Friday, March 25, 2011

Painting, decking, more fixes

Handover's getting close and we're a wee bit nervous! So much to do still and unfortunately our SS is on leave from the 15th April. Then it's finishing and handover with someone we've never dealt with. Not what you want at the end of build. Our SS is pushing for completion before he leaves which will be fantastic but tight!

The latest activity is painting. Really excited about this as it brings us that much closer to the finish line. Hopefully it won't take too long as they spray rather than use the domestic roller. First coat finished today I think. The painters didn't speak much english so I couldn't really chat and our SS was at another location. Looking good anyhow.

It's a little hard to tell but the walls are a cream based colour called Natural White and the ceiling is a white called Lexicon Half.

This is the theatre room. Hope they've just done the base coat the same for all walls because we had selected a darker tone for this room given it's mostly for watching movies. Might mention that to the SS ... just in case.

Those extra man holes have been patched and spray painted over too. Looking seamless which is what you want! Still not an ideal spot for the actual manhole but oh well, a small thing to get used to given lack of other options.

Great to see everything covered up properly to avoid paint drops. In this you can just see the Antartic coloured splashback in the background. Lifted the plastic for a good look and it looks awesome! Can't believe I forgot to take a photo though! Looks great, trust me ;)

Got a call from the SS on Tuesday informing us of a potentially big problem. Wardrobe cupboards and doors in the master ensuite don't fit because the carpenter had made the opening too short... well, standard and we had opted for a bigger wardrobe. A few conversations later and it appeared as though the best option was to cut the shelving and door to size to fit in the wardrobe. Wasn't too happy with this as the bigger wardrobe was an upgrade.

Turns out in the end, the bulkhead at the top of the wardrobe was made too low! So everything should fit and no need to cut. woohoo! Just glad they discovered the problem before we went ahead and agreed to cut everything to fit!

Said bulkhead raised just this morning so we didn't lose half of this top shelf which is supposed to be for shoes. Bit silly I think given I'm too short to reach them!

The other exciting works is the decking in the outdoor room. Was told the front portico decking wasn't done due to rain but not sure how this back bit got done though. Hopefully the front will be finished too but guess the later it's done, the less traffic damage.

Woohoo! Tiles have arrived too. Awesome! Can't remember exactly what we chose so looking forward to seeing them :)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Spotting the little things

Only 4-5 weeks to go and there seems a million things still to be done! Spotted a few more things today which needs to be rectified. I mentioned in a previous post that the down pipe was ended with a white separator which is all fine and good but doesn't look the best. Turns out this separator was a bit of a fix to an incorrectly positioned downpipe! On closer examination of the engineering plans, the SS found that the downpipe should have been positioned a little further to the left ending on the ground as opposed to the garage gutter! Makes perfect sense and hopefully will be fixed soon.

I have been really undecided about whether to change the laundry door to a full glass one. Mainly for light but also because I'm not convinced about the look of this door provided. However, now that its been hung, it's grown on me... luckily. It will get stained same colour as the front door.

Now this is something I should have raised with the SS weeks ago when I first saw it but for some reason, didn't. Guess there were too many important things to chase up. This metal piece above the fireplace just seems so out of place and ... temporary. I think that's the reason I haven't raised it as an issue as I assumed it was temporary! The metal piece is large, not fixed flat against the brickwork and doesn't match any other exposed material around. When I finally mentioned this to the SS, I was informed that this was a surprise to them too as the supplier they use have never done this before. WTH?! Apparently it's to protect rain from seeping into the fireplace (or Jetmaster in our case). Sounds reasonable but really isn't a great finish. The SS said they were looking at redoing this as they're not thrilled with the look either.

Finally, those pipes that were jutting into my study wall! They managed to hammer everything back into place and the hole in the plaster was patched up. Happy enough with that but there is the issue of the hole in the ground now just perfect for rodent entry!! Better keep an eye on that one, wouldn't want it just covered up by carpet.

So that's all for now. Still plenty to report but getting too nervous to continue...

Saturday, March 12, 2011


It's been a very busy week at home so haven't been stalking The Range as often as we have been. Did manage to finalise curtains and blinds so hopefully will have them installed before we move in.

The other big job we booked in was the installation of our evaporative cooling. Our kind SS agreed to let us install it prior to handover which was a bonus. Only problem was, the installer turned up on the day to find no man hole had been cut in the ceiling, therefore no access. Called our SS and found it was an oversight and wouldn't be done till 2 days later! Luckily for us the installer's not charging us extra to come out again.

So this manhole business. On our plans, it's located in one of the bedrooms. Not sure why we've never noticed this but I really don't like the idea of the manhole being in a bedroom. No big deal but I just don't like it. Queried with the SS who was surprised by it's location too. He looked into it and was happy to inform me that it really wasn't a suitable place anyway as there isn't enough room at that point of the roof for a someone to get through. I suggested a spot in the hallway outside the upstairs toilet. A nice little tucked away spot. He said no problems and as far as I know, the hole was cut and a/c installed.

Spoke to my SS after the installation and turns out the spot I wanted was not possible either because there was a truss running along the middle of the hallway in question. Hmmm, how did he know this after the ceiling has been plastered up? He found it after cutting a hole of course! Further along the hallway was also no good because there was a piece of wide timber board right behind the plaster. Again, how could he possibly tell with the plaster up? He found it after cutting another hole of course!!! Around the corner above the living space was suitable though thank god. Yes, a 3rd hole in the ceiling. Fortunately 3rd time lucky!

The holes will get patched up and won't be noticeable I'm told. They better not be!!!! Guess it's my fault for asking for an adhoc change from the plan but boy, had I known it would result in 3 gapping holes in the ceiling I probably would have left the manhole in the bedroom!

At least the air conditioning is in now though I do have to find out why 1 of the 6 vents is noticeably smaller than the others. My observant neighbour also pointed out that they've used white pipes against our darkish roof. Odd. Forgot to grab a pic of the unit today so will get one next time.

We also appear to be getting our balustrade soon. The scaffold's up in prep for the installation of it hopefully next week.

Being a long weekend, we were surprised that both the brickie and carpenter was in today. Great to finally see those brick and mortar issues finally being rectified. It's only taken 3 months but at least they're now fixed to our satisfaction.

There is a lot to be done to meet the promised mid April completion, a LOT. We are excited but also getting rather nervous. We've recently sold our house and did allow for 3 weeks delay in building but with the current pace, 3 weeks might not be enough!

Monday, March 7, 2011

A Saturday Inspection

We were pleasantly surprised when our SS told us that the carpenter was going to be in on Saturday to finish off majority of the carpentry work like skirting and fixes here and there. Thought we'd take the opportunity to drop by and check out the house.

I was super keen to see how the caesar stone benchtops were looking. We decided in the end to upgrade for all bathrooms so hopefully the finished look will be well worth it. The extra 20mm thickness we got for the kitchen benchtop looks great too despite hubby not being 100% on the bullnose edging that I chose. He prefers the square edge which would be more modern looking but I was thinking of the kids bumping their heads!

Pic of bathroom cabinet and caesar stone bench top.

That lovely smashed in niche hole I mentioned in previous post has now been cleaned up. Still needs plaster lining but at least it looks like a feature now and not an accident!

Ooooooooh and here's that kitchen vac that I am just dying to try!!! Call me a sucker but when they told me I can have a floor vac that sucks in any dirt I sweep towards it. Well, like I said, call me a sucker :) Doesn't look like much now but should be an awesome lazy, ahem... efficiency tool!

Ah, and here's the best part about the home!!! Our family :) I can see little miss muffet waving passers by from the glass balcony all day long. Now, step away from the edge Dad!

One of the reasons we chose this block is it's proximity to one of the wetlands in the estate. Can't see the water behind the trees in this pic but its just the view from one of the upstairs bedroom. A nice spot for a walk and hopefully a little swim for the dogs. Not sure about the rules and restrictions yet but of course when we purchased the block, Australand was like 'of course your dogs can swim in it!' Some 18mths later, we're thinking the wildlife may not appreciate it.' It is still a very dog friendly area though with walking tracks and all.... or has that changed too. mmm.. will have to wait and see.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Bits and Pieces

We have a front door! Nice little finish to make it a home :) Love our extra wide timber door. It will be finished with a merbau stain which should complement the bricks nicely.

Water proofing of the wet areas was also finished last week. Cant wait till tiles go in!

And that all important under stair storage space now has a customised door. Our carpenter and site superviser's been great at accommodating to our late requests. Just trying to decide on the locking system at the moment. ThAlign Lefte carpenter suggested a clip in method so there's no lock visible from the outside but then its just closed and not locked. Given my 2yo loves exploring it may turn into a perfect hiding spot for her which is no good for mummy. So we've decided on a flat key lock to give us the option of locking if it proves too troublesome.

The other important thing that finished last week was the skirting and architraves. This completed, we are now ready for painting!! Woohoo, so excited for the finished look. It also means we can get measure and quote for curtain and blinds which I'm really keen to have before we move in. I've had a few quotes done 12 months ago and after a follow up, Complete Blinds Ringwood is still the most competitive. We're pretty happy with their service too so have put in a deposit.

Air conditioning was the other thing we've been sourcing quotes for. Cold Flow has given us the best price for a Breezair unit and stoked that they can install prior to completion. We probably could have waited another 6mths before warmer weather hits again but as it's a big installation job (scaffolding required), I rather it all done before we move in with the kids. Life is so much more complicated with kids! But yes, oh so joyful too hehe... can't forget that :)

So with 6 odd weeks to go before the expected completion date, there are still a 'lot' of bits and pieces to do and fix.

1/ The niche they forgot about - The plasterer got a bit excited and plastered over 1 of the 2 wall niches we paid for (yes we paid to have a hole in the wall! :) We told the SS and he said easily fixed. mmm... I guess he didn't say 'elegantly' fixed. It will be finished off with more finesse :)

2/ The other hole in the plaster - I was pretty shocked when I saw this. It's actually the pipes and stuff from the meter box which is supposed to be 'behind' the plaster. Somehow, they've miscalculated the position of the plaster and yes, the pipes jut into the room! Their first attempt to fix it was to hammer the pipes back but that obviously didn't work. The solution now is to put another piece of plaster board over the existing one. That sounded easy enough but as they've already done the cornices, these will have to be removed and redone also. All easy but a hassle and another item on the to-do (or re-do) list.

3/ The odd pipe front of house - It's called a separator apparently but I have no idea what it's for and why it's frankly, so ugly! It's the first thing you see when you approach the front door so no, we're not happy with it. Spoke to the SS and he said there should be another way to do it and will get onto the plumber. There has been a few more 'aesthetic' things we've complained about but so happy that the SS has been willing to rectify. Just a matter of time now I guess.

Anyway, so we're almost there. Cannot believe we bought this block Aug 09 and only started building in June last year. What a journey!