Update: Go Time = Next Thursday… it’s booked in

31 10 2012

Got a phone call from Megan today to advise us that site start is next week on Thursday (8 Nov) and that it is now “booked in”.


Next Monday = Go time… we hope…

30 10 2012

Today we got a phone call from our CSC, Megan, advising us that we are ready for action and that we will have a site start next Monday, which was very exciting news!! Having said that, this is the third time we have been told in the past month of a new site (re)start date. We’ve got everything crossed that this time it will be for real.

Today also marks the 1 year anniversary since we officially engaged Metricon to build Our Nolan by signing the Preliminary Works contract.  It has been a bit of a roller coaster ride with the issues we have had and we are hoping from next Monday onwards it will be smooth sailing.


Waiting on Metricon on a Date for Site Start….

28 10 2012

Ten days ago, on 18 Oct our demolishers, VicWide Demolition, returned to clean up the debris and rubble that was left in the top 200mm of soil.  To their credit, the demolishers came back and completed the job relatively quickly.  On the next day Metricon got their contractors, Earthworks to inspect the clean up and they gave the thumbs up.  We also spent time over that weekend cutting down the grass and weeds that has started to grow towards the back of the block. This was the last major hurdle so construction can begin!!!

As a result of the site clean and site scape, Metricon ordered another site survey as the ground levels may have been affected.  We were advised last Friday morning (26 Oct) by our CSC, Megan that they were to receive the site survey that afternoon.  We are now waiting on Metricon to provide us with a variation and site start date.  We are hoping to receive some positive news on a site start by the end of Monday.


Rubble between us and site start

16 10 2012

Thanks for everyone asking us how things are going.  Unfortunately, 12 of October has gone past and still we are yet to have site start.  Sigh.  😦

We have another hold up this time with Metricon stating there is too much building debris and rubble in our soil left over from our demolisher.  Metricon did mention this at the same time when the pipe issue came up back in May.

Only recently after the pipe issue was sorted out with the council did Metricon come back to us with some quotes to clean up the soil and provide a site scrape.  Needless to say, the quotes were not trivial amounts and we are freaking out about the additional costs.

We wish we could have got this issue sorted out weeks ago but we are where we are.  Kristen met our Site Manager, Simon, for the first time to go over the soil issue.  It was really good to meet Simon and he explained things well.  Though we haven’t started yet, meeting our Site Manager did give us a feeling we are not that far away from a start.

Now we are chasing up our demolisher, Moe and Amor from Victoria Wide Demolition Services to come back to finish off (clean soil of debris) that they should have done in the first place which is proving to be frustrating. We have been getting other quotes to get a site scrape done which have come back a lot cheaper that the quote Metricon gave us. Having said that it still grates on us big time that we may have to pay any additional money at all given we have already paid a significant amount to get the original house and site cleared in the first place. Still, tomorrow is another day.


Do not pass Go

27 09 2012

Well, we had hoped to be reporting on how much progress had been made on day one of site start but alas we are still waiting for that to eventuate. Despite having been told for the last week and a half that today was the day, when we spoke to our site supervisor, Simon, this morning he advised that he hadn’t been given our file yet. Grrrr

Once our initial anger subsided, it was on the phone to Metricon for some answers. We are trying so hard to be proactive and positive but it just feels like one set back after another with this project. We know things will happen eventually and that we will love our house but it just feels so far off and constantly out of our reach. We know Metricon are doing what they can to progress things I think there’s just a breakdown in communication at times. We know our CSC Megan is doing what she can to keep us posted but can only tell us what she has been told.

So what’s the story? Due to the changes in our outdoor room dimensions, all the materials have had to be reordered and some re-engineering done to accommodate the change. This couldn’t be done until Metricon received the approved plans from council which only arrived at the start of this week.

I guess for us, the most frustrating part is that we have had so many issues and delays so far which are out of our control, to then get back on track, only to have a further detour kinda does our head in a bit.

Ok so rant over. When we spoke with Metricon today we got some clarity on what is going on and hope to have the earthworks people on site next week to start sifting the soil on the block. This is due to all the rubble that our less than satisfactory demolition company left on site. So site start will now be at some stage during the week of ending October 12.

We got out our sample folder tonight to review all our colour selections for a bit of therapy and to refresh us on what our beautiful home is going to look like.

So here’s hoping we don’t have too much longer to wait before we can really start reporting on progress.



26 09 2012

Site re(restart) is tomorrow!!!  Only one more sleep!!

On Monday we confirmed with Metricon that they had received the stamped approved plans from the council and that only the engineering plan permits were left to come through, however, this shouldn’t hold up the start.

We are really looking forward to seeing some action.  Bring it on!



19 09 2012

We got a phone call today from our Metricon CSC, Megan, to give us some great news, wait for it………we have a site RE(START) DATE – Thursday 27.09.2012!! That’s right, we will have a start by the end of next week!!

Great job from the folks at Metricon to get a response and a date on a site start quickly. Let’s hope it goes according to plan and no major issues from here onwards and we get some solid progress before Christmas.

Now when everyone asks “how’s things going with the house?” we can now provide a progress update rather than just saying “we’re still waiting for Metricon and the council to sort out the pipe”.

Easement back on the title

Today we also received a copy of the title with the easement back on the title as per the original creation.  A dashed line (cirecled in red) went missing in action at some stage between 1959 and 2011.  So when we did all our house designs and initial permit approvals, an easement was not considered.

Here’s something that made us laugh – when we read the title, we saw the following regarding the easement:

“…[we] give and grant unto the said [council] the full and free right and liberty to and for them their servants, agents, contractors and workmen at all times hereafter to enter and reenter upon and to pass and repass for all or any of the purpose hereinafter mentioned and either with or without horses or other animals carts or other carriages through over and along the land….”

Besides being a long sentence, there’s no mention of motorised vehicles or equipment.  So does that mean we can refuse entry if they don’t come with horses or carriages?  🙂

It will be 133 days (4.5 months) delay when site re(starts) next week.  In the end, the cause of all of this is a dotted line missing from the title!!!!!!!


Waiting for council approval

14 08 2012

The updated house designs have been submitted to the council for approval. We asked Metricon today to find out from the council how long the approval will take and ensure that the council will fastrack our application – the council are aware of how long the process has been and want to have the matter resolved ASAP.

There’s also a few inconsistencies in the design that needed fixing which Metricon said they will fix and resend back to us tomorrow.

Last time, it took the council 2 days to reject the design so we are hoping that the council will approve the latest design which they already agreed to in principal in 2 days too.  And with some luck we can get our site cut started soon after (in the next week).  Fingers crossed!


Flip flop

31 07 2012

Flip flops is the American version of what we call thongs.  We went googling to look for an image of thongs and got the American version which wasn’t really appropriate for this blog.  eeek.  Flip flop is what the council seems to be doing.

We had a very good chat with Metricon’s Operations Manager, Cameron on site today to discuss what options we have to progress Our Nolan.  During our chat Cameron mentioned he got an email this morning from the council stating they are now amenable to allowing the house move closer to the neighbour on the south side.  This would allow us to move the house further away from the pipe and the implied easement.  If this can be done, then this is great news!!!  This would be the best option to keep our design largely intact.  As our garage wall is already right on the fence line, in order to make this solution work we suggested to Metricon that we were happy to move the garage into the entrance hallway (the entrance is huge) rather than lose any width to the garage.

The council has put a condition on this approach by stating that they would turn the implied easement into a prescriptive easement.  We will need to look into what this implies, but we suspect the implications would be similar.  An easement is an easement.  Or is it?  If anyone knows the difference and in particular the legal implications, please feel free to let us know.

It was really good to chat with Cameron and he spent some time to explain the situation and what has been happening.  The council want to resolve this issue by the end of the week so we are now looking forward to seeing the revised plans from Metricon soon.  We just hope the council doesn’t change their minds and flip flop again.


Implied Easement on our block, further delays and more frustration (grrrr)

28 07 2012

Yesterday we were informed by our Customer Service Manager, Nick via email that the council has rejected the Metricon proposal to move the retaining wall to deal with the underwater pipe that is on our block.

Since end of May/early June,  Metricon have worked on a revised engineering plan and on Wednesday they met with the council – we were hopeful of a positive outcome but that was dashed yesterday.

We would have liked to speak to Nick about the outcome and options moving forward yesterday (we were dissapointed we didn’t get a phone call with the news in person).  From the email the council stated:

Based on my calculations from all the drawings the placement of the retaining wall will impact on the existing Council asset.

I have also confirmed that the location of the dwelling cannot be moved further south which also makes things more difficult.

As we have previously discussed there is no easement on the property, however implied easements rights now come into place in this situation.

The issue with the pipe has been very frustrating on a number of fronts.  The council didn’t provide any notice of the pipe to Metricon when the builder originally requested the documentation.  As a result the plans and design were based on information of not having the pipe.  It has also been very frustating to take so long to produce the revised engineering plans.

The problem of the pipe and implied easement is the principle issue which to an extent is out of our control, the second issue, which is more in our (or Metricon’s) control is the process of how it has being resolved and how long it has taken.  We will now go through the weekend very irritated and sad that our dream home is nowhere near starting.  The whole process is very draining (pardon the pun).

By the numbers, as of today it has been:

  • 271 days (9 months) since we signed to commence the preliminary works with Metricon.
  • 128 days (4 months) since we signed the final contract with Metricon.
  • 72 days (10 weeks) since stopping site scrape works.
  • 46 days for Metricon to produce the revised retaining wall engineering plans.
  • 2 days for the council to reject the revised retaining wall engineering plans.
  • Countless days of dissapointment and frustration with the process of resolving the issue.