Leaking Roof

29 06 2014

Last week we experienced a lot of heavy rain. On one of the nights when it was raining we were sitting watching the TV when we noticed some water on the ledge in the opening between our family room and rumpus room. We immediately asked our kids what they had spilt there and proceeded to clean it up. Not long after that when it had started to rain again, the ceiling above where the water had been started to leak. As the rain became heavier, the more the water dripped from the ceiling.

Chris got up into the ceiling to see what was happening in the roof and it appeared that the rain water was coming in at the point where our double story ended and the single story at the back to the house began.

We proceeded to contact Metricon to advise of the problem. The first response was that it was due to storm damage. With a bit of persistence, they agreed to send someone out to have a look into it.

Two days ago we had Damian, a Metricon maintenance person to look at the issue with a leaking roof.  Damian only spent around 10mins at our place with most of it talking to Chris.  He didn’t get on the roof or  into the roof space to investigate but rather  took some photos from the ground of the roof area and made a judgement from the photos.   He said there were some leaves that could be causing the issue.

We had only just recently cleaned the gutter out and the leak was still occurring AFTER the gutters were cleaned.  The reason given was that water can run in many different directions and he implied it can even run uphill a significant amount.

One of the leaks occurred during the warmer/summer months not long after handover – so I am not sure if Storm damage applies here when there was no storm.

Here are some photos taken the same afternoon (Friday) Damian visited:



Gutters with only a few leaves – enough that it could cause the gutters to block (so Metricon claims)


Gutter downpipe – seems clear


Metricon claims there’s a leaf (circled) that could cause water to leak into the roof

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Inside the roof space – you can see water leaking through onto the ceiling above the Rumpus Room

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Closeup of the leak – you can see water drops running down

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Water drops inside in the Rumpus Room


Enough water caught to fill a take away container


Immediately after Damian left, we cleaned the gutters (again) and sprayed down the downpipes to clear any potential blockages – the gutters look clean and brand new now.

Once again this evening while it was raining, the ceiling started leaking.  The rain wasn’t overly heavy this time but yet the water still got into the roof space. It seems as though this happens when the wind is blowing in a certain direction. So despite the visit from Metricon and with clean gutters and mild rain, the roof still leaked again. If we didn’t put a bucket underneath the leak, the water would get on our couch, our carpet and children’s toys. Given we have been in our house for less than a year and plan to live here for a long time to come, we would hope that it is not Metricon’s expectation that we just put up with this issue and grab a bucket every time the wind blows the rain in a certain direction!!

Damian said if the water leaked again after we cleaned the gutters, they will fix it.  Now that it has leaked again we will following up Metricon again tomorrow to have this issue fixed.

Here are some photos taken today (Sunday) with the clean gutters (and the roof still leaked).


Clean gutters and the roof still leaks!

Clean gutters and the roof still leaks!

Clean downpipe area

Clean downpipe area

Roofspace very wet - the insulation is soaked

More leaking – roofspace very wet – the insulation is soaked

Waterdrops inside the Rumpus Room

More leaking – waterdrops inside the Rumpus Room



Day 261: Final (Pre-Handover) Inspection

26 07 2013

home-final-inspectionWe originally had booked in for the final pre-handover inspection on Wednesday, but Metricon had to move it to today (Friday) as they wanted to get more painting fixes done before presenting to us.

It was busy at the house when we arrived with Simon, our Site Manager going over things with one of Metricon’s QA guys (Mick).  Theo from New Home Inspections (who was doing our independent inspection) was also there, and a few tradies doing maintenance works such as putting locks on doors.

Its been a few weeks since we have been inside the house and it was very exciting to see that we are so close to finishing. Having an independent inspector was good as he would pick up any structural or building regulation issues which we would not know about.  Theo did pick up a few items, one of the major ones was the surface finish and cracks in the garage which will need to be topped up with more cement concrete.


Armed with a box of red dots, we went through the house with Simon inspecting the finishes.  Anywhere we found a fault (eg paint blemish, cracks, holes, damage etc) we put a red dot so they can be fixed prior to PCI (Practical Completion Inspection). Metricon will have a combined list of defects from their QA person, New Home Inspections Report and our list of defects to fix next week.

It was good to see Simon pick up a few issues as well as it shows he wants us to have a quality house.  Some of the defects we found included:

  • Scratches in floorboard (hopefully these can be fixed up well).
  • Damaged fly wire screens.
  • Front door lock mechanism needed adjusting.
  • Light switch not working
  • Power switch plate had a white plate when it should have been a metal/chrome plate.
  • Scratch in powder room mirror.

Early next week will also see the final electrical items go in, including all the kitchen appliances, hot water system, outdoor fan and ducted vacuum.

Here’s a few photos we took today:

Our pretty house!!

Our pretty house!!

Pillar lights

Pillar lights

Pillar Lights from another angle

Pillar Lights from another angle

Today was the first time we saw the stain on the stairs which has definitely finished off the stairs quite well.

Stained stairs

Stained stairs

Close up of stairs

Close up of stairs

View of the stairs from above

View of the stairs from above

View of stairs from leisure room.

View of stairs from leisure room.

Bi-fold doors complete with door handle

Bi-fold doors complete with door handle

Close up of door handle on bi-fold

Close up of door handle on bi-fold

Laundry splash back

Laundry splash back

Laundry splash back

Laundry splash back

Lock and handle on sliding door to powder room

Lock and handle on sliding door to powder room

Study 'feature' door now complete with handle

Study ‘feature’ door now complete with handle


Balcony complete with wire balustrades

Some of the dots throughout the house indicating some maintenance need

Some of the dots throughout the house indicating a defect

Aircon unit

Aircon unit

Speaking with Simon, we are his last house in the Northern Suburbs.  Due to some changes at Metricon he is now working out in the East (around the Wantirna area).  Whoever has him now will be in good hands.

We also got the final invoice from Metricon’s office today.

We need to start packing soon….


Day 186: Drip Drip Drip …

12 05 2013

It’s been a little over two weeks since our last post.  The exciting news is that painting has started although sadly it stopped almost as soon as it began.   Unfortunately the plasterers had hit a water pipe with a screw and a leak had slowly developed which had gradually got worse. This was  discovered over the Anzac day long weekend when some water was found on the floor in bedroom 4.  The water leaking increased and found itself into the first floor ceiling and onto the ground in the family-kitchen area.


Water pooling in Bedroom 4 – coming from behind the plaster and skirting

The green L & H on the concrete slab below are areas where it needs to be leveled before floorboards can be installed.  L – indicating it is low and H – indicating it is high.  These were later leveled out with cement.


Water from the ceiling dripping onto the ground floor


Water damage in ceiling.

Once alerted to the issue our Site Manager, Simon promptly organised the plumber to investigate and fix the leak.  Once the leak was fixed, parts of the damaged plaster and skirting were replaced.

Ceiling replaced and re-plastered

Ceiling replaced and re-plastered

We have been really pleased that Simon acted on this issue straight away and made sure it was fixed quickly.  Whilst the water damage issue is not ideal, the positive from the situation is that it occurred at this stage before any floor coverings had been laid.  In the end we have probably been delayed by about 2 weeks. The good news is we are now back on track and painting has recommenced.

Other progress made in the past 2 weeks include:

  • Completion of the external cladding to the rear of the house
  • Completion of the gables above the garage
  • Cleaning of the ground floor bricks
  • Plumbing works including installation of downpipes
  • And various quality issue fixes around the house

Last of the cladding now installed – just needs to be painted.


Gables installed above garage. You can also see downpipes connected to the house.

The base coats of painting to the house have been done and some of the staining of the timber windows have started.  Here are some photos of the painting progress:




Study doors with Cabot Stain – Colour Rich Walnut


Family-Kitchen area. The ceiling where it was water damaged is now fixed up, good as new.


Kitchen area


Master Ensuite


Stairs and upstairs leisure room


Front door with Cabot Stain – Colour Rich Walnut. Door handled installed.


Siting room window stained

We got a call from Beaumont tiles today, to say that tiling will start on Tuesday. They have invited Kristen to come and have a look at the tiles before they start and discuss the layout which we weren’t expecting but are quite pleased about.

We also had Dollar Curtains and Blinds come in to do a measure and quote for all of our window coverings. We are keen to have these ready to go once handover takes place. Simon was happy to meet us on site so we could do this which was great. it will take 4-6 weeks for the curtains to be made once we confirm what we want and 6-8  weeks for plantation shutters which we are planning to get in a few of the rooms.


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.


We have council approval – Finally!!!!

18 09 2012

Today marks a very big step forward in our building project. After months of waiting, phone calls, emails and frustration, we finally received notification from council that we have approval to commence building works on site. Yay!!!!

The issue of the pipe on our block has been resolved. The easement that was not listed on our title actually does exist, it just went missing in action a some stage between 1959 and 2011. An amendment has been made by the land titles office to reinstate the easement on title. Obviously we would have preferred not to have had an easement on title at all, but at least we didn’t have to get into a situation with the council where we were arguing over whose responsibility it was to have the easement created.

As a result of the easement, we have had to move the house 600mm closer to the south boundary which has meant that we have had to reduce the width of the garage. We had originally added an extension to the width of the garage so now we are back to a standard width. Not ideal but in the whole scheme of things bearable. The retaining wall on the north boundary will be constructed 1.4m in from the fence line rather than up against the fence line so we will lose the use of the land in that space, although its nothing that a nice garden won’t resolve. All in all, we can cope with the changes we have had to make in order to get back on site.

It has been over 4 months since the pipe issue caused site works to be suspended.  Now it is over to Metricon to arrange all of the details for construction to begin again.  We are hoping that the construction phase runs smoother than this whole pipe saga.  Here’s to calmer waters.


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.


Still waiting for site start

28 06 2012

It’s been 5 weeks since our last entry. Thanks to everyone who has reached out to us to see how we are going.  Unfortunately, the weeks are passing by and site works are still at a standstill.  The issue of the drainage pipe that was not identified as an easement earlier is still being sorted out by the builder with the council.  We met with Metricon over a month ago to discuss the options moving forward and this week we were advised that the engineering plans have been redone to cater for the pipe.  We are now waiting on Metricon to schedule a meeting with the council to discuss the revised plans.

The waiting game over the last five weeks has been mentally exhausting. The elation we felt when we knew that site works had started was very quickly replaced by disappointment and frustration. We knew sorting out the pipe would take some time and we knew we would have to be patient. Despite our efforts, our frustration has grown with each passing week. We know Metricon have been doing a lot of work behind the scene to deal with the council who have been nothing but trouble. While we don’t doubt how much work has been done to progress things with the council, one thing that would have helped is more regular communication and updates on progress. This would have done a lot to quell our frustration over the last few weeks. Its the not knowing that creates the anxiety and allows the frustration to build. When we have had an update it has been comforting and has helped us feel informed.

On good news, upon further investigation the debris left behind by the demolisher isn’t as bad as first thought and that Metricon can take care of it and continue the site cut once the pipe issue has been resolved. Yay!!

Our Metricon CSC, Megan advised us she will call us on Monday to provide an update.  We are hoping for good news that a meeting with the council has been scheduled and not far off. Fingers crossed we will be back on track again soon. 🙂


Start and Stop

21 05 2012

It was exciting to see some work start on our block late last week with the site scrape. Unfortunately work stopped pretty much as soon as it started and things are now on hold.  Today we met our Customer Support Manager, Nick and our two CSCs, Megan and Karen at our block to discuss a couple of the issues that have halted work.

The first issue is some significant amount of building material buried in the soil as a result of the demolition works by VicWide Demolition which we were not aware of (and are really not happy about).   The second issue is a drainage pipe that was not identified as an easement earlier but now warrants further investigation to see how close we can build to it.

Both issues are now being followed by Metricon.  We are hopeful that the problems will only mean an approximate two week delay in proceedings.


House Demolition

14 05 2012

Here is some information regarding house demolitions and getting quotes based on our experience.

It may take a few weeks to obtain the best demolition quote to suit your needs and obtain a demolition permit, not to mention time for disconnecting the services etc.  In addition to allowing time for a demolisher to respond to your quote requests (some took 2 weeks), you should also allow some time before the demolisher starts their job as they may have jobs already planned.  But once the demolition starts, it doesn’t take long to complete it (ours took 9 days).

You may wish to ask a few additional questions when obtaining a quote, please find below a list to get you started.  This is not an exhaustive list, but should get you started.

  • What’s included and what’s not in the price?
  • Do they arrange Demolition Permits?
  • Do they remove vegetation?
  • Do they have insurance, what for? (permit approval requires the demolisher to have insurance)
  • Timeframes for starting & completing the works?
  • Items removed other than the house, existing drains, retaining walls, asbestos etc..?
  • Front Meter and upright tap to remain
  • Sewer pipes are to be removed and taken back to Sewer tie
  • Gas to be terminated back to main
  • Power to be terminated at power pole.
  • Phone line to be placed back into Telstra pit.

We found the quotes provided varied in price greatly (+/- 40%), so make sure you get several quotes.

Before demolition can begin, you will need to apply and pay to get the gas and electricity abolished.  Make sure you request to get the services abolished and not just disconnection.  Disconnection just stops services being provided to the property whereas abolishment is the removal of the services entirely – electricity and gas meters are removed and wires are cut to the site.  You may also need to contact Telstra to disconnect the phone line.

If you have asbestos make sure your demolisher provides a asbestos clearance certificate.  Builders will not go on site if there is any asbestos contamination on the block.  Our demolisher from VicWide Demolition (aka Victoria Wide Demolition Services) finished their job but left asbestos residual on our site and we had to get an independent asbestos removalist (at additional cost) to decontaminate the site and provide an asbestos clearance certificate.  Make sure the asbestos clearance certificate is part of your quote – if there is any residual after demolition you should be able to get the demolisher back in to clean it up.

Also it took about 2 months for our demolisher to provide the relevant documentation (demolition permit and inspection certificate).  In the end it took Kristen calling daily for 2 weeks, with each day we were promised to get them the next day only to find we had to call again to follow up.  Your builder will require the demolition permit and inspection certificate when applying for the building permit.

[Update 17 Oct 2012:  Another issue we had with Victoria Wide Demolition Services is that they left a significant amount of building debris behind which required additional work and followup to clean up.  Make sure your demolisher provides a clean site and remove all old building materials as your builder will most likely require this before they perform site works.]

We completed our demolition well in advance to avoid any demolition hold ups preventing the construction starting.

The builder may order 2 site surveys and/or soil tests – once before demolition so they can start on the design and perform a preliminary siting and second after demolition so they can finalise the site costs and house design.  By completing our demolition earlier, the builder was able to finalise the contract earlier.  However, by completing the demolition earlier, it may mean you need to do some additional work to ensure the block is clear of vegetation as over time grass and weeds may grow back.