Friday, March 23, 2012


Energex came and switched the solar on this week so we should be generating some of our own power now its all connected up to the grid. All we need is a few sunny days so we can really reap the benefits and claw back what we have paid to have the system installed. Finger crossed we can generate more electricity than we use so we can sell the surplus back to the electricity company.

We also had the roofers come and replace all the broken tiles and recheck the roof so hopefully everything is water tight and leak proof again.

The cost of the hard landscaping has been renegotiated and we have booked them to start as soon as possible as we are very keen to get the garden finished and have a shed so we can move all the stuff for the garden out of the garage to free up some space. We are having paving and gravel with concrete steps out of the laundry and garage.We have gone for a dark paver and light gravel which hopefully compliments the house and the rest of the colour schemes.

Next door on the left, as you face our house, picked up their keys today and are moving in a week once they have had the flooring done. Our other neighbours build has ground to a halt this week due to bad weather but they did get their bricks delivered - as far as I can tell they have gone for the austral zinc which is quite a dark almost black colour. Should look good.

Looking forward to a lovely weekend catching up with friends and family and taking the dog to her first obedience class.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

No More Ponds?

The drains are in, all 4 have been positioned exactly as requested and they have done a neat job. All we need now is a heavy downpour so we can see if they have made a difference and whether we will get big ponds of water despite our efforts to prevent them. The land levels will need adjusting so that they fall towards the drains and perhaps a couple of ag pipes wouldn't go a miss either. The hard landscaping can commence now but we are after another quote first as the one we have does seem very expensive and I'd like to have something to compare it to. Pavers and concrete don't come cheap I know but even so I'd just like to double check first before committing another $15k of our hard earned cash.

Next door the build on the left as we look at our house looks ready for handover, their driveway is done and the temporary fencing is down and they have had their pool shell poured so we will be getting new neighbours very soon. The house on the right has been blue wrapped and their air con is being installed, wonder when the bricks will be delivered?
On the estate several houses have been completed in the last few weeks and now have families living in them plus 2 new builds have commenced. We still love watching the builds and seeing peoples homes take shape. The 2 most popular builders here are Metricon and Plantation Homes so its a nice mix of modern homes, mainly 2 storey houses that sit on the entire block leaving just enough room for a small garden and a titchy pool. Glad we opted for a larger block of land as I love that our garden has lots of run for the boy and his dog to play and go wild.

Saturday, March 10, 2012


The plumber hopefully came yesterday (Friday) and installed the 4 additional land drains as recommended by Metricons building manager. We won't know for definite if its been done until we get home as we are away in Vietnam for our annual pilgrimage/family hoilday to one of our favorite places ever the beautiful town of Hoi An.

Metricon also supplied us with some spare roof tiles but they only had 6 so we have ordered 30 from a local tile supplier along with some ridge capping tiles so if any tiles need replacing over the lifespan of the house we will have some in stock. Boral are reducing their production in Qld hence why they have discontinued the linea tiles perfect timing Boral seeing as we only completed our house 4 months ago! Better we found out now while we could still get hold of some rather than in a few years time when stocks had been exhausted.

As for the solar we are waiting for Energex to do their bit now that all the paperwork has been completed which could take up to 40 days. My mom has had her 1.5Kw system for a year now and has accrued a nice amount of credit and it looks like her system will take around 2 years to pay for itself. Lets hope ours will have the same productivity.

Our next project will be to get the hard landscaping finished, get a shed and commence our vegetable garden - assuming the drainage issues have been sorted that is.....

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Solar and Cracked Up

The boys from FreeSolar were up on the roof for most of yesterday in the blazing sun installing the solar panels for our 3kw solar system. From what I can see on the ground they have done a neat job. The inverter has been positioned over the electricity meter box so as to keep thinks looking tidy as we didn't want a random box just anywhere with loads of conduit running here there and everywhere. A few roof tiles paid the price during the fitting and apparently there were 3 broken ones up there anyway. So the asked if we had some spare tiles to replace the damaged ones - well the answer to that would be NO as Metricon didn't leave us any. Oh hang on I'm not being fair there - yes they did lave us some but....... they were all smashed so they went in the bin. Quick call to a couple of tile stockist who told us they'd need to order them in, followed by a call to Boral who told us that our tiles have been, wait for it wait for it, DISCONTINUED. Shock faint horror! You build a new house, have no spare roof tiles and the ones your builder used are discontinued. What to do now. Phone Metricon explain the situation and now they have promised to see if they have any that they can bring over, I reminded them we are still under our 6 month service and maintenance period so they better come up with the goods. In the meantime we have ordered 30 tiles from the supplier as there is stock but no more being made. That'll cost us around $175 (might send M the bill and see what happens ha ha).
The solar guys have moved all the broken tiles to the front row of the garage and sealed them up with silicone for now so if it does rain heavily before the replacement ones arrive and we get a leak it will be over the garage and not into the main body of the house. Also it will make it easier to swap them out.

Oh now I come to think of it we better order some ridge cap tiles too as we plan to live here a long time so don't want to get to the stage where we can't get hold of what we need if something gets cracked or dislodged.

The solar is all installed and on but we are not yet connected or is it producing electricity until Energex do their bit whenever that will be. Sorry to be so vague but I had some much other stuff happening yesterday that I didn't fully take it all in. I'll have to give FreeSolar a call and double check the facts.

Sometimes you can be generating power but not yet selling it back to the electricity provider and when that happens it actually makes you meter run backwards so your bill is smaller but you aren't getting the extra credits yet - not sure if that is true or whether the solar fitters were pulling my leg and having a joke at my expense. Time to do some research.