Independent Frame Inspection Completed Today

6 02 2013

Construction inspectionToday Theo from New Home Inspections went on site this morning to do our independent frame inspection.  We received the written report in the afternoon which we have forwarded to Simon, our Site Manager, to resolve and fix.

The report summary stated the following:

“A check of the framework found that the walls had been plumbed to within their allowable tolerance and the trusses and joists were bearing and connected correctly onto the wall frames, generally, the framing materials are of a good quality and put together well. However the items detailed in the attached ‘Schedule of Building Defects’ require further rectification and/or justification prior to this home proceeding to the next stage.”

The report’s Schedule of Building Defects outlined 14 items that needed attention.  So far the interaction and the service provided by New Home Inspections has been good.  The above feedback from Theo on the quality of the building work so far has been positive and despite the 14 items raised, we have been reassured that these issues will be resolved. Having the independednt inspection done has provided us with peace of mind that another set of eyes have looked over the house.

Hopefully it won’t take Metricon too long to fix these defects in addition to those that may have been identified by their own building surveyors.

Reference: According New Home Inspection’s Website – 


This inspection is carried out after the frame has been approved by the private Building Surveyor who was appointed by your builder. It is a more detailed inspection than the one carried out by the builders surveyor (who would normally only take 10-20 minutes and may have several hundred jobs on for your builder at any one time!!), and includes-

  • The checking of the as-poured concrete slab for any exposed steel around its perimeter; any blow-out along its edges that will potentially block the cavity width; as well as for any bottom plate overhang which if not rectified will allow rotation of the walls bottom plates.

  • The finish of the concrete is also checked for excessive cracking and/or dusting.

  • Floor levelness is also checked across each storey (whenever clear and where possible).

  • The checking of the constructed wall frames for their compliance with the Building Code, their plumbness and the correct installation of their bracing.

  • The checking of the roof truss installation and bracing.

  • We also systematically go through the approved engineering design to ensure that the as-built structure is compliant whenever these have been supplied to us.


Day 91: Frame Completion, Plumbing and Frame Invoice

6 02 2013

It’s been a week since our last update.  We have had the following works done over the past week:

  • Cleaning of site and removal of debris
  • Plumbing rough-in
  • Heating unit and ducts installed into roof cavity
  • Solar panels for the hot water system installed to the north facing roof
  • Some of the windows have been installed, including the front timber window and door to the master bedroom balcony.
  • Waterproofing wrap around some of the ground floor
  • Scaffolding dropped to first floor level

The rumpus room and outdoor room joists, roof truss and colorbond roofing has not been installed yet as the scaffolding previously was in the way.  But with the scaffolding now dropping down, the framers should be able to work on these now.


Street view of house


First floor balcony windows and door are in

Metricon has a online tool called My Metricon.  I pulled out the below status for the Frame stage.  The dates  doesn’t seem right.  Apparently Metricon only took 1 day to complete the frame.  Hmmmmm. 🙂  Also not sure why we have multiple entries for the same item (??).  Whilst the My Metricon tool has been useful, it could be more useful if the data was accurate.  With the frame stage completing, we received the frame invoice the next day.


My Metricon Frame Status – data seems a bit out of whack

We are looking forward to meeting on-site with Simon this coming Friday morning for our own personal inspection. We love being able to go on site – so exciting!!!


Day 84: We have a roof

30 01 2013

The colorbond roof is now complete and the frame is just about complete.  We can feel another invoice creeping around the corner. We love the colour of the roof – Woodland Grey is a really nice colour. The whirlybird has also been installed. We were able to see it by walking up the street a little as it is at the back of the house. The roof hasn’t been completed at the back part of the house because of the scaffolding but once that has been lowered this will be completed.

Today we booked in the independent building inspection for the Frame Stage for next Wednesday.






Independent Building Inspections

28 01 2013

Construction inspectionBuilding a new house is a big investment and such a significant transaction requires thorough inspections.  This will ensure any defects (by reference to the Building Code of Australia and/or relevant Australian Standards) that exist are identified so they can be rectified early.  It also gives a peace of mind that multiple (knowledgeable) eyes have looked over the house.

Here are the results of a survey we posted in the HomeOne Forum of the stages that people have organised their own independent inspections.


It seems the 3 most common inspections are:

  • Frame
  • Pre-plaster
  • Pre-handover

Friends, family, colleagues and acquaintances of ours who have built homes used inspetions at pre-plaster and pre-handover stages.  We found that the independent inspector in all cases found issues and defects (some were significant) which the builder fixed without any problems.  To highlight the benefits, here are a couple of comments we got directly from people who used independent inspectors:

  • “We got frame stage ,pre-plaster and will also get one at hand over. He found many faults at frame stage some were potentially detrimental to future validity of the home. He paid for himself at the end of the day. Only costing us around $1400 for the “key 3″ inspections.”
  • “We have completed our Frame stage inspection with our independent inspector and he found 8 issues and 6 are major issues according to Australian standards.”

Metricon use their contracted building surveyors to do their indpendent inspections.  In addition to this, we have decided to also engage our own independent inspection to have another set of eyes to go over the work.  We originally were planning to have 2 (pre-plaster and pre-handover) inspections, but given the cost of the inspection compared with the cost of the entire house we decided to go for the 3 most common ones.

Inspection prices varies between $260 – $900 per inspection depending on size of house, whether its single or double story and stage of inspection.  We are not sure if price is a reflection of the quality of the inspection.  If someone has a comment on this, we would like to hear from you.

We had several first hand recommendations and in the end we have engaged New Home Inspections.  We will organise the frame stage inspection soon as its nearing frame completion.

Here is a list of building inspectors in the Melbourne area that we have come across (some of which also have services in other states):

We’ll post our experience with the independent inspections as we go through them.


Day 79: Fascia and Gutters

25 01 2013

For today’s visit to the site we brought along the 70-200mm lens to get some closer shots of the house.  From what we could see, more of the roof truss has been erected and the first signs of the fascia and gutters being put up.

We also saw some of the material that were delivered to the site today including windows, bi-fold door, and some colorbond panels (for the roof?).

We were pleased with the colours Evening Haze and Woodland Grey for the fascia and gutters respectively, although they are the only colours so far on the house.  For more details of our facade colours see our post Picking a Facade.


Close up of where the gables will go

Close up of where the gables will go

Close up of the fascia and gutter

Close up of the fascia and gutter

Windows and the large frame is the bi-fold door to the outdoor room

Windows and the large frame (3rd from the bottom) is the bi-fold door to the outdoor room.  These are all timber windows so they should all be for the front of the house.

More windows

More windows, including an aluminium one.

Colorbond sheets delivered sitting on nature street - is that safe?

Colorbond sheets delivered sitting on nature street – is that secure?


Days 75 & 76: Balcony, Roof Trusses & Scaffolding

22 01 2013

day72-featurepicThere was some work over last weekend on the first floor frame and yesterday (Monday 21/1) saw the first signs of some scaffolding going up.  More scaffolding went up today.  We have also noticed the balcony go up which has made the house feel a little closer to the street.

Spoke to out Site Manager, Simon, today it seems like the fascia and guttering is booked in for Friday and next week should see the roof go up.

Its really good going pass the site and seeing daily progress.  Every day it looks more and more like a shape of a house.

Here are the latest photos taken over the past 2 days.  As I am taking the photos from outside the fence using a 17-55mm lens, I think I will need to bring my 70-200mm lens on my next visit so I can take some close ups. 😉

Day 75: View from the street

Day 75: View from the street

Day 75: Most of the first floor frame is complete.  Parts of the scaffolding goes up.

Day 75: Most of the first floor frame is complete. Parts of the scaffolding goes up.

Day 75: View of the right hand side.

Day 75: View of the right hand side.

Day 75: Closeup of first floor balcony.

Day 75: Closeup of first floor balcony.

Day 76: Trusses that got delivered today

Day 76: Trusses that got delivered today

Day 75: View from the street.  You can see some of the truss installed at the front.

Day 75: View from the street. You can see some of the truss installed at the front.  It’s looking more like a house.

Day 76: More of the scaffolding is installed.

Day 76: More of the scaffolding is installed.

Day 76: Full frontal view of the first floor balcony and truss.  In the middle will be french doors and windows on either side.

Day 76: Full frontal view of the first floor balcony and truss. In the middle will be french doors and windows on either side.

Day 76: View from the right hand side.

Day 76: View from the right hand side.  Large window on right is the sitting room.

Day 76: View of the garage side.

Day 76: View of the garage side.

Day 76: Upstairs leisure room

Day 76: Upstairs leisure room


Day 72: Joists Finished, 1st Floor Started

18 01 2013

It’s been a week since our last post.  We got our weekly call from Site Manager, Simon today to give us an update.  Whenever possible we go pass the block to see the progress, but we weren’t able to get on site this week.  From the the photos taken today you can see the framers have completed the joists and the floor for the first floor.  The external frame for the first floor have started.  It looks like most of the left hand side is complete and some of the frame on the right side towards the back has started.  Trusses will get delivered next week and the brickies have been lined up.  Good way to go into the weekend.

We’ll have more photos next time when we meet on site with Simon.




You can see the window outline to upstairs leisure room


You can just see some of the 1st floor frame on the right hand side behind the tree branches


Here you can see the first floor frame to one side of the master bedroom

Day 64: Ground Floor Complete, Now Joists

11 01 2013

View of the front from across the street

Today we met Simon, our Site Manager, on site to discuss the progress of the build and the current timelines for the next steps in the process. We also met the framers who were hard at work and seemed like nice blokes.

The ground floor frame is complete and the first floor joists (the beams to beam to support the ground floor ceiling and first level floor) have started to go up. Everytime we visit the block something has changed. We have been pleased with the progress. We were able to walk around the house which gave us a good indication to the ground floor layout and size of the rooms – really exciting.

Simon is a great guy, we had a really good chat with him today and he answered all our questions. From speaking to various family, friends and work colleagues and reading other blogs, the Site Manager can make a huge difference to the delivery time of the house and more importantly the quality. We really feel like he is looking after us well and has the whole project well in hand which is reassuring.

We took the opportunity to take lots of photos whilst we were on site with Simon. We used one the photos to update the banner for our blog (rather than using a stock photo) 🙂


The garage is on the left, entrance in the middle and on the right is the sitting room


View from the backyard. The large opening on the left is where the bi-fold doors will go between the dining room and outdoor roon.  The opening on the right is the window to the rumpus room.


Another view from the backyard. On the right you can see the laneway behind the garage to the rear.


The external framing on the right hand side.


The framers hard at work installing the joists.


View from the outside looking in to the family room window. You can see the kitchen window on the frame directly opposite.


View from the family room looking towards the kitchen and dining room. Lots of space here.


View of the opening between the family room towards the rumpus room.


We are going to love the bi-folds that will go here!


In the kitchen area – the cavity on the left is for the fridge and one on the right is a built-in desk.  And to the left is the entrance to the laundry.


Previously we had a pokey pantry, so this is going to be huge.


The kitchen featue window.


Looking from the outside towards the entrance into the laundry.


Storage space under the stairs.



Right hand side of the house. Meterbox and concrete slab for water heater in the foreground.


Kristen’s sitting room.


Front entry


Joists that were delivered Wednesday


Joists and frame around sitting room window


Joists – nice photo for new banner for blog 🙂


More Joists


The framers studying the plans.

Day 61: Ground floor frame almost complete

8 01 2013

Happy New Year and welcome to our first post for 2013.

The framers have been back in action and Our Nolan is taking shape.  The ground floor frame is almost complete with work due to start on the first floor next week. We are looking forward to being able to have a walk around the site once the ground floor is complete and get a feel for the room sizes and layout. yay 🙂

Unfortunately we haven’t been able to get onsite to post more detailed photos of the internal walls and rear, but hopefully we will soon.





Day 42: Frame start

20 12 2012

timberframeWe got a phone call from our Site Manager, Simon this morning to give us an update.  Today marked the start of the frame stage and with some luck we could have the first floor frame done before Christmas.  That would be a nice Christmas present.

The good thing about this time of year is the nice weather for the builders to work in, however, I have noticed that since we had a site start there has been a bit more rain – that’s Melbourne for you.

We have also paid the base stage invoice via internet transfer –  yuck.

Prior to the start of framing the entire slab was marked up with the locations of the wall.  We had lots of fun walking in out of the imaginary rooms.  Here’s a photo of the markings near the dining room.


In the next photo you can see the crushed rock laid out across the site.  It’s so much better walking around on the crushed rock than the dirt.  We also had lots of wood (timber) delivered.  The block is now looking more like a construction site.


We have lots of timber

In the below picture you can see the termite protection that has been provided to our house – this is the blue sheet around the edges of the slab.  Building Regulations require all new houses built within areas designated by municipal councils as likely to be subject to termite infestation, to have some form of management against termite attack.  We happen to live in an area where the council requires the house to be protected by termite infestation.  For more information, see the Building Commission Termite Control fact sheet.


The framers have started to outline the wall locations with timber….


Our cyclone fence is now standing upright…



Rubbish cage