Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Our House - Now at Lock-Up Stage

A milestone. Our Hyatt 38 house is now technically at lock-up stage. 2 weeks behind the initial plan outlined at build commencement, so not bad really. Progress has been steady.
These photos show what our house looks like and you can now see that the lower roof trusses and the ground floor roof are all in place. We still need some gutters, flashing and bits and pieces; we still need some hebel cladding in certain places and there are a few touch ups required, but overall, you get a feel for this house and all of its space.

During the week, further works were also completed inside the house. We note that much of the electrical and data cabling has also been done, the ducted heating and evaporative cooling has also been installed (you can see the tip of the evap. cooler unit in this photo), most of the plumbing has been installed and the carpenter has been back to frame up features such as bulk heads, wardrobes and door frames.

At the same time, we note that some of the items we discussed with our site supervisor during our last meeting have been attended to which is great. We have another meeting with SS on Friday to discuss.
This meeting will also serve to discuss the next stage(s) in the build. We've been told to book our pre-plaster inspection for next week, so New Home inspections will again attend to conduct a private inspection (this will be on Wednesday next week). Not sure what's happening between now and then - we assume this time will be used by CG to dot their i's and cross their t's before the pre-plaster inspection. Hopefully, any faults or issues that they are presently aware of or that can be identified will be rectified this time before our paid private inspection is conducted on Wednesday 21 November.

These are some photos showing the lower roof trusses and how they interact with the frame and the house. These are quite large spans across our dining and living room space. There's not a great deal of space in the roof cavity we've noticed. Same is very true for the first floor roof space too.

This photo shows the heating and cooling ducts. They are very fat and thick and they take up an extraordinary amount of space in the roof cavity. We wonder how the roof/ceiling insulation will actually be installed. We wonder how they will get the insulation in and under these large, fat, black pipes (ducts).


  1. Looks like you've got a great foundation for the ventilation in the sides and on top. Very nice.

    -Adam Ahmed
    Roofing Contractor Brooklyn

    1. Hi Adam, thanks for your comments. Good to know there are people in the trades following this blog too. Your insights are really appreciated.

  2. Looking great! What time frame have they given you for completion?

    We're looking at early March according to the SS - apparently the big issue is whether the people doing cabinets and splashbacks get the job done prior to Christmas, as they don't work for over 5 weeks...!

    We're having pre-plaster inspection this week, so will be interesting to see if everything is above board, particularly with the re-inspected items from the frame report.

    1. We really are on similar timelines. It will be interesting to hear how you go with your pre-plaster inspection. We've been told all items from our frame report have now been attended to, so like you, we will wait and see.

      Regarding completion. We're presently renting and unless our new house is ready, will be homeless in February. Part of our overall agreement to build with CG was based on time frame to build, and we negotiated some slightly different terms upfront. That said, we would expect to be living in our new house well before March.

    2. We got the report back today - 13 items to attend to in all, including some Hebel and slab issues.

      The SS has said all the frame/carpentry stuff will be done Monday before plaster starts Tuesday. Meeting on site Monday to confirm all is going to plan.

      We're renting as well, but on a week to week basis, which is handy.

      Some hiccups along the way as is expected, but the house is starting to look great!

    3. How did your meeting go today? Was all the frame/carpentry stuff attended to? Is the plaster starting tomorrow as planned or will plaster be delayed due to work still requiring rectification?

    4. It was all looking good at the meeting, so plaster started today! One of the directors is justifying some items with the inspector - a hebel issue and spacing for windows, which apparently are acceptable standards, and needs doing for square set plastering. Waiting to hear about those things.

      Looking forward to seeing it all done - kitchen should go in next week, and the stairs the week after.

      On a side note, did you guys get an externally vented rangehood? We couldn't believe the standard is to send the filth into the roof cavity...

    5. We had similar hebel issues as well as issues with window spacing and window heights. We understand these will be addressed.

      Your building single storey right? How long will it take to plaster?

      We think our rangehood will be vented externally (they punch a hole through the hebel at fit off) as there's not really any space between our ground ceiling and first floor frame, however, will need to check this with our SS.

    6. We're building a Metropol 39. I'd definitely check about the venting, as we had to pay an upgrade. The standard is into the floor joists...

      Plasterers put the sheets up in one day, and will finish up within a week before cabinets go in, with stairs the following week

    7. Thanks for these comments. we checked with our SS and 100% he confirms our rangehood vents to the outside through the hebel cladding. Frankly, to vent into the floor joists would be poor building practice.

      Are you sure your plastering will be finished in a week? Has your SS confirmed a date for your cabinets and stairs to go in?

    8. No set dates, but went through on Saturday, and the plastering is well underway. Expecting the cabinets in by Friday, and the stairs by mid following week.

      The painters should be in on the 7th all going to plan, so should all be in before then.

      Wondering why we had to pay extra for external venting now...

  3. Hi Hyatt38

    I haven't been reading your blog for a while now as my house has also started its construction over a month ago now. It's good to see yours getting close to completion and all your issues being attended to.

    I'm quite disappointed at this stage at how my construction is going. I noticed that you seem to be getting in touch with your SS very frequently (do you get to meet/talk him every week?)So far I've talked to my SS twice since the start of construction and both this occasions had been my initiative.

    Overall, my observations with their construction process has not been any different to any other volume builders. Site always looks messy and rubbish everywhere. Temporary fencing looks like for decorative purposes only as it does not seem to be doing its purpose - keep anyone from going in; its locked at the front but open everywhere else. Slab construction was quick but next day someone tried to put back dirt around the perimeter of the slab and used something heavy on top of the slab causing the side to crack and chip exposing some of the metal mesh inside slab.

    Frame still seems incomplete but I just got the invoice for frame stage today. Still same problem as yours where the steel frame/post supporting the steel beam in the garage sits over the slab and the bolts they used actually chipped the edges of the slab making half of the bottom part overhanging. Windows delivered very early in the frame construction requiring to be moved by framers so many times around the site causing some damage to the windows' timber frames. I just hope that the aluminium frames and glass do not sustain any scratches/damage.

    CG has hired New Home Inspections to do an independent inspection for the frame stage(saving me some $$$) and I'll have this company do pre-plaster and pre-handover inspections at my cost.

    I just hope I get the same treatment as you do from CG. I do understand that these guys aren't perfect and will make mistakes (they sub-subcontract all their works anyway same as almost all builders) but I hope they rectify these mistakes properly.

    1. Hi Bru P

      Hold firm on everything you want done before paying the frame invoice - wait for the report to come back and ask that it's all completed and shown to you before you pay.

      Our supervisor calls us at least once a week with an update, and we organise meetings when we want, so be pushy.

      Good luck with the build

    2. Thanks for the interaction guys. It's good to be able to share.

      Our SS has been really good. His communication is excellent and he will often call us to provide updates. He has also made himself really accessible which gives us some comfort.

      I would suggest that if you're not happy with aspects of the build process, to flag it with your SS. We've generally found CG to be very responsive to our concerns. Remember, that unless you voice your concerns, they may not know you have these concerns.

      Also, like you, we have had issues (as you'd expect). In fact, we have issues right now that we have flagged with CG and that we hope CG will rectify. The measure of their quality as a builder will continue to be how they respond to our concerns as one of their clients. We can only hope that things continue down the same path.

      Let us know how you go getting your framing issues rectified.