Weekly Update #11

This week we finally got to see our weatherboard, the area for the water tanks was cleared, the tiling was almost all done, and the painter has started.

There isn’t much to show in terms of paint, but no doubt the pictures will start to get a lot whiter around here.

For now here’s a picture of Lauren pretending to wash her hair in our new shower.

Locked up

We finally got to see our garage door today, it looks like a complete house now, just needs some paint here and there and some down pipes (and a huge amount of landscaping). We had a leisurely look through the entire house. Lately every time we go there are tradies there, even on weekends, so it was nice to have a proper look. 

The water tank area has also been cleared, it’s looking like it’s maybe not as far into the corner as we want, but it’s probably the best they could do. There is a MASSIVE amount of rocks that were moved out of the way which now line the driveway. I know we will want to keep some of these, but we will also need to have a think about getting rid of someone-we aren’t sure if this is something people would either like to buy or whether any landscaping companies might like to have them for free. All I know is it would cost a bucket load to get them removed completely. Hopefully we can suss out some options. 

Bathrooms & tiles & weatherboards, oh my!

Daniel and I have been out to the block this afternoon and found lots of exciting developments! It’s fairly picture heavy for all of the people who don’t have facebook and don’t get to see the progress in person (Hi Mum and Dad). 
15 tonne excavator all ready for tomorrow’s
water tank preparation
The cladding has finally been added.
We were so excited to finally see it!

Master bathroom. Looking spectacular!
The tiler’s work seems to be pretty exceptional!

Very happy with how our feature wall in the shower looks

Pantry shelves complete
Kitchen splashback

Spare bathroom. Very happy that we moved the column of
tiles to a more visible shower wall

Laundry. These are a smaller version of our main floor tiles,
very happy with the colour!

Cladding on the side of the house, not quite complete yet

Wow, 10 weeks!

I can’t believe we’ve been at this for 10 weeks now!  I’m so glad we’re keeping this blog as it would be easy to not stop and think about things like that.

The last week was a bit slower than it has been, at least it seems that way as there aren’t any big sweeping changes like there have been until now.  It used to be a big shock to see frames, bricks, or a roof, but since we saw our vanities and kitchen delivered a week ago there haven’t been any big surprises.

I met with the tiler today.  He seems quite on the ball and made a lot of good suggestions.  He’s the tiler that does a lot of the display homes for Coral, and says that some clients specifically request him.  Among the changes made on the spot are adding angle aluminium to the edge of the tiles that meet the cutout in the en-suite, putting the shower floor tiles on a 45 degree angle which apparently Coral doesn’t do anymore, and moving a feature wall in the shower to a different wall.

To make tiling easier they’ve taken the baths out and now they’re parked in the living room and walk in robe:

We also ordered our steel water tank, the one that we are supplying in addition to the PVC tanks Coral are bringing.  The council requires us to do this for bushfire reasons, and during contract stage we thought we could get away with just the two.

This week they’ll begin clearing the rocky area where the tanks are meant to go, so fingers crossed that goes well.  If it doesn’t go well it could mean the tanks are moved to a less desirable location, and will prevent us from doing the sort of landscaping and gardens we would like.

Eaves

We went out for a squiz at the house today and were surprised to see people out there working on a Saturday!  I’m not really sure what they were doing, they seemed to be cleaning up a bit.

The eaves have been done, which is something we’ve been wondering about the last few times we’ve gone.  “When are they doing the eaves?” Lauren would say.  Like that’s something we care about!  A year ago we didn’t even know what eaves were!  And yet it’s still exciting to see them there.

A few more shelves and doors had been put in too, and the weird makeshift refuse receptacle has been emptied.

We authorised the payment for the lock up stage this morning at the bank, it’s a big one.  On the way back we stopped at a vintage fair with lots of cool antique furniture for sale.  Not too tempted to buy anything after seeing those numbers at the bank 😛

Some guys from a generic sounding development company doing unknown things.  You can see the rubbish has been emptied in this one.

This is a view of our walk-in-robe.  The shelves have been put in now so it’s great to get a feel for the space.  The door is a bit weird I didn’t expect the door frame to extend out to the right like that, I wonder what that will look like.  I don’t remember this from the display homes…

The patio area with eaves and completed brick piers.  The patio itself doesn’t have the ceiling yet, I wonder if it will be recessed up a bit, or if it will be level with the eaves.

Eaves on the side of the house with the activity room.  The outside of the laundry looks incomplete because its still waiting for the weatherboard cladding.  Interesting there is a brick sill along here too, which we weren’t aware of but it makes sense. There are still eaves missing outside the bedroom in the background.

I did some weed killing while we were out there too.  There is quite a lot of that out there and we need to start taming it.  The weed killer I use kills everything though, including grass.  I want to get one that kills weeds to allow the grass to take over, but I’m not really sure what to look for.  With all the bare areas of dirt we have to give the grass the best chance to creep back without allowing the weeds to gain a foothold first.

Picture show

This afternoon I got home pretty late this afternoon, nevertheless Daniel and our friend Andrew were waiting for me so that we could go out to the house for a look. It was fairly dark by the time we got there, we managed to get a few outside pictures. They have done the brick sill which goes along the entire front of our our bedroom, we were pretty happy with how it looks. We also wondered how it would turn out as it wasn’t our idea, the Coral draftsman added it in without us asking for it, and we actually liked the idea and stuck with it. 

We were excited to find that the waterproofing had been done in the bathrooms. The bathroom cabinets haven’t been installed yet. However we were told about a week ago that the tilers are meant to be starting tomorrow, so we are assuming we will see some more progress in the bathrooms fairly soon.

Now for the real surprise. Our kitchen cabinets have been installed!! That was very exciting as we really hadn’t expected to see quite so much progress int he kitchen. When we visit I’m the one who is two steps ahead running from to room screaming out to Daniel to ‘hurry up and come see’. It was almost pitch black inside, so we are lucky we didn’t fall over anything. We brought our good old Dolphin torch, and luckily the camera can still capture everything, although the pics have a lot of schmutz on them.

We also discovered that the shelves have been added to our hallway and linen cupboard, as well as the bedroom cupboards. Doors, door frames and window frames have also been added.

A fine week nine!

This week I’m taking over from Daniel to do the end of week nine summary. We’ve had lots of ups and a few stressful moments here and there as per usual.

This week we saw a lot more progress with the bricks, it looks like they are almost at the point of doing the window sills and the areas have been left where the weatherboard will go. We are so happy with our brick choice, it looks exactly how we planned, and there is the perfect level of contrast between the bricks and mortar. I’m really glad we sprung for the off white mortar.

We also saw the majority of the plasterboard finished off, as well as the architraves. We have a proper house ‘shell’ now and have a real feel for everything. Though we have noticed that all of the cables in the storeroom have been cut through in the wrong spot. They are meant to be up high and out of reach, but have been pulled through at waist height. We’ve already alerted the SS and that will get sorted out at some point.

We have been a bit stressed over the past week or so while we waited to hear about the area our tanks are going. There was a chance that they were going to have to move the tanks over, which would effectively mean they would be smack bang in the middle of our our front yard area. As it is, they will be to the side of the front, there is no way around it, but they were supposed to be as far to the side as possible. The SS seemed convinced that it wasn’t going to be possible to dig up the rocks in the area. Our experience with this block is always ‘the bigger the better’ when it comes to all things digging and earth moving related. Our SS didn’t seem too convinced and continued trying to discuss the issue with bobcat operators. Finally on Friday we got word that he had met with various operators, and that he has actually organised the guy who recently did our driveway for us to come and do it. We are very happy with this, as this guy has access to an 18 tonne excavator, and it will give us the best chance to get them put in the area we want. We were also very happy with the work he did on our driveway. We’ve been given the go ahead from our SS to get him to do some extra work while he is there, so hopefully we can get some rocks and tree stumps removed while he is at it. During the site cut and clean up they just threw all of the rocks into the front yard, so we have a very messy area of massive rocks needing to be cleaned up.

As you all would have read we have been pretty stressed out about needing to get our temporary water tank filled. We had to just hope that it would get done and everything would be fine for the brickies to continue on Monday morning. We never heard about any issues yesterday or today, and we checked this afternoon and it was full. A lot of stressing over something we shouldn’t have to stress about. We really wouldn’t mind if we were just given an honest time frame of when it can be done, rather than continual promises. It was getting a bit monotonous toward the end there!

Anyway, onto more exciting things which we found today when we had our afternoon visit:

Special thanks to Daniel for waiting for me to get home from work so we could go to the block together today. Throughout winter I have had to just accept the fact that if he waited until I get home from work then it would be too dark by the time we get there. It’s finally at a point in the year where there is still enough light if we wait and go together. Loving it!

DIY

During my week off (feels like forever ago) I did a few little diy projects. 

I painted some bottles by swirling enamel paint on the inside. It takes ages to let the excess drip out! I was a bit disappointed with the yellow, but there weren’t many other options at Bunnings. It takes a few coats to get them opaque, but I’m pretty happy with the result. They made a good little spot to put some flowers recently for my Birthday.  
Before
After

I also worked on a few cushions with my favourite fabrics. I’m a big fan of grey and yellow together, so I can’t wait to put these in the new house.

After

Any other ideas will have to wait until we move. I’ve been eyeing off a few wooden pallets from the bricks, one of them even has the plastic covering still on it and the  planks are all a different colour, perfect for what I’m looking for! I’m also starting to keep my eye on Gumtree for a a good quality 9 piece dining setting, I have a few ideas up my sleeve if I can find the right one (at the right price).

Yet again

Once again the guy who provided our temporary water tank has let us down.

This is the same fellow who took a week to actually deliver our temporary tank when we started building. Every day we would check to see if it was there, and every day we would have to ring him again to see when he was going to do it-each time he’d say ‘yeah, I’ll definitely do it tomorrow’.

Now it’s come time to refill the tank because the brickies have used it all up and it’s the same story all over again. We found out Monday that it was getting low, so we called him right away. He said he would do it that night. We assumed it would get done. It’s now Friday and we just got a text from our SS saying there’s no water left.

Daniel just gave the guy a call and he said ‘yeah I’ll do it tomorrow’. The thing is, if he could just give an honest and fairly accurate response of when it will be done, we wouldn’t get so annoyed.

We’ll be going out the block on Sunday, fingers crossed it will be done or we are going to have some peed off brickies and an unhappy SS.

The End Of Week 8… half way mark?

This could very well be the middle of our build if the 16 week build time is right.  It seems to be at a point now where the house is transforming from a skeleton to a closed structure.

Our first look at some brickwork.  This is the front right corner of the house. The brick is Boral Slate.

Brick wall and pier in the outdoor living area.
The IRL version of the background on this blog.

Some plasterboard around the feature shelves in the entry way.

A first look at the oversized manhole in the garage.

The bathroom, looks smaller than it is, though it’s still pretty small.

We’re pretty happy with all this stuff, the only issue we’re having at the moment is with the water tanks – the area where they are meant to go is very rocky, and the usual equipment they use isn’t up to the job.  The SS is talking to another guy with slightly bigger equipment to see if he can get it done, but his fallback plan is to reposition them into the middle of what is essentially our front yard, so that would not be good!  We hope if it doesn’t work out with the other earthmover we can have the opportunity to bring in some big equipment to get it done right.

Speaking of tanks, we had to get our temporary water tank refilled – not sure if that’s done yet, but I did arrange it.  Apparently the brickies use up quite a bit of water.

Fixed

We’ve been back to the house today, my Brother and his Wife and the kidlets came out for another tour. We went back again later in the day to do some mowing as well. Here’s a few photos from today’s trip.

The cutout has been fixed

Brick delivery

Temporary pipes hooked up

Plasterboard delivery

Rough in and wrapping

This week we had our electrical and plumbing rough ins. We (Daniel) had some very specific requests for the electrician, so it was important that we go through all of that with him. Luckily the electrician was brilliant in that he completely understood where we were coming from. Anytime an issue came up where he couldn’t do exactly what we asked for, he worked with us to come up with a reasonable alternative. I really got the sense that he understood that this is going to be our home, and everything needs to be user friendly and make sense.  We were also relieved that the electrician was happy to sort out our double meter box issue without much fuss. We have finally got the message through to the right person that we already have a meter box and therefore only need a switchboard inside the garage. So glad that is sorted out! We also had a separate company come out at the same time to do our Ethernet cabling. 
You can just barely see the brackets to hold our light switches there. 
We were also excited to find that the house had been wrapped. It feels like there is a lot of progress going on at the moment. 

Front door installed
There was a lot going on while we were there. We had the electrician and his apprentice, the plumbers sorting out drainage around the house and another company doing the data points all at once. I’m sure it’s like this most days, but we’ve never been there to see it. 
Plumbers doing drainage

Plumbing

We also met with the SS on site. He let us know he is trying to sort out some issues with the area where our water tanks are going, there’s a chance they will have to move them over more. We aren’t too happy about that, but understand he is doing his best to sort things out. We’ve offered to get in a larger excavator if that will help, especially since we’ve had good experiences with one of the local excavator operators and he has access to a 14 tonner.

The SS also ran through the schedule with us. I can’t remember everything he said but it sounds like bricks should be started this Monday, plasterers sometime after that. The tiler is booked for the 17th of August. We explained to him that our rental lease ends in the second week of October and he felt that we should be able to move in before then at this stage. Phew.

We had another ‘oops’

So, we made another mistake, all of our own doing again, shall we blame it on stress?

In between our activity room and living room, we requested a window sized cut out where we would later add plantation shutters. This was added as a variation, and was not originally in the plan. The idea was to let a little breeze and light through, and also keep an eye on any future kidlets that may be hanging out on that side of the house.

This is our shutters idea photoshopped into a photo of a Marcoola display home.
We sent this to Coral when we requested the variation.

It wasn’t until the framers were finished that we realised the measurements were way off. It was meant to be a window sized cut out, but what’s actually there is a 2100 x 2100 opening, only 30 cm off the ground which goes fully to the ceiling. We saw this last weekend, but just thought they hadn’t finished with that part yet. Then somehow it clicked while we were going for our nightly walk on Tuesday night. We rushed back to check the measurements on the final plans and the variation, and sure enough, we had signed off on a 2100 x 2100 window. Farrrrk!!

“A walkway with a tripping hazard in it? Oh those crazy clients…”

We fired off an email to our SS and hoped for the best. Daniel spent the next day trying to get in touch with him- on a Wednesday, which we already know is the day that our SS is out of reach. Thankfully by about 3:30pm Daniel heard from our SS and we were promised that it would be sorted asap, and all it will cost us is a couple of cartons of beer! Never felt so relieved! Plus it lead to this little gem of a quote from Daniel: ‘I’m so damn happy it’s like there are fairies sprinkling fairy dust in my head’.

Neither of us have any idea how we managed to let this happen. The only thing we can attribute it to was that all of the requests were verbal, and the people involved knew exactly what we wanted and why we wanted it, so we didn’t really think to check the final plan. Stupid! Plus every time we did a variation it usually had a fair few things on it which were a tad more stress inducing, so we somehow managed to miss this.

Ah, relief.