Council Approved!

158 painstakingly long days later, we finally have Council Approval. After a frustrating whirlwind adventure, complete with stories that you wouldn’t believe, we’ve got the approved stamped plans, hand delivered to Metricon by Megan this afternoon. After all the hardships it came down to a solution that, in my opinion, should have been suggested weeks months ago…

When the dust cleared this week over at Council, the solution that was left standing was exactly what we wanted in the first place, except the wood used in the bifold doors had changed and we were out another $5,000. We changed from the standard Meranti wood (softwood) that is used to build the doors to the more expensive Merbau wood. Merbau is a hardwood that has been tested against Level 3 bushfire zones (we’re level 1). While we’ll be paying a premium to get our bifold doors made of Merbau (they’ll need to be custom made) the upside, besides the approval process, is the way the doors age. They’re likely to last a lot longer than they would have otherwise. In fact, we’re looking into replacing our two sets of French Doors to Merbau too. Of course, that’s pending Metricon’s quote.

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Yes! Oh sorry, I meant no…

depressedHi all, it’s Megan. Here is the latest update.

Today was our original deadline with Metricon, and the day we hoped to get council to approve the bi-fold doors. As you can see from previous posts, after exhausting all avenues Stefan and I had a bushfire report done and submitted it to council in order to have our bi-fold doors approved without screens. Council in turn, submitted this to the RFS and we subsequently received verbal approval at 3:30pm today – it all was looking good to move ahead.

Since council shuts at 4:30, I decided to head out to Blacktown in the hope that the written approval would come by the time I got there. Upon arrival at council, I was told that although the RFS had provided written approval which said we didn’t require screens on the bi-fold doors, the doors needed to comply to the table outlined in the RFS document published on their website (that we had discovered about 2 weeks ago and were told that was outdated).

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Finally, progress with Blacktown Council

hooray

After a week of frustrating setbacks and heated conversations, we’ve started this week out on the right foot. Our representative at council has suddenly been extremely proactive in getting the approval expedited, and Metricon has approved our contract extension for a further 13 days (the 150 days in which we are to have council approval and building permits approved by).

Don’t remember reading anything about why we’d need an extension? It’s not you – I held off writing about it because I wanted to give Metricon a chance to come good on a decision we felt was in poor judgment. Let’s take a step back, and I’ll fill you in on what transpired during the previous week…

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Ups & downs, with a sideways thrown in for good measure

bang headThe Council approval process has been a journey, to say the least. Today however, was a journey of it’s own. One you would not believe…

Megan arrived to work this morning with excellent news. The very first email she received today was an email from our contact at Blacktown Council stating that he had spoken to the bifold door manufacturer company and all his worries and hesitations about approving the doors were put as ease. All he was waiting for now was a letter documenting what was discussed during the conversation and then the house was going to be approved!

Seemed all pretty straight forward to me – just draft up a letter, send it across, and we were on our way! So from 9am this morning, Megan and I were in a fantastic mood…until right around 4:45pm. It was then that Megan received a call from our builder, stating we were back to square one…

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Driving in reverse – more delays with Council

Roll EyesA quick update for everyone – we received an email from Blacktown Council yesterday (yes, on a Saturday) stating that regardless of the information that we sent across this week stating the bi-fold compliances, we will still require an additional bushfire report.

I think this is rediculous – all that’s happening is Council trying to wash their hands clean of any responsibility. No one wants to take control and provide concrete answers, likely due to the way society operates these days – everyone loves to shift the blame and responsibility to someone else so they’re not caught up in the blame game if something ever goes wrong.

It was good to hear what Sarah mentioned on a previous post – she was building with Metricon as well, and went over their timeline with no financial penalties ( the building contract states a price increase of 2% should you not have a site start within 150 days of putting a deposit down). It looks like that’s more or less in place for the people that drag their feet due to financial difficulties etc. Our 150 days is up on March 3rd. We’re definitely not dragging our feet – Megan especially has been working hard to get the approval across the line.