Goodbye 2014, Hello 2015!

Happy New Year everyone!

IMG_4689.JPG
If 2014 was the year of planning and designing the dream home, 2015 is the year that we finally get to see that vision come to fruition. It’s so damn exciting to know that sometime in the not so distant future we will be living and making memories in our new home sweet home. What a truly privileged position to be in!

We ended the year on a high with my Christmas wish for a slab coming true a week before the industry shutdown. The experts on Homeone forum tell me the slab should reach a minimum 75% of the design strength after 7 days and reach full strength after 28 days. Before the break, our site manager told us that he was planning for framing to start next Monday 12 Jan, exactly 28 days after the slab pour. What perfect timing! We haven’t heard back from him so fingers and toes crossed that we see some framing action as planned.

It’s early days but at this point, we are hoping for an end of June handover date. In an ideal world, Metricon should complete the house within the 32 week contract timeframe so we should get keys no later than 8th July. Let’s hope they deliver on time if not beforešŸ˜„

6 months from this…
IMG_4488.JPG
To this …

Piece of cakešŸ˜œ

As an aside the blog has clocked over 16,000 page views. Seems like not so long ago when we hit the 10,000 milestone so it looks like the blog is getting more traffic from here and afar. It never ceases to amaze me when I notice a new reader from an exotic country like Sudan, Brunei and Saudi Arabia pop up in my stats feed. Thank you all for dropping by for a visit and supporting the blog. I look forward to sharing the building journey with you!

IMG_4693.PNG

Wishing you all a wonderful new year!

Independent Building Inspections

image

Houspect Inspections

Building a new house is undoubtedly a huge financial undertaking. It’s a commitment not for the faint hearted, and suchĀ 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 atĀ critical stages and to identify defective workmanship or incomplete works. The cost of a stage inspection range fromĀ as little as $300 up to $700. After recommendation from fellow builders, we hired HouspectĀ to carry outĀ 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 theĀ 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…

Slabbed

Well, I got my Christmas wishĀ today…our beautifulĀ brand spanking new shiny slab was poured this morning! Woo friggin hoo!!

Be warned..pics overload coming up šŸ™‚

I’ve scheduled theĀ slab inspection with our independent building inspector on Wednesday to check the workmanship but to my untrained eye, the slab looks gorgeous and ginormous. I still can’t believe that we are on our way to building our Hudson.Ā Woo friggin hoo!!!Ā Super exciting!

Rain rain go away

Just our luck the minute we switched over to construction mode, the weather gods decided to unleash a barrage of rain, lightning and thunderstorms on Sydney. Boohoo!!!

Images courtesy of The Daily Telegraph

Images courtesy of The Daily Telegraph

Despite the less than ideal weather, we have been excited and pleasantly surprised by the progress of site works completed on the block so far. We met the SM today and if first impressions count, then we have every confidence that he will deliver us an amazing house. We had a productive meeting and he gave us a rundown of what’s on the cards this side of Christmas.

  • Installation of waffle pods complete
  • Installation of steel reinforcement almost complete
  • Slab pour due either on Saturday 13/12 or Monday 15/12 (weather permitting)
  • Removal of excess spoil booked for next week

He also checked the setbacks and I’m happy to report that both front and rear setbacks are as per plans. At this very early stage and with the Christmas shutdown looming, our handover date looks to be end of June 2015. He had his trusty iPad on hand and he showed us the schedule of work to complete the new house and it’s about 3 pages long! Scary but seemed quietly optimistic that he could get us in well before then. Sometime in May would be a perfect birthday present! Now all we need is for this friggin rain to go away. Here’s hoping!

Steel reinforcement

Steel reinforcement installation 11.12.14

image

image

Perimeter boxing complete 12.12.14

All about the base

Where has the year gone? With all the months of idle waiting, it suddenly feels like this year has been a blur. Crazy I know but I feel like Christmas has snuck up on me and I’m scrambling to get all Christmassy.

Last Saturday after taking the kids to a Christmas party, we drove down to the block to check the work that the SM had promised to be carried out. True to his word, the cconcrete pieringsĀ and formwork had started. Yay!

image

Concrete piering and formwork started

 

Formwork 6.12.14

Formwork 6.12.14

Plumbing rough in 9.12.14

Plumbing rough in 9.12.14

From where we stood at street level, the siting of the formwork didn’t look right to us. We have a not-too-shabby 13.7m rear setback but from the naked eye the distance between the back fence and the border of the formwork looked well short of the required distance.

Siting Diagram

Siting Diagram

So, I spoke to the SM about our concern and he reassured me that all the site works carried out so far are according to the final construction plans. Ā To put our minds at ease, he also offered to meet us on site for our first walkthrough. This offering was well timed as I must admit to feeling slightly annoyed that he hadn’t called to tell us that site works were starting. It will be good to put a face to the guyĀ in charge of building our dream home and we intend to pick his brain about what to expect before the Christmas shutdown.

Oh and the waffle pods have been delivered ready to do their thing! Countdown is on for the slab pour. Woohoo!!!

Waffle pods 9.12.14

Waffle pods 9.12.14