Monday, September 21, 2009

Flooring complete, so the moving in begins!

It has been a very busy 'week and a bit' since I last updated the blog...I have just been too exhausted to even think about it!

So after getting the keys on the Thursday 10th, we had a family get together of pizza and Bolinger on the Friday night (with deck chairs on the concrete floors!).

We had every intention of sealing the garage floor over the weekend, but the weather decided to play havoc! It was incredibly windy, so what was soon swept up and out, ended back in the garage! We did, though, literally chisel off any odd bits of mortar, plaster and dirt from the garage floor, and made it look nice and smooth for the 'eventual' sealing.

Instead, we took down everyone of the hideous plastic china men's hats lamp shades the builder provided, and replaced most of the compact fluoros with 75 watt incandescents I've been stock piling for months! I spotted my Son wandering around the house with a china men's hat on his head! We also began to install the paper 'Redi Shades' on all the windows. Not the best for sun blockout, but instant privacy and only $7 each (for the small ones) at Bunnings!

So all was not lost over the first weekend! On Monday 14th Sept, I had organised a Telstra approved Contractor to dig the trench from the house to the street, and channel underground from the street to the nearest Telstra Pit. He arrived earlier than expected, had the job done in no time and left the nature stip of my neighbours looking as though absolutely nothing had taken place!

I made sure I took quite a few photos of the conduits' position and depth for future landscaping reference!

Since Monday ended up being such a lovely day with no wind, Hubby decided to leave early from work and put the first coat of sealer on the garage floor!

There were several options we were looking at, including Berger Jet Dry Paint and Dulux Garage Floor, but both applications required the floor of the garage to be acid etched first for the paint to 'take'. We decided to use 'Staseal Premium' from The Concreters' Warehouse' on recommendation from a friend. It required 2 coats, and the first having a solvent added into it so it would soak into the concrete. It was brushed on around the edges, and then 'broomed' on with a broom instead of a roller for the remainder of the floor.

Tuesday saw the beginnings of the floorboards go down, and I was very impressed with the results so far!

They are one strip engineered "Boral Silkwood in Spotted Gum". I have read several things about this type of flooring - both good and bad! We have gone with the 'Australiana' finish which is apparently more hard wearing than the 'natural' finish, so fingers crossed!

Tuesday late afternoon also saw the second coat of garage floor sealer go on:

It looks fabulous, and will be so much easier to sweep and also prevent the concrete dust being brought into the house. Well worth the effort! We just can't drive on it for about 5 days, especially with hot tyres as it can lift the paint.

On Wednesday, the floor boards were completed. They look fabulous, and really make the house look like a home! It took me ages to clean them, though, after all the foot traffic from the tradies!

Lovely variation in the wood:

Thursday morning the carpet installers arrived, and by the time they had finished for the day the whole of the upstairs was done.

The carpet is a woven 80% wool and 20% nylon from 'Brintons', called Bell Twist in the Mushroom colour. The installers commented that they guessed I wasn't planning on changing the carpet in a hurry! They have seen it layed for 45 years and still looking fabulous! They left rather a large mess with tufts of it everywhere, and it took me close to 3 hours vacuuming just the top storey! I had to empty the Dyson after every room as it was just absolutely FULL!

The finished installing the ground floor on the Friday, including the stairs, which they had a little trouble with as they were not quite built exactly as the display stairs I had photos of! It all worked out in the end, and no one will ever know there is a little gap in one part of a step where the stairs were slightly different to the display!

There is a small spot of glue or something similar right in the middle of the study floor, which I noticed as I finished vacuuming it. I did ring them, and am waiting for a call so they can organise a time to come and clean it off for me...or I won't be paying them! ;-)

Saturday we only had a couple of hours to move across a few boxes before we had 2 parties to go to. Sunday was fairly quiet as we assembled the 3 Expedit shelves and the 3 Ingolf bar chairs from Ikea! The Expedit shelves were an almost perfect fit across the wall in the kids TV area, I just need to get some more baskets, as they wouldn't have fitted in the car at the time!

The kids are really looking forward to eating their breakfast here in the mornings before school!

Today, being Monday 21st September, I am absolutely exhausted. It feels as though I haven't stopped for about 3 weeks, and it's only just the beginning. We hired a truck for 2 days (Husband on a weeks annual leave) and today we began to clear out all our furniture and boxes from the storage unit. The truck has been fabulous, and the kids loved riding on the hydraulic lift...which has been a Godsend!!

We took 2 trips to the storage unit, clearing out a third each time. I have an aching neck and back, and I'm just about to pop into bed....ready to do it all again tomorrow. Not sure when I'll get a chance to update the blog again this week. All depends on how much energy I have left!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

News Flash...WE HAVE THE KEYS!!!

Not much else to say, really!

It's been a very busy day, and I'm exhausted, but we have the keys and the house is finally ours!!!

Many thanks to our Waterstone Financial person, who pulled a few strings and got the bank moving to release the funds. And many thanks to our lovely CSA at Henley who we met today after 7 months of talking on the phone almost every week. I hope they both like their boxes of chocolates...I ran out of time to get some flowers too, as it was all a bit of a rush once the money came through!

I'll attempt to update a little more tomorrow, and should have some photos of the redi shades!

I hope you'll still continue to follow my journey as it's really only just the beginning. There is so much to do to turn it into our little home!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

What a Week.

Friday 28th August to Friday 4th September will not go down in history as one of the best weeks we've had. We've encountered the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, and all in the space of hours.

Friday 28th August just happened to be my Husband's 40th Birthday. The day before we had our house inspection and were extremely happy with only 66 minor items to fix, all of which could be completed in a week, and the house would be ready to handover on the 4th. We knew the bank most likely wouldn't be ready, but little did we know they would completely stuff us around. More on that later...

So, for the big birthday, we chose to eat at a lovely local Italian restaurant. Upon returning to the car, we noticed that the inside cover to the boot was up (which it never is). We looked around the car and noticed the ipod and the GPS, which were very well hidden, had gone. The drivers' side lock was completely wrecked, and once at the Police Station we also realised the 2 white china dinner sets we had bought the night before but left in the car had also gone. Not a nice way to end your 40th Birthday, but to also be out of pocket over $1200. Fair enough the ipod and the GPS have served us well over the past 5 years, but the dinner sets were for the new house and were still nicely wrapped in their boxes. I hadn't even looked at them.

There's probably not a chance in hell the Police will ever find the culprits, but I have informed Myer that 2 new unopened dinner sets 'may' be brought back, and I'm on the lookout on ebay. Chances are they'll be sold at a market, a pub or off the back of a truck. I was furious, to say the least.

After having our inspection on Thursday, the final invoice and cover letter explaining what to do with the left over funds was faxed off to 'the bank' on Friday morning. On Monday, my Husband rang them to see if they had the fax. To which the person replied they did, and began to read it back over the phone. Fabulous! Confirmation that they have it and they can begin to process we thought.

With a school cross country race on Friday 28th, a Ballet Concert on the Saturday and a family party/dinner for Hubby on the Sunday, I ended up having my Daughter home sick from school on the Monday through to Thursday. The poor thing was absolutely exhausted. It enabled me to do a fair bit of tidying and packing, which was a good thing! On Thursday I was finally able to get out of the house and hit the shops again! ;-)

Friday 4th there was a Fathers Day Breakfast and a circus performance at school in the morning, followed by our re-inspection of our house to check to see all the items had been attended to, and to our satisfaction. All but 3 items were fixed properly. The 4 on the list included:

* Touch up the render on the right pillar of the portico (the metal edging was still visible)
* The skirting on the curved wall in the 3rd bedroom was still a little wonky
* The spreader on the downpipe from the top storey to the garage roof HAD been fixed, but not to the inspectors liking, so it will be done again!

The 4th item on the list is one we should have picked up earlier, but it didn't occur to us until last week. All our network, speaker and HDMI cabling had been done by an external person pre plaster and at our own cost. When the electrical fit off took place, the sparkies fitted a cover plate to the HDMI cable in the alfresco, which is fine, but in doing so they cut the end of the $200 cable complete with the fitted plug on it, rendering it useless. It has been suggested that the sparkies might be able to solder on another plug, but Hubby seems to think it is not possible due to the nature of the cable. If they can't do that, then they will have to fork out of their own pocket another cable and *fingers crossed* use the existing damaged one to draw it through the wall cavity and through the other end in the family room. If they can't, well then I guess they'll have to rip out the plaster and replace the cable that way. We really are not happy that this has happened, as they perhaps should not have touched the HDMI cable in the first place as it wasn't part of their 'job'. But what's done is done, and hopefully it will be an easy fix, and thankfully we won't have to pay for it.

All in all, the re-inspection went really well, and we hoped we were all set for settlement on the 11th. Having had confirmation from 'the bank' that they had received the fax on Monday, all that was missing was the Certificate of Occupancy.

Around Midday that afternoon, I had a call from Henley to say the certificate had just been received and it was being forwarded on to me, and onto 'the bank'. Fantastic!! The keys are sure to be ours the following Friday!!.....maybe....

....I'd just come home at 4pm after picking up the kids in the pouring rain when I received a frantic call from Hubby to say 'the bank' has not received our final invoice. WHAT??? It was discussed over the phone on Monday, they had received it alright! Absolutely reeling at this stage, I had to drive out to Henley's Head Office with our copy of the fax (proving it had been received) and give it to our financial person who has dealt with all our loan documents throughout the process. She knows the strings to pull to get things done, as she has had to hurry them up with previous stage payments when 'the bank' failed to release the money in 14 days.

Again, I am absolutely furious at been given the run around. Basically, they have wasted 5 of the 10 days they claim it takes to conduct a property valuation and release the funds. They had better get a move on, because WE WILL settle this Friday, having picked up the cheque from 'the bank' on Thursday afternoon.

I would much rather be sipping Bolly on Friday knowing the 23 month ordeal is over, than ringing around all the things I have organised to happen the following week because the bank has completely stuffed up AGAIN....

Not Happy Jan.