Day 116 – Bricking done

The bricking is complete and the guys have done a great job. The last piece of the puzzle is the massive chimney; and it appears there are a few ways of building this.  As I’ve said before, I love my fireplaces. After all this work to get the fireplace sorted I promise to love and cherish it!

I’ve put in a request to keep any extra bricks to assist with any retaining walls or garden beds I might build down the track. I think I have the option to keep any non-whole pallet loads. I have no idea how many that will be but other have been left with 400 -600 bricks. Neat.

The wrap is now completed on the top floor as well. This is laying the base for the cladding. The cladding will be our first look at our colour scheme. We chose our colours off an A4 sheet of paper. Next time we see the colour it will be installed and on the house! I’m not panicking yet…but I do reserve the right to panic later. 

Our site supervisor is thrilled with our job and said we are making great progress. As such, he’s hoping to expedite the build a bit. Now, I’m not getting excited, but he’s hinted that my move in date may be a little too conservative! I won’t jinx the job, but I’ll know more over the coming 30 days. After this news I was jumping around the office with a boyish grin and a spring in my step.

The plaster is planned for next week and I’m told it is a bus-load of lads will complete the job within a week. Cool.  Next week will also see the external cladding put on and the eaves done. I can’t wait for the external cladding to be taken down. This will narrow the new girl down a bit. She’s looking a little large and bloated on the block.

The next month will see the stairs and cabinetry start. I really like how we are given an advanced list of next steps. I feel a bit in the loop. The next site visit and walk is planned when the plaster has been done.

I have chatted to a landscape company who will swing by when we can coordinate our diaries. I’m really keen to get the master plan done early so any excavation work can be done nice and early.


Where is that money tree?

Money tree. It is an expression you see a lot on the building blogs and forums. I never really appreciated what it meant – until now. It means that building a house is an everyday grab at your finances. Every decision you make has dollars associated with it. It might be a door upgrade of $300. Very reasonable…until you add in hundreds of these small upgrades. Our money tree has taken a hammering. The landscaping will have to wait for the tree to regrow a little bit.  I’ve heard even once you move in your still whack the tree a bit more with moving, landscaping, front fence, new furniture. Footpath repair and crossover rectification is a nice expensive one coming up too!

The list goes on.

So where can you save a tiny bit?

  • Façades ($5,000-$30,000)
  • Flooring options (tiles are the most expensive by a long way )
  • Cabinetry (the biggest single cost item)
  • Appliances
  • Curtains and blinds ($5 – $15,000)
  • Landscaping
  • Heating and cooling
  • Kitchen cabinets
  • Stone benchtops

Somewhat unforseen costs:

  • Rendering of all bricks
  • Tree removal
  • Demolition costs
  • Asset protection permit (council)
  • Power pit cost
  • Additional plumbing works to reach easement
  • Driveway
  • Footpath rectification works
  • Grand firebox and six metre chimney!


Day 102 – How long does a Metricon build take?

Happy 100 days to us!!

Hasn’t time flown. We feel we have made great progress and are very, very happy with the quality of work to date. Everything looks very neat and tidy.  Our attention now turns to the inevitable when can we move in question – even though the house is barely a shell.

As everyone at Metricon keeps telling me, what does your contract say? Well, the Metricon contract states the house will be built within 380 days.  That is an awfully long time. But guess what – surprise and delight. I’m guessing they’ll do it sooner than that. How soon? Well – while no one is talking, I have it on good authority that the Metricon internal KPI for home building is around 270 days! How cool would that be.

And what can stuff you up? Seems to be two main things; crap weather and product availability.

When a product you’ve ordered is out of stock or is not available this can slow the entire build down to a grinding halt! So if my Moroccan salt tiles are not available, maybe I should suck up another tile? (example only!)

I’ve heard from other builders that the brick stage and painting stages are the two areas where the trades people can be delayed on other jobs and you can lose some times. Not sure how true, but I’m glad we have Chris (the brickie) on site and locked in!

I’ve watched two Metricon homes in nearby streets be completed in around 250 days. What about other Metricon bloggers? Great idea; let us do an audit.

  • Paul and Nat – 269 days
  • Tim and Tina – 271 days
  • C and K – 275

275 days would put us in at around mid July. Christmas in July. Delightful. How long do you think your build will take?




Postscript: Our build took 234 days. See post here:


Day 98 – bricking continues

Turns out the house has not been dormant. The brickies worked through the break. I think they had a few days off but since then they have been gunning it. To my untrained eye the brickwork looks really neat and tidy. Great job. Our site supervisor is also really impressed with the work.

I am really enjoying my weekly update from our site supervisor. He is very good at keeping us up to date with everything. He lets us know the next few week’s deadlines and expectations. He gets extra points as he keeps telling me how much he really likes the façade of our home! As the bricks are finished off there are a few lasting questions about the chimney and the team need to check with the engineers who drafted the plans. I guess it is not every day you build a six metre chimney!

Work will also start on the garage brickwork to the boundary fence.

We are in the middle of a Melbourne heatwave but the brickies – made of stronger stuff than I – have decided to keep working (at least the morning shift most days this week!).

The plaster sheets are scheduled to arrive next week and hopefully the plasterers  can start. I’m really impressed that we are up to plastering already. The upper insulation and cladding is also on the work plan for the next fortnight. Next step, scaffolding.



What is your biggest hate in building designs?

A forum has a great post on what people hate about building designs.

Curious, I started to rank our building design on some of the ‘frustrations’ others have had. I guess this could also double as a great post to see what you want from your building plans

  • Forum says: Not enough storage-  Our plans: Heaps, thank you.
  • No eaves – 750 eaves!
  • Small robes – Big robes in every room
  • Bedrooms with common walls – Robes divide them
  • Bedrooms off dining/living/family rooms – No way
  • Guest bedrooms with ensuite- No way. Bathroom down the hall
  • Dining room off front hall a mile from the kitchen- Adjacent
  • Accessing the laundry through the kitchen- Down the hall
  • Fridge in pantry or at wrong end of kitchen – Fringe in kitchen, where it belongs

Did okay, I think. Oh, we did need to add a sliding door to our ensuite. That is just smart! Not sure we all need to share in those moments.

How does your floorplan stack up against the forum experts?