After speaking with our customer service manager with Metricon, we discovered they had received a RFI (request for information) regarding the bushfire protection measures that we’ve got in place. Some of the requests are straight forward, while some may prove not to be…
Through speaking with the Blacktown approval department and the RFI that was sent to Metricon, we became aware of the fact that Blacktown was requesting all the bushfire protection details that were required for a Level 1 bushfire zone to be added to our house plans. No troubles – seemed pretty straight forward. What’s not so straight forward is the issue that Blacktown Council has with our bi-fold doors.
Because we’re within 100m of bush (Level 1 Zone), we’ve been told (through a phone call to the Rural Bushfire Service) that external ground doors (bi-fold or otherwise) may require any of the following, and it’s entirely up to your council:
- Aluminum doors
- Aluminum fly screens
- Door seals to protect against embers
- High heat flux rating
I must admit – I’m not happy. Apparently these are standard bushfire protection measures and not at all out of the ordinary, but to us, it seems as if it is. Metricon supposedly did their research about what was required for our bushfire protection measures. After all, we already spent $5,000 for other measures such as gutter guards, weep hole covers and more.
So why wasn’t this picked up? We paid around $16,000 for the two bi-fold AND to delete the adjoining pillar so the entire room opens up seamlessly to the outdoor room. If we’re required to add flyscreens we would require the adjoining pillar. If we require aluminum doors, it alters the entire look of the house (all other doors are dark oak stained timber). The last two options however, are completely reasonable, but wouldn’t you think these measures would already be included – especially at the price we paid?
The last option – high heat flux rating, means that the wood must be resistant to heat (AKA it doesn’t perform like a match). I suppose I just assumed that this was a standard issue window. Maybe it is – but if it isn’t, why should I have to pay extra for this, especially when the builder is already aware we’re building in a bushfire prone area.
But that’s just me.
We picked the Metricon Liberty for a number of reasons, but one of the biggest draws was the way the main living room could open up seemlessly into the outdoor room. If that must be changed or it will cost significantly more to get what we have been promised, it significantly changes the way I feel about the home, and needless to say, I won’t be pleased.
While it’s not entirely up to our builder, I would hope the Blacktown Council developer approval department and Metricon make it happen for us. Whatever the decision is, I’ll be sure to let you know.