Choosing our flooring at Di Lorenzo

tiling di lorenzo

Di Lorenzo has become our second home. In fact, I think if I were to ask for a cup of tea and a bedtime story, they’d happily oblige.

Ok, so maybe not, but we HAVE spent quite a bit of time there recently to better understand what sort of tiling and carpeting we’re working with and what to expect from “Category 1” and “Category 2” products when working within Metricon’s standards. What we’ve discovered hasn’t been pleasant…

When meeting with our contracts manager at Metricon to review our plans once more before signing our lives away she stated, plain as day, that Metricon needs to make a profit (as expected), and additions and upgrades to anything we choose to do has a 25% mark up on it. 25%! No wonder our fireplace costs $16,000, and ducted air condition requires me to cut off my right leg.

On hearing this, we decided to take a trip over to Di Lorenzo and have a look at tiling, carpet, carpet underlays, and everything else that I had no idea would be required for flooring installation. Despite being relatively busy, we were helped by a few friendly employees who helped us reach a very important decision:

Take the tiling and carpet out of contract.

At least everything but the wet areas. The tiling in the wet areas are pretty much required by the builder, as they need to be properly waterproofed. Waterproofing requires the the tiles to be installed at the same time, but by taking the tiling and carpet out of the contract we’re saving over $3,000. Well, sort of. I think we’ll end up spending about the same amount, but the carpet underlay and tile quality will be superior to what we would have been able to afford had we left everything in the Metricon contract. The only disadvantage to doing this is you’ve got to wait a few more days to move in, as you’d need the house in your possession to be able to source your own flooring.

We’re very happy we discovered this, and hope this helps someone else out there save a bit of money throughout the build process. Lord knows we’re already spending enough.

What ways have you found, that has helped you save money with your builder?

About Stefan
Stefan is the regular writer for Megan & Stefan, and hails originally from San Diego, California. A resident of Australia since 2007, he write about his experiences living abroad, his love of photography, and documenting the process of building a house here in this sunburnt country he calls home. Feel free to drop him a line - he's always up for a chat.


  1. T&T says:

    Yup, we were quoted on timber floors and carpet through studio M – about $20k for timber floor just to ground floor and I think $6k for carpet. The carpet quote was on par with thrid party quotes, but the bloke selling the carpet for metricon was a slob and we didn’t want to deal with him much! :) T&T

  2. Amanda says:

    If you’re looking to save on a/c – the couple who built next to the Sales Centre had Wisdom just provide the a/c ducting and then organised to buy the motor etc on their own. Perhaps you can PM them via Homeone – they said they saved about $3k

    The only downside is that the a/c company may not be able to install in straight away when you move in – but if you’re doing floors after handover, that’s not going to be such a big issue.

    I think we spent $15k on the tiles – nothing was standard – but we were happy to pay the mark up to have it all done when we move in.

  3. Stefan says:

    Hey guys – this is exactly what we’re doing. We’ve gone directly to Di Lorenzo and sourced our carpet/tiles, and have had A/C ducting put in, but will be sourcing our own A/C unit.


  4. SarahV says:

    To give you a guide for our floating timber floors downstairs we’ve been quoted around $14k to have them installed, and that is approx for 110m2. Rick’s going to have a go at laying them which should save a lot more on top of that.

    The builders margin is such a rip off though. I know, I know they have to make their money. But I guess perhaps you do end up paying close to what you would retail as they get a big builders discount on their standard items and then add their margin on top of that. We’re getting the internal doors in the display homes with the translucent glass – same as what is in the show homes. We had this brilliant idea that we could just get the standard doors and then buy the fancy doors separate and have a builder install them. M charges $1000 per door. But when I rang the supplier it was over $1000 but they told me to ring bunnings, so when we did that they still charged $862 each but that was just the raw timber without any staining and without hanging so in the end it worked out the same a M. The same sort of calculation worked out when I looked at getting a third party fireplace.

  5. John says:

    Building a Grandview 37 (41?) with Metricon.

    Guys love your site and love the Liberty. I was pretty keen on the Liberty myself at one stage but ultiumately we decided on single story and the Grandview blew me away. I agree though, the Liberty is the best I’ve seen in that class.

    I’ve decided to have Metricon do all the tiling as I’m using the same tile throughout(Entry, Kitchen, Living, Dining, Bathroom, Ensuite and Halls). I think there is value in having Metricon responsible for the overall job and in addition when (not if) one of the tradesman damages something its Metricon’s problem not mine – yes i will pay a premium for it.

    On the carpet side of things, I agree, do it later and its a quick clean job after hand-over. Be aware though, when carpet is layed the laying process will ALWAYS cause your architraves to be scratched to hell – just comes with the territory. Remember to get some touch-up paint from your site supervisor.

    On A/C I’m also getting Metricon to put the whole system in. Be careful though and do your own checking on what system they have quoted you on. I was quoted on a 6hp system and when checking the units specs I found it was only marginal for the size of the house. While I agree putting the duct in is smart if you are marginal on the need for A/C or you want to save some money but be mindful as to how your warranty will work.

    Good luck.

  6. Stefan says:


    Thanks for the reply!

    I agree that we miss out on the warranty/responsibility of having Metricon involved in all aspect, but the cost savings pretty much negates that for us. If work needs to be done down the road, it’s almost as if we had a credit from Metricon to get it fixed, if that makes sense.

    Thanks for the tip about the A/C unit. My head starts to spin when I try and figure out what size unit we need. I need to go meet with someone to really understand how big of a unit we’ll require. We may even try living without A/C for a few months and see how we go. Chances are – we’ll get it pretty fast. We’re out in the North West of Sydney. Things get hot fast.

  7. John says:

    Stefan, you are welcome.

    On the tiling issue I understand your point. The savings effectively constitute insurance and I thought about that carefully myself. My other consideration is I am using the one tile – something I saw in one of M’s displays and it made a whole lot of sense to me.

    I have a friend who has just built with Clar3nd0n and when it came to the tiling (done post hand over)they were forced to build up the tiling by 35mm to take out the “waves” that you inevitably get in any slab. This means the top of his tiling is only 15mm below the skirting which will look pretty awful. Had it been the builders responsibility to do the tiling it might have been different. A tip for you, if you are using standard skirting board (45mm)get them to lift it off the slab by 20-25mm – it can solve a whole lot of grief later on.

    On the A/C front its a pretty easy calc. Metricon use Daikin so go to Daikins website and pull up the specs. The specs will tell you what floor space the unit is designed for (based on 2.4 m ceiling height). I have gone for an 8.5hp inverter system which I think would be pretty close to your spec. Our ceiling height is 3.216 metres (yes, that’s not a mis print) so volumetrically we would be very similar.

    I have to confess that my father is a gold licenced builder and my father in law is a gold licensed builder and I’ve sort of been brought up around the industry and I’m use to looking into this sort of stuff. So why am I building with M????….they tell me they’re retired !!!!! Nonetheless, no prizes for guessing who I will be getting to do my quality control once construction starts!!

    By your timings we are running about 2-3 weeks behind you so your blog makes a particularly interesting read.
    I look forward to hearing more of your progress.

  8. Rad says:

    Hi All,

    Thanks for all your comments. Makes an interesting read. I have just started the process with M and it already seem like am making lots of phone calls trying to see who will be responsible. I mean, on the tender there are some alterations needed, M says these variation will be done by providers like laminated floors instead of tile, and contact delorenzo. i contact delorenzo, and they say M should know & t’s up to them include the a bit of…”huh!!” happening on my part..

    anyway i will keep looking for clues in your posts.

    John i am in the same mindframe as you, i’d rather pay a couple extra hundred to get things done by M, then to pay for poor quality work later.. which M will not take responsibility of.. i loved your tip about putting architraves a bit higher if we are doing flooring separately from is a great valid point i hadn’t thought of.. still have to decide if i’m going with M or not on laminates…

  9. John says:


    the tender is only a very early working document – it’s indicative. Try to get as much in it as possible but don’t worry overly if its not exhaustive.

    I have actually signed contracts but there is also still alot of things to be changed. You would have noted from what Stefan has written he is in Council and similarly doesn’t have his stairs costed. Just on the contract signing – I refused to pay the deposit (5%) at the point of signing and said I would pay it when the plans are approved. They reluctantly agreed to this which saves you a few hundered dollars in interest and means you don’t have to chase your money if something goes wrong. It also puts the onus on them to chase the plans through finalisation and Council before they get paid.

    The things you are talking about (laminated flooring) will probably be sorted out by Studio M. Be careful though if you end up mixing laminated flooring with tiles or carpet. Laminated flooring sits on timber slats and will be 30-40mm above your slab. If you’re not careful you end up with a nastly little rise between flooring surfaces.

    In terms of a few hundred $$ extra I most certainly agree. However, I had a sparky give me a price on the balance of my electricals. Metricon were over $8000 and my guy was a smidge over $3000 and I can control where the lights go to a much greater extent. It’s horses for courses really.

    Good luck.

  10. jaideep singh & upkirat Kaur says:

    we are building a metricon home in a new development. very rightly when asked by the metricon consultant about our visit to dilorenzo my answer was the flooring allowed to us did not match the standards of metricon. spoke to senior management and in 2 weeks they had an upgrade option at a cost. we are doing our flooring and must praise metricon for giving us very reasonable credit for florring.

  11. Rad says:

    Hi John,

    Thanks for all the great tips. Electrical & plumbing is tricky, esp in double storey houses. I have a sparky friend who could do it cheaper, but M will not take responsibility of it and anyway, the ground floor needs to be done during framework construction miss out there..

    but thanks again for all the great hints & tips.

    Good luck to you as well!

  12. Joe says:

    Hey Guys,

    I assume you are not dealing with Non profit organisations here. They are here to make money. Its not rocket science. If you do it yourself after handover of course you will save money. The risk is that YOU and your selected subbie warrant the works. Hopefully it all worked out for you guys. BTW if you require maintenance down the track good luck finding the cheap tradey in a few years.

  13. Amber says:

    Who do metro on use for their tiles? Do they not have cheap options?


  1. […] Stonecutters homeowner have done the same, and seemed to be simple enough and Amanda, our neighbour recommends the same tactic. The ducting itself only cost a few thousand dollars, but the unit itself could be well over $10k. […]

  2. […] of Studio M’s “open preview days” (Saturdays from 10a-3p), and multiple trips to Di Lorenzo to best prepare for what we went through […]

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