Thursday, November 19, 2015

Finally un-caged

Long time between posts; alot of progress but again it hasn't been without its fair share of emails, meetings, phone calls and nagging. You do feel at times like your having to carry the whip just to get people on site and get an answer so simple questions. As i look back on the previous post i still find it hard to believe that was when they were 'starting' the roof; i am updating my blog as they are now finishing it.

As those contractors finished the roof, it took further weeks of waiting to get others to start on external wall rendering, and even longer for eaves to be underway. Then finally the scaffolding could come down. All our friends feel for us and our struggle with our builder; endless delays and the news that not only we wouldn't be in for christmas, but we would miss the start of our daughters school and even the beginning of March is on the horizon. Most people wouldn't accept this; we have tried to be really patient and fortunately for the builder the trades and work on site has been nothing short of well done. It still doesn't feel great when we are now over one year from starting and still not at lockup as yet.

Base coat of render going on
First process was a primer to the magclad, then render, second finishing coat then paint

Bam! scaffolding is gone!

Actually starting to look like a house, services have started as well, air-con 1st fix completed and plumbers rough in is underway.

Mixer taps pretty much going everywhere, rain water hooked up to the laundry and all toilets

Side project ive been working on, roof access ladder rack, and a platform for my radio mast, very solid and super safe

Eventually we will get there, stay optimistic

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Grey Hairs

Yes, its been this long since we have had 'progress' on site. Have spent the last 2 months sending emails, phone call and complaining to get more on the house done. The biggest issue again was the external walling contractor. And as i hired a builder to manage the house its his problem to fix; To put simply the builder gave him too many chance's to rectify the problems we found. The contractor which i will happily name simply has too much work on; under-quoted on jobs and is extremely unreliable.
packed out paneling

The contractor in question is: Matt Callisto, from Bluestar Homes. The guy was always hard to track down, i ended up calling his supplier to contact me in which he didn't reply or even rock up when he was supposed to. I even had him openly lie to me on three occasions to when work was to be rectified and when he was going to be on site. Again this was the builders responsibly to chase him up, i personally believe we should of dumped his ass and got another walling contractor.

grey graphite 100mm panel on left

My biggest concern other than the fact he held my build up for three months this year, was when i found shortcuts taken. The two greatest problems were finishing around the windows and using smaller 75mm panels other than the 100mm panels that we requested. Even one window wasn't even attempted... Had the job been finished we would of rendered and wouldn't of found this until after the internal walls were underway.
Around the site there was more to find, which the builder and the renderer weren't impressed with, requiring further work. Panels not lined up correctly gaps and lots of area's under the eaves. His attitude to the build was very unprofessional; weeks between phone calls and even longer between site visits. I wouldn't use this guy to put up a dollhouse.

Fitment issues
Exposed barge board, due to incorrect cutting

"finished areas"

Tidy worksite from Matt Callisto

Of course this has brought about huge amounts of stress; As we are now well over the mid-august move in date... At this stage id say end of December or February move in. My wife and were getting close to considering a new builder as we lost faith in the paper trail i was making and simply no response from them. I ended up just walking into their office where they couldn't avoid me. This of course is what i would of expected from a large volume builder i just hope things can continue progressively now that we have just got the roof underway.

So yes the roof is now underway, and the roofers have done a fantastic job with the gutters and fascia. It was refreshing after such a delay of months of no trades to see six guys on my roof actually putting the first bit of colour on the house ;)

On a happy note, due to all this inactivity we have had our first tennant upstairs, with triplelets on the way.

Friday, July 3, 2015

The esky is taking shape

Well haven't i been busy, and so have my tradies! since the framing was completed it was great to see the first lot of wall panels to arrive, even managed to get a snap of the first panel to go on.

I had my little assistant marking out the timber joists for future attachments to the wall. Id say that light items will be able to hang on the MgO panels but for strength you would want to go through to the timber. Meaning you need to mark out the joists and buy 150mm bugle head screws
The bulk of the lower floor wall panels went on in the first 3 days, smaller area's around windows and triangles on the roof area took another couple of days. They completed what they could with a ladder. These panels are around 80-100kg each, heavy considering  most of it made from graphite foam. The gaps so they tell me are normal and are finished off with fibreglass webbing ready for render.

We also had scaffolding underway, took the guys a day to unload and setup the props, then a further day to construct the frame around the house. It has been alot easier scooting around the frame planning additions for camera's and my Air-Stream mast.

Yesterday we took delivery of our stolen small window replacement, together with gas and electrical outdoor box - so hopefully we will see some more services planned this month. I'm really keen for them to get started on the roof and keep my ponds (wet area's) from overflowing.

During the month we received our first quote for curtains, and we were completely gobsmacked at the price, for the quote we got (30k+) celluar duette blinds, sheers and curtains. So there is a re-thought on that one too. Its a shame because if i knew it was going to cost that much for curtains (and all curtain places are always cagey about giving you ballpark prices) i would of just got the double glazing and put roller blinds on everything. However its a nice problem to have so we will most likely put in blockout curtains and sheers during the day.

Our pergola company came round for another measure and fortunately our quote is on budget for the pergola around the side and back together with the shed location. They still require one more visit before they can order anything and we hope to get this underway pretty soon after handover. Solar quotes have been coming in, and i've been confused to the wazoo about whom to go with, they all claim to the best at what they do. We are considering going with the cheapest and largest system and split one inverter off later to change to batteries as a hybrid system when they cost less than a small car.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Taking shape

yes even more progress, was randomly driving past and i noticed a truck lifting some frames over the fence; i saw it was my duty as a rigger to land them safely ;) not to mention make my day.

We hope to get both upper and lower floor roofs completed next week, then finally we can get started on the pergola planning, marking out the deck and our outdoor bbq. The next big hurdle will waiting for the wall panels to arrive due to our long delay with the contractor last time i hope it wont be too long.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Up we go

Finally back underway! its great to see some solid progress moving along, now that the SIP's are down for the mid floor the top floor was able to start. Our chippies arrived and within two days the top floor frames were completed. The guys have been extremely flat out working for Precision Homes as well.

We are hoping to get the roof on this month; the builder updated me today with the news that the roof trusses should be started this week. All i can say is bring on the wall panels!

Further reading:
Sips in Perth: Fortress homes
Definition AU Construction
Wiki: Sip's

starting to add to the street

Currently as the top floor stands, very hard to get a good wide angle photo of the rooms. 
The Mgo boards are sturdy, have no flex and are much cheaper than a concrete/hebel floor. We have noticed that it muffles the from above already. Limited 'clunking' normally heard in display homes.

End result will be: floating flooring -> yellow tongue -> mgo sip -> soundcheck 2.5 -> plastaboard 

So far its money well spent!  

weeds taking over my yard...firstworldprobelms

As a nice bonus, we have a 4G+ tower 300m away from our house, so one day when wireless data is cheap enough to be a home solution.
Until then i can hope and dream that the proper NBN will come down our street; not pretend fibretothenode

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Bring on the Frame!

After weeks of delays; in April the carpenter was back and we had wood for the ground floor on site! i found it very hard to go to work knowing there was people on site trenching wood frames and shooting nails together. Within a week of work they had the bulk of the walls up, and a few days later the windows went in together with the stiffening sorted.

The house quickly began to take shape, and i found myself pacing up and down where from the laundry to the clothes line to get a feel for it. The wife was very happy to see something happening and the fact she could touch walls and get a feel for space. Even i was surprised at the size of the kitchen, pantry and ensuite!

All was going well as the windows went in, and the mid floor HySpan went up, it was great to see some light coming in where it will eventually be in our kitchen and lounge room. It was at this stage the Magdek was due to go on top of the floor truss; our contractor was on other jobs in Victoria; and it was a gruelling 3 weeks until we saw any more work on site. This product is also known as a Sip and doesn't require the floor truss to suspend the room above. As we wanted the cavity for air conditioning; cables, noise suppression and additional insulation it was only 70mm thick

Ive been on the roof already; and its amazing to see how study it is; together with the lack of clunking noise you hear from underneath. The contractor naturally raves about the product; its going to be interesting to see if we can hear any noise on completion with: insulation, drywall, yellowtounge and flooring down as well!

Termimesh has been installed ready for wall panels!
Home Theatre rack under the staircase
Meanwhile the wife and i have been busy with sourcing decking materials; picking curtains with our interior designer, couches, cutlery and our awesome dinning room table. We have finally chosen a company to build it from a very local (100m away) place: Scott's Custom Furniture. In total we have spent at least 10hrs looking for a builder for this table; it has been a journey but i hope its all worth it. Our timber is WA Marri and each piece is unique; so there's hardly a picture i can show similar. All i can say is that going to the timber yard, and actually picking out which piece you want in your table is alot of fun.

The gum veins really give it some character, and what attracted us to it was the different hue's in each piece. I wish the photos could do this timber some justice! Earl the owner is very excited to get started on this project, its great to find real professionals they love what they do. Plus supporting our locals and not just buying shite from hardly normal. 

Bring on the rest of the frame hopefully lock up before winter!

Marri timber further reading:
Technical Data