Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Change of Scenery.

Welcome to the new look blog! Although I loved the colours of the old template, I just felt it was all a little squashed together, and I was quite limited with the size photos I could put on it. This new template will take time to get used to (it's so white!), but I will jazz it up a little over time, and perhaps create another title banner. I have also added a 'timeline of our journey' as a list down the left side. It's amazing to think we began this journey 12 months ago...although there was a six month hiccup in the middle of it!

I didn't hear from Henley last week, but will email tomorrow to find out what is happening. I really want a slab before Christmas, but at this late stage, I guess it's looking highly unlikely...

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Our Facade.

Many, many thanks to 'D@n' on the Homeone Forum for putting together a mock up of all of our facade colours. He has produced just what I had imagined! Although, the bricks will be smaller, and the mortar will be off white, not pink! But it certainly gives us a general 'feel' of what the finished house will look like. The doors look pretty prominant, but once the 4 black exterior lights are mounted, the fence in matching bricks with black metal work has been built and the charcoal grey driveway is done, it should all come together nicely, and fit in with the other houses in the street/area, and not date too quickly.

Thanks D@n!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Building Permit Arrives.

We have our building permit! Although it arrived yesterday and we forgot to check the mail, I discovered it in the letter box this morning!

All we need is to find out from Henley when site start will be, and it is all systems go. With any luck, they have sent our file up to the construction team, so they can begin the ordering of 'bits'. It's very exciting, but I'm not too sure of the 'slab before Christmas' at this stage...time will tell.

Hurry up Henley, I've been waiting long enough for this house... :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Great News!!

I have finally been able to get in contact with Henley (Admin had been on holidays), and we have had all our drawings completed and approved by Council, and the building permit will be delivered here, along with our final drawings shortly!! Whoopee!

I queried the 'lack of pink ribbons' on the block from the re-establishment survey, and was assured that it had been done. The reason why there were no ribbons is because our fences are out a little (about 10cm), so what the surveyors do instead, is peg/mark 1 metre exactly from the true boundary into our property. As a little of our property is on the neighbours side they couldn't put in the pegs. This still works out fine for putting the garage on the boundary/fence on the left, as it is all our property. Had it been the other way around, and we had 10cm of the neighbours property on our land then the whole house would have had to have been shifted across to build on our 'true' boundary. Confused?? ;) It all works out in the end, and the house is built on the same place as we had anticipated.

It's no wonder I couldn't find the pegs when I did my (almost) daily drive-bys! They were well and truly hidden and I really had to search hard for them...and I was expecting something pink!! When I finally found them, the front left side peg is in the footpath, and right next to the electricity pit:

The one on the left at the rear, was stuck in the fence support with black writing on one of the pailings "One metre from title"...totally invisible from the road!

The right one at the rear was again on the fence support, but behind all the birch trees, and in amongst the now tall grass:

The last one on the right was in the footpath again, and I still had to go searching for it! There wasn't even any pink spray paint to say "Here I am!!!":

So, once Henley have received the permit (thanks to the Council for stamping it ever so quickly!!), our file will be ordered this week, and once that is completed it will be out to construction next week!! Please keep all of your fingers and toes crossed that we will get a lovely slab for Christmas!! By the way, the 'house down the road' has almost a complete frame...

Since the house has come down, it has rained a little in Melbourne (for once), and most of the tracks left by the excavator have disappeared. Broken bits of tiles, windows, flooring and pipes have come to the surface, and including an agapanthus which certainly wasn't there previously!

In fact, where it is growing was under brick paving, or possibly the study! Tough as old boots!

To finish off this post, here is something quite interesting to note as to why we are going down the path of demolishing and rebuilding, rather then selling, buying and renovating. This arrived in the letter box from a local Real Estate Agents, and happens to be the adjoining suburb to where we are building (about 3-5km away).

This is some 'noteworthy results' of properties sold:

...and this is some which are currently up for sale:

I might also just add, that some of these include new townhouses, with little or no room for kids to play in, and houses around 50 years old that possibly could be in original condition! We know our house was only valued at around $450K so to sell up , then buy something at this price and have to renovate as well was not an option! This way is so much cheaper...but probably more stressful! But at least we can design what we want for us, and choose what colours we like.

I've certainly got a few million bucks just lying around...NOT!

...and just to add to the long list of things I have to do today, the refund cheque from the Council's Asset Protection has just been delivered. I could think of many different ways to spend the $1800, but I will have to rip it up, or send it back! (roll eyes!)

EDIT: As a little side note, despite stating in our tender that we need to get asset protection, from Tender documents: "9-4 Asset Protection Fee by Owner", it appears Henley have paid for one themselves (yesterday) for the construction so we are free to cash the cheque!

Shopping anyone?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Council Asset Protection Cleared??

Today I received a 'letter of clearance' from the Council for the Asset Protection. It's all well and good that they sent someone around to 'check' the condition of their assets, but the letter went on to say I will be receiving the deposit refund shortly. I rang the Council on 17th October to let them know the demo had finished, but as the permit lasts for 24 months it needed to be used through the construction phase as well (I refuse to get another one totalling $4000 roughly out of pocket for 12 months!) So another phone call today to tell them not to send the cheque...which, funnily enough, is probably in the mail now! If I receive it, I will have to ring the Council yet again to get them to cancel it.

The letter states 'I am pleased to advise that Council is satisfied that it's assets have been returned to a satisfactory standard'. I'm sure they didn't look too closely at the mashed mess called a footpath! Hilarious!!

Still no word from Henley, and no more movement on the block...except for us who keep visiting and scavenging for 'old bits'! We've found many broken bathroom tiles, bricks, and roof tiles, and have fun getting the children to work out what part of the house it was from!! OK, so it's pretty sad, but we have to pass this waiting game somehow!!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Still here, and still no site start date.

It's been a very busy few weeks in our household, and not much is happening at the dust bowl. The neighbours must think I'm completely mad! I still drive past almost every day, hoping that something has happened, and yet I know nothing has changed.

I emailed our lovely Admin today, who is currently on Annual Leave. I received an Auto Reply as well as an email from another Admin explaining she is away. I am still very impressed with Henley's customer service, as she did inform me that the contour survey had been done, and the draftsman is looking into this and re-ordering engineering. I still haven't seen any stakes with pink ribbons on them yet, identifying our 'true' boundaries...which is what I'm waiting for. I highly doubt the fences are in the absolute correct place on the boundary!!

From time to time, I may mention 'The House Down The Road'. This particular 'house' was demolished during ours (and levelled and cleared in 3 days not 8!), and currently I was watching them this morning pour the slab. It is quite disheartening, so I keep telling myself it will happen, and it has to happen, because at the moment we are house-less!

Last week I did send into Henley all of the variations for the 'free' PCV, and I guess once the soil test and survey are factured into it we will see how much extra we are up for. I don't think it will be a huge shock, as we know roughly how much each item is.

Apart from being terribly busy with family stuff, I have made some significant decisions on the 'look' I would like to achieve for the Lounge and the Entrance Hall, and been window shopping accordingly! Much to my Husbands disgust, the plan may include a feature wall of wallpaper! And everytime I'm passing a Freedom store, I drop in and sit on the couches we have selected. They are so divine!

While I'm posting pics, here are the gorgeous candle sticks I bought for 'somewhere'! Currently, they are wrapped in bubble wrap and squashed in the laundry cupboard with other breakables from the old house! Only I have the smaller 2.

Last, but not least, another couple of pics of the interior I found of The Wilshire. Although I forgot to 'flip' the first one so the orientation matches our floorplan.

I will post my thoughts and maybe some (very) rough sketches at a later stage of my decor plans!