My First Home

My First Home
Santorini 26 by Metricon

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Frame Inspection - Things not looking good

Well I just received a copy of my Frame Inspection from Alex at Urban Inspections and I guess after hearing from Jay about his experience I really should not have been surprised.

I guess I should think myself lucky, I only had 11 things come up on the report but it still is not good enough. My suggestion to anyone building a house no matter what builder you are with - get an independent inspection.

I've sent the report to my SS and asked that the matters be fixed as a matter of urgency and before the building goes any further. We will see what he has to say.

Here are the things he had to say I have omitted the photos

1. As per AS 1684.4 for timber framing, external corners, internal corners and wall junctions are to be installed with a minimum of three corner blocks which are to be 200 mm long and spaced and a maximum of 800 mm spacing. This is also indicated as a requirement on the structural engineer

drawings. there are a number of external corners and wall junctions around the property where this has not been completed. Further to this, although a full-length stud is installed on the corner of the frame, blocking is still required, this requirement is also detailed in th Asutralian standard

and on the supplied engineering documents.

2. The BR2 brace installed on the entry / bedroom one wall is the single angle brace option. The engineers details require that stud straps be installed at the both ends of the angle brace on the top and bottom of the studs. This has not been completed.

3. Sheet brace BR4 is required on the rear left hand corner of the rumpus room as detailed by the engineers documents. This has not been installed.

4. The Jack studs installed under the the opening in the family room/rumpus room wall have been spaced at centers greater than 600 mm and are installed out of vertical alignment. The studs will need to be installed plumb and at centers no greater than 600 mm, as required by AS1684.4 for

timber framing and also to allow sufficient fixing to plaster wall lining.

5. As per the Australian standard for timber framing, internal non-load bearing walls with openings which extend further 1.2 m are required to be installed with timber lintels. This has not been completed in areas such as the opening in the sitting room facing the entry area and the bedroom

robe openings.

6. The engineers documents require that hoop iron be placed down the front porch posts P1, and strapped over the top of the beam. The hoop iron strapping is not placed over the beam and is not 12 courses long as required by the engineers documents.

Also required by the engineer is that sufficient hoop iron remain available for the bricklayers to triple bend into the mortar beds. This has also not been completed.

7. The engineers documents indicate that steal lintel L17 be supported by double studs with additional jamb stud and that all the double studs are to be nail laminated. Only one stud has been installed under the end of L17 at the front end of the beam.

8. Engineers documents also indicate that one M10 bolts to be installed at each end of L17 through the top plates and along the beam at 1 metre centers. This has not been completed.

9. The engineers documents indicate that the double studs supporting the front garage little L1 be wrapped with a hoop iron and triple bent into the brickwork. There is no hoop iron installed to allow the bricklayers to complete this requirement.

10. As per the Australian standard for timber framing AS 1684.4, concentrated loads, such as roof trusses, are to be located within 1.5 times the plate thickness away from a stud. As the top plates are 70 mm thick, trusses must be a maximum of 105 mm away from studs. This has not occurred

in the following areas:

a. The garage/sitting room wall.

b. The garage/bedroom two wall.

c. The kitchen/bedroom two wall.

As a result, top plate stiffening is require under the top plates spanning between the studs.

11. As per the Mi - Tech gang nail installation guidelines, the installation of saddle trusses must contain 75 x 25 mm battens installed in between and parallel to saddle trusses when they are spaced further apart than the roof cover battens. This has not been completed.


The items listen in this report are of significant importance. Some of the items will need to be completed prior to proceeding to avoid the access being concealed.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Windows in and more Frame Photos

Early start today and down to the block before 9:00am to see what has been going on over the last couple of days. I now have windows and door frames and most of the roof trusses have been put up.

Got a chance to walk through the construction and have a closer look at things and take a few photos.

Although I am not a chippy and know very little about construction I was a little disappointed with the workmanship. Maybe I am just anal about things and like everything to be perfect (perhaps I just look a little too closely or expect too much) I was just commenting to a friend who is a builder about it a few minutes ago and he says a lot of tradies on project homes think that their slap happy work will slip by as it gets covered in plaster and no-one will see it. What happened to taking pride in your work?

I was just a little unhappy with the quality of the wood used as some lengths were split noggings not straight and nails being either above or below the noggings and not in them at all. Hope that this will be fixed.

Major thing I noted was that the sitting room, which I am closing in has not been closed in at all. Will have to mention this to the 'Elusive' Site Supervisor' if I ever hear from him and will send an email to my CSC tonight just so I have put it in writing.

I have taken Jay's advice and am getting an independent Building Inspector in to check over the frame before plastering starts.

Anyway enjoy the photos below

Rumpus room looking out to the back yard and the Alfresco room on the right.

Family room looking from the kitchen, rumpus room on the right. It looks so much smaller to the display home. Hope it will look larger once plaster is up and furniture in.

Dining room off the kitchen with my beautiful Bi-part timber doors onto the Alfresco room. The rumpus room to the left and hallway and bedrooms off to the right.

Looking from the South side of the house. Garage at front, Bedrooms, main bathroom and laundry at the back.

Looking from the main entrance down the hallway. Master is to the left, Sitting room (which will be a study come craft room on right.

Hope by next weekend I will have a roof and be wrapped. We seem to be making good time. Keep your fingers crossed that this will continue as I can't keep paying the rent that I am as well as pay of a loan.

Until the next update, have a great week and to all of you who are building - hope it's a productive one on the building front.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Just a quick update.

I had a call from a friend on Tuesday who had been down to the Estate on business and thought she would drop by my block and see if there was anything going on. She said that there had been some wood delivered and it looked like they were preparing to fix the base wood into the slab in order for the frame to start.

As I had a day off today I thought I would take a quick trip down to see what was going on. I expected to see very little however this is what I found.

They can do a lot in two days can't they? Sitting on top of the structure is all the trusses for the roof. Hopefully by the end of next week I will have windows in and not long after a roof. Given that I'm having a Colourbond roof I wouldn't expect it to take too long to put on.

It's great to finally see things happening and every time I go to the block there is something new.

I still have not heard from my Site Supervisor. He had promised that he would call me on a Thursday night when there was something to tell me - hmm, don't you think the scraping of my block, the pouring of the slab and the beginning of the frame is a pretty big deal? If I don't hear from him tonight I will be having something to say. I have note even met the guy yet!

Noticed though they were pretty quick to send me the bill for the slab. It was poured on Friday and the bill was delivered express post on Monday.

Will update when there is more happening.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Slab Photos

Headed down to the block today with Gumboots in hand, after all of the water that was on it last time I thought I would need them however, I was quite surprised at how dry things were considering all the rain we had this week.

As I said in my previous post my slab was finally poured yesterday and so now I feel like I am really building. I can't believe that I am finally going to have my own house, something that I can put my mark on.

I noted that the house behind me is set lower than mine which is great, It means I won't be looking into windows while I'm sitting in my alfresco area in my pjs having breakfast and enjoying the sun :-). Still no action on the two blocks either side of me however a couple across the road have had their sites scraped and plumbing has begun.

Above is looking from my front porch. To the right is the living room which I am turning into a craft room and could be a fourth bedroom if needed. The far right is the garage.

Not a lot of room down the left side of the house. This is the master bedroom side with the Family and Rumpus room at the back. The Master bedroom has been extended slightly.

Looking from the back yard alfresco room with bedroom to left and rumpus to right.

This is looking from the very corner of my block, nice little bit of back yard although no where near what I have at the moment. I'm hoping when I get a little more money to extend the alfresco area out a little more and do some paving. When that will be I do not know but you have to dream.

It's a different story below. This is my front yard. Looks like I won't have to do too much lawn mowing and I don't think I'm going to be able to fit that nice little Japanese Maple I had planned to put in. Originally the house was set 5 metres from the front of the street as per the Developer's covenant however, I got a call from the builder a couple of weeks before the build started to say that the Developer wanted the house moved forward as they do not consider the porch to be part of the house. Does this look like a five metre set back to you? I didn't have my tape measure to check but I hope so.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Slab Poured

Just a quick update. There was a delay in the pouring of the slab due to the rain. I thought I would take a drive past the block today as I had the day off work and they had just finished the pour (3 days later than expected).

No photos yet as I didn't want to get out of the car and walk around interfering with what they were doing so I will pop down over the weekend when I can have a walk around at my own leisure and take photos to my hearts content.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Plumbing and Letter Boxes

Went down to the block again today just to see how much had been done. As you can see by the photo below the plumbing is done.

Don't know if the slab will get poured as planned this Tuesday as they are forecasting rain. Keep your fingers crossed that they are wrong.

Also went to the HIA Building and Renovation show today and bought myself a letterbox. Given that the developer has restrictions on the type of letterbox you can have I have found it difficult to find something I liked. I found one (pic below) made my 'Milkcan Letterbox Company (available from Bunnings). I will stain it to match my garage door. The letterbox I have in the house I am living in at the moment has been stolen twice. I don't think anyone will be able to run off with this one.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Slab Date

Got an email from my CSC to advise that the date has been set for my slab pour. All being well it will be Tuesday 13th July. I'm hoping they have not had a lot of rain down that way as it was like a swimming pool the other day.

My Site Manager Rob has been off all week as he has hurt his back however, Nicole my CSC says he is really organised and this should not hold anything up. I hope this is the case.

Finally I have a CSC who gets back to me and so quickly too. I told her how much I appreciated this, credit where credit is due and I thought I should get off on a good foot with her too.

Let's hope that the next time I post I am posting photos of a concrete slab.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Site Scrape complete

Went down to the block today to see if they had actually started like they said they would. Fence is up, electricity connected, labourers toilet sitting at an interesting angle and I have a lovely swimming pool right in the middle my block as you can see by my photo's below.

Looking at the block with the fence around it I now realise just how big the house is and just how close to the road that it is sited. I have not been given a date for plumbing and slab as yet in fact I have not heard from Metricon for over a week now since they told be I had been given a start date. I'm not surprised given the negative feedback I gave them in their survey.

I have a swimming pool

I Have a fence

and electricity