Saturday, June 27, 2009

Fixing Stage Complete.

It's been a while since an update, as nothing really visible has happened on the exterior and I am locked out! I did have an onsite meeting with my lovely SS on Friday morning, so was able to have a good look around and take lots of photos! Also at this meeting was a person from the flooring place to properly measure for the floorboards and the carpet.

The fixing stage has been completed, which means all the cabinets are in, including the kitchen, laundry and bathrooms, all the skirtings and architraves have been installed, and the doors are on. It looks fabulous, and I am so happy with the choices we made with the interior doors and the higher skirtings.

The ensuite vanity unit, with double basins and lots of storage and bench space for my beautiful apothecary jars:

We deleted the bath, and extended the WIR and had a bigger shower instead:

The master bedroom with the double ensuite doors on the left. I measured the little alcove, and our bed plus bedside tables should fit in here:

TV area upstairs with the linen cupboard on the left, bedroom 2, bedroom 3 past the stairs, bath and toilet out of view, and bed 4 on the right. Loving the 2 panel doors! I wanted a consistant look throughout the house, so I put them on all the robes too.

We have a bath in the kids' bathroom! It's not a huge space, but hopefully there won't be too many fights over it when they are teenagers! At least there is another shower if worse comes to worse!

The full width mirror extending over the bath will give an illusion of space:

The double doors into the family/meals/kitchen from the hallway. This is one of the first things I noticed was wrong. They have been swung the way that Henley 'normally' do them, but we requested they swing the other way into the hallway. On a standard plan there is no under stair storage door, but because we added this in, a bulk head had to be moved closer to the family room. Normally, without the understair door, the doors would sit open against the walls, but because we moved them, we specifically requested they be swung the other way to avoid having to walk around the open door when going to the kitchen. This is clearly demonstrated in the following photos. Thankfully, this will be rectified according to our plans. You would think that the chippies would actually read them, and not assume...wouldn't you?

The kitchen! Another thing I noticed was the 2 banks of 3 pot drawers in the kitchen were all the same size. According to our plans and the drawings we signed off on, both the top ones should be skinnier, and the bottom 2 deeper. This is what I wanted, as it means you can store all the small cooking untensils in the top drawer with not as much wasted space, and have the 2 deeper ones for the crockery, mugs, pots and pans. After showing my SS the dimensions on the plans, he agreed with me, and they will be changed:

The kitchen island bench with double sink and dishwasher provision:

The kitchen is a glossy 2 pac finish in 'Alabaster'. It is white, but slightly warmer that the 'Polar White', and not as creamy as 'Antique White'! The Caesar Stone bench top will be 'Ice Snow', which is predominantly white with small flecks of greyish/light brownish through it. They should be installed this coming week:

The kitchen from the meals area looking towards the wrong hall doors on the right. The double flush doors is the pantry (I can't wait for all that space! It's about 4 times as big as the one in our old house!), the oven tower for the double oven and microwave, and the fridge space (yes, it will fit!). The open shelf above the fridge will be for recipe books and my "EAT" letters:

The meals area with the north window we added in. Under the window our buffet will fit nicely, and my gorgeous 1m wide wrought iron French style clock will sit on the wall on the left:

The family room taken from the meals area. Big enough, I think:

Dining room and stair case:

Lounge room for my gorgeous Toorak 3 seater couches (among other things!):

The laundry and lots of extra storage! Having had a tiny laundry with no storage in the old house, I made sure we added in a bench top and upper and lower cupboards:

The bench top is laminex Diamond Gloss Pure Mineralstone, and will tie in nicely with the Caesar Stone everywhere else:

The linen cupboard will have 1/3 broom and ironing board section, and 2/3rds shelving:

Looking down the hall to the front doors. The garage entrance door is on the right:

The powder room vanity and space for the mirror. Caesar Stone benchtop to go in here too:

Although I spent over an hour inside the house, I didn't take as many pics as I could have! I was pretty busy discussing things with my SS and carpet measurer! Half the time I was juggling a bag, a note book, the plans and my camera, so I apologise for the quality of the pics, but at least it gives you an idea!

Along with all the work that has gone on inside, all the infills have been done above the doors where it was required. Apart from the 2 issues inside and a downpipe on the garage which is in the wrong spot, I couldn't fault anything! We are extremely happy with everything, and can't wait to have handover in approximately 8 weeks (give or take 2 weeks)!

RIP Michael Jackson 1958-2009.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Front doors are in!

Finally, some more work on the facade to take photos of since I have no access inside until Friday...only 4 more sleeps ;) !

...only you'll just have to image they are glossy black!

The renderer is still MIA. I know he doesn't like to do it when there is any chance of rain on the forecast, but today was a gorgeous sunny day in Melbourne. Perhaps he is finishing someone else's. Anyway, he has 'roughly' 10 weeks to complete it (give or take 2 weeks)...

I can't wait to get back inside! I'm sure I'll be just like a kid let loose in a lolly shop!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Latest Artwork.

It's been a few months since I have made any artwork, just been a little busy! Last week I made the decision to make a peg board for my Niece's Birthday to match the one I previously made for her brother! I already had the idea in the back of my mind, as well as most of the materials, so it didn't take too long at all. This one has, by far, been the easiest one to do, and I'm pretty pleased with the way it turned out!

Very girly, don't you think?

I am slowly putting a list together of questions and queries for my site meeting on Friday. I will also go armed with the plans to see if the cabinets are right, swatches to check the colours of the cabinets and benches if they are in, and a tape measure to measure the fridge space, washing machine space and alcove where we plan to put our bed! I will be making careful note of all the skirtings and architraves to see if the walls are straight, and there are no obvious 'bows'. I'm not sure if the doors will be left off for painting, otherwise I will also be checking the doors to see if they are even, especially the 4 sets of double doors when closed!

I can't wait to get in and have a good look around again! Be prepared for a huge post with lots of photos!!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

New Fridge and Couches.

Yesterday, my couches were delivered to Mum and Dad's where they will safely be stored, wrapped in plastic until we move in. I won't get to see them for over a week!

Freedom have been fantastic at prolonging the delivery as long as possible. I ordered them back in January when they were on sale! I still have arm rest covers to come as I ordered them later...once I knew they even existed!

Also on sale was the fridge we have had our eye on for several years! It should fit in the space perfectly (all going to plan), so this morning I put a deposit down on it, and can cancel the order (and use the deposit for another fridge or Dyson etc) if it doesn't fit when I measure the space next Friday.

Although it's not terribly large, we will still have our 12 year old 'upside down' fridge in the garage where we can store things we don't necessarily need on a daily basis, and our party food (large pavlovas and Christmas turkeys!) and drinks! I think with careful planning and storage, both the freezer and fridge will be perfect! Also with the added bonus of filtered cold water and ice on tap. The shop will warehouse it until delivery, which could be up to 4 months away. With any luck, it will only be about 10 weeks! I'm very happy to have saved over $770 on it!

I have just received our weekly update from our CSA. Everything's going really well and the fixing carpenter should be finished this week. Which means all my doors, architraves, skirtings and cabinets are in! I also discovered that the house is now 72% complete! We are now into week 20 of the build, and according to Henley, 63 working days (no weekends/holidays etc), and we haven't had any rain delays which has been fantastic! The painter has been pushed back until the 3rd July. This could take 2 weeks max, then the tilers are due in, which could also take 2 weeks. After that the fit off should begin, which could take about 2 weeks as well. Then the last 2 weeks will be inspections and checks before a possible handover. So, in an ideal world, we could be looking at being in in 10 weeks! Of course, I still anticipate about 12-14 weeks! It has been a smooth build so far, but I guess now the fixtures and features are the most important part, and if they are not 'right' then there will invariably be delays.

At least we should be in by Christmas!! ;-)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A day that got me nowhere at all...

Today was one of the most frustrating days!

I have always had the plan that I was going to change the tapware to something more 'traditional'. I purposely chose the tapware that Henley provided because I wanted the 2 taps and 1 spout instead of a mixer tap. I didn't want to have to pay for an upgrade to something I wasn't going to keep, either. Unfortunately, so I discovered last Friday, the taps I chose at the colour appointment use a 3/4 turn ceramic disk mechanism, as opposed to a standard washer type arrangement.

Today I went to Cosham and picked out other taps that use the washer not the ceramic disc and then set about attempting to organise a PCV to have them all changed. If only it could have been that simple...

As it turns out, according to my SS, it is now too late to make any changes. So, no PCV and no different taps. Looks as though I'm stuck with taps I hate and can't easily be changed after handover because the mechanism is completely wrong. This is probably the reason why people build twice...they learn so many mistakes they made in the first place so as not to repeat them EVER again!!

I am so annoyed and frustrated that I cannot have the taps I desire because a) Henley didn't provide them in the first place, and b) I did not know enough about taps in the first place before I made my decision to try and save money and not upgrade initially.

To change the taps after handover, will most likely mean ripping off tiles and plaster and compromising the waterproofing. Not happy about it at all, but there is nothing I can do about it...

On another sad note, our lovely CSA who has been wonderful, professional and always willing to answer anything, will no longer be our CSA. I'm pretty guttered, as changes to Admin staff means getting to know someone new and getting to know the way they do things. Added stress that I really don't appreciate at the moment. Not happy, but not a lot I can do.

Apparently I have a kitchen too! Although I can't get in to see it until next Friday That's 10 whole days away! Oh the pain!! I can't stand the waiting!!

I'll leave this post on a more positive note. My beautiful 2 x 3 seater Toorak couches from Freedom are to be delivered tomorrow!! Yippee!! Hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to share with you some photos. Until then, I'll keep sipping at my glass of red and eating chocolate...

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Gorgeous Stairs!

I took some photos through very dirty windows yesterday of my beautiful stairs! Also piled up in the lounge room are the internal 2 panel doors and from what I could see through the window, it looks as though my gorgeous front doors are there in amongst the pile too!

Beautiful curved stairs with the curly balusters (dust collectors!), including the 5th one on the top landing:

Looking through the other dining window to the bottom of the stairs and the pile of architraves and skirtings:

Looking into the lounge with at the stack of doors. If you look closely, you can see 2 doors, slightly greenish, and not sitting flush with the rest of them. These look like my lovely Corinthian Classic PCL 2B front doors. There are also what looks like 2 doors that are higher than any of the others. I believe these are for the pantry:

I also noticed the A/J's (articulation or expansion joins) in the bricks had been filled. The colour matches the bricks fairly well, which is probably why I hadn't noticed it before! Not sure when they were done:

Interested to see what happens this week! With any luck the fixing carpenter will be on site installing the doors etc, and then maybe the kitchen might be delivered!!

Friday, June 12, 2009

I Have Stairs!!!!!

...but first, here are the pictures of the garage roof tiles from Wednesday!

While I was there yesterday morning taking these photos, there was (obviously) a car parked in the new 'undercover' garage. From inside I could hear some nail bashing going on, but had no idea who, what or why.

It wasn't until my Husband returned home from work (and a peek through dirty windows) that we had stairs!! We both went back with 'site shoes' and a torch and peeked through the dining windows. Gorgeous, gorgeous stairs! This is what they will eventually look like, although different paint colours:

The 'walls' of the stairs will match the wall colour, while the rest of the woodwork on the stairs will be white to match the rest of the woodwork throughout the house. The banister will be stained and glossed as it is in the photo. The reason why we decided to do this was that it will 'hide' more finger prints and grime, and if it chips accidentally, then the stain will be a bit more forgiving than if it was white. It will also tie in with the colour of our floorboards down the hallway and into the family/kitchen/meals.

When we did our colour appointment or Tender (I can't remember), I asked to have 6 decorative balusters, to include 2 on the top of the stairs in the TV area. I was advised that they can only provide 4. That was OK, I could live with that...well I have 5 that I could see!!

There is one on the first rise of stairs, 2 on the curved landing, another on the second rise of stairs, and the last on the top landing. Lovely!!

I'm so looking forward to my next site meeting in a few weeks when I can look at them properly and walk up them!!! There was also a delivery of doors, architraves and skirtings! I can't wait to see it all come together!!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Garage roof tiles.

On my morning drive-by I bumped into my SS on site and stopped for a very quick chat (it was freezing and raining!). I asked a few questions about what was next on the agenda and whether there were any 'problems' with the plaster. There are a few, but certainly nothing out of the ordinary, and all will be addressed. My guess is it's possibly the frame that might be slightly out of whack in a few places, and the plaster tends to show every little thing that's not quite right! The fixing carpenter/s is away at the moment (not sure when he/they are getting back...), but the tiles are due to go on this week. Rendering cannot happen while it's raining, and for once, it's raining in Melbourne! I'm actually not too concerned about the render. Just as long as it's done prior to handover, it doesn't matter when. It's actually probably better if it is delayed, just so it doesn't get knocked or wrecked by other trades, as render cannot be patched successfully.

I also asked my SS whether he was willing to give an approximate time until handover. I suggested somewhere between 12 to 16 weeks, and he replied sooner, rather than later! It is still too early to tell, as there is still quite a bit to organise with several different trades. He will have more of an idea once the painters are in. Not sure when that will be!

Considering the showery weather today, I didn't pack my camera and I thought twice about driving by after the school pick-up...but I did anyway! I was gobsmacked to see the garage roof tiles had been done! But, no photos until tomorrow morning...sorry! Very impressed at the tradies my SS prefers to use! The brickies worked in the rain back in April, and the roofing guys did it today! Thanks fellas!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

We're Plastered Part 2.

No one on site today, so I was able to go back and have a look around up stairs after my very quick run around this morning.

TV area:

The curved wall for the stairs:

Back of the curved wall in bedroom 3:

Bedroom 2:

MB. Ensuite on the left, WIR around the corner to the right:

Ensuite and toilet to the left (separate room):


Master Bedroom. Ensute to left, WIR to the right:

Master Bedroom through to the main bathroom at the end. Ensuite to the right:

I can't believe they did all of this in one day! Amazing! I'm not sure what will be on the agenda next, nor when the plasterers are back to finish and install the cornice. Who knows, tommorrow I may have garage roof tiles!

We are very impressed with the consistant work so far. We'll be in before we know it!! Maybe I should begin to think about packing...

We're Plastered!!!

Hehe...couldn't resist! I've waited a long time to be able to say that!!

It was another very productive day yesterday. When I drove past in the morning, there was a van in the driveway, but I couldn't see much action happening inside the house. It wasn't until I went past at around 3pm, that it was all systems go!

I was very surprised to see the guttering and the fascias had been installed on the garage, and also the scaff was in place ready for the tilers.

I didn't dare go near the house, as someone was throwing out the offcuts of plaster out the MB window and onto the ground below! From what I could see, they had done the top storey, and were still working on the bottom. I took a few pics, then left and decided to go back later. I did, at around 5pm, and they were still there!!! No such luck for a 'stalk walk'. Never mind!

Today, on my morning visit, there were no vans in the driveway, so I quickly had a look through the windows in the dining and family rooms. There were plastered walls!! I went round the back and was surprised to see the stacker door ajar (so much for lock-up AGAIN!). I had a very quick look around the ground floor for fear of being sprung! I didn't venture upstairs, but will try and get a chance later this afternoon. I did manage to snap away at all that I could in my 2 minutes!

Family room from stacker door towards the curved stair wall:

Meals (under the window which we added) and the kitchen:

family room with ceiling not quite completed yet:

Dining room with ladder (stairs eventually...) and the door to the wine cellar:

Lounge room:

Entrance and the double front doors:

From the entrance looking back towards the family room:

Clean bricks!! Although they are still a little damp (no sun!):


The alfresco ceiling has been installed too: