ta da the code specified on the schedule in fact pertains to the square head. I felt a bit ridiculous arguing over square vs round shower head but needless to say Metricon relented and the round shower heads will be replaced ASAP.  Phew, I can sleep better now😝

Porcher Cygnet Round Dual Shower Rail

Porcher Cygnet Round Dual Shower Rail

Tap point in guest powder room
I have to thank my fellow Metricon home builder ausbuster for flagging this next FWP. We upgraded all our toilets to BTW so the tap points are hidden behind the wall cavity. For unknown reason our downstairs powder room seems to have an extra tap point near the floor next to the toilet. Neither of the upstairs bathrooms has this tap point so it baffles me why the guest powder room had been done differently. Stay tuned for JM’s response!
IMG_5955

Stairwell Painting
We chose to paint the ground floor and first floor walls a different shade of Dulux Sandy Day. Downstairs, we went full strength and upstairs we decided to go half a shade lighter. Given the stair walls are more visible upstairs, it was a no brainier to run Sandy Day Half Strength along the stairs to tie in with the rest of the first floor walls. This was clearly specified on the colour schedule so I didn’t expect any surprises at all. Hmmm, either the painters didn’t check the contract or they completely disregarded our instructions? The mind boggles!!

image

Painters hedging their bets?

One final vent…I received an email from our Metricon construction support in regard to installation of electrical meters. Apparently connection of power to the new house was not included in the contract. HUH??? How could such a critical item be left out of the contract? If I hadn’t read ausbuster’s blog post about this, I would have been blindsided by this latest news. I haven’t received the formal quote from Vaccaro but I emailed the electrical consultant to get an estimate and she advised it could cost anywhere from $500 to $1500. Not happy jan!