Day 144 – Lock up and lining boards

Lock up happened. Officially.

The cladding is all done – now that the second shipment arrived. The facade is taking shape. I can’t wait for the scaffolding to come off. The front balcony wire still needs to go on, but you can start to see the style.

We chose this facade site unseen as it has not been built in Victoria before. We had only seen some pictures and artist’s impressions. I’m glad we took the punt – we love it. It has a real coastal feel and looks unique – unless you are in Torquay (a surf town where every house seems to have a sloped roof!)

The lining board look can be poorly done on some house renovations – can look really cheap – but we are thrilled with the progress so far.

We have another site tour very soon so I’ll be able to show all the work that has been going on internally.

front of house



Day 137 – Plastering, cabinets, staircase!

Today was site visit day. It was a very big day for us to see the plaster complete, staircase and carcasses all in.  Around 365 days ago we sat in Studio M and chose our house colours of matchbox sized samples. What would these samples look like en mass? Had our taste changed?

From the moment I entered the house I was greeted by the space and proportions that Metricon are famous for; everything felt generous in proportion. The extra high ceilings, wider corridors, taller doorways, all gave as sense of space. The house was light filled and had a beautiful warmth to it, even though it has a long way to go. Okay enough of me, lets see some pictures!

Staircase with feature window and hand rails in. This will eventually have a feature hanging pendant. We are thinking of staining the wood a dark colour.2014-02-22 14.28.25

This is the kitchen reveal. Very early days, but we love it already. The stone template is on the island and is being cut as I type. It is a very super piece of stone and will require 6 blokes to move it! The gaps you can see are for a dishwater and two ovens. Yes, we have gone with two small ovens instead of one big one. Same price, but we felt it gave us more cooking options.

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I love under staircases. This cavity is even more important as it will eventually be a wine cellar. I did a quick calculation and reckon it is good for some 2000 bottles. That is plenty of room!

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Powder room continuing the wooden theme of the kitchen next door.

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Family bathroom cabinets. This is a gorgeous laminate. It will go really well with the saltbush tiles (i hope!). It has a lovely texture to it and very fine stripe.

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Ensure with feature window where a free standing bath will one day live. We have gone with a more aggressive tiger stripe on our cabinets in here to jazz up the bathroom which has a stark white tile wall.

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Super solid front door. Tiffany green. Lovely. Just kidding. We are going with a dark front door in namadji.

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Another shot of the kitchen because I can; and I’m saving you from the other 100 I took!

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View down the hallway to the front door. We have some doors at the end of the hallway to create an air lock to keep the heat in.

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Master bedroom with the balcony stacker doors. This room is huge. I’m thinking to taking up indoor soccer as a result.

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Bedroom windows (facade of house). We added another window (right hand side) as this look out to the beach. You can see the sea from this window which is very exciting. It is also where the robes are so I haven’t yet figured out if the neighbours like nudity – or more specifically – mine!

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So next we have stone benches going in, firebox (!), painters to start next week, then flooring and tiling the weeks after that. Hopefully I’ll be able to do another picture bomb in 14 days or so. The last batch of cladding arrived too, so the front of the house will be done (they ran out of cladding at the factory!)

Day 129 – Cladding

The cladding has taken a day to put on. The sides and rear have been done. Just the front to go. Hard to see from this picture, but it certainly tidies up the house. Will post more pictures when I can. They actually ran out of cladding, so the front will need to wait.

Monday is staircase day and kitchen cabinet day. We are booked in for a major site tour this week so get ready for a photo-bomb!

Our site manager says we are in super-February. He says it is the most concerted and action packed month of the build. The success of this month will determine how close we are to moving in.

I am also pleased to announce that a few locals have taken an interest in our build and that Metricon have got a few sales leads form us. Happy to hear that. I work on a very reasonable commission and I am happy to offer site tours etc for a small fee! 

Yes folks we are officially at lock up as well. That means another mountain-like invoice will be sent to me next week. The lock up invoice is 35% for us, on method 1 progress payment schedule. That is an eye watering amount. I’ll be on the phone to my friendly bank on Monday to pre-warn them!

As an aside, I found method 1 to be slightly more attractive than methods 2 and 3. You are actually able to change payment schedules, but it is not something that is commonly known and not something openly offered to you. Know your rights when it comes to payment schedules. For me personally, I found method 1 to have less upfront and more later on in the build. But do your own research. lining boards

Let there be light – pendants!

I love lights. I mean, if I could, I’d be the Imelda Marcos of lighting – with way too many of them!  We didn’t want lighting to be an afterthought so we created a lighting shortlist for our floorplan a while ago. Now comes the fun part – buying all the lights. The first few packages have started arriving – bound for the shed.

Our fantasy lights have been these fucsia single pendants – by Achille Castiglioni. Three of these will hang over the island bench.  They are just stunning and I love them to death. We started off with an intention to buy the originals – but the $400 per light price tag had us reeling.

pendant over bench

Given we love them, we were ready to suck up that one. But then, we stumbled across a ‘reproduction’ at a fraction of that price. The look isn’t exact, but its damn close.

We also picked up these reproduction Ferruccio Laviani lights which are amazing. They are quite large (30cm long) and will make a great feature in the entrance hall or in the stairwell. It hangs like a piece of art, rather than a light.


Day 127 – Adam and Eaves!

We have some encloses eaves. Drive-by images so they are not the best.

All the action is happening inside the house with the plaster team.

The click framework for the cladding has also been installed around the top so the boards will probably go on today/tomorrow. I can’t wait to see the boards go on.


What will our house look like – meet the Salamanca in pictures!


The number one benefit of going through a project or volume builder is that you get to walk the house that you will buy. Imagining your house plans is very, very hard to do. There is something very confirming about walking the display home – complete with plans and a tape measure in hand. So with our plastering almost done I thought I’d share a few images of a Metricon Salamanca display home. I don’t know where these images came from – but they give a great idea of what the Salamanca looks like inside. Of course, these images have a few lovely upgrade items, but I think you’ll get the gist.

Living and dining and kitchen area. We have sliding doors. We once had bi-folds in a previous home, but they let too many insects in; and we only ever opened them fully on special occasions.

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Main bedroom. It is the size of a small sports oval. Not sure we want or need that much space but that’s the way it comes; we may also include a small second office in it later as it has the room.




Front entrance. I like the idea of wallpapering the main wall for some impact. I’m not sure our front door is quite as grand as this large pivot door. We’ve gone a small upgrade.



Chill out room at the top of the stairs. Will be the children’s mess (sic) room.


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An image of the upstairs landing leading to the main bedroom.

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Shot of the very large walk in pantry. No, we don’t have a door in ours. Not sure why this one does either!



How the kitchen bench is connected to the living area. They are very close together, so a tidy kitchen will be forced on me. So has been the largest kitchen extraction system to keep the house smelling more like a house and less like a chilli crab den…





A shot of the dining table and the front door in the distance.





Outdoor room. Not huge, but will fit a bbq and a few chairs.



One of the smaller bedrooms upstairs. Small by M standards, large by ours. I think it is 3.5 x 3.5

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There you have it; a snapshot of the Salamanca. We loved it the second we walked it. Really, there was no other floorplan that resonated with us. To be able to walk it, live it, touch it was such a brilliant bonus.