Saturday, February 25, 2012

Day 219: It's been a slow week ... build-wise

Yep, that's right, nothing much happening here.  Well ... not to the speed that we want it to be.

Slowness' got nothing to do with my Site Manager, don't get me wrong.  He's doing the best he can to progress things as quickly as possible. I guess, building, is much like Aesop's Fable about the Tortoise and the Hare. You can go lightning fast, stop and look at the schedule, and thought you have some time to spare, then maybe rest a bit.  Or you can go slow and steady, nice and easy, and finish the job.

Anyway, much of what's happening is making things right inside - cornices, architraves, plastering, water-proofing, and cabinet installation.  Much of what's been outstanding the last time we met with our SM has been done.  Just a few doors, yet, to be hang, and the portico and under-balcony ceiling to be lined.

We check our "My Metricon" website every now and then, and as per what our SM had said in our last site meeting ...

Fixing is not yet completed, but I'm expecting to receive the Fixing Stage Completion Invoice by the end of next week.

It's going to be very hot outside today in sunny Melbourne (38degC).  Hope you all are keeping cool and sun-safe.  Have a good weekend all.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Day 210: To brick or not to brick, there is an answer ...

Thanks everyone for providing your valued feedback and comments.  It does make it a lot easier to come to a better informed conclusion once we get other people's views, especially those who've been there, as well.

So, we had our regular meeting with our SM this morning and our main topics for discussion were the following:

  1. Infills above the sliding doors in the Outdoor Room
  2. 2 pot drawers vs 3 pot drawers

Infills Above the Sliding Doors

Our SM is putting forward two (2) propositions:

  1. M to provide KDHW lining boards as infills above the sliding doors (at their cost, TBC) and credit us the difference in the contract price.  Contract is for brickwork above the Dining Room windows (done) and the sliding doors (2) in the Dining and Family Rooms (not done).
  2. M to honor the contract as-is and put on the brickwork above the sliding doors.
I was gearing towards #1, but also with the intention of getting some extras or in lieu of the credit amount, like getting the front portico/veranda to have KDHW lining boards in place of plaster.  You wouldn't guess what M have to say ...

NO.  Apparently, M would rather wear the extra cost of sticking to what's in the contract, if it's their fault, than allow for more (in-lieu) variations other than what they need to fix.  I see.  But let me re-think Option #1 again ...

If we put stained KDHW lining boards (like the Outdoor Room ceiling) as infills above the sliding doors, it would really look aesthetically nice. Check.

Maybe we can have those beams stained (like the timber lining boards, and doors), instead of painted like our weatherboard cladding.

But the other exposed beams do not have timber lining boards, they are painted (same colour as our weatherboard cladding - Time Capsule).  Would it look ok if the beam above the sliding doors have stained timber lining boards and the others are painted "creamy brown"?  Maybe not.  Cross.

Can we have the other beams to have timber lining boards, too? No.  See M's stance above. Cross.

So, instead of crediting us the money, can we have the front portico/veranda ceiling lined with timber lining boards (in lieu of plaster)? No.  See M's stance above.  Cross.

Looks like Option #2 to me - brickwork above sliding doors.  Need to discuss further with the more significant half :)

2 Pot Drawers versus 3 Pot Drawers

Our contract says "Provide (3no) bank of 2 pot drawers to Kitchen internal elevation D in lieu of (3no) bank of 3 pot drawers".

We got 3 banks of 3 pot drawers.  Would have been ok if some of our pots (22cm+ in height) would fit.  We asked M to replace them.  But we thought we would ask, as well, that to reduce their additional cost of replacing the drawers - retain 1 bank as 3 pot drawers (as-is) and replace the other 2 banks with variation (bank of 1 x drawer + 2 x pot drawers).  Variation cost to us.  Most likely answer from M ... NO.

Ok. So be it.  Our SM told us that they can retain 1 bank of 3 pot drawers (under the appliance tower) and replace the other 2 banks with 2 pot drawers each as per the contract variation.  At no extra cost to us.

Have a good weekend all.

[Update: 12-March-2012 by Jon_and_Ron]

After much deliberation and more for aesthetic reasons, we've decided to forego the brick infills above the sliding doors and opt for the KDHW timber lining, instead.  We're told that we'll be credited the difference in contract price, but I haven't seen the "no cost variation", yet.

Here's how it now looks ...

KDHW timber linings above the timber stacker doors.  This will be stained the same  as the timber-lined ceiling.

The Outdoor Room beams will also be stained (not painted) to provide some uniformity.  If our SM  didn't agree with staining the external beams, we would have opted for the brick infills, instead.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Day 208: To Brick or Not To Brick, can you help us decide?

Day 208 on the build journey, something was overlooked when the bricks were being laid and all because it wasn't obvious or even visible on the construction drawings.

Stated quite clearly in our contract is the provision of brickwork above the Family Room sliding door and Dining Room windows and sliding door in lieu of the standard (painted cement sheet).  Unfortunately, this is not quite clear on the construction drawings ...

Although, there was a note on the plans to "provide brickwork above external windows & doors & garage door opening" ...

The question is would you consider the sliding doors in the Outdoor Room as "external doors"?  Clearly not, as M3tr!c0n failed to provide the brickwork above the sliding doors ...

I do have a choice.  Should I then ...

  1. enforce what's stated in the contract, or 
  2. should I let it go and ask Metricon to credit us the amount we paid for the brick infills, or
  3. ask Metricon to provide stained KDHW lining boards in lieu of painted cement sheets, AND (as I paid an extra 1K for the brick infills) get M to provide additional stained KDHW lining boards for the ceiling of our front portico/verandah, or
  4. {fill in the blanks, your advice here}
To brick or not to brick.  What do you folks think?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Day 202: More progress and ... some quandary

Only two days after my last post, I wouldn't have thought much that there would be some activity inside the house other than more plastering ... and maybe the cornices.  We were expecting the stairs to be installed this week, although, I do remember our SM telling us that it will be Thursday.  Ah, that would be tomorrow, we're hoping.  But something was very obvious as I passed by the house again tonight.

Our front portico has got a lid, or in technical terms ... a cantilevered flat roof under construction.

But wait ... there's more ... let's go around the side of the house, shall we ...

Monday, February 6, 2012

DAY 200: How are we doing with our build?

It's been 200 days from site start today.  Big milestone! Woohooo!!! Really?!?!

So, how are we doing with our build after 200 days?  Are we there, yet?  Are we getting close?
Let MyMetricon provide the answer and you provide some conclusion ...

Not looking that flash on the FIXING stage, are we?

I'm really hoping that plastering will be completed tomorrow, but without the stairs (due to start this week), it won't happen.

*** Please note that none of the above that have been scheduled for completion have actually started "due to varying circumstances".

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Day 198: We got (not plastered)!

Finally, we got some real progress in our home build.  It's been a long time coming, but we sure were excited when we finally got to see plasterboards (or gyprock, or drywall, or wallboard or whatchamacallit) covering the frames, studs, wirings, noggins and insulation inside the house.  Now we can see how the inside of the house is all coming together.  Pretty hard to imagine how it's all going to look like if it were just frames and insulation.  Without any local display home to keep the image fresh, we have to rely heavily on our imagination coupled with the plans and the photos we took when we went to see the display in ... believe us ... in Kellyville Ridge, NSW (a long time ago, just as we're about to start the build process).

We took a lot of photos (that's how excited I was), I mean a lot.  I love photography, have it as a hobby or a past time, but it's getting kinda weird when I knocked myself out taking photos of walls and windows and ceilings and rooms and walls and more walls and more walls again ... c'mon, how many shots do I need to take for an empty room, freshly plastered, bare flooring, dusty and ...

I'll spare you the agony, my excuse is I took a lot of shots (again, I mean, a lot of shots) to show my wife how it  is progressing ... as if she's there.  Thinking about it now ... I should have taken a video, instead.

Following are some pics on how things are on Day 198 of our build.  Next time ... stairs, cabinets, and maybe some tiling ... we'll see.

Warning: There are more than 10 or 20 pictures here!!!  Don't tell me I didn't warn you.