Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Front retaining wall

Later last week we had our retaining wall installed. Which we agree look great with the sandstone effect look. It definitely adds to the look of the house.

The contractor spent 3 days on site a half of that was raining. First day was rough excavation and post drilling, the second day was erecting posts and pouring the concrete footings. The third day was laying the sleepers and backfilling the wall.

After I came home I saw the wall from the front and was pleasantly impressed, then as I walked to the door I looked behind the wall and it looked quite ordinary with the lack of back fill. The contractor left us his number if we chose to have him back for backfilling, as long as we supplied the backfill. I asked the contractor to come back when he had time to finish it off, and I asked him how much back fill he thought I needed. He told me 5cum. So I ordered as much and it arrived the morning he was due back, the amount looked too small so I ended up ordering another load. 10cum in total, and it was lucky I did. The final result ended up being just enough to reach the tope sleeper, but uncompressed. So it will be interesting how much the soil compresses after some rain, and how the level will drop. I am not too worried at the moment as I will be turfing this later and there will be top soil laid before the turf which will add abit bit more to the soil level.

As you can see from the photos our driveway has not been done, but nothing is stopping it now from going in, apart from a job that the concreter has to finish before he attends to mine. So far he's scheduled to start Wednesday but with this Brisbane weather, it's not looking good for a start this week, with the chances of storms and rain. I was really looking forward to driving into our garage for the first time next week, to keep the car out of the sun. We've been parking the vehicles on the driveway provided for us from the developer so it's been ok apart from the gravel and road base we have to trip over when going to the front door.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Move in Progress

A bit over two weeks in the house and alot has changed.

The arrival of all our furniture, even with the added drama.

First came the coffee table and the sofa's for the living room from Nick Scali. The Dining table was also supposed to arrive but was told that the one that arrive had a defect in it, so they would try to get a replacement for next week. So we ended up having the dining chairs with no table.

 Coffee Table (we bought clear vinyl cover to protect it from the kids)
 This is the 3 seater sofa
 Then the 2 seater
 The Dining table and seats which came later, also with a clear cover for protection
On the weekend Plush delivered our lounge suites. The big one is a modular set, can you believe they only delivered the chaise, and the other section was left out. They ended up delivering first thing Monday morning. Which was great.

I got to finish off the vegetable garden and put up the clothesline.
I managed to convert the dead space between the boundary fence and the retaining wall into a vegetable garden. I took some soil from out back, and filled it level and added top soil above the clay fill. Now to plant something.

The glass panels arrived also, now these will be installed this week, thus finishing off the acoustic treatment of the house. I can have this cleared for final certification now.
This week is the beginning of the front landscaping. We will have the front retaining wall up and I was advised a week later for the driveway. This is in order for the concrete to cure enough to develop strength to take mechanical backfilling to build up the sections for the driveway edge. I think I might call the turf mob to come in and do some laying while the extents of the concreting is boxed out.

A tip for those close to handover

It seems each build has it's own dilemma's, I thought I'd heard them all reading all the blogs about building home whether it be Metricon or not.

Well into the first week of living inside our new home, we found that the ensuite bathroom drain wasn't draining too well. I picked it up on the 4th day while I was having my morning shower. I mentioned it to my wife and she also confirmed she had the same problem the night before.

So with tools in hand I thought I'd investigate. I lifted up our smart tile waste drain, very easy to remove. I believe the chrome waste drains you need to unscrew to remove, so I peeked into the drain after leaving for an hour so the water would subside. In the darkness I notices something that looked like a plastic bag, there wasn't one but two. So I grabbed the crow bar as it was the only stick I had that was long enough to get down, tried repeatedly to grab hold of what ever it was and as itcame to the surface on the end of the crow bar, I'm thinking "what the heck?"

A balloon, not one but I was able to remove the second one later on. Then I realised that they used these balloons to test the waterproofing when they do the wet areas. The person who popped the balloons left it and disposed of it into the shower drain. It could have ended up being a bigger problem if it had washed away into the storm water and snagged onto something else and clogged the system.

So something to be weary about. I will be complaining about this to the construction manager. Who seems to to be calling more often that my Site Supervisor ever did.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Damn this microwave

Well this microwave is really getting on my nerves, not only the sticky door which seems to open  as it pleases, but I really hate programming any times over 3mins into the microwave. Apparently if I want to program a cook for 5mins, I have to select microwave power 100%, then count down the timer from 60 down to 5.

Why can't we have a microwave with the numerical buttons like normal. I'm sure I'm not the only one that doesn't like this feature. Still yet to use the oven and dishwasher. Don't know if they have any issues yet.

Apparently no one wants to be responsible for the hotwater service. Looks like we will end up paying the bill, and it wasn't even our fault. They are blaming each other. There goes $110 for nothing.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I feel a rant coming on

Moved in over a week ago, all in all have been happy with the result. Only a few niggling things to complain about, and for others who are nearing completion to check before handover.

1. HotWater System. It's been a persisting problem since we moved in. The instantaneous hot water system from Rheem doesn't seem to cut it for us. We don't have overly hot showers, although my wife seems to like it cooler than I do. If you tend to like your showers a little on the cooler side, then you might have this problem. If the mixer lever is left halfway between hot and cold, it will come out at the a good temperature and halfway during your shower the temperature will cut to cold only. I have queried it with Metricon and Rheem. The sent a service guy around, and says there was no problem with the system, and even said that the builders contractors didn't set the gas correctly, so in turn charged me for it, and I am going to pass the charge onto Metricon. The problem was diagnosed as being a flow issue, if you don't open the hot enough, than the sensor doesn't think you are using enough and will cut out. So now we've had to take slightly hotter (even though we don't like it) showers. The kiddies complain that the baths are too hot also. The Rheem guy seems to think his product is not that good, quite funny to think he doesn't endorse his own product, but I guess he only works for them.

2. Microwave: It's been a constant problem from the beginning, the door to the microwave has issues. It's requires a significant amount of effort to open the door. It's almost like it's sticky. Even the button doesn't seem to be functioning all that well. I tried ringing the service people, they asked me if I have registered the warantee, I said no, as I have no internet and no phone. I was a bit reluctant to stay on hold for hours on ends even though I am calling a free call number from a mobile, as I believe it's still charge at call rates. so being put on hold for so long I gave up. Now that I have internet I will register online and call again tomorrow. When I register the warantee it asks for a serial number. I can find it. Nor can I find the model and serial for the gas cooker. Anyone have any tips?

3. Laundry cabinet: After calling my SS after handover to ask about the hole in my cabinet not being there for the washer, he didn't answer my call so I left a message. He didn't answer, so I coudn't be bothered waiting so I went to buy my own hole-saw cutter and did it myself. Then the courtesy calls came from the construction manager and support team, I told them about leaving a message with my SS and not returning my calls. He calls me straight back and I address the problem, and he says they can not cut a hole for some stupid reason. I'm sure there are some of you that have had it done prior to handover with no problems. I don't know what his problem is.

4. Duce bifold doors. On the bottom latches for the bi-fold doors, I notice a hole to place a key in to lock doors if needed. So I rang up Metricon asking if there is one, as I wasn't given any keys for this at handover. It turns out that they do requires keys, and my SS said he had given me the keys. I have proof he didn't as my blog post for handover shows all the keys given. Apparently they are golden in colour, so upon checking I did not receive these keys. Please check guys that you are given your bi-fold door keys on handover. My SS keeps promising me he will drop them off to me, to this day he still hasn't it's been a week.

They are all the problems I seem to be having at this stage. If I remember any more I will advise you readers.