Saturday, 20 September 2014

Landscaping...nearly there!

We have had our ups and downs with the landscaping and now we are nearly there.  Yes we are now only a couple of weeks away before finishing off our backyard.  It's only taken us oh say 10 months!  

If you read back on some of my posts I had been looking for landscapers well before we got the keys to our house.  In fact I was hoping that the landscaper we chose would work on the house even before we got the keys, but that was not to happen. That said we are now working with another landscaper who provided us with a great timeline as to when he would start the job and finish the job.  Which is something I suggest you get in writing on your quote.

Good landscapers are hard to come by and from what we learned are always taking on new business - great for them - not so for you when all you want is a front yard and a driveway so that you don't keep bringing dirt into the house. 

Having a timeline in place allows both you and the landscaper to know when things need to be finished and also helps you to budget efficiently.

That said we now have a great front yard and we are just finalising paving in the backyard.  We also recently put up some decorative screens from QAQ Decorative & Privacy Screens (www.qaqscreens).  They are just awesome.  They really to make a great backdrop to my kitchen window and pantry windows.

 Below are some pics of the landscaping so far.  Feel free to post questions if you need more info on plants or landscaping...

The start of our front yard

Getting ready for pavers

All coming together

Plants, Mulch and grass on its way

Pavers in and waiting on the instant grass

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Nearly 2 Years On...

It has been nearly 2 years since I started this blog.  So that would mean just under 2 years ago we signed our lives away and began the journey of building a new home.

We have definitely come a long way since then.

The most reoccurring questions I keep getting from everyone is "Would you build again with Metricon?" & "Were they (Metricon) any good?"

Since we have moved in (just over 6 months ago) we have had a few dramas (to say the least). A leaking water pipe and reoccurring cabinetry issues.

Let's face it Metricon is a high volume builder and as they claim No.1 as well. So even if they promise that everything is of good/high quality they can't promise that the tradesmen that they use will be too.

Once you have your 3 month inspection all your concerns are lodged and the appropriate tradespeople return to fix everything.

I lost a lot of personal time waiting around for tradesmen to come and fix things around the house.  Some were great and quick.  All arrived on time and if they didn't our Service and Warranty Manager @ Metricon would follow it up and make it happen at a convenient time for us.  That was great service.  Although I probably wouldn't have needed this service if a little more attention to detail was made before handover by the Builder (our Site Manager and the tradesmen who contract for Metricon.

So back to the questions....yes I would probably build with them again.  Yes their service was great...but they really need to work more closely with the contractors they use. Hopefully the complaints that we have made to Metricon about some of the contractors used at our build have been heard and noted.  

So where to now?  We are still working through our landscaping.  With the colder weather settling in it has been a little hard to get anything done.  Thought I would add some pics for inspiration.

Backyard decking...I think we may need a pool?

Decking and concrete - ready for paving

Aggregate glad we did this...

Our shed

Finally we have a drive-way and cross-over - no more dust in the house

Sunday, 5 January 2014

1.5 Months In......

Yes it has been a while since my last post.

As you can imagine getting the keys to a new house is pretty daunting.  So much to organise.  Insurance, change of address, moving, and buying new furniture!  Put in Christmas and New Year and here we are!

We are beginning to settle in to our new house.  The kids are loving the space and having their own rooms.  Finally we have an ensuite.  It was worth the 10 year wait!

There have been a few hiccups since we moved in.  Luckily we have our Site Supervisor who still looks after us one month in.  He was great.  Very accommodating and made sure all the tradies who came to the house after we moved in fitted into my schedule not theirs!

With Christmas and New Year so close to our move there have a been a couple of issues with tradies.  Obviously everything closes up for the holidays so we are still waiting on some urgent things to be fixed.  This I can tell you is very frustrating! I am hoping in the coming days we will get some responses back from Metricon and the tradesman in question. 

In saying that any small issues/defects we find in the house we need to note them down and then in 3 months (since receiving the keys), Metricon will do a walk through to note down any issues.  Let me tell you that the list is long! 

That's not to say we are not happy with the end result.  In fact the overall building process with Metricon has been good.  Bar a few small hiccups here and there our Site Supervisor and Service Coordinator were fantastic.  Always there to help.

Now that we are in the house we have started to focus our attention on landscaping.  After much searching we settled on Ben from Daviscapes.  You may have seen his work or heard of his name as there are a few blogs out there that are or have used him.

We found him to be very approachable, honest and helpful.  In saying that he is also very busy so we are waiting patiently for the job to begin.  My fingers are crossed that he starts our decking next week.  We would love to have our daughter's birthday in Feb here at the house so I can only hope that it all comes together by then.

I promise to keep up with my posts.  Especially the landscaping as I have noticed not many build blogs go passed the "Got the Keys" post!  I think it is important to show the full watch this space!

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Day 240 - We have Keys!

We are very excited to announce after 235 days since we started building we received the keys to our dream home.

Such an exhausting day filled with lots of emotion. But so worth it.

We walked through the house with our Site Supervisor and most of the imperfections we found during our last walk through had been fixed. There were still a few things that were not finished, such as;

1. No ducted vacuum unit. Apparently the unit is always installed after handover as it is one thing tradies like to steal! 

(I think Metricon need to install security cameras on all their sites!)

2. Some of the walk in robe doors needed to be changed completely. Could have been done before settlement however they needed to wait on materials to be delivered!

I guess they were the two main things. This didn't stop handover though. As exciting as it was to get the keys I really thought we should have waited until all of these things had been completed. Reason being is now I have to organise times to be at home so that these things can be installed and fixed. Very annoying as I just don't have the time to sit around and wait for tradies to come....and we all know how that works!!

Our Site Supervisor has been fantastic. In fact he has helped me coordinate some of these tradies and has forced them to fit into my schedule. 

Not sure how other big volume builders work however our Site Supervisor is still looking after us for another month. So if there are any issues we can still call him to get things fixed which is very reassuring considering we have already noticed a few issues since getting the keys.

After three months Metricon will come and see us and check in on any issues we have had. Hopefully there will be no major issues, but again good to know that they will check the house.

I have a busy week ahead with curtains being installed during the week as well as more tradies coming to fix a few things at the house.  

Looking forward to settling in the house with the kids.  They are really excited to have their on rooms and space. After living on top of each other for the last few years it will be a big change for all of us.

Kids bathroom


Dining room - love those windows!

Kid's entertainment/living area

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Day 226 - 1 Week Till Handover

Sorry for not updating you earlier, but things have been manic....especially with getting things organised for the house.

We had our final walk through last week. In the lead up to the walk through I read heaps of blogs about running through that all important last walk through before handover. 

So many things to take in. The one thing that seemed to come up a lot was to keep a running list of all the imperfections that you notice. Not just during the walk through but from Day 1. Also make sure you run through your plans and ensure that all those variations you made along the way have been adhered to. Especially any electrical or plumbing issues.

Before our walk through began our SS told us that he had walked through the house with a Metricon Area Manager and they had already picked up some small issues. 

Lucky for us we had our on private building inspector run through the house whilst we were there doing our final inspection. What we didn't pick up he did!! Let's just say that we would have had leaking toilets if our private inspector hadn't double checked the toilets after we did. 

This was not Metricon's fault though. Our SS told us that at the end of many builds there are some "tradies" that think it is ok to steal small parts and screws from the house. So between our SS surveying the house and us doing the walk through someone came through our house with "sticky fingers". 

Our walk through took 3hrs. A lot longer than I had planned. We just wanted it to be thorough. One of the things I liked about our SS taking us through was that he didn't really down play any of the issues we found. He was honest and made sure that everything we queried would be looked into. 

Obviously we will need to wait for handover to ensure that everything is sorted, but I do have faith that he will get the job done right.

With the handover creeping up on us we are yet to finalise all our white goods and I feel a little rushed. I guess the build had been so long in he making that now that we are finally here it just doesn't seem real!!

Like many other Metricon blogs I have read we also have heaps of purple (not red) dots around the house. I took heaps of photos to make sure I remembered where they all were!!

Metricon also provided us with a list of the issues we had. At handover we will walk through them all and make sure everything has been taken care of.

Looking forward to updating you next week after handover.