Saturday, 7 January 2012

Day 100: Fixing Status = Stalled

Back in Melbourne fresh from our Christmas break, we were keen to see all the fixings complete on the house.  The painters are due to start undercoating on Monday and the carpenter was working through Christmas to finish, seeing as he recently took a month off for his honeymoon.

So it was much to our disappointment to arrive and see things are not quite ready for the painters:

The front portico beams have not been lined with hardwood for staining,

The rear eaves have not been installed:

...and the skirting boards have not been fixed to the walls...

...but perhaps the painters prefer them not to be fixed, so they can spray behind them...?  Hmm...

Then there's a few odd things that have been done:

The carpenter has moved the solid sliding door from its correct and rightful location on the bedroom hallway to the Rumpus room?!  I've no idea why he did this as I had the discussion about the missing door with he and the SS the day before leaving for the Christmas break and showed them the below picture of the feature door we have purchased, so they could identify that it hadn't been delivered.  The SS said he'd follow up on the order when he got back from why did the carpenter relocate the other door in the meantime?!!!  The painters will be confused when the spec says to stain the Rumpus door and they discover a pre painted door!

Hallway door incorrectly installed on Rumpus Room
Example of the Rumpus Door and handle we have purchased

In our master bedroom the plaster has been torn away from one of the windows in our master bedroom and upon closer inspection I think I know why.   The bottom right corner of the window doesn't appear to be flush with the plaster, which would have made it impossible for the carpenter to fit the architrave.  It appears the window was installed out of square.  I'm assuming they'll either re-set the window, which may not be possible now that the brick sills have been installed on the outside, or perhaps they'll just plane the window back to make it flush...

The linen cupboard doors are not even in width and look ridiculous.  Of course, there are no elevation drawings of the linen cupboard in the plans and nothing in the specification to reference door sizes, so there was no way for us to identify this before now.

Also, the carpenter has drilled holes for a conventional lever door handle:

Whereas, we have chosen the following bow arc handles - which are listed in our Colour Selections in the contract: 

But perhaps the most disappointing item is the position of the kitchen drawer handles.  The carpenter has vertically centred them on the drawers, which looks ok on the pot drawers along the back wall, but is terrible in a functional sense, due to the depth of the bottom drawer.  Once full of heavy pots, it's much easier to open the drawer with the handle close to the top of the drawer, which is how I wanted them installed.

The worst use of the centred handles is on the custom bin drawer - it is both aesthetically ugly because the handle on the top drawer does not line up with the handles on the cupboards either side, and functionally awkward to pull a heavy drawer from the middle, rather than the top.

Metricon really need to include detailed kitchen drawings in their contract plans.  We should have been given the choice of where to place the handles.  The elevation drawings in the Plans don't even show any handles!

I've found examples of both centered and top aligned handles in M's display homes, so it's not like there's a set standard they follow.   Here's an example from one of their Byron display homes that show top aligned handles that I prefer.

The SS is back from leave in a week's time on the 16th.  I hope he's agreeable to replace at least the top bin drawer, if not all the pot drawers as well.  Of course it will mean new doors are needed as there are holes drilled in the wrong places and it's not like you can fill and paint laminate!  :(


  1. Oh Nat, I'm so sorry to hear that you experienced such disappointment on your return from holidays. We didn't receive detailed elevations of one side of our kitchen AT ALL, so this is something I will definitely follow-up on Monday, given your experience.

    The Linen cupboard door situation seems very strange - what is the width of the cupboard?

    Good luck for a speedy resolution.


  2. Hi M,

    Yes, ask your builder for kitchen plans. I did ask Metricon, but their drafting department do all the plans - even for the kitchen, and you don't get to converse with them at all. And they don't do the plans to that level of detail.

    As for the linen cupboard doors, I didn't measure the ones that have been installed, but I've just checked the floorplan we signed off and it shows two doors at 620 wide. So the plans have them even and this means I shouldn't have any arguments to get them replaced - yay! It seems the carpenter has just installed whatever was leftover from the doors that didn't fit elsewhere in the house...good grief!

  3. Glad to hear the plans show evenly sized doors!! Should be very easy to get sorted.


  4. Hi Nat,
    We had a look at our kitchen plans, and yes, they don't go down to the detail of where the handles should be. I did have a look at our Colour Schedule and that's where it's mentioned the position/location of the handles. If you show your copy of the schedule to your SS (Metricon) then they should comply as per what's stated there.

    Thanks for the heads up, I shall also be reminding our SS of these details once they start fit outs for us.


  5. Hi J&R,

    Thanks for letting me know about the colour schedule wording. I took another look at ours and found the section labelled 'Position' in the kitchen cupboard section. It only states 'horizontal' but no reference to whether top or middle. Wish I'd taken notice to get the consultant to add the extra word! Boo.

    Have to wait and see what our SS says...

  6. What a nightmare Nat! I checked our studio m last night and for horizontal handles our consultant has specified top and centre. I remember asking her to make sure too. I hope they allow you to change the bin drawer at the very least. All the other stuff looks fixable at least :)

  7. Oh dear, I feel your pain. The robe cupboards will be an easy fix, but I don't like your chances with the kitchen cupboard handles. They just don't seem to ask all the required questions at Studio M - their standard checklists should be more detailed. We've had several examples of tradies positioning things where they feel like, and when we question it, there is nothing in the colour schedule or contract to state otherwise. My advice - push as hard as you can to get as much resolved as possible (such as the bin drawer door) and chalk the rest up for experience. We've got a list of things already that we will make sure is written down in the contract or colour schedule next time we build (which won't be with M).

  8. They should at the very least replace your pull out bin door and position the handle properly.

    Good luck