Setbacks so close to the end

Angry Metricon customerHow is it possible to have setbacks so close to the end of it all?

After a weekend full of good times with our future neighbours, we were hit with some really disappointing news from our builder on Tuesday morning.  Council has responded to Metricon saying there’s nothing they can do and the French doors MUST be screened. After Metricon reassured us that they’d fight on our behalf, it appears that their idea of a fight with Council is more of a “well, we tried – now it’s your issue” mentality.

So, it’s now our problem. Again. We’re stuck with trying to deal with council again to ensure that our doors are bushfire compliant, and Metricon’s “solution” is to pay a bunch of money again to upgrade our doors to Merbau. This, of course, would be at “significant cost” as our customer support contact stated.

This should not be our issue. Our plans were approved by council as is. At least council should have caught this early on. Having an issue like this pop up just weeks before we are supposed to move in is unacceptable and should never have happened.  Our plans should have never been approved if French Doors couldn’t be screened. Good onya Metricon for washing your hands of the issue and throwing back into our lap. So much for customer service.

I’ve left messages with Council to escalate this issue to where it needs to be. Fortunately one of our future neighbours has the contact details for the supervisor of the individual we’ve been working with. Hopefully this proves to be helpful, because if there isn’t a quick resolution to this issue that doesn’t involve any additional out of pocket expenses, then neither Council nor Metricon will enjoy fielding calls from me.

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. Megan says:

    It makes absolutely no sense that they are fine with internal screens because in the event of a bushfire the doors will be closed and the screens will do nothing. They are also fine with retractable screens (which we can’t have because of the aluminium mesh requirement) so that would mean that the screen would always be retracted anyway. This whole thing makes no sense and has left me literally shaking. I cannot comprehend how this is our situation to handle yet again.

  2. Helen M says:

    Dear Megan and Stefan,

    I can only imagine how dispondent you are feeling now…do hang in there, do NOT let them (council) have their way. I think it’s their ploy of wearing you down until you give in, so don’t! As you stated, council approved your plans knowing fair well that you had these timber doors around your home, if they have stuffed up, too bad, they should wear it and leave you both to finish YOUR home the way YOU intented to build it. It’s bad enough that you had to pay the rural fire services for their input, consulted council several times over bush fire regulations always doing the right thing, yet cannot get a break…where is the jistice? and what about Metricon? they are happy to take your money yet are not batting for you when it counts. We were planning to buy a block overlooking beautiful bush views, and we too were planning for timber doors, (we’re supposed to have an APZ of 10 metres from the bush), but after following your blog, I don’t think we will. I wish you all the best, and keep fighting for what you both believe in.
    Helen M

  3. Kriss says:

    Megan and Stefan,
    I am sorry. This is so frustrating to read about and I can only imagine how frustrating it is to live. I am sorry you have such a frustrating fight ahead of you.

    Thinking of you and sending you “fight” vibes.

    To Metricon – you need to stand by your customers better. You can see above that you already have even more customers questioning your customer service support throughout the build process.


  4. Lauren says:

    Hey guys, so disappointing you’re having so many dramas with this.

    I would be hitting Metricon up, big time – they need to step up and do their job – we pay a premium for their service – and they missed this problem – even after stamping the plans stating that screens were needed. We had an issue where we had to change our windows after we signed contracts and done all the selections because they didn’t pick it up initially and I was dirty about that and the huge extra cost of changing it all to Merbeau.

    I can’t imagine how you must feel getting to this stage and having it happen.

    Maybe some solicitors advice in regard to the approval from the Council, and whether they can go back on it??? I’m not sure what the legalities of this are, but it might be worth looking into as a long shot??

    Good luck.

  5. Craigology says:

    That is profoundly ridiculous guys. Both Metricon and Blacktown Council deserve some bad press about this on the forums. Can you request an audience with a senior council engineer/planner to talk though it in person and see if any sanity emerges? Maybe even Blacktown Advocate may take a small story on all the ridiculous hoops you’ve had to jump through to build in this new area.

  6. maja says:

    Up until this point, Stefan and Megan have been so pleased with Metricon’s quality assurance and initiative in tackling problems and their site superviser has been communicative, helpful and hard-working.
    So what has happened? A set-back that you are unwilling to solve and which, by the way, is your responsibility alone? Please. Unacceptable.
    Metricon, step up and prove that you are an ethical business where your motto is “customers come first”. Do what you need to do and wrap up this beautiful house.

  7. Dave says:

    Good to see you’ve had the bushfire compliance issue solved. I wonder if it had anything to do with your being selected to feature in the “Home” publication on your experience with the build process.

    We’ve just been caught with an attempt by Metricon to introduce additional charges for bushfire compliance weeks after we’ve signed the contract. Given it’s happened to you and no doubt many others, I wonder just how “unforeseeable” an issue this is for Metricon, or whether it’s just something they conveniently don’t raise in the contracting process.

    My view is that it is actually illegal to introduce these charges because they know that bushfire compliance in many locations is likely to be an issue, so they can’t rely on the fact that they “couldn’t have foreseen it”

    I would be interested to know if you’ve heard from any other people caught in the same trap.



  1. […] the bushfire issue with Council dragged on with no end in sight, Megan and I have been preparing ourselves to do battle – […]

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