Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Sitting on our blogging hands!

The old adage “if you cant say something nice… then don’t say anything at all” has certainly been applied by Cam and I of late, with regards to blogging about our build. We did really want to update you all on what has been going on but the thought of writing it all down and reliving it again was too stressful in the middle of the silly season.

So here we are… it has been 2 weeks since we last blogged about the house and it is still very much a ‘brickwork in progress’. The relationship we have had with the “SS”/CM (inverted commas because he really has been a site supervisor in name only) has deteriorated and we have really been tearing our hair out.  He will revert back to our CM once the new SS starts, so unfortunately will need to deal with him further at some point.

Less than satisfied, we engaged the services of an Independent Inspector to run his eye over the build and here are some of the key things that he found.

  • Substandard wrap used underneath the bricks with no reference to Australian Standards (and wafer thin to boot!) Apparently all M builds are now using this cheap wrap with no Metricon branding and the company responsible will provide us with a compliance certificate for sustainability purposes at hand over. Little comfort at that point in time as if there is an issue - what can be done once built.  For all the sections that are ripped, shredded and pieced together by gaffer tape, the “SS” said he would get someone to fix it!??

  • Waste plumbing for powder room toilet does not line up and drainage is restricted. Not sure how this will be fixed yet. The 'acting SS' said he didn’t know the plumbing code and would get the plumber to fix it at some stage (what bollocks!).  Doesnt know the plumbing code.... how can he supervise the plumbing side of things of our build then.... further, he is ment to be a CM.  Offers little comfort to the customers of M.

    • The framework for one of the front portico piers (holding up the balcony) is sitting about 20cm under the ground, meaning the frame will rot over time. This particular issue the Inspector took photos of to put into his ‘idiots’ book! Our 'acting SS' wasn't to worried about it initially saying its how its done. However our inspectors report quoted Australian Building Standards (with sub-sections etc) so the SS will now fix it.  This will be fixed by propping up the frame and building a brick pier underneath on a timber plate.

    These are really just the tip of the iceberg. The wrong bath taps (ie Hot and Cold rather than mixer) were plumbed into the bathroom and Ensuite. There are windows/doors galore that are damaged.  The powder room windows are off centre so to fix the problem extra battens have been placed on one side to centre he windows - results in us losing some space on one side of the room. We are paying for a full room right...

    Then there are issues the bricks. The first batch of bricks delivered were mostly good with one pallet of bricks of a questionable lighter colour. No problem there, the brickies were cluey enough to use them on areas to be rendered. However the second batch of bricks warranted a second visit from the Selkirk brick rep who confirmed that because this delivery were of variable colour, height, length and depth, that they would need to be double-handled by the brickies. SOooooo to cut a long story mid-length… the wonderful brickies are still working on our house even though they should have finished it AGES ago because they are sorting out bricks as they lay them. Thank god we’re not footing the bill for that one!

    Anyways… we are sooo happy with the work that they have done and the quality of the bricklaying! Cam went up to see them on their last day to leave them a slab of cold beers and judging by how much more has been done they obviously did another 3 hours plus of work (taking them to well over 5pm on Fri 23rd Dec). How good is that!

    The Brickies idea of funny... it says "Nah, we want to keep this one, © owners"

    Garage walls

    Other garage wall

    Rumpus and Outdoor Room (glad we upgraded to the brick infills as it looks soooo much better!)

    Outdoor Room loveliness!

    Where the Jetmaster will be going... the firebox!

    Our actual front door... its over 1m wide... massive!

    The beginnings of the front portico piers, i love how the piers run in different directions!

    Portico from another angle
    They will be back on the mortar on Tues 3rd Jan to brick the rest of the upstairs part and finish off the portico. Interesting to see what wrap their use for the upstairs.  Then it is over to the cladding guys to do their thing. The plaster is to be delivered on 16th Jan so Cam is busy getting all the data, speaker wiring organised as we speak! If anyone has any advice on CAT 6 or speaker wiring please leave us a comment…  The general speaker / data wiring had been cleared with our original SS, so nothing untoward there.  If you are doing anything at all on site - you must clear it with your SS. 

    And finally….. HURRAY! Our new SS starts in the Central Area on Monday 9th January. We CANNOT WAIT!!!!

    It can only get better from here….



    1. Hi Cam & Kirsten, some of that is scary to read. We have just demolished (with Jim) and hopefully M will start in the new year. What company did you use for Independent Inspections? Certainly sounds like a must. With regards to CAT6 are you supplying and installing your own?
      BTW, which council are you with? We're in Bayside.
      Aside from the hiccups, the house pics are great. Look forward to seeing more.

    2. Hi Ali, thanks for commenting. We'd love to follow your blog too so comment again with the link and we'll add it to out blog roll. Good to hear that you used Jim to demolish your house. We used him on recommendation from a friend of ours and were really pleased with his work. We are in Boroondara Council and so far they have been excellent! (touch wood) . Independent inspection a company called Checkpoint I think. I'll comment again if that's not right. The inspector/owner was Rob and he was recommended to us by our previous SS. We will have another inspection done after waterproofing as apparently that is a stage where lots of things can go wrong esp. with the fall of tiled shower bases. It was $350 well spent! Re: the cat 6, we have very little requirement for it (only a few lines) so Cam and his Dad (who is a sparky) will run this before plaster. Good luck with your build and we look forward to hearing more about it!

    3. It's disappointing that your previous SS didn't call out the framers for putting the portico frame on dirt, let alone the framers themselves not bringing it to the SS attention he needed to get concreters back to lay an extra footing! One of those 'someone else's problem' scenarios that you hope you don't get in your build. Sigh :(

      How does the plumbing waste get installed like that?! Has it been cut too short after slab and then a new join put on top off centre? I haven't checked our drains...when we get back to Melbourne I'm thinking of running a bucket of water down each to check for blockages! I've heard of other people with concrete rubble down there and pipes blocking up when they move in. Ah, the joy of building! Who said old houses have all the problems?!

      Your brickies are champs. Like you, we had great bricklayers but are less than pleased with the brick manufacturer - the colour variation in our batches wasn't consistent and so there's only patches of bricks that look as per the display and other houses we have seen.

      Good luck Cam with the cabling, hope it's not too hot when you do the work!


    4. Sorry to hear of these problems. Unfortunately, it seems you had better get used to it because there will be plenty more when building a project home. We have come across so many, most of which I haven't blogged about because (i) there are too many mistakes to write about all of them and (ii) like you if I had nothing nice to say, I tried to say nothing at all.

      Hopefully the new year will bring better news for us all long-suffering customers!

    5. Hi Cam n Kristen, me n my husband has been following your blog for a while. Thank you so much for sharing the information and photo. I just put what you wrote about the sub standard wrap in the Metricon's facebook wall. Hopefully somebody response.

    6. Hi Sandra, I looked on their Facebook page but couldn't see any post about wrap? Do you have a blog that we can follow along with?

    7. Hi Cam,

      If you've got an iPhone, I found this really useful in noting the location of all wall backplates later. If your plasterer is like ours and doesn't pull the cables through it will be essential.

      kinda handy for me too as I can only fit off wallplates as i need them.

      Good luck! And bring 2 step ladders!



    8. Hi Kirsten, we haven't started any blog yet (not sure hubbie wants to). Basically the answer was they could not answer on individual case, and suggested us to raise the concern to our Sales :(. We haven't even get our preminilary contract yet. Hopefull your build going smoothly from now on with the new SS! Sandra

    9. Hi Kirsten,

      I have been following your blog for a while. Great posts, thank you for the wealth of information.

      Can i ask what happened eventually regarding waste plumbing in your Powder Room that did not line up? We have exactly the same problem as the one you had. Can you advise where i can get the plumbing code? I have not raised this with our SS yet; but I thought I would check with you first.


      Waste plumbing for powder room toilet does not line up and drainage is restricted

      1. Hi Venkat,

        We used an independent inspector to assist us with this problem. The breach in question was in "part 4.64.3 of AS3500.5:200 which states that the connection of a stack to a drain or graded pipe shall have bends at the base of the stack of size not smaller than the graded discharge pipe or offset"

        Its pretty complicated. In short, its not acceptable and if you dont get a prompt resolution with your SS, stand firm, dont accept it and get an independent inspection done before paying anymore money!

        Good luck!


    We love to hear your thoughts or answer your questions...