Saturday, 15 December 2012


14 DECEMBER 2012

Sunday, 30 September 2012



Sunday, 16 September 2012



Dropped by the site to meet the window furnishers, and there were plasterers sanding down the place in preparation for the painting.

Saturday, 25 August 2012


23 AUGUST 2012

Walls are getting constructed.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Fallen fence

21 AUGUST 2012

Drove by the site after work and was dismayed to find that the temporary fencing has fallen!

Preparation for hebel walls

21 AUGUST 2012

Met with the fittings supplier this morning to confirm the positioning of our toilet accessories, before the plastering gets installed.

Happy to see that they are now preparing for the construction of the hebel wallsl

Roof completed

17 AUGUST 2012

Gutters & fascia installed

15 AUGUST 2012

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Frame stage completed!

12 AUGUST 2012

The frame and window installations were completed on 10 August. We dropped by the site today to do a quick check and realised that one panel of windows were not double-glazed like the rest, the garage side door is a different size to the plans and an entrance sidelight has been installed by mistake! Hopefully these errors are easily rectifiable and won't cause much delay in proceeding to the next stage.

We also noticed that the water piping looks like it has only been dug 15cm into the ground and are concerned that this might become a potential problem when we do the landscaping/driveway. We are afraid that the landscapers might have to rip everything out if the pipes get in the way of the digging and re-lay them again, all of which will add to the cost. Anyway, to be safe, we will check with our Site Supervisor if connections can be run along the side of the house instead of the front.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Frames are up!

1 AUGUST 2012

Friday, 27 July 2012

Retaining walls

27 JULY 2012

Retaining walls are getting constructed.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Slab photo

25 JULY 2012

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Slab completed!

24 JULY 2012
Drove past after work and the slab has been poured! Now awaiting framing stage.
(was too dark to take a decent photo)

Monday, 23 July 2012

Slab preparation (cont'd)

23 JULY 2012

Drove by the site after work to find that the styraform and steel reinforcements have been laid. Can't wait for the slab to be poured!

Slab preparation

20 JULY 2012

Styraform and steel reinforcements for the slab work were delivered. 

Plumbing & electrical

16 JULY 2012

We upgraded the drainage pipes to 100mm (in lieu of standard 90mm), and thankfully we managed to catch the plumbers in the morning for a quick chat and clarified our upgraded specs as they thought it was only a standard install.  

On site!

9 JULY 2012

We finally went on site on 9 July! The past 2.5 months have been spent going through nine rounds of Variations, scrutinising floorplans, shopping for appliances and liaising with CG to make sure that the cabinetry and electrical requirements suit the models we picked.

We will devote a later entry that will give slightly more detail about the past 2.5 months and our thoughts on what we should have done (on hindsight), and hopefully it would give you some tips for your house build.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Colour & Electrical revisions 2

27 APRIL 2012
We received our second draft of revisions today and we reckon there will only be one more round needed and we are done! Thanks Hannah! :)

Thursday, 26 April 2012


26 APRIL 2012
“Comments” have been disabled as we have received repeated accusations from one individual who thinks this blog is spam and that we are CG's employees.

We are not employees of CG and have created this blog as a record for ourselves as well as to share our great building experience so far.

We will not spend any time engaging in a debate about its authenticity.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Floorplans - third draft

24 APRIL 2012
Thanks Belinda for keeping your word and having our plans ready for us today :)

Monday, 23 April 2012

HIA appointment

23 APRIL 2012
HIA appointment fixed on 25 May!

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Colour & Electrical revisions

22 APRIL 2012
After looking through the selection documents today, we were pleased with the accuracy of the details discussed last Sunday and only needed to email through minor amends and queries to Hannah and Belinda.

Tender appointment

20 APRIL 2012
Belinda fixed our Tender appointment on 4 May! Exciting!
Our prayers have also been answered - she is indeed the polar opposite of our former Coordinator at Metricon! 
Thanks Belinda for always responding so quickly, we look forward to meeting you in person :)

Colour & Electrical selections

19 APRIL 2012
Hannah sent through our Colour & Electrical selection documents today. Looking forward to running through them!

Colour & Electrical appointment

15 APRIL 2012
We had a 4-hour appointment with our Interior Design Consultant, Hannah Seal today. Thank you Hannah for making an exception for us! 

We valued Hannah's decisiveness in helping us with colour selections - we love it when experts are confident of their advice and don't tell you things like "well, it really depends on what you like". She also gave us handy tips like where to place the lights so that we don't get a shadow when looking into the bathroom mirror. And you should see her go when it came to drawing out the electrical plan - it was precise, seamless and very pretty with all the different colours :)

It was a really enjoyable and productive meeting and we were stoked with the results! CG has once again exceeded our expectations!

Tile appointment

14 APRIL 2012
We had our Tile Browse at National Tiles this morning. Amy, our delightful consultant was very helpful and knew her products well.
We also liked how the tiles were laid out at National Tiles as it was very clear what was "standard" and what was an "upgrade". They also had a better tile selection than Metricon. Best of all, we were pleasantly surprised that the "standard" tiles looked good and we could actually use them. Always a plus if we can save on costs!

At Metricon, they used Beaumont Tiles. Beaumont had good customer service but unfortunately, the layout on the floor was a mess. We were entitled to standard silver range tiles but you could not identify which ones were silver range because of the colour labels they used - white looked like silver and vice versa. It caused quite a bit of confusion. Also, the "standard" range tiles looked very ordinary and because you want your new house to look good, you will have no choice but to upgrade.

Administrative Coordinator made contact

10 APRIL 2012
Our Administrative Coordinator, Belinda Borello made contact today. After getting stung at Metricon, we are so hoping that Belinda will the polar opposite of what we had before. We look forward to working with her!

Sent (hopefully) final revisions to Drafting

9 APRIL 2012
We sent our (hopefully) final revisions to Drafting. Looking forward to seeing the finalised floorplans soon!

Good Friday follow-up

6 MARCH 2012
Gerald called in the morning to give us an update on the progress of our file. He knows how anxious we are to get onsite after months and months of delay at Metricon and assured us that he is doing everything he can to speed things up - and is aiming to get us onsite in late May/early June. YAY!
Apart from Gerald, we also received super quick responses to our emails from our Interior Design Consultant, Hannah Seal. They are really spoiling us with such impressive service on a public holiday!

Floorplans - second draft

5 APRIL 2012
John sent us the revised plans - we cannot believe how fast he turned around the amends! Truly exceptional!

Meeting with the Draftsperson

4 APRIL 2012
Met with the Draftsperson, John Bonacci that afternoon to go through our amends.

Floorplans - first draft

3 APRIL 2012
We received the first draft of our floorplans that evening and Gerald said we could pop in to see the Draftsperson if needed.
We were communicating via email that night and he confirmed the appointment with the Draftsperson first thing the next morning! Talk about efficiency!!!

Tiles, Colour & Electrical appointments

27 MARCH 2012
We fixed our appointments for 1) Tiles and 2) Colour & Electrical - which was three weeks later. Very glad we could do Colour & Electrical at the one meeting and they could meet us over the weekend too - thank you Gerald and Hannah for accommodating us!
I remembered we had to wait six weeks at Metricon and we had to have three separate meetings for 1) Tiles 2) Colour and 3) Electrical. 

Choosing a new builder

21 MARCH 2012
We sent an online query to Carter Grange (CG) late that night. 

22 MARCH 2012
The Director, Gerald Stutterd called in the morning and organised a viewing of the three homes we were interested in on the same day. Wow, we weren't used to such prompt response!
That evening, the Sales Manager, Rob Briffa took us around the display homes and went through all the upgrade options. It was refreshing to experience such personalised service and to learn that most luxury upgrades at Metricon were considered standard at CG! How fabulous!

24 MARCH 2012
Gerald and Rob met us that morning and went through ballpark costs and devised personalised floorplans. They came in approximately $30K lower than Metricon as:
- site costs were considerably cheaper
- there were no additional costs to personalise floorplans
- luxury inclusions like stone benchtops, 2590mm high ceilings, Hebel wall rendering, Ariston 900m wide cooktop & rangehood, glass splashback, undermount sinks, soft-close toilet seats, termite protection, architectural plaster reveal to all windows & doors, semi-industrial windows and many more were standard
Gerald even said we could buy our own appliances and light fittings and CG would install them for us! He was really taking this to a whole other level! By the way, this was a huge NO NO at Metricon - they wouldn't even let your tradie or electrican onsite till after handover. 
After that meeting, we felt extremely comfortable with CG and cancelled the appointments we had with other builders. We liked how flexible they are and were impressed with their excellent service, response turnaround, product knowledge and pricing.

Leaving Metricon

22 MARCH 2012
We were initially building with Metricon but decided to leave them after 8 months because we were getting nowhere - floorplans were still not finalised, our customer coordinator was unreliable and costs kept getting out of hand! Overall, we were just tired of everyday being a constant battle to get deadlines met and have people reply to our emails and phone calls. It really shouldn't be this hard!

Here is a brief timeline of milestones at Metricon:

Aug 2011 – Discussed various floorplans and costs with salesperson

Sep 2011 – Paid $1,000 deposit for soil tests

Oct 2011 – Paid $1,500 deposit to proceed with preliminary contract

Nov 2011 – Was handed over to customer service team 

Dec 2011 – Preliminary contract. Paid $2,000 to proceed with HIA contracts

Jan 2012 – Colour appointments x 2. Separate appointment for electrical

Feb 2012 – HIA contract meetings x 2. No finalised floorplans, many unanswered questions, incomplete variations

Mar 2012 – Tile appointment. Still no finalised floorplans, many unanswered questions, incomplete variations

Mar 2012  (22/3) Submitted termination letter