Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Updated Demo Quote.

We organised to have another quote from our chosen demolishes, as we are fast running out of time, and have not had a chance to get the trees cut down. We also thought about keeping some concrete out the back, where the sheds are, to relocate the cubby house, but we have to remove the Liquidamber next to it. Now that we have our site plan we have to take out several other trees as well. It seemed easier to get the demolishes to take it all out instead of a tree lopping company!

So, for an extra $1500, 6 large trees will be removed, as well as all the concrete and the sheds. Total cost will be $10,700, and we think that is very reasonable!

We are looking at moving out late August now, as demo may not happen until late September...once all the connections have been cut off. There are still many boxes to pack and furniture to move, but we are making steady progress!

Contract signing appointment is next Monday, so with any luck we will receive it on Friday and have the whole weekend to read through it all with a fine toothed comb! Although demo will be quite an emotional time, I can't wait to have a brand new house!

Friday, July 18, 2008

School Fire Update.

Nothing exciting is happening with our own house building until we sign the contract, so I thought I'd update on the school fire.

It has been a very exhausting and challenging first week back of Term 3 for the children, as they adjust to their new routines. They are all being dropped off at the school and bussed to a near-by school, which has been so kind in offering classrooms for them all. They then are bussed back to our school where the Parents pick them up. Unfortunately, there is no where to park at the school, as the main carpark is being used for trucks and bulldozers working on the damaged buildings, and it's just too unsafe to have cars, parents and children near the buildings. We have walked to school a few mornings, otherwise we park in the side streets and walk to the school gates. This morning, was the most challenging, as it was raining...for once!

The workers have been very busy with lots of activity at the school. Trees have been removed (unfortunately), to make way for the portables, and demolition and decontamination are beginning. It won't be long before the children are back on home soil and in their temporary classrooms while the re-building continues.

The Principal and the teachers have been just fantastic through all of this, as has the whole school community. It's been an horrific thing to have happened, but we will move forward from this little 'blip' in the history of our school.

Onwards and upwards!!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Devastating Day.

Saturday 12th July 2008 will be a very dark day for our little community. We woke to the news at 7am that a fire had been lit in our primary school, with 2 buildings affected.

Upon arriving at the school at 8am, we were greeted with smoke billowing out from the main building, numerous fire units and police cars, and some very distressed teachers. The two buildings affected house the majority of the classrooms. The main building has been seriously damaged with the whole office, computer lab, robotics lab, grades 5 and 6 classrooms completely gone. The other building affected has the junior classes, where the prep room has been singed severely. This accounts for approximately 40% of the school, with 90% being damaged in some way by smoke and/or water.

It made headlines on all the news bulletins last night and the shock soon turned to reality as they showed a lot more of the extent of the damage than what we could see when we were at the school during the day. I think it will really hit home when we return from school holidays tomorrow.

Latest news is that the main building may have to be fully demolished as the damage to the structure is far too great to repair. That would leave only 2 classrooms currently being used in the other building. I am unsure of the state of this building at this stage.

Our community has been rocked by the individual/s who caused this atrocious act, and I hope they feel guilty for what they have done. Our community is a strong one, and we will rally together in our time of need and our little primary school will rise from the ashes and strive forward, for the sake of our beautiful children.

Friday, July 11, 2008

It's Been A Busy Week....

After going through a few emails on Monday after our tender signing, I had the sudden realisation that there were no extra heating vents in the Bathroom or Ensuite. We had discussed this with our Sales Consultant, and I had written an email outlining this and a few other additions a while ago when he was preparing our revised quote. I sent the email off to our Admin (who has since changed) outlining the mistake in the hope we could get it rectified.

We were bombarded with so much info at the tender signing, and I did have a list of things to 'check'...but this, unfortunately, also seemed to miss this list. I had rather a sleepless night on Monday thinking it was going to cost us a 'Post Contract Variation' (read $500). My PC also decided to crash on Thursday morning. It took me over an hour to download 6 emails and attempt to get into a couple of my favourite forums. I rebooted...and windows wouldn't start again :(.

So, tonight, I finally have email and internet again, and I have received an email from our new Admin letting me know there will be a new tender drawn up, which we will need to sign and return. Looks as though it won't cost us a cent!! Yay!

Apart from the sleepless nights, I have been busy sorting out the kids toys, throwing out a heap of stuff and packing more boxes - ready for the weekly run to the storage place!

I'm getting there, slowly...and I can't wait for the school holidays to end so I can have a little peace to pack in! ;)

Monday, July 7, 2008

Tender Today.

We had our Tender appointment this morning, and were pleasantly surprised at the outcome. There were no shocks and nothing that needed to be crossed off the list due to being too expensive. The best news was that we don't require retaining walls around the cut and fill areas! Whoo Hoo!!

Our site costs come in at around $15,500, which we had been hoping for, especially with the absence of the retainers. The slab will need to be strengthened in some areas where the fill top soil (sandy silty stuff) is deeper than 600mm, and along the south boundary (where the garage is) the slab will require deepened edge beams where the fill is as well. We are also getting agi pipes and 2 silts drain to help with drainage.

We are still unsure of the need for root barrier, but this will be decided once the house has been removed and an engineer can look at the site again. Due to Council regulations, we have to include frosted glass to the upstairs TV area, and also in bedroom 3 as there will be privacy issues with the neighbours. We also have to include Part B termite treatment (Part A is standard), which is a porous tube running around the perimeter of the house with several points to fill up the pipe with a special non toxic chemical.

All of our 'added extras' and/or variations add up to a whopping $69,000! But with the Alfresco at over $10,000 and the Colour tech (2 pac) kitchen at $5,500, it's no wonder, really!

Here is a complete list of all of our variations:

* Grand Alfresco

* Remote control garage door

* Daniel Robertson Bricks

* Off white mortar

* Classic shingle style roof tiles

* Extend the 300mm eaves to 450mm throughout

* Heritage architraves and skirtings

* Soundproofing the walls around the study

* Provide a robe with 4 shelves to the study

* 4 decorative ribbon balusters to the staircase

* Upgrade paint to 3 coats Taubmans living proof silk

* 2 Corinthian 820mm wide double entry doors and no sidelites

* Provide extra window to meals area

* Swap 2 windows from lounge with the 1 window in dining (no charge)

* Provide 2 Sofia levers and single deadbolts to Laundry external door and garage internal access door.

* Half glazed laundry door instead of full glazed (no charge)

* Provide 2 doors to the ensuite (no charge)

* Provide 2 doors to the hallway/kitchen/meals/family

* Provide 2 doors to study

* Provide door to under stairs

* Provide 5 metal privacy buttons to sofia handles in bathroom, WC, Powder, ensuite and ensuite WC

* Provide Sofia levers to all doors, including front entry door (no charge)

* Provide 29 Corinthian Cambridge 2 panel doors throughout

* Flyscreen to all awning and sliding windows

* Sliding flywire mesh door to meals area sliding door.

* Garage internal; access door to open into hallway (no charge)

* Provide zone motor to 5 star central heating to close off the top storey

* Overhead cupboards with portrait doors and large canopy stainless steel rangehood (no charge)

* Provide underbench cupboards (2 lots of 3 pot drawers) and stainless steel cooktop with wok burner

* All kitchen base cupboard options and wall oven tower standard (no charge)

* Provide 1000mm wide overhead fridge/freezer space with feature open shelf (no charge)

* Provide Gloss Colourtech in 'soft bevelled' profile to cupboards and drawers only. Provide Gloss Clolourtech end panels, rear panels and kicker.

* Provide Stainless steel microwave and trim kit to the wall oven tower

* Rangehood is externally vented through the brick veneer wall (no charge)

* Provide larger vanity and larger shower in lieu of bath to ensuite. WIR extended and window to suit provided. (no charge)

* Provide portrait doors and 3 drawers to double ensuite vanity (no charge)

* Provide portrait doors and 3 drawers to bathroom vanity (no charge)

* Provide portrait doors and 3 drawers to powder room vanity

* Provide Caesarstone bench tops to ensuite, bathroom and powder

* Upgrade 3 Tribune Close Coupled china white toilet suites in lieu of standard

* Provide Double towel rail to bathroom

* Provide overhead cupboards and underbench cupboards in laundry

* Provide linen in laundry with 1/3 broom and 2/3 shelves (no charge)

* Provide alarm system

* Additional cold water capped tap to fridge space

* Additional external tap to rear of house

* 29 fire rated low voltage downlights

* 4 additional batten ceiling light points

* 7 additional batten wall lights

* 1 internal junction box for future light to under stairs

* 5 external junction boxes fixed to brick veneer walls for future light points

* 5 external junction boxes fixed to solid brick walls for future light points

* 9 additional internal double power points

* 1 additional two-way switch to entry light point

* 1 junction box in alfresco ceiling for future fan

* 2 additional TV points to study and alfresco

* 1 additional hard wired smoke detector to outside laundry/powder room

* 1 dimmer switch to standard batten ceiling light in dining

...and that's it!!! We haven't done many variations to the floorplan, as we specifically chose this floorplan as it was exactly what we were after. So basically the changes are more cosmetic than anything else.

Our Contract signing is booked in for Monday 4th August at 9am, and we will receive our plans and complete drawings a few days prior to completely look over and make sure there are no mistakes. So, all going to plan we are looking at demo and site start around late September!!! Yippee!