Sunday, November 27, 2011

Naturally Cool

I never really fully appreciated until now how a well positioned and insulated house makes all the difference to whether it is too hot or too cold inside. The main living areas of our house face north east and stay really cool even in 33 degree heat and high humidity. We catch the breeze no matter which direction it is coming from, simply open a few windows and a bifold door and viola instant cooling. We have not needed the air con on during the day once yet and boy let me tell you it has been hot and sticky weather here in Brisbane since we moved in. The last  few places we lived we would have melted and needed the air con running at full bore under similar conditions and even then it would still be hot.
The only room that gets quite warm is the master suite but that's because it faces south west and at the moment we don't have proper window coverings and haven't been opening the balcony doors so our pieces or cardboard for curtains don't blow off!

Hopefully we will find the house stays warm during the winter.....

We have decided we are going to keep a tally of running costs for the house so at the end of our first year here we can let you know how much we spent on gas, electric and water. I think it will be quite interesting.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Sorted and Piled Up

Wow, moving house is exhausting. We have unpacked and sorted through our belongings and now have a pile of things to throw away (the skip is coming today!) a pile of things that we are giving away and another pile for items that we will be selling on e-bay. It's a big task but one that is very satisfying once completed. The only problem now is I don't really know where anything is other than the kettle and the tea bags! (not quite but it feels that way).

I have just been watching the sunrise through the bi-fold doors, everyone else is still asleep and its moments like this that make a house a home.
The local wildlife has been making us feel welcome, we have a small flock of ducks who come over to eat the grass for breakfast and dinner and we also had a crazy hare (yes hare) come charging through our garden, only to hit the fence, turn around and charge off the way he had come in. What fun.

So the skip is coming today, the pavers and coping for around the pool should be arriving in a day or two and we are getting a quote to seal the driveway.
The native plant covenant now has lots of little new native plants in and has been mulched, yes we have some greenery. The Metricon board has also been removed along with the erosion barrier so now from the front it looks like a home and not a building site at last, shame we can't say the same about the back gardens! We are getting a quote for some grass and trying to come up with some ideas on landscaping and plants and may be even a deck with pergola off our outdoor room (as if our out door area wasn't already big enough!).

The fly screens in the family room are now in and we spoke to the air con people and apparently it is such a powerful system that it has to have excess air flow in to one big zone otherwise the motor will blow up under its own force. Ok then if that's the case so be it. And she said something about being able to control the system via SMS from our mobile phones - well that's news to me! She is e-mailing us information on how it works. Neat eh? Coming home on a hot day I can phone ahead and put the air con on before I get in. Awesome.
Now I just need to work out how to do it!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

70% Unpacked, 90% Exhausted, 100% Satisfied

Phew, we're in, mostly unpacked, a bit worn out but very happy to be in our new home. We have some really fancy pieces of cardboard blu-tacked to the windows while we wait for the blinds to come and have had no major glitches or hiccups this far. However, the air con will need some attention as even with some zones off there is still air flow, usually it means the motor is not closing the vents off fully and the air con guys just need to come and give it a tweek. I will call them Monday to see when they can come out.

It's great to have a dishwasher again - pure indulgence but we love it seeing as we cook so much. Loving the space, awesome for hide and seek and chasing around,however even though the house is huge it lacks, as all new build homes do, in the storage department so it looks like we will be having yet another trip to IKEA soon.

Today we christened the outdoor room with an easy lunch of hot dogs, normally I would have done a BBQ but we left the old one at the apartment and we are yet to decide what one to get for here. The outdoor room is brilliant, it catches a small amount of early morning sun then is in shade for the rest of the day. Perfect. The bi-fold doors allow us to take advantage of the cooling breezes and the house stays much cooler than anywhere we have lived in Oz before.

Yesterday the fences got spray painted in a mid grey to match our colour schemes and the plumbers finally turned up to do the pipe work for the pool and install the pump and filter. We are optimistic of getting the pool completed for Xmas but we'll really have to keep our fingers crossed as the pool company are super duper busy. I guess everyone wants to be swimming with Santa this year.

I have some more photos for you but as I am typing this on the note book and not my more powerful lap top I will be here until 2012 trying to upload them so yet again you guys will have to wait for those progress shots.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Today Is The Day

Today is the day we offically take up residence in our new home. The POD has been delivered and mini-movers are coming to pack up the apartment and shift everything into the house. Sandy has moved and unpacked most of our boxes so the place is feeling quite homely already.
And smells lovely from all the candles we bought.
I am excited about coming home form work tonight having our first proper meal and first sleep in the house that has been a dream for so long now. I am definitely treating myself to a long soak in the bath after months of only being able to have a shower.

A quiet-ish weekend is planned so hopefully we can spend some time relaxing and making ourselves at home. (BIG smiles).

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


We are in the midst of the final stages of packing up the apartment ready to move into our home on Thursday. I have my work clothes and my PJs left out and almost everything else is gone. Sandy has been busy moving the boxes from the garage and unpacking them at the house only to bring them back to be refilled.

The boundary fence is finished but we are waiting for the gates and part of the screen around the pool area to arrive. The boys should be able to do the pool screen as soon as it gets here but we may have to wait until after Christmas for the the other sections which is fine. As long as the pool area is done and we can use the pool over the Christmas break I will be happy. But........
The pool contractor and the office keep telling us different things so we are slightly irritated by this as we are booking trades and planning around what we have been told and then having to reschedule everyone again. So hopefully we will see some action on site next week. We have told him we have moved in and that he can start and that we really, really must be completed by the holidays. I know they are busy but we have had this job booked since March!

Metricon rang to say the missing fly screens in the family room had indeed been over looked and the window company is coming out Mon 21st to fit them for us. Good that's the sort of service I like to receive.

The gardener/landscaper is going to start planting out the native vegetation covenant at the front of the house today which is great as there will be some green stuff at last. So it'll soon be looking less and less like a building site and more like a garden. Fantastic.

Sunday afternoon we bought loads of candles for the bathrooms and spent a lovely hour unwrapping them and putting them around each bath. The house now smells of vanilla and forest berries yummy. Our son choose lots of red candles and rainbow colour candle holders along with a little clear vase and fake red and yellow mini gerberas which is now pride of place on his vanity. He is so sweet and has a very keen eye for design!

Its amazing how a few simple touches suddenly make the place look and feel like home.

The lights we ordered arrived yesterday so I can't wait to unpack them and see what they look like in the space.

We have a busy few days ahead and another jam packed weekend but it will be all worth it to finally be living in Our Nolan 45 which by the way is the first ever Nolan built in Queensland and has had about 30 different groups come through to see it. We should charge M a commission and entrance fees.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Mini Movers Mini Cleaners

A big day yesterday. The fencing is two thirds finished, the stairs have been sanded, re-stained and re-varnished, all the paint touch ups have been attended to, the dodgy light in the study has been fixed and we started moving some of our boxes in.

Metricon pay there cleaners peanuts so when they come through your house they give the place a cosmetic "clean" which means the building rubble and rubbish is gone but your house isn't clean enough for you to live in, unless you like a lot of dust that is. So the in the morning we all gave the place a good dust, mop, vacuum and wash down before breaking for a picnic lunch in the family room. The outdoor room was off limits as the fencing crew were sawing and nail gunning out there and it was too noisy. Lunch finished we started moving some of the boxes we have stored in the garage at my office and suddenly the place started to feel like home.

I was taking a drink break (water only remember we don't drink) and for the first time really felt at home as i sat appreciating the space and feeling really happy. I was telling my son that when I was a little girl in the UK our house would have been the same size as the family room kitchen area combined and that my bedroom was a similar size to the butler's pantry. I always said I would have a big 4 bed house with a pool one day - just goes to show dreams do come true. We ended the day by going out for diner as a family to a lovely little Mexican place where they do street style food. Yummy.

There is one thing that came to light yesterday and I do not know how we could have possibly not noticed but there are no fly screens on the awning style windows in the family room. Wow how did we miss that!!!! Our contract states fly screens to all opening windows and in this case all means all. Oh Oh. Hope its not too late to get that corrected - I have left a message with our SS so lets see how that plays out now we have handed over and paid the bills. I guess you hit a point in the build where you are so busy looking at the small details and picking up cosmetic flaws that you can forget the bigger picture. Ooooppss.

Microwave and Trim

Beautiful Ovens

Welcome Card

Dishwasher - Any Tips For Getting The Label Off?

The House Warming Gift From M

The Cooking Zone

The Stairs and Study Doors Nice!

To State The Obvious - Its A Fence

Fence and Gas Bottles - Gate To Go On Here and Some Plants Down The Edge

Wow It Is A Huge Garden (Well It Will Be A Garden Eventually)

Lined Up Ready To Go

Our First Meal In Our New Home! I Love It.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

We're In!!! - Well Almost......

Yesterday was the day we had been looking forward to for over a year, the day we got the keys to our dream home.

We all met at our new house at 10.30am for handover as apparently there is a lot to go through. When we arrived our SS was there and so was our building co-coordinator, nice to meet her in person at last after all the phone chats and emails.

The handover consists of going through all the warranties and certificates, how the appliances work, do's and don'ts of looking after benchtops, doors, etc etc, the security and air con system, how to clean out the smart tile drains, who to call if there are problems and the 90 day follow up.

We has a few photos taken for the Metricon team and as part of the process  and Tom handed us, er sorry our son the keys at exactly 11am. [11am on the 11/11/11 quite auspicious apparently!].
We then checked all the keys worked in the locks, that the doors worked properly and tested the garage door several times as well. My little man was ecstatic - he loves keys. Now we have to work out a way of getting a set off him for ourselves.

We did one last walk through of the house and picked up a couple of minor things that the painter needs to touch up when he visits our home today.
A few other things are still hapening - The man with our gas bottles arrived while we were there so now we will have hot water and a hob that works. The timber for the fencing was also delivered and the electricians have done the outside wiring for the pool and cubby house.

The house is awesome, massive and very echoy without any furniture inside and we may have our keys but we are not officially in yet - that happens Thursday next week.
Today will be spent cleaning and getting the house ready, we also plan to have a picnic in our outdoor room for the first time. So exciting but it still feels quite surreal.

Last night for the first time as I went to bed I found myself worrying about the house because we hadn't set the alarm and had we locked all the doors and switched the lights off. It was kind of nice as it felt like when you go away on holiday and you do the last minute check in you mind to make sure you really did close the house up securely. I can't wait to be living there! We are so pleased with the Nolan 45 it has been built to a high standard and I love the colour selections we have made. I am itching to unpack everything and see what it is like with furniture in and I am also excited about going to buy all the bits and pieces we need and want to put our personal touches to our home! (I'm feeling quite emotional about it this morning).

We also received a little house warming gift from Metricon - the big box it came in is now a car apparently.

I will post photos of our dream home next time

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Cooking On Gas

The appliances have been installed. We have a stainless steel Mia Cucina 900mm hob as part of the promo package with five burners and 2 Technika ovens in black and stainless steel plus a microwave and dishwasher. As usual I haven't seen them yet and will probably have to wait until we do handover on Friday before I do.


Oven x 2

Dishwasher - Yeah We'll Be Glad to Have One of These Again

Ping - Microwave

The cleaner is also going to be at the house tomorrow, the painters on Friday to redo the stairs where the stain has been applied substandard and the carpenters have already finished their jobs. The brickies are due back on Friday.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Schedule

We had a meeting the our electrician yesterday to organise the works needed for the pool, as we need couple of outside power points and the earth wire needs connecting up. No problem all booked for Thursday. He is also going to run a cable over to where the proposed cubby house will go so we can put a light inside it. We have found a cubby company who can do a custom design but they won't be able to make a start on it until Feb next year so no chance of a Xmas delivery on that one. A few tears from our little boy but after explaining that it has to be made specially for him he settled down.

Cubby Like This But With A Garage As Well
The digger driver  is coming Thursday to level the soil and cut trenches for pool plumbing and electrics.
The fencing contractor is now starting Thursday (hopefully after the digger is finished!) it was originally Saturday, then Friday and now they want to come a day early - have suggested they wait until after lunch to give the digger time to do his job.
The pool plumber is coming Friday or perhaps Monday. And then the pool coping and paving will start around a week later. I must speak to them about the fall of the slab as water is ponding near the house and they will need to make some corrections when laying the pavers to get the run off right.

HANDOVER and KEYS Friday - the money for the final invoice has been paid, so all Metricon have left to do is the finishing touches and install appliances. Lets hope it all happens to plan!

Cleaning, cleaning and more cleaning will be happening on Saturday. We also thought it would be nice to take our camping chairs and have a little picnic in the outdoor room. Can't wait.
We plan to start moving a few things on Sunday so that it begins to feel like our home and then we will move in officially on Thursday17th. Great!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Let There Be Light

We have been all over Brisbane (literally) looking for lighting, especially a suitable pendant to go over the stairs and frankly I am quite disappointed with whats on offer. There have been a few nearly but not quites and one that we thought would work until we got the measurements.

After sourcing a lot of furniture and accessories online for my business we decided to have a look to see what we could find and low and behold everywhere has massive reductions so some things we had seen and dismissed as too expensive are now in our price range.
The credit card is still smoking and the lights should arrive in the next few days.

Here's what we ordered from sokol

Stair Light -Replica Castore Sospensione Lamp

Movie Light for Family Room - Tripod Studio Lamp - Stainless Steel

Arco Light With Marble Base for The Living Room or Leisure Room

Saturday, November 5, 2011


Moving van booked - check
Storage POD delivery booked - check
Gas supply - check
Electricity - check
Wheelie bins - check
Bob cat - check
Fencing -check
Pool Works -check
Landscaper - check
Blinds -check
Furniture - check
Telephone -check
Foxtel - check

Is that everything?

Friday, November 4, 2011

PCI Completed Now Handover Is Imminent

PCI went really,really well only a few minor things like some rough plaster, patchy staining on the stairs and missing mortar to attend to. The building inspector was very happy and said we have an excellent build so that is reassuring. A big thumbs up to Metricon for a job well done.

We signed off on the paperwork and will be getting our KEYS next FRIDAY!!!! 11/11/11 at 11am how cool is that.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Site Cleared of Bricks

The bricks have been touched up and damaged ones replaced. The expansion joints have been filled with silicone and the piles and piles of spare bricks have been removed from site. For one moment we though we were going to get stuck with them all. Could have made a brick cubby house from them I guess?

The Council are investigating the build next door to see if they are in breach of the rule for the native vegetation covenant. The inspector is off to discuss it with the development application department and will inform me tomorrow of what is really going on. Hopefully they aren't and never were intending to build their house that far forward but I have a feeling the builder is going to be in trouble for digging up protected land.

PCI tomorrow and if all goes well we might get our keys next week. The bank do not have to send out their valuer yet as we have the pool and fencing included as part of our finances so they will do the valuation only when everything is finished. That means once we are happy with the build we fax in our final invoice for the practical completion stage and it will be paid to Metricon the very next day - no excuse for any delays...excellent!

The bob cat is coming next week and the fence is being erected next weekend. Move date has been set for 17th November. As Sandy is doing all the organising it doesn't seem real to me yet as I'm so busy at work right now my focus is taken up with running the business. It will start being real when everything disappears into boxes!!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Final Invoice

We haven't even had PCI yet but the final invoice for practical completion and variations arrived yesterday!!!! 
Time To Pay Up
Looks like Metricon want to get us finished as soon as possible. That's good for us as there will be no delays waiting for the invoice and we can get the bank all ready for action once we are satisfied that the house (OUR HOME!!!) has been built to plan after PCI.

The movers are booked for Thursday 17th Nov, the buildings insurance is set up and now all we have to do is order gas, electricity, bins and telephone. We are moving into our new home - yes we really are.

The digger driver, fencer, native plant landscaper and pool builder have all been told we will be ready from Monday 21st so we are pencilled in for these jobs to commence/continue. I would dearly like the pool and paving etc to be finished before Christmas so we get to enjoy it over our break. Oh must get the turf company out as well otherwise it will just be mud or dust to play in depending on the weather.

We are now officially very, very EXCITED!!!
These Will Be Ours Very Soon