We are missing out on land – our fences are out of whack!

27 01 2012

We have received our title re-establishment survey and it seems the fences are out of whack – they are not on the boundary of the title.  As a result we are missing out on some land. As you can see from the image, the dark black line is the land title boundaries and the dashed red line is where the fence is currently placed (not to scale).

Title re-establishment survey

The back fence is about 21cm at one end and 18cm at the other end short of the boundary.  This may not sound like a lot, but spread over the entire length of the back fence of 16.29m this is about 2.93m2 of land we are missing out on (0.18m x 16.29m = 2.93 m2). This equivalent to a small room and equates to $’000s worth of land!!!!!

No wonder builders do a title re-establishment survey to ensure they build the house on the correct side of the property – you don’t want to build on your neighbour’s property.  This is especially true for the side boundaries where some houses have the garage wall very close to the title boundaries (you are talking centimeters).

The side fences are also out of whack, but only slightly.  The side fences are in bad condition and we will definitely get them replaced and ensure they are put in the right spot. But the back fence is not that old so it’s probably not worth the expense to move it at this stage – we will get it put in the right spot next time we need to replace them.

Sometimes it pays to get a Title Re-establishment survey done to ensure the fence is erected at the correct location.





Finally a Nolan display home with Plantation facade to visit

22 01 2012

Metricon Nolan 50 with Plantation Facade

Today we took a drive out to Greenvale to visit the new Metricon display centre at the Greenvale Providence Estate on Dellamore Boulevard.  This display was only recently opened (after Christmas) and has the Nolan 50 with the Plantation facade.  It is one of the rare displays with a double story house with a Plantation facade so it was only natural for us to take an interest in visiting the display.

We were really excited to visit this display as it is the first plantation facade of this style that we have been through. It gave us a chance to get a feel for what the views would be like with the pillars at the front.  We also enjoyed sitting on the balcony imagining what it would be like to sit out on our balcony relaxing in a comfy chair.  It also had the larger outdoor room which helped us confirm that we didn’t want to just settle with the standard outdoor room size.

Bedroom with highlight window

 

On our preliminary plans that we received earlier in the week we noticed that many of the upstairs windows had obscure glass to meet overlooking regulations. This means that the windows will be translucent or opaque and as a result when looking out of the windows we will not have a clear view.  Obscure windows are common for bathroom windows so you get privacy and a solution to meeting building regulations regarding windows overlooking neighbour’s habitable windows (again for privacy). We are not happy with having obscure glass for our windows. We want to be able to look out the windows and at least see the colour of the sky. While we were at the display home today we paid particular attention to the layout of the windows and noticed that none of the rooms upstairs had obscure glass windows.  What they had instead were highlight windows which are higher off the ground and more importantly have clear glass. This solves the overlooking problem while still allowing you to see outside.

Visiting the display home has given us some good ideas. We are going to work with Metricon to re-position some of the windows and implement highlight windows so that we can avoid obscure glass other than in the bathrooms.  Plus we really like the look of the windows too.

C&K





An unwanted setback today

20 01 2012

Today we received a call from our CSC at Metricon to inform us about some asbestos found on our block when the construction manager inspected the site earlier in the week.  Metricon will not start any work unless the site is clear of asbestos – and we would not expect them to.  It seems our demolisher Amor and Moe from VicWide Demolition didn’t finish the job properly by cleaning up and decontaminating the site.  We have  previously asked VicWide Demolition to produce an asbestos clearance certificate, but they have not provided one as yet.

After reading a few blogs, it seems finding asbestos residual after demolition may not be that uncommon – from Cam & Kirsten’s Blog:

The other issue that we have been dealing with this week was post-demolition asbestos residue. All homes built about the time our original old house was, have asbestos in one form or another. We had asbestos removal done prior to demolition but some more residue was spotted along the fence boundaries by out site supervisor last week and we needed that cleaned up before Metricon will send anyone to site start, and that’s fair enough. Jim the demolisher was onto it quickly and to cut a long story short, we have had another site clean and Metricon is now in possession of another independent asbestos clearance certificate.

We are waiting for Metricon to provide more specific details about what they found.  Our next task is to get an asbestos removalist to decontaminate the site and provide an asbestos clearance certificate.  Hopefully, we will get this resolved quickly.

C&K





Preliminary Contract Plans Received by Email

16 01 2012

Today we received our preliminary contract plans by email from Karen, our Customer Support Co-ordinator (CSC). How exciting!!!!

We will go over the plans in detail over the coming days. But one obvious thing we noticed in a glance over of the plans was the missing outdoor room extension. We were notified last year that we couldn’t get the Grand Outdoor Room due to the amount of cut needed out the back, however, we were advised we should be able to get some sort of smaller extension.  I have sent an email back to Karen asking her to clarify this.

Looking at the documents, it seems like we will need to apply for three Rescode Report and Consent items with the council.  We will apply for this ourselves as the owners with the help of our close friend who is a seasoned designer.

C&K





Electricity pit not yet hooked up to main power supply

14 01 2012

In my last blog post, we said

In reality it took Jemena, the local electricity distributor, 26 working days to get the pit installed.

However, it seems that the electricity pit work has not completed.  Not only does the footpath need to fixed up properly with concrete, but the power line has has not been hooked up to the main supply on the pole opposite side of our street as evident by the power cable end hanging loose.  I wonder when will this be done?

C&K

Electricity Pole

Power cable end





We have an underground electricity pit

11 01 2012

We didn’t want an overhead power line to our house, so we got an underground electricity pit installed.  Most new houses built in an established area will have an electricity pit included in their contract (if one does not already exist).

We submitted the application for the underground pit on 9 November.  We received the quote to install the pit on 30 November and we paid it the same day.  The pit needs to be installed near a property boundary with the neighbours and we requested the pit to be installed on the side where the meter box would be installed to make connection up to the house easier.  Just prior to Christmas, the power pit location was marked out on the footpath.

Electricity Pit Marking

And yesterday (11 January) we noticed that the underground electricity pit was installed when we visited the site.  When submitting the application for the pit, we were advised that it takes 20 working days from date of payment for the pit to be installed.  In reality it took Jemena, the local electricity distributor, 26 working days to get the pit installed.  Given the slowdown of work during Christmas holiday period, we think they installed it in a reasonable timeframe.  Overall it took 2 months from application to completed installation.

The power poles are on the opposite side on our street and the Jemena field officer who inspected the site determined it required 17 metres of cabling to complete the works.  The cost to install the underground supply, including the service pit and cable was $3392.

We went for 3 phase supply to cater for our future needs.  As technology becomes more interwoven into our lives, our power consumption will increase.  Furthermore, we are looking forward to turning our house into an icebox during the hot summer months so we will be installing a central ducted refrigerative cooling.  A normal 80A single phase supply will provide 19.2 kWe maximum.  So single phase supply could be overloaded when most things are operating (lights, fridge, tv, computer gear, central aircon unit etc) causing the fuse to blow.  This has happened to some friends of ours, especially during the summer months when the air con unit is running.

It is recommended to get the electricity pit installed prior to the builders starting work because 1) it will be cheaper to install 2) will save you money on building site costs as the builder doesn’t need a temporary power pole for the site works.  Here’s a blog post by another Metricon home build, Tim & Tina, about this.

Installed underground power pit

C&K





Brick Samples

9 01 2012

Today Kristen took a drive to Boral Bricks in Thomastown to pick up some samples of the two brick colours we are considering – Kurrajong and Mocha.  Both are from their Horizon Riverside range.

Each sample pack comes with 3 of the same bricks with polystyrene in between which kind of gives you an idea of what the bricks would look like with mortar.  With 3 bricks, the sample packs are quite heavy but nicely packaged to carry.  Snap!

At Boral they also have a display yard with their range which you can go and view anytime.  We found their displays very useful in helping us narrow down our selection.  We did this last week while they were closed during the Christmas break.

We are leaning towards the Kurrajong which is only a category 2 upgrade. The Mocha is a category 4B which means more $$ if we decide to go with it. Given we like both choices and the Kurrajong is going to be cheaper we think this is the one we will eventually go with.

The sales people at Boral were very friendly and helpful. We asked for a list of addresses of houses built using either bricks which they happily provided. We are planning to take a drive to look at some of them this weekend to make sure we are happy with our choice.  We will also look at matching the bricks with the other external colours (render, roof, downpipes etc).

Boral Bricks Sample Packs

Boral Brick - Kurrajong

Boral Brick- Mocha

C&K