Friday, September 30, 2011

Pool Builder Vs House Builder

Glad I am out of town as all I've had on my my message bank is the builders moaning about each other! I think I'll stay out of it and let them duke it out with each other. Now boys play nice, you need to share!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

An Expensive Hole and Some Annoying Little Mistakes

We were down on site at the crack of dawn to meet with the pool company and help oversee markout for the pool position. All went smoothly and the layout and position of the pool looks really good. Then the diggers moved in and made at $12,000 hole in our back yard - now that's what I call value for money. The soil is being dumped fairly locally at a property where they wanted some fill. We had problems as to where we could take the soil as we are in a fire ant restricted area and can therefore only dump in another fire ant restricted area even though there is no evidence of fire ants on our block or those of the neighbours. I know its officialdom gone made otherwise we could have offered it to someone only 6 streets away!
The temporary pool fence will be up by lunchtime and the steel preparation for the concrete works commences either tomorrow or early next week.

Now the house..... The bricks have scrubbed up beautifully, the oxide brown patches are hardly noticeable now so I don't think we will be asking to have any bricks replaced. There are a few areas of untidy and missing mortar which I will have to discuss with the SS. Someone left a window wide open (tut tut! so much for security - we have no fencing around the site and I am asking for a refund on the 130 lineal meters of temporary fencing that was included in the site fees, any way - ) so Sandy climbed in and let me in through the laundry door. (We made sure we locked up on the way out as we don't want squatters.)

The floor tiling looks good, there is one row that hasn't been grouted, no idea why so that's another one to ask about. The hardware is on the doors but we have spotted some errors and a couple of things we are not happy with.
  1. They have put a strip of wood one one of the double doors into the family room, it is a different colour to the door and does not sit flush so it looks really ugly
  2. They have put a bathroom door lock on our rather expensive study sliding door instead of two big back to back horizontal handles and have thus ruined the door and the frame so that will need to be replaced (rather pee'd off about that because they have simply not read the plans!)
  3. The way the sinks are plumbed under the vanities is crazy, I have never seen so many joins and weird angles. it takes up half the cupboard space instead of running neatly across and down.
  4. I, sorry, we do not like the fact that the tiles in the showers have been laid in a diamond pattern when we have specifically asked for straight lay throughout. Pull em up and do it again please.
  5. There is a blackened linewood end fill piece in the kitchen at the end of the white cabinets er duh this should be white.
  6. The water pipe from the side of the water tank comes down too close to the kitchen window leaving no room for us to place the pool fencing so hopefully this can be re-angled and moved over.
The security and data networks have been installed and they have made a very tidy job so that's good.
Look overall we are very pleased but it gets to the point now when silly little mistakes end up spoiling the end finish. Time for a big chat with TC the site supervisor.
Oh and Metricon have been unable to provide us with colour samples for the master robe doors so we know have to go to the supplier which is an hours drive away to pick something out, not sure when we are going to get time for that as I am away for work this weekend and then busy all week. Hmm can you tell I'm slightly irritated by the inconvenience, perhaps I should send Metricon a bill for my time and car expenses?

I will add photos in my next post. Be warned there will be a lot.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Plumbed and Cleaned

The plumbers have been busy here's what they have done so far: the drains are in and connected to downpipes, the water tank and hot water heater have been installed and connected, and toilets, sinks, showers and taps have been fitted.

The tiles have been grouted and the bricks have been cleaned. (I am yet to see these things for myself and have no photos to share).

Now there really doesn't seem very much left to do before we will be moving in.....shower screens, baths, robe doors, air con, appliances, carpets, electrical fittings and concrete drive way. Oh and a bloody good clean!!!!
Better start packing, book Mini Movers and get the storage Pod organised - erm may be we should wait until PCI before getting too excited!!

The pool dig will be tomorrow, have to be on site at 6.30am as they want us there when they mark out the pool position to ensure it is done to our specifications. Then they will concrete it and wait four weeks for it to harden before they pebblecrete etc. Fantastic it should be ready at about the same time as the house completes, perfect timing for summer yippee.

Get some pool fencing, lay some pavers, fence the yard, make a yard, move in, set up home and then.......relax and enjoy sorry that last bit should read buy a puppy and hope it doesn't trash the place!!!! I know who goes to all the trouble of creating a new home simply to fill it with a 5 year old boy and his dog? Simply insane.............

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Green Thumbs?

The tiling is ready to grout, the toilets, showers, baths etc have arrived along with the hot water heater so the plumbers will be on site to install those soon. The SS has decided to delay the driveway and concrete until the plumbers have finished in case they need to do any digging or get access to inground plumbing (well that seems sensible). The tiler has added two extra rows of tiles for us in the butler's pantry for a small fee which is fine as it would have cost us a lot more than that to get someone in to do it for us. We are contemplating getting a larger glass splashback done for around the kitchen window after we move in.....if we had realised it was going to be so small we would have asked for it to be upgraded when we did our colour selections way back in March/April. This is yet another thing to double check on your plans - the splash backs are very tiny so don't assume just because you saw something in the display home that that is what you are going to get.
Size of Glass Splashback - We Would Have Liked This As High As The Window

We went to the North Lakes Metricon display at the weekend (after finally moving the bricks! yeah only about 20 wheelbarrow loads) to have a look at how they have planted and landscaped the garden areas. At the moment we are trying to decide where to have grass and garden beds, should we add some pavers and pebbles, perhaps a water feature or two, where will the BBQ go, how about a pergola, a built in BBQ and some bench seating, what can we plant and so on. For me it is hard to picture what the garden will look like when we are on site as it is all uneven and sloping, there are no fences and the pool and paving is yet to go in.

The main area outside the family room will be mainly turf so that we have an area to kick a ball and run around. There is talk of a cubby house in the back corner of this area, no planning permission required if it is no higher than 2400mm and less than 10sqm in size, with a slide and a sand pit. A garden bed along the fence and a concrete pad outside the rear garage door.

From the outdoor room to the rear fence we have approx 3m so a strip of grass and then some feature planting, possibly do a pergola and a built in BBQ with decking bench seats. Do you need planning permission for a pergola, I will have to find out.
Around the pool we will have the light grey granite pavers ( they had the exact same ones at North Lakes and they look great) and a raised garden bed with waterfall so only need to plant that out and use some feature pots for decoration.

The area from the laundry will have pavers and pebbles and a few plants along the fence line (I think).

The front garden is a 250sqm nature covenant so we can only put native plants in that area. We are getting some advice on that as we don't know a plant from a weed yet alone a native from a non-native!
We have also designed two garden beds on either side of the portico at the moment these are either going to be planted or have gravel and water features in them. The final decision will be made based on cost and practicality.

This is the overall feel we would like to create - simple, clean and low maintenance.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Nolan 45 Metricon

Images of a finished home? Some photos from the Metricon website to help me envisage what a decorated Nolan could look like. Don't think I'll be adopting the animal head on the wall look though. Now we can feel the end getting nearer we have started to think about what finishing touches we would like to add to the house. Furniture wise we plan to use our existing pieces and build from there, although I have my eye on a couple of additional pieces already!
A new fridge is on the cards (even though there is absolutely nothing wrong with the F&P one we have had for 11 years), we'd like one of those french door versions with the chilled water dispenser, fridge in one half and freezer in the other plus a new TV for the family room nothing too big perhaps a 40-42" screen will be enough.


LG Side by Side Fridge

LG Fridge Open

Furniture wise I would like a to add some easy chairs to the master bedroom and family room and a small table and chair set for our balcony and maybe look at getting a new bed.
Obviously I will need a new BBQ as nothing but the best is going to make it into the outdoor room!
Easy Chairs

Lovely Sofa - dream on

Out Door Setting

Bedroom Ideas

BBQ Mmmm My Mouth Is Watering

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Flooring Is Spreading

The tiles continue to spread across the floors. From what I can see through the windows there are only a few edges left to lay then grouting can commence.
There was a guy there measuring up for the balustrade for the balcony so obviously that will be coming soon.
No concreters they must be busy doing other jobs, no toilets, showers and baths etc I presume even though I don't know for sure as I can't get to go upstairs to check. Must be happening once the tiles are finished.

The site bin is over flowing and there are piles of building rubbish growing around the site plus someone locally thinks our site bin is their personal dumping ground....I'll be keeping an eye out for them....... I know they have a small dog (tins of dog food) and a child - packaging from toys hmm that should narrow it down.
I can't wait for them to do a site clean again. But for now it is up to us to try and control what mess we can and oh joy its brick moving day to day.

We managed to pick out some really lovely light grey granite pavers for around the pool and in the outdoor room. I would have liked 600 x 300 but the only options were 400 x 400 or 600 x 600, our floor tiles are 400s so we opted to go for the same size to keep the flow and also the 600s are harder to lay. Sandy is still concerned about glare but even the lady in the pool tile shop said the darker ones get really hot. Also we are having quite a dark interior finish to the pool so I feel darker pavers will be too much. I got to have the final say on paver choice as the pool is my baby....... Gulp! I hope it works out ok, oh well too late now.

More flooring pics for those who can't get enough....

Entrance and Hallway

Kitchen Floor

Dinning Room and Family Room To The Back Right

Laundry Floor

Friday, September 23, 2011

I Must Be Psychic

As predicted in my last post the tilers turned up and commenced the mammoth task of tiling the floors downstairs. The areas to be covered included the kitchen, dining room, family room, laundry, butler's pantry, entry and hallway - quite a big expanse. It seems like it will take 2-3 days to lay the tiles and another 2 days to grout them. Sandy asked them if they'd do another 2 rows of tiles for the butler's pantry splashback if there are enough left over tiles otherwise one extra row would be fine...and as our tilers are great people they are more than happy to do that for us. Must make sure to remind them though.

It's one of those odd optical illusion during building moments as now the tiles are going down the place looks even bigger. May be it's the knock on effect of living in a once bed one room apartment, who knows?

At 3.45pm the roofers also put in appearance to fix up the remaining damage to the roof on the garage and outdoor room.

Granite Paving
We're off to look at pavers for around the pool and in the outdoor room area this morning. We are thinking of a light grey granite finish so it's not too hot to walk on but are a bit concerned it might create too much glare. The show home at Underwood has some lovely granite pavers and we are hoping to replicate what we saw there. Here's a snap we took when we were idea gathering.

The only photos I can get are through the windows so sorry for poor quality...

What The Tiles Look Like - Family Room Looking Into Kitchen (The House Isn't Really Leaning Over)


Tiles - Family Room Into Hallway

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Where Is Everyone?

So we were expecting a lot of activity at the house this week but where is everyone? There are no tilers, no concreters, no plumbers, no electricians, no painters, no cleaners.....nobody. What? Eh? The SS told us the fixings, tiling and driveway would be done this week, I wonder if he got mixed up and was looking at his diary for next week when we had our chat on Monday?
Any how there is no point getting stressed I simply find it odd that not a single person, tradie or delivery has been seen.
That's not entirely fair as we have more roof tiles and some have been replaced where they got broken on the garage roof and we have a glass splashback in the kitchen. Otherwise nothing, nada, rien, nichts, niente, nulla...... not a thing! You know they'll all turn up on site today now that I've had a mini whinge.

Beam Over Outdoor Room Painted Jasper (Colorbond Range)

More of the Beams

Glass Splashback (Taken Through The Window - Does It Look Wonky?)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Schools In Next Summer

A slight digression, the local state school have accepted our son's enrolment. He starts prep in January and will be able to walk to school which is brilliant. After speaking to some of our new neighbours there are a few families who have children around his age who will also be attending the same school. So hopefully he will have local friends to play with which will be really wonderful and was just one of the reasons why we decided to buy and build where we did. That plus the fact there are great playgrounds and open spaces, walks along the river and it is close enough to work and the shops. I'm loving it already.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

And Now For The Next Bit

Being locked out is mildly frustrating as we haven't been able to check on progress but after a call from our SS we can confirm that painting is completed and that fixing and floor tiling is about to commence. By fixing they don't mean repairs they mean fixing things in place like shower screens, baths and toilets, taps, and electrical fittings including lights, switches power points etc. We're not really sure how long these things take and know the water tank, air conditioning unit, water heater and carpets will then also need to be attended to, however the SS did mention that by the end of this week he might be able to look at an approximate Practical Completion date!!!!! I can't quite believe that our house is going to be finished soon it seems like it only just started a few weeks ago.

The pool construction is due to start  a week on Thursday so it's going to be a very busy site again over the next few weeks. Hopefully I can sneak out from work for long enough to get some photos and actually see for myself what has been done.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Smells Like Paint

Couldn't get in again but when you walk around the outside the house smells of paint so I know they have been in there doing more work. The rear garage door has had a primer coat applied prior to being painted jasper from the colorbond range. Here's hoping we made the right decision with that as the dune looks great and I am now wondering if we should have simply had dune on all the exterior areas. The beams over the outdoor room will also be jasper so fingers crossed.

I have noticed a few more brick colour defects these ones have a reddish patch so I will have to speak to TC the SS about whether these can be replaced or not. I haven't seen any chipped ones but then again it's almost impossible to see the bricks higher than about 2-3m off the ground. Binoculars anyone?

The plantation build next but one lot over looks finished, I can see red dots stuck on the walls and skirting so they must have had their PCI, I wonder when they will be moving in? The soho behind us looks like it is about 2 weeks from being ready and all the other builds are progressing nicely. The weather is glorious so I hope it stays that way ready for our concrete pour as preparation for the driveway is due to commence.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Had a peek through the windows as the glad wrap is now down so they must be done with spray painting. I like the colour we picked for the wall it is a pale grey-brown and looks quite different to the white of the ceiling and cornices. It is fairly obvious that there are more coats of paint required as you can still see the unevenness in colour coming through from the plasterboard.

We will have to take a trip to Bunnings as according to the people who manufacture the robe doors the paint colour we have chosen is not available in the metallic range so now we have to choose one that is. Glad they picked up on it and didn't just choose something that they thought would be a close enough match.
Will let you know what we decided on once we have had 5 minutes to pop out for sample chips.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

First Coat

Spray paining commenced - first coat applied - no photos couldn't go in.
We are having Metricon white for the ceilings and crystal gazing for the walls which is an off-white colour. Very adventurous I know but we can add and change colours at a later date. Plus it was really too expensive to pay to have feature wall colours at around an additional $130 per wall.
Thinking we may do wallpaper for some of our feature walls?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Glad Wrap

The painters were on site yesterday getting everything prepped to start painting which means they have wrapped and taped the windows, bathrooms, kitchen and stairs in plastic prior to spray painting which starts today.
They reckon it will take them a week to complete all the painting , no way!!!! it would take me a week just to the laundry.
It will then be approximately 7 weeks until all is finished...I know I can't believe it either.

Plastic Sheets On Windows

Not The Sort Of Window Dressing I Had In Mind

Stairs Wearing A Very Fetching Drop Sheet and Plastic Bag Ensemble

Laundry Protected

Finished Shelving In Butler's Pantry

The scaffolding has been removed from site, concreting is actually next week and the works for the pool is penciled in for the 29th Sept (it may be sooner if they can move us forward). We have handed in the necessary paperwork to the bank so they can pay for fixed stage, the guys at St George have been brilliant thanks Paul and Brian for being so efficient and explaining things in terms we understand. That means the next payment will be for PCI/handover da da dah. I know we will need buildings insurance etc in place prior to the bank handing over the cash and they will also need to do an inspection/valuation of their own before its all official. Sandy is super organised when it comes to that sort of thing so I know she will have evrything in place when the time comes.
Here's looking forward to a move date in November.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Get Down! Pipes

Did the usual drive by the house as we can't bear to be away from it for more than a day and low and behold they've put the down pipes on. We stayed with the standard range which are square and actually look alright now they are on the house. It is wierd trying to pick things from samples in a showroom. The down pipes are colorbond dune and match in well with the exterior colour schemes.
Portico Side On With Down Pipe

Garage Down Pipe - Now Its On Its Not So Ugly Still Would Have Been Nicer On The Side

Square Profile - Standard Inclusion

They've Had Another Coat of Stain

Front Door With Additional Stain

Motar Drop Out There's A Few Of These To Patch

Build progress on other sites is zooming along. Glad no one is building directly next to us yet as it really makes it a squeeze for the trades and deliveries when two houses are being done side by side. Some bickering has broken out with accusations of your builders trucks have cracked our crossover and everyone is driving across my block and so on but what do you expect its a building site and if you had already started your build your trades would be doing the same on someone elses land. I just smile and swiftly move along.

Oh and the bill for fixed stage has arrived.....I told you they all come at once.

Saturday, September 10, 2011


The house now stands proud on our block in all its glory no longer hidden behind the scaffolding beams. How amazing it's like seeing the house for the first time, everything looks so different.

I have spotted a few discoloured areas on the bricks where the appear to have bled and created dark patches which have run into the mortar. I'm not sure if this will clean off or whether these bricks may need replacing? There are also a few broken roof tiles on the outdoor room and garage which will need changing. In a way I'm pleased about that as they will need to order more roof tiles and hopefully there will then be some spare ones left over should we need to fix up any cracked tiles in the future. (Originally we had about 15 left over but some kids had been on site and smashed them up.)
Oh by they way we have no temporary fencing even though in our site fees it states supply and install 130 lineal meters of temporary fencing. I will be seeing if we will be refunded for this as it has never been supplied or installed.

The painters have been busy applying more coats of stain to the front door and bifolds and other than that there is nothing else to report so here's some pictures for you.

Ta Da The House In All Its Glory

Look No Scaffolding - We LOVE It

View From Back Garden
View From Where The Pool Will Be

Discoloured Bricks and Mortar

Broken Tiles on Garage Roof

Ensuite Vanity and Shower

My Bath Surround Tiles

Looking In From Master Suite - There Are Cavity Sliders With Translucent Glass On Here

The Advertising Shot - Taken By Our Son Aged 4

Silver Tile Edgers an Upgrade But So Worth It Not To Have White Plastic

Family Bathroom

The Ensuite - Shower and WC

Double Doors We Had Added To Close Off Family Room From Hallway