Friday, June 28, 2013

Day 240 - Stair Love

I am loving my stairs - happy to break out and say that I love love love them.

The carpenter will be finished at the house today.  The carpenter has completed the fixout.  We had a little bonus with the fixout items supplied. All door handles were issued as privacy locks.  We didn't order them, but will happily accept them. So all doors apart from the kids room will have privacy locks.

The plasterers were back again yesterday. They have completed the void wall, however we were still not happy with the walls in the upstairs hall. These have now been fixed to perfection and we just need the painter to come back and repaint where they have patched.

The tilers - they have been back to fix up some of their questionable tiles. Still not happy with their work and they have forgotten a few tiles that needed replacing.  Our trusty SS is onto it and will get them to come back again so that it is to our satisfaction.

Flyscreens were installed yesterday. The front and laundry doors have also had their screen doors installed.

The only thing I dont like about the screen door is the bar going through the screen. I know it probably has to be there for strength, but why didn't they put the bar through the middle.   I am sure once we are in the house we wont notice it.

We have decided to not push to get the house handed over next Friday.  I think that the house will be basically finished, but I didn't think that the bank would be able to release the final funds in time.  We have to have some sort of occupation certificate in order for them to release their funds and I didn't think we would receive this. The bank also needs to arrange a valuation, and again this would be pushing it.  So even though I was disappointed at the time, it is only an extra week.  So handover date 12th July 2013

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Day 238 - Patching

Yesterday the plasterers were back.

We knew that there was some patching that was required on the feature wall, but didn't realise that there was so much patching.

I was also excited to find that the handrail and posts on the stairs have been painted with Dulux Namadji.  As I have said before, the staircase that we wanted was a $9,000 upgrade, which we could not afford.  This is the standard staircase that Rawson offer.  I am loving the look of the staircase and looking forward to seeing what it looks like once the carpet is installed.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Day 237 - Junk Day

I finally gave notice on the house yesterday. I am thankful that after 15 months in the rental house (that we thought we would only be in for eight) we are able to give our notice and move out.  We gave a bit longer than our required three weeks, but that gives us a bit of extra time up our sleeves should we need it.

The painters were back at the house yesterday and they are scheduled to finish Thursday

The plumbers are back today doing their fit off and so I can get the gas bottles organised for delivery this week.

The tilers have not been back yet, but we have been promised they will be back today and will be finished today.

Flyscreens have been delivered and are waiting to go on.

Fingers crossed we are still on track for handover 5th July 2013, but if we don't make it, I am OK with that.

Now, onto what my post is really about this morning, seeing I don't have any updated house pictures for you.

We have junk day at the moment. I am sure you call it something different at your place, but it is the council clean up when you get to throw all your rubbish out on the nature strip and the council take it all away.

When we lived in Sydney, junk day was a great source of amusement. We used to have the same people that would drive around every junk day and fill their cars.  One time there was a car that was full of mattresses and there was at least 4 mattresses piled on the roof.  The next junk day it was ceiling fans and they were piled high.  Little did I know not that many years later I would be one of those people that take things from peoples junk piles.

Here is my scores from the weekend.

Union Jack square trunk. It is perfect inside and out - not a mark or any sign of wear.  This will be perfect for my son for a bedside table.

Ottoman - this is quite large and again is in great condition apart from a little tear in the fabric that you can't see in the photo.  The fabric is not to my taste, but I don't intend to keep it as it is.  I have bought new fabric for it and will recover it and put a piece of glass on the top.

I am thinking with new larger feet - possibly black or charcoal and this new fabric and maybe some matching piping it will look great

Two pretty good new pieces for the house and the total cost - FREE!!!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Day 235 - A Small Finish

Last week was pretty quiet on the house front.  The house was vacant apart from Tuesday when the shower screens and the wardrobes were installed and the electrical fit off was completed.  Other than  that - nothing!!

When I met with the SS on Monday last week we went through a couple of defects that need to be repaired.

One of those is the plastering. We are not happy with the finish in the void area and with the dark paint it is more obvious.  There are some walls that are not square in the hallway upstairs and the skirting boards will need to be removed for them to be patched and then repainted.

We also have an issue with some of the mitre cuts on the tiling.  The manager of the tiling company came out and looked at the tiles on Tuesday and agreed that they needed to be re-done.  We were assured that these would be completed by the end of the week.

Has the plastering been done????  No and the painters are back tomorrow
Has the tiling been done?????  No.

With the lack of work being done, I am quite very nervous that we will not be handing over on 5th July. I am so nervous that I have not handed in our notice for the rental property.

With nothing happening building wise, I thought I would show you the small amount of work that we completed at the house this week.

We finally managed to get around to putting the numbers on the letter box. They are stainless steel numbers/letters that I sourced from eBay.  The '3'is 400mm high and the Á is 300mm high.  What do you think?????  I don't think anyone will be able to say that they couldn't see our house number.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Day 232 - More Purchases

The problem with building a new house is you need to purchase new things.  Those little things that you need to buy certainly add up to a lot of money.

We need a new fridge, so we ended up buying one on the weekend.   Just a piece of advise for those building or doing a new kitchen.  Make sure you find the fridge you want and measure not only the width, but the height.  We made sure that we had enough width and forgot about the height and we are a couple of centimetres short.  Our fridge options were limited, but I am happy with the fridge we bought.

I really wanted a french door fridge, but those few centimetres really made a difference. Our fridge space is 175cm high and most of the french doors are 178cm - see what I mean - only centimetres.

We also need new tv's - three of them to be exact.  Yes I know it seems a lot of TV's.

The sales person tried to get me interested in a $15,000 tv - no I am sorry that is really not in my price range, and I would never purchase a TV for the same price as a car.  These cheapies $700.00 each for a 50".  I dont think I will be needing to purchase tv's for awhile.

One of the good things that we found was buying everything from the one store, you get a better price.  We ended up getting a good price on items that were already on sale including 5 year replacement warranties and delivery thrown in.

We are also thinking about light fittings.  My taste = expensive, so I have been sourcing lights on eBay.  What do you think of these purchases

The pendant is 500mm in diameter and made of a fibreglass type material.  Cost for this - $35.00!  I thought it was a bargain - not sure where it is going to go yet.

Another light purchase was this stainless steel pendant.   I wish I had read the listing carefully as I had to drive to the end of the earth to get this one.

It is large being 750mm in diameter.  The only problem with it (apart from where it was located) it is HEAVY - I mean it weighs a tonne. It was a bargain at $40.00.  My only concern with the pendant is installing it.  Hopefully it does not pull the ceiling down.

Last but not least, a desk for my daughter.  I wanted a smallish desk, and one that would match the furniture that she already has.  Another eBay purchase.

Isn't it just so cute and good value at $109.00 which included the chest of drawers. It will be perfect for her room. Now I just have to get a chair to go with it.  I am thinking something like this

What do you think?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Day 231 - Fit Off Take Three

Yesterday saw the early arrival of the shower screens, mirrors and wardrobe shelves.

Wardrobes are all the same, just a shelf and a hanging rail.  The master bedroom WIR we will fit this out properly when we have the funds available, but for the time being the shelf and hanging rail will be fine.

5th bedroom WIR
The pantry has also been fitted out.   After living in a rental house for the last 14 months with a tiny pantry and I looking forward to using this one.

The pantry continues around to the left of the photo - so there is even more room

The shower screens were also installed.  They are semi-frameless, which was standard with Rawson

Linen cupboards were also fitted out

The mirrors were also installed. One of them in off centre, which we are not happy with and would like it either moved or replaced, but apart from that we are really happy.

Electrical fit off was completed yesterday, and my favourite part - the LED downlights in the upper kitchen cupboards

Can't wait to see what they look like when the splashback is installed. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Day 230 - Finally a Decision.

Finally we have made the decision on the splashback.  I feel a sense of relief, but still wonder if we chose the right colour.

We ended up going with a glass splashback.  Really I still could have gone with the sparkly tiles, but I was over ruled.   I had the splashback measured up for caesarstone last Wednesday and I am still waiting for a quote for it.  My problem with going with caesarstone is it only comes in 20mm thickness and this would have had a 4mm overhang into the window frame.

What colour did we go for - Steel Shimmer metallic.

Or if you have a look at all the metallic colours I picked up - it is the middle colour on the right hand side.

I am hoping that it looks OK. If it doesn't, it is not the end of the world and we can change it at a later date.

Another thing crossed off my list - that makes me feel better to have one less thing to worry about.

Day 230 - Fit Off Take Two

We have had action at the house,  but I have not had the time to blog it. So here is a little taste of the progress

Tuesday last week we had a totally empty bin. By Wednesday afternoon, it was overflowing

Wednesday the toilets were installed.  

I love that they have left the toilet seats off. Maybe it discourages the tradies from using the spanking new toilet.

The rain head shower was installed in the 5th bedroom ensuite

My biggest excitement was that the dishwasher, mircowave and oven were also installed.

Friday was air conditioning and electrical fit off.  Love the fact that Daikin Air Conditioning is a standard inclusion with Rawson.

Yesterday I met on site with our SS and went over all the things that are scheduled over the next couple of weeks before we handover.

Shower screens and wardrobes were booked in for Thursday and Friday - they are at the house today.

Electrical fit off is being finished today.

Painters are back next week - hopefully they will be finished in four days.   Then it is the race to the finish line.  Handover date 5th July.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Day 224 - Fit Off

Yesterday was the first day of plumbing, electrical and airconditioning fit off.  The plumbing fit off is the best bit and that started yesterday.

Firstly, the most important thing - my tap.  Remember my dilemma with the tap when I was choosing it nine months ago?

Here is the tap in the flesh

It is a Methven tap and was not cheap at $550.00 to upgrade from the standard.  I love it and Mat even complimented it and said it looks very nice.  It also has a dust cover to protect it while the house is being worked on.

The 5th bedroom ensuite had the taps installed. The rainhead should be installed today

Main bedroom ensuite has had the bath installed plus the taps and shower head.

The only thing that we have upgraded in the bathrooms are the shower heads in the main bathroom and the main bedroom ensuite - the cost of these were $310.00 each.

Toilets have been delivered waiting to be installed today.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Day 223 - The Importance of Shopping Around

Last week I blogged about our splashback dilemma.  I am still none the wiser and have not made a decision.  

I have had two companies out to measure up for a glass splashback. My main concern was the gap between the window and the bottom of the upper cupboards.

This is where I get to the importance of shopping around. 

Splashback is roughly 850mm long x 600mm high  x two lengths.  There is also a section that is 3m long and about 50mm wide.   I want the splashback to go into the return of the window so you do not see the frame, so that includes a few more bits of glass.

One glass company came back at  $935.00 and this is in starfire glass (more expensive so it does not get a green tinge) and the other glass company $1,133.00 for normal glass and $1,397.00 for starfire. Ouch that is a nearly a 50% difference in the price for supplying the same thing. 

The company that was the higher amount, we went to them first as they did the splashback in our last house. I didn't even realise the second company did glass splashbacks, but I happened to see a quote come across my desk last week for a glass splashback for one of my works job. Thank goodness I called them to quote as well. 

Tomorrow I have the Caesarstone people to come out and measure up for what it will cost to have a Caesarstone splashback. I wonder how much that will be. 

Day 223 - Stuck in the Mud.

I have one word about DIY earthworks. Probably a good idea to stay away from it and get in the professionals.  Rather than start at the doom and gloom part, lets start from the beginning.

We have been thinking for awhile that we need to get a bobcat and excavator onto the block so that we can level out the ground around the house so we can lay turf before we move in.   It all sounded so easy.  I work for a builder, they have a bobcat and an excavator and my brother can drive them. How hard can it be? How long can it take????

As my boss was using his excavator, we hired one.  It was $350.00 for the weekend and being a long weekend, we could get an extra days use for free - bargain.  So I went down on Friday afternoon and picked it up.

First thing, I am in my mid 30's, but look a lot younger than that. So when I went to pick up the excavator the owner got very nervous.  I don't think it helped that the office lady said that I would be driving it, and even though I had no experience, I was keen to have a çrack at it.   I spent a long time with the guy going over how to use it and giving plenty of details that seriously went in one ear and out the other - I was only a by-stander.  One thing that did stick in my mind was - it is clean - it needs to come back clean. "

Getting home was fun... NOT.  Maybe I should have taken that as a sign of the weekend. Mat had gone to work, so it was me and the kids towing the excavator back.  Have a look at the poor car.

We have a Nissan Xtrail. It probably weighs 1.5t.  This excavator was 1.7t, but with all the buckets and with the trailer, we were knocking on 2t. The car may be rated to tow 2t but it could barely move.

When we pulled out of the road where the hire place was, me trying not to burn out the clutch, I drove past one set of highway patrol. I knew there was a random breath test up the road and this was where the Police sat just incase people tried to skip the breath test. One funny look, but thankfully I was not pulled over. I pulled out onto the highway.  80km/hr was the speed limit - my max speed was 40km/hr and we went past the second breath test - another funny look, but they let me pass.    I went down the road and turned into a street so I could do a u-turn to get back on the highway so I could go home.  I go past my third set of police, and you guessed it another funny look, but thankfully I was not pulled in.   We limped home, with me jumping at every bump.  I express my apologies to all the people that were trying to go on holidays on Friday afternoon that got stuck behind me.

Saturday morning it was RAINING.  Not what we wanted, but hey it was only a sprinkle, how bad could it be.

My brother Mike, he was on his way up to our place, my parents were also coming up to see the action. Mat didnt want to wait and thought he would  take the excavator off the trailer.  Slowly things started to come back of what the guy at the hire place said - it is very easy to roll - so be careful when you take it off the trailer.

Thankfully he had a brain wave and got the excavator off the trailer by reversing the trailer up to the mound, so the tracks were horizontal. Thankfully he didnt roll it, or require a new pair of shorts.

When my brother showed up they started to dig more dirt out of the side so we could widen the driveway enough to part the caravan down the side of the house. 

The problem with our block its clay.  We knew the clay was bad, but we were not prepared for how bad it was. Once the surface water started mixing with the clay and the excavator went on it and started churning it up, it got sloppy, really sloppy.

Sunday morning my boss dropped off his bobcat.  I think we must have had it all of 20 mins and we realised how bad the clay and mud actually was - when my brother driving the bobcat went around the back of the house to start moving the soil that they had pulled out from the side and he got bogged!

Now this was panic stations.  How the hell do you get a bobcat bogged??? How the hell do you get a bogged bobcat out????? How the hell was I going to tell my boss?????

Firstly they tried to pull it out with the excavator. That was a complete was of time as the bobcat is heavier than the excavator.  I rung the person who cut the block in the first place, but his machine was a 20T excavator and was being repaired.  Who else do you get on a Sunday of a long weekend.

Thankfully - Craig the excavator man came to our rescue.  I rung him in a distressed voice and he got in his car and brought his excavator straight over to see if he could pull us out.  He took one look and realised there was no chance, but said his boss down the road had a JCB and that would pull us out

He was right - we  were out in two minutes flat and he reassured us "dont worry, everyone has done it"

How much do you think this man is yellow shining armour charged us for his Sunday efforts.  $50.00!!! I nearly died. I am going to find out his address and drop in a case of beer. 

Sunday afternoon was pretty uneventful after that. I think everyone was scared of bogging the bobcat again. I think if you call out him once, it is beginners error. I think if you do it twice, you look like a twat and I don't think he would charge only $50.00

Rather than going anywhere near the backyard they concentrated on the driveway. Mike on the bobcat and Mat on the excavator. 

So now, for three days of hard work, we now have more mud than we ever thought possible. 

The driveway looks pretty good now - forgot to take a picture of that yesterday afternoon. Now we need to get someone in to make sure it is all level and then lay some roadbase so you can get into the driveway.

What did the boys get for their three days of work???? About 5 hours of using a petrol gurney to clean off the machines - guess what that means??? More mud!!!

So my word of warning. Take clay seriously. It is evil stuff when it is wet.  Basically it is like trying to polish a turd - there is never really a positive outcome (even if you do roll it in glitter)  Get in the professionals. I think what we did in 3 days someone could have done in a couple of hours. It would have saved a lot of time and effort - plus I would have not lost a few years off my life while trying to work out how to get a bobcat out of a hole!!!