Friday, 31 May 2013

Concrete Piers, Pipes, Waffle Pods and Reinforced Mesh

Yesterday, we found a whole bunch of concrete piers drilled down into the earth (they help stabilise the soil under the slab). There were also a number of pipes ̶ possibly stormwater and other plumbing ̶ sticking out of the ground.

Today, we witnessed waffle pods being installed, with reinforced mesh to soon go on the top in preparation for the concrete pour scheduled Monday next week.

Our SS believes that our site has sufficient (but not problematic) rocks to provide a good foundation, which, importantly, is suitable to employ a waffle pod slab design.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Day 2 - It's All Go & Meeting with SS

With site excavated that included scraping or cutting almost 1000 mm of excess soil from the high side of the block and using this material to fill almost 600 mm on the low side of block, it's been all go today on our site with tradies digging trenches for stormwater, sewerage and drainage.

I had a meeting with our SS, who seemed to be a good man with lots of experience, and prides on being a professional. He has a Metricon-provided car, which makes me believe he is employed almost on a permanent basis, and therefore likely to be committed. He had built a few Phoenixes before (which is reassuring) and mentioned that he likes the simplicity of the design (clean lines, no roof at odd places etc). He indicated that the build is likely to take around 32 weeks to complete, consistent with the period mentioned in the Contract. With the Christmas break coming in between, we are looking at handover possibly around February 2014, weather permitting of course.

Soil erosion and sediment barriers (that Green thingy), along with gravel driveway


Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Day 1 - Site Scraped / Cut

Yesterday, I got a call from our Site Supervisor, JC (who had built the Metricon Display House at Horsley). He mentioned that excavation is scheduled for today, followed by piering and slab pour.

An hour later, I got a call from EV at Metricon introducing herself as our Construction Support Coordinator from now until the completion of our new home, and advised me of the upcoming activities.

We made a quick trip to the site during lunchtime today and found the site nicely scraped.

We have scheduled a meeting tomorrow with our SS to discuss the way forward.

View of our Land from BackYard

Friday, 24 May 2013

T-17 Site Preparation

We accepted the final construction drawings on Tuesday 21 May 2013. The Contract states that work would commence within 20 days of all completed paperwork and approvals. To our surprise, within three days of acceptance of final drawings, we saw some action on site...Four Red pegs along with some sort of sedimentary fence? I suppose the White Pegs define our lot boundary, while the Red Pegs outline where the slab will go? Not sure…nevertheless I am happy to see progress on site….

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Final Construction Drawings Signed Off

We accepted and signed off on the final construction drawings, amended progress payment schedules and variations today.

The preliminary final drawings that were sent last week were riddled with errors, as the draftsman used our Preliminary Contract Estimate instead of the New Home Contract. I was particularly advised by a few current customers of Metricon to carefully check our final drawings as there is a history of inaccurate drawings being provided at this final pre-construction phase  ̶  clearly, Metricon must tighten up its quality assurance procedure at this critical point.

During the stage of checking the final drawings (last week), we were advised by Metricon that a laundry repositioning from one elevation to another that we requested during our Studio M appointment (for which a variation was raised) was now not allowable, due to insufficient clearance for washing machine provision and cavity sliding door architrave. Well, if it cannot be moved owing to a technicality, then we have to comply; however, this late advice has meant that there is no PowerPoint to get the washing machine connected, because we had asked at the time of Studio M appointment to place the PowerPoint on the opposite wall. Fortunately, when I raised this matter today with our Electrical Consultant, she responded straightway advising that she arranged to move the double PowerPoint to the relevant side. Phew! I can breathe now…

I also wanted to add an additional switch upstairs in Master Bedroom to trigger the light at the adjacent Leisure Room (so that we do not stumble upon when trying to reach out to our children’ room for that night–time emergencies…however, our electrical consultant advised that they cannot allow any further changes.

Can any of you share your build experiences regarding whether you were able to add, delete or move electrical points/switches once construction had begun? What worked for you and what didn't? (eg., talk to Site Supervisor at Frame stage or another stage to include few additional switches; do it post-handover by employing a private sparkie?).

Friday, 10 May 2013

Authority to Commence Construction

Yesterday, we found in our mailbox an eagerly awaited document – a letter from our financial lender advising that they have provided our builder with an Authority to Commence Construction (ACC) letter and that they may proceed with the construction of our home in accordance with the council approved plans and specifications. Yay!!!

The documents our financial lender required to release the ACC letter included a copy of stamped council/certifier approved plans, builder's contract works insurance, complete signed and dated building contract signed by all parties, and builder’s receipts for any payments made to date by us (5% deposit payment). We forwarded the last of the documents they required on Wednesday; they would have processed the file the same day itself as we got the advice on ACC letter in yesterday’s mail. That was quick!

The last piece of task is the final construction drawings, which is the only outstanding item that we need to agree on before Metricon pushes the button for site start. With our Customer Support Consultant advising that the design team is working on final drawings, I am hoping that we get to sign off on the drawings before the end of next week.

By the way, the CDC Certificate we received has a condition that we must give at least 2 days’ notice in writing of the intention to commence works to the owner or occupier of each dwelling that is situated within 20M of the lot on which the works will be carried out. If you did similar conditions on your design approval, how did you go about obtaining your neighbours’ details? Would love to hear your experiences and thoughts!

Friday, 3 May 2013

Site Cleared of Grass and Debris

Metricon asked us to provide a confirmation that our site is clear of any debris and grass. I put a job request yesterday on for lawn mowing. Within five minutes, I got a deal, and 12 hours later, the site itself was mowed.

I sent an email with a picture attachment of the cleared site to Metricon's Customer Support Consultant, who commented that she could not ask for a better clean site, while our Sales Consultant commented “Beautiful Bowling Green”.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

CDC Received

Got an email yesterday from Customer Support Consultant advising we received the Complying Development Certificate (CDC). Yay!!!!!

The Consultant advised that one more variation is expected to be raised on Basix and Hydraulics for our signature, and once that is done, our file would be submitted to the Design team for actioning the Construction Drawings.

Metricon also asked us to provide them with a statement from the bank that we have adequate funds to pay for the variations beyond the contract amount. Keen to see our file move forward, I got it organised the same day.

There is hope that we could commence construction this month!