Monday, December 31, 2012

Metricon Cedar 32 - Frame Stage

After completion of the base stage, we were advised that there will be a 3-4 week delay on delivery of the steel frames and that we should consider doing work outside of the contract such as perimeter retaining walls. We decided against doing any work due to potential time constraints and not being sure what we really wanted. Temporary power was connected a week after base stage was completed.

Temporary Power

The steel frames finally arrived after a 4 week delay, and things started to move quite quickly after that. Our Site Supervisor (SS) decided to explore other opportunities and we were left with the Construction Manager looking after the build whilst a replacement SS was found. This didn't really impact progress.

Frames Prepared for Erection
Ground Floor Completed
After the ground floor frames were erected, the first level floor boards were delivered and installed to enable installation of the first floor frames. There was some concern around exposure of these floor boards to rain, but they are apparently delivered sealed and weather proof. We did have some rain, but there was no evidence of damage to these boards.

First Floor Progressing
The photo above shows the 6.8 x 4.0m outdoor room that we added on to the rear of the home, which we believe was a worthwhile addition.  There will be 4.8m wide bi-fold doors leading out to this room, which will open up this area and blend indoors with outdoors.

Fascias and Gutter Installation
After completion of the steel frame, fascias and gutters were installed, edge protection scaffolding was then erected around the edge of the roof to install the steel colourbond roof sections.
Upper Roof Section Completed
First Floor View of Roof
It was at this stage towards the end of October, 7 weeks after commencement, that "Frame Stage" was achieved and invoiced accordingly.  We could now see our home coming together and could clearly see the actual size of the home, both external and internal and were quite pleased with overall room sizes. We were still waiting for a new SS to be nominated and were keen to meet him to discuss some minor variations which we had considered (exhaust fans, gas, etc.) all of which will be covered in our next post.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Metricon Cedar 32 - Base Stage

Construction on our Cedar 32 commenced on 10 September 2012 with all excavation work, underground stormwater and plumbing pipework, concrete piers and slab being completed by 17 September 2012, thus meeting the first milestone commonly referred to as the "Base Stage".

Site Excavation Works
Site excavation works included scraping or cutting excess soil from the high side of the block and using this material to fill the low side of the block.  No additional fill was required as a result and only one load of unsuitable material was removed from site at additional cost.

Ready for Concrete Pour
Concrete piers have been completed and "waffle pods" with reinforced mesh have been installed in preparation for the concrete pour.  All stormwater and plumbing pipework has also been completed.

Base Stage Completed

Concrete pour has been completed and smoothed off as required.  Rebate around the edge of the slab is for the brickwork.  Quick set concrete was used, which did not require extensive curing time, although there was a 3-week delay in the delivery of steel frames.

Metricon Cedar 32 - Modified Design Timeline

Although site works commenced on 10 September 2012, we thought it worthwhile to summarise our experiences thus far and some of the key design changes we made to the standard Metricon Cedar 32.

Our discussions with the Metricon sales consultant began back in May 2011 and progressed in accordance with the following timeline:
  • June 2011 - purchased post war home in East Brisbane on 630m2;
  • June 2011 - flew down to Melbourne, Point cook display village to view the Addison design;
  • June 2011 - completed New Home Contract Forms to get the process started;
  • July 2011 - settled on the Cedar 32 design given it fitted on the 16m frontage allowing side access for caravan or boat, etc.;
  • September 2011 - demolished post war home after arranging demolition permit, capping sewer connection and abolishing power supply;
  • July - November 2011 - progressed the design process through Preliminary to Final Contract stages with the following design changes:
    • Allowances for site works and connections;
    • 5,000L steel water tank;
    • 1.5kW solar panels;
    • Garage workshop option;
    • Deleted outdoor verandah and added a 6.8 x 4.0m outdoor room to rear of house;
    • Upgraded face bricks and part rendered home.  This was changed to a full render with a feature brick on front portico piers;
    • Colourbond roofing with sarking;
    • Upgraded staircase to cantilevered wood with glass ballustrades (as per Burleigh display);
    • Included glass balustrade on first floor balcony; 
    • Added shower cubicle to powder room;
    • Made provision for tiling upgrade to porcelain - Made provision for timber flooring on first floor, which was later removed and replaced with carpet;
    • Additional electrical allowance;
    • Full insulation (walls and roof);
    • Solar hot water system;
    • Ducted airconditioning.
  • December - March 2012 - placed process "On Hold" due to personal circumstances;
  • April - September 2012 - finalised design, StudioM selections and included the following additional design changes:
    • Reconfigured island kitchen bench.  All benches upgraded to include drawers, 40mm caesarstone, 2-PAC cupboards, walkway between island bench and pantry, window splashback and owner supplied appliances;
    • Reconfigured enuite - removed bath, extended shower (double) and relocated basins;
    • Made provision for cavity sliders (doors) in study, pantry, passage to main living area and ensuite;
    • Upgraded doors (wood with glass) to powder room, laundry, linen cupboards on ground floor and at top of stairs;
    • Extended bi-fold doors to outdoor room from 3.0m to 4.8m wide by 2.4m high;
    • Added ceiling fans to all bedrooms and living areas, additional exhaust fans and extra data cabling (HDMI) with pre-wiring for sound in the outdoor/living room and intercom system;
    • All bathrooms tiled to ceiling;
    • Additional insulation to outdoor room ceiling with acoustic insulation in Powder Room and Media Room on first floor;
    • Made provision for piped bottled gas to the outdoor room (BBQ) and living room (future indoor heater).
In general, the additional major costs (indicative only) to the base price included the following:
  • Additional site costs due to slope and soil testing - $16,000
  • Rainwater tank - $5,000
  • Outdoor room and garage workshop - $19,000
  • Window height (2.4m) upgrade - $2,000
  • Aluminium bi-fold door (2.4m x 4,8m) to living room - $2,000
  • Upgraded staircase - $10,000
  • Full render - $18,500
  • Shower to Powder Room - $5,000
  • Upgraded internal doors, cavity sliders - $15,000
  • Upgraded tiling (porcelain) - $12,000
  • Upgraded electrical/data - $12,500
  • Ducted airconditioning - $14,500
  • Glass balustrade to balcony - $1,500
  • Kitchen/bathroom upgrades (2-PAC, etc.) - $8,000

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Buy or Build?

Hi to all those who are considering whether to buy or to build!

We started this process over a year ago when we decided to tender on a post war home in east Brisbane, given that we were living near the bay and wanted to move closer to the city to cut down on commuting time.

Post War Home on 630 m2
Location was important to us as we intended either selling or demolishing the existing home and building our new home in this well sought after area and wanted it to be a long term investment for us.

After being successful with the tender, we tried everything to sell this quaint home but to no avail as it had asbestos and a tiled roof, both of which did not bode well with relocation and re-stumping.

Unfortunately, our only option was to demolish the home, which we completed in July 2011.

Our relationship with Metricon started soon thereafter and we commenced investigating designs that could fit on a 16m wide block. We chose Metricon because of their quality and style of display homes and competitive pricing when comparing finishes and inclusions. We considered a number of designs both low and highset and almost settled on the Addison design, which we viewed down in Melbourne. We progressed to the Burleigh and finally chose the Cedar design with a number of changes, which I will go through in a later post.  In terms of "Buy or Build?", in our case, we've looked at a number of existing homes in east Brisbane and are still currently convinced that building with our layout and selected finishes is a better investment for us than buying something existing, even in the current market.


Steve & Allyson