Friday, 2 May 2014

The McNamara Home Adventure

August 2103

After years of thinking "Wouldn't it be great to one day build our own home ...... well, we're finally doing it! We've chosen the Masterton Overture Premier (with lots of modifications!), and the journey has begun.  $3500 deposit paid 24/07/13.

Having trouble trying to get my head around the external colour selections at the moment. Masterton are preparing the plans and we need to decide external colours in the next couple of weeks. Then we will start working out the internal selections (looking forward to that!)

At the moment, we have decided on PGH Bricks in Cement colour. Roof will be Monier Horizon tiles in Barramundi colour (its a dark grey) - although we were considering Sambucca (black), but thought it might be too dark? Gutters will probably be Colourbond Monument (also dark grey). We would like the downpipes to blend in with the bricks, rather than stand out and make a statement, so they probably won't be Monument, but not sure what colour. Hubby thinks Evening Haze, but I'm thinking Paperbark. Garage door ...... hmmm, also debating between Paperbark and Evening Haze (will probably be the same as whatever we choose for downpipes). And fascias, eaves, etc...... well, not too sure at the moment!  :D

This will roughly be our view from the kitchen, lounge, media room and alfresco .......

We're building in Gerringong (just south of Kiama). I'm holding my breath a bit till we get through council.... Kiama Council apparently can be rather difficult to get along with when it comes to DA's. They only allow 60cm's cut & fill as they don't want a lot of retaining walls.... they would rather people build split level homes that follow the land slope. We have modified the Overture Premier to have a couple of steps in it, so hopefully Council will allow our design, cause we don't want a full-on split level (too many stairs..... already had that for the past 15 years!). Not sure if we will make the 90 day limit.... Masterton don't seem to be in a hurry! I would love to get a slab by Christmas!

Our block of land slopes from side to side,and back to front, so we are splitting the house to be higher on one side than the other. In doing this, we having the 2.4 mtr high ceilings on the high side (bedrooms), and on the lower side (living area) we're having 3 mtr high ceilings.  I'm feeling a bit frustrated with M at the moment..... we get emails to double check stuff, and we send an email back asking about another issue...... then hear nothing for days at a time. I know I can ring and ask (again) about whats happening, but am getting tired of doing that. I figure they're busy, and we aren't they're only clients, but it would be nice to get some acknowledgement and response. Oh well...... enough whinging! We have some plans done, but a couple of changes still need to happen. I've heard that once the "real" plans are done, then any changes we make will cost us $1000 each change! So I hope we get it right as possible before we get to that point.

August 31 2103

We went to visit PGH Bricks at Schofields today. Nearly two hours driving to get there, but definitely worth it. Had a slight change to our colour schemes...... still having the Cement bricks, roof is still Barramundi and gutters will still be Monument. But now our fascias, downpipes and garage door will be Surfmist. Window frames will be Alpine White.... mainly because I plan on having white shutters (at least on the front of the house) and think the Alpine White will look best with white shutters.

We have had multiple minor plan changes and apparently our plans are currently with the draftspeople..... I'm guessing that we will be hearing from them soon with the final (?) plans. We haven't been given the final variation list/costing, so can't get the ball rolling on the bank loan (they have given approval ..... just need the final costing from Masterton so we can sign the papers). But we need the costings a week or two before the 5% is needed so that we have time to do the paperwork with the bank.

September 13 2103

We got our draft plans yesterday.... only a couple of things we plan to change. We originally had planned to carpet the hallway near the bedrooms as well as the office & media room (kids lounge). Now decided to go with the tiles, so need to get that changed. Also, for some unknown reason, M have put a stacker door on one of the kids bedrooms where there should have been a solid brick wall. lol.... my son would probably like that, but might not be so pleased about the 60cm drop from the door down to the floor of the alfresco area where the door would open onto! Heading in to council this morning to have them have a quick look over the plans to see if there is anything that's likely to cause any issues with council. fingers crossed!

 Later that day......   

Well, the visit to council wasn't as picture perfect as it could have been. Due to the slope on our block, M have included a retaining wall that exceeds councils limit of 600mm. Looks like its over a metre, which council doesn't like. M have also noted it on our plans as "owner to build", yet we haven't been told anything about it (got to love that fine print!). Also, we modified the side of the house to not have an indent in a couple of rooms so those rooms would be as wide as possible. And this means that the side of the house apparently has too much expanse of unbroken brick wall. Mind you, this wall will only be facing a fence, and because of the slope of the land and fencing, it will be completely unseen. Not sure if council will be flexible on this...... the estate we are building in has so many rules and regulations, it makes it difficult on so many points. :( They even said that we have to have a dedicated storage room somewhere within the house!! Guess we will just rename the "study" to now be "storage" !!!

October 8 2013

Had our appointment at Warwick Farm today & signed our contracts!  We'll pay our 5% in the next day or two, then M do whatever behind-the-scenes stuff for (apparently) about the next month, then plans get lodged to council. M believe that we should be able to get around the councils issues with retaining walls and un-articulated walls...... neither will be visible from the street, so there hopefully won't be any problems getting approvals. I'll still be happier when we get the council aproval though! Given that Kiama Council apparently take 6 - 8 weeks for DA's to be processed, and M are are holidays for 4 weeks from mid December, I guess there won't be any signs of building before January/February next year. 

October 22 2013
Slowly getting there...... got our appointments for internal goodies! 13/11 for air-con, alarm, blinds/shutters, and kitchen design.... 16/11 for carpet & tiles, and 26/11 for the colour selections at M. Wish it were all happenning tomorrow, but I'm sure the days will roll around quick enough!

November 15 2013

Colour Appointments went well, a bit quicker than we had expected. Although we did find that we upgraded lots too. We upgraded the aircon to a 15.5kw Samsung inverter because the Temperzone was limited in how much it could cool.... you can only have the bedrooms or the living zones on, not both at once. Didn't like that. Upgrade cost $3950. Not doing the video intercom ($600) although we do like it! Putting in wiring for speakers in alfresco and home theatre, as well as cat 5 cabling, foxtel, extra tv point..... all coming to $1300. Quote from Ark ...... shutters on two front windows, verticals on all others including two stacker doors, plus security front & laundry doors, plus flyscreens on stackers - $8700. I'm still getting quotes for these from other suppliers, but I think Ark are expensive from what I've seen elsewhere, so doubt we will be using them. Kitchen was interesting..... We changed the layout, just moving the positioning of dishwasher and similar, which Jan (Artline kitchens) said would cost nothing. Also liked the look of the Ultraglaze rather than the createc cupboards, which Jan said would cost about $600. Thought that was good. So was rather surprised when we received an email yesterday from Jan saying that our upgrades come to $4800!! Needless to say I emailed her back asking for a breakdown of upgrade costs, not just the total cost which was what was given, so we can work out what they have quoted on. Haven't heard back from her as yet. Our appointment for carpet & tiles is tomorrow, but there were tiles & carpet at Q Central too, so had a chat to the carpet man while we were there..... the carpet which is included with the house isn't particularly appealing - not a lot of choices and a bit too nylon-ish in feeling. To upgrade to the really nice carpet is going to cost an extra $4700 (including upgrading the underlay), so not sure if we will go to that carpet, or possibly something better than the basic stuff, but not as expensive as the $4700 choice. We'll have another look tomorrow..... hopefully tiles won't cost anything extra!!!

November 16 2013

Had our tiles/carpet appointments today..... decided to go with the $4700 carpet, as it will last a long time, is really nice underfoot, and I really don't want to live with carpet that I really dislike for the next few years, until we could afford to re-do it. Tiles were good - liked the ones that were included in the Mansion/designer packages. Although we did add tiles behind/around the mirror in the bathroom which cost $400. We also added tiles for the portico and front stairs, which added $2600. We did decide to stay with our original plans and carpet the hallway near the kids bedrooms. We had thought about changing it to tiles, but that was going to cost an extra $2500, so decided the carpet was fine! Next appointment is for colours/tapware/door handles/etc/etc/etc on 26/11.

November 27 2013

So, we had our colour appointment yesterday. Our appointment was 9am, and we had been told that it could take most of the day. But it wasn't as full-on as it sounded. We had already looked around many display homes and had already thought about what type of finishes we wanted. And that makes a huge difference when confronted with the many decisions needed on the day. The colour room has a large array of things that need to be chosen. Our consultant, Monique, was very helpful and led us through the process. She was quite ready and familiar with our selections so far - she had obviously studied our file! First we went through all the external colours we had chosen, just to confirm everything. Then we chose the colour of our water tank (Pale Eucalyptus). Next was doors and glass inserts in front/rear doors, as well as type of glass (obscure/clear/etc) for bathrooms. Monique had samples of the different types of glass, so it was easy to make the choice. Next was door handles.

After that, we moved on to the kitchen - benches, doors, handles, sink. We upgraded the handles which cost $135, as well as adding an undermount sink for $549.

Zoom in (real dimensions: 768 x 1024)

Zoom in (real dimensions: 1024 x 768)

Zoom in (real dimensions: 1024 x 768)

After that, we chose bathroom fixtures - vanities, taps, shower head, etc. We upgraded the shower head to the Felix range, which cost $470. We did actually save some money in the bathrooms though, because we preferred the moulded vanity tops rather than Caroma bowls that sit on top of the quartz bench. So we actually got a rebate of $415.

Zoom in (real dimensions: 768 x 1024)

Zoom in (real dimensions: 768 x 1024)

Zoom in (real dimensions: 1024 x 768)
After that, we chose the internal paint colours. Fairly happy here.... we had heard lots of different stories as to how expensive it would be to have more than one colour in the house. We couldn't get the colour we had planned on as M only use Taubmans Trade colours, but we chose one (Calico Beige) that goes well with the Santorini Tiles that we are having so it should look good. We wanted the skirtings/architraves/internal doors in white gloss, rather than matched to the walls, but this is where it could have cost a lot. For M to do white gloss on the skirtings/architraves will cost $290 (well worth it - I hate painting those!) but if we wanted them to do the doors in white too, well that would cost $30 per door. And when we started counting how many doors we have, including wardrobe doors, it would have been about another thousand dollars. I would rather paint them myself! So the doors will match the walls, at least until I get around to painting them! We also decided to have the Home Theatre painted in a Charcoal colour..... and that will cost $264. We had completed our choices by 10:30, then Monique needed about 45mins to compile all of our info, so we went for a walk around the display homes to have another look at some of the finishes. In doing this, we actually decided to change the taps we had chosen, so when we got back to Monique, we made those changes, went through each item we had chosen, and signed off on it all. We were actually all finished before luncthime. Now we are just waiting for Council approval... we're expecting this may be delayed due to Christmas only being a month away, but there isn't much we can do about that! At the moment, I am hoping to have something happening on our block by next March.

November 29 2013

Our electrical appt is next week.  M are only submitting our plans to Council this week, must say I am disappointed with how long that part is taking. Council & M will be on holidays soon, then our pre-construction person at M won't be back from holidays until 20/1/14, so even IF there are no issues with council, M won't be progressing things till the end of January. I guess that means that we won't get any signs of building until early March....::sad::

December 17 2013

Our plans are still with Council, but even if they are given their stamp of approval soon, our pre-construction person at M is on holidays till 20/1/14, so nothing will move ahead till then. So, I am hoping to have it Council approved and back to M by the end of January, then M say that they then have 20 business days to organise the start of the process (so another month taking us to the end of February), and THEN we may see a slab by March...... sounds like a long time!

We signed off on our electrical about a week ago...... ended up costing $5300 to get all the downlights, external lights, extra power points, etc, etc, etc. More than we had expected, but that seems to be the way most of this process works! Our first quote from electrical was $6100, so we removed the downlights from the Alfresco/Portico areas and are just putting in a couple of batten fittings.

One step closer!! :)

December 21 2013

Just checked our Council website where we can track our DA..... it now appears in the "Recently Determined Applications" with "approved" next to it...... so it seems that we got the green light with Council!! Woohoo!! :z: I was expecting a problem or two due to the many building restrictions they have in our estate, but it all seems good!! Unfortunately, M is now on holidays and our pre-construction co-ordinator won't be back until 20/1/14, so nothing will be happenning for the next month. :(

January 22 2014

Spoke with M yesterday... still a bit of a wait yet. Apparently they have a few more things to process before it gets out of preconstruction. A couple of weeks, then it moves to the next phase of organising materials, fencing, porta loo, etc...... so probably won't see any slab till mid to late March. But we are moving ahead, albeit slowly!!

January 29 2014

Our slab is probably another month away yet, but the weeks will pass quickly. I am also looking forward to lots of surprises when I see all the things that we chose at colours...... I took photos of most of our choices, and even have a sample of the bricks & roof tiles, but there are also many thing that I can't remember! Plus seeing them all together in OUR house will be fantastic!

On the downside of things, our council has put some conditions on our build which are adding up. On the downside, they have stipulated that we must have a dropped edge beam on the western side of our house (the low side of the slope of the block) to "contain fill within the footprint of the house". And to do the dropped edge beam, including the excavation for it, is going to cost us $10,500. Ouch! On the (sort of) good side of things, they didn't like our eastern wall being in excess of 15 metres of unarticulated wall, but instead of making us reduce the size of a room (to bring a section of the wall in and thus creating articulation), M are increasing the size of our daughters bedroom by another 45cm...... so she is very happy. It is costing another $760, but I'm sure it could have been much worse!

I've also had to start the ball rolling on getting structural engineers to design a retaining wall ...... I wouldn't have thought we could start that yet considering the block hasn't been excavated yet, but Council require it so I guess the Structural Engineers get this request a lot. Haven't got a price yet...... can't imagine it will be cheap, but its got to be done anyway!

We have also decided to make a small change to the plans. One things we hadn't thought of until after we signed our plans, was to increase the height of the stacker doors. We are having 3 metre high ceilings in the living/ktichen/dining area and have two sets of stacker doors leading to the alfresco area, but they were only going to be 2.1m high. So for an extra $405 per door, plus $1000 admin fee to change the plans, we've changed them to 2.4m stackers. Should look good and really open up the area.

Should also be meeting one of our neighbours soon (only direct neighbours who have built so far). They contacted me today about doing the fence between our properties...... it will be nice to meet them!

February 10 2014

Definitely need patience when building!! Got our construction plans from M, signed them & returned them, but for M to apply for the Construction Certificate, they need the Engineers details for the retaining walls that we are required to have. And of course that will take another 7 - 10 days. Not looking like getting a slab till end of March the way this is going. It will be nice to see something actually happenning on our block!

February 28 2014

Woohoo!!! We are now out of pre-construction!!! 20 days to go and building begins!!!


March 19 2014

Woohoo!!! Never been excited about a port-a-loo before, but I am at the moment!!!!

March 31 2014

Not quite a major milestone, but our block got fenced today!

April 8 2014

Now, I love rain usually, but needless to say I am not loving it lately! We had about 25cm rain over a few days a week & a half ago, and drizzle on and off most days or nights since then. Our SS expected the excavator to be working on our block this week, but now it appears that our block is still too wet and the excavator may not be able to do its thing till next week. The forecast is for more rain heading our way..... ::sad::

April 14 2014

Well, its now been 4 months since we got council approval, and there is still nothing happening on our block. We got past our 20 day pre-construction period over 2 weeks ago, so we are over 2 weeks into our building contract period, and still nothing has been done on our block. We do have a port-a-loo and construction fence, but I would have thought something more should be happening. Our SS says the excavator guy says its too wet to excavate, but our block has quite a slope, and the block on our downhill side (ie: should be wetter than ours) was excavated today (and their council approval was only about 6 weeks ago). I wonder if the excavator guy has even looked at the block? Or is he just enjoying a bit of a holiday? Feeling frustrated...... ::sad::

April 15 2014

Breathing a sigh of relief today..... the excavator is at our block and scraping it!!! Woohoo!!! I'll sleep a little better tonight!  :z:

April 24 2014

Well, they didn't scrape all the block..... only did about half of it and then left a large pike of dirt/grass in the middle of the block. And nothing has been done since. Hasn't rained since then, but still nothing has been done. Feeling frustrated. ::sad::

April 28 2014

Today (and 2 days ago) they have been dumping large piles of dirt on the block. I hope this means that they're going to start doing something towards building our house!

May 2 2014

woohoo!! finally some action on the block! today the excavator was there, spreading out the piles of dirt, to create the 4 different levels needed before the slab can be done. Had a chat to the guy doing the work, apparently it will take a few days to get it all done, so it's one small step, but at least its something!!!! On a different note, the builders who have recently started on the block on our lower side, had moved our construction fence so they could get access for their excavation. In doing so, they have knocked out one of our surveyors pegs. M called this morning to say that it will cost us $470 to have another survey done, to have the peg put back! Ha, I don't think so! Hubby put forward the concept that, as they have taken temporary ownership of the block, then we also can't be held responsible if their fence has been moved. M suggested that we should try to get the $470 out of the neighbouring builders...... we suggested that it was their problem....... next phone call from them was saying that they will wear the cost as a gesture of goodwill. How nice of them..... maybe if they hadn't wasted the 6 weeks since we got out of pre-construction, and had actually done something before today, then the pegs would have been there when they needed to be, and the next door builders wouldn't have been driving over our block.

May 10 2014

The excavator finished his work on Thursday..... looking good!  Our SS called to say that the piering should start Monday/Tuesday next week....   shouldn't be long till the slab is done!

June 21 2014

A few problems since my last post...... after the excavation was done, the concreter was on site doing his prep work for the slab. He realised (luckily) that the survey wasn't done correctly. The side wall of Ashleighs room was brought out 45cms to comply with councils requirement to have some articulation in the side wall of the house. Unfortunately, this wasn't taken into account by the surveyor, so if they went ahead and worked off the surveyors marks, the house would end up being far too close to our side fence. Wonderful that it was picked up before it became a really bad problem, but a pain that it happenned at all! Masterton had to get the surveyors out (again..... this will be the third time!) to re-survey. So that delayed things by another week. Anyway, it took a while, but the top level of the slab was poured earlier this week!  Spoke to the concreter today and he said that its a complicated job, so they will be doing the formwork for the next level this week, and expect to be pouring the concrete later this week or early next week. Moving ahead (slowly) !!

(Photo taken from back of slab, looking toward front)

July 1 2014

Second half of the slab was poured today!

(Notice how the block on the low side now has their frame already done!)

About a week after the slab was finished, the plumber was at the block doing all the drainage around the slab (stormwater and water tank pipes). Lots of rock was found, and they will need to put extra sand over the pipes to ensure they don't get damaged by the rocks. And it may cost a couple of thousand more, as it will cost more in time for the plumber plus more in materials.

July 15 2014

Frame arrived today!

July 17 to 24 2014

Frame started on 17/7/14 and completed on 24/7/14, and windows in 25/7/14.

July 25 2014

Had a look around in the house today. Looks great..... can't wait to see the walls going up too!  The window in the Media Room looks quite low (have to bend over to be able to look out of it!) so will talk to Masterton about getting it moved (if possible). Have to be easier to do it now rather than when the bricks & gyprock is done.

July 28 2014

The bricks have arrived!!

Talked to Masterton during the week, and the SS has said that they will be able to move the window. Will probably meet him onsite sometime soon to discuss the new position.

The block behind ours have started excavation for their house. In the process, they have pushed huge amounts of dirt & rock onto our land. The construction fence only fences the building footprint, not our whole block. Not a concern for us right now, but we don't want their excess dirt/rocks on our block by the time we need to do fencing. Although it is a concern for our builder & plumber, as our water tank needs to be put in the back corner of our block, and that's currently under tonnes of dirt! Hopefully they'll get that sorted quite soon. 

August 7 2014

Came past the block on the way home to see the bricks have moved to piles around the house, and some have even been put into place at the front under the bedroom window. Spoke to Wayne (SS) today..... he is concerned about the dirt/rocks on the back of the block as he can't get the water tank slab done until the dirt is moved. We're concerned too, but not a lot we can do about it. Our builder needs to talk to their builder, and just tell them to move it! I will call Council in the morning to see if I can get the name and number of the owners, and I'll give them a call to see if they can talk to their builder. Hopefully we can have it all moved soon. Also talked to Wayne about moving the Media Room window...... doesn't seem to be a problem, but he has asked that I be onsite next Tuesday afternoon to go over it with him. Absolutely!!  Always happy to visit our new home!  :)

August 13 2014

I realised today that the lounge room stacker doors have been put in sliding the wrong way..... they should both slide/open outwards from the corner, instead they slide the wrong way.  :(  Basically, door A was put in door B position, and door B in door A position. Reading the plans, it definitely should be opposite to how they've been installed. Shouldn't be hard to fix, but will need to get on to
the SS.

August 15 2014

Media room window and stacker doors have both been moved/fixed.

September 4 2014

Bricklaying complete

September 17 2014

Our delays are continuing (no surprises there!). Bricks were finished two weeks ago, but then it took another week till they were cleaned. Guttering was delivered last Friday, and was booked in to be installed on Monday. No gutters done Monday, no gutters done Tuesday, and still no gutters so far today. Called the SS to see whats happenning, and he said the guttering guy wasn't happy with the scaffolding (saying it wasn't OH&S compliant) so SS had to have scaffolding people come to correct the issue and guttering is now booked for next Monday. Then tiles should be delivered soon, so roofing could start Tuesday or Wednesday.

Our original contract says we should be finished mid-November, but with rain delays we have had 6 weeks of extensions, putting completion now at late December. Knowing that M go on hols for a month from 19th December, I asked our SS what the likelihood would be of us being in by Christmas. He says that once the roof goes on, its usually 12 weeks to completion. 12 weeks from the end of next week (when roof is expected to be completed) is the 19th December. Bingo. Given that we would still need to do PCI, plus any rectifications, appliance install etc, I'm guessing that Christmas will be a no go in the new house. Which also means that it will be sitting there, almost completely finished, for a whole month before M return to finalise our home. Not much I can do about it, its just a bit frustrating. At least I can plan a bit more easily with the expectation that we won't get the keys till February.  ::sad::

September 20 2014

Roof tiles have been delivered.

October 1 2014

The roof is on!!  I expect this will mean no more rain delays!!

October 13 2014

I've been concerned that the facade doesn't look like what we were expecting. It looks like there is a column on either side of the front window, which just stop at the top of the window. Looks really odd. I keep thinking that they're still working on it (they hadn't finished the bit above the portico till last Friday) so thought that once all that is finished, maybe it will all make sense. Well, it still doesn't. So I spoke to the SS this morning and he says its exactly as the plans. Hmmm..... I don't agree. So before I went to work I emailed our Construction Co-ordinator with photos of the facade, along with photos of the facade we are expecting. Called her at lunchtime, and she agrees...... its not right. She has called the SS and he will fix it. She (nor I) know exactly how this will be done - hopefully not pulling down too much, but if it has to be done, it has to be done,

What it currently looks like.......

And what it should look like (we're not having it rendered yet, and we have a different window configuration) .......

Watch this space....... hopefully "correct" facade photos soon!

October 26 2014

Drove past on the way home last Monday (20/10/14) to see that the insulation was going in. Had a look through late on Wednesday, and the insulation (roof and walls) was almost complete. There was a delivery of gyprock on both Thusrday and Friday, and when we went past on Saturday (26/10/14) the gyprockers were there!!  They saw us looking through the fence, and after we said we were the owners, they invited us in to have a look at the progress. So here's the latest photos.....

Front of house, still no steps as yet

Garage, half gyprocked

Looking in to the Master Bedroom

Another view of Master Bedroom

Home Theatre

Lounge/Dining Room

Main Bathroom


Kitchen - with WIP door in wrong place. Once the kitchen cupboards & fridge go in, we won't be able to get into the pantry! lol!!

The stacker doors on the side of the lounge room. We'll be adding a deck out here after handover.

Looking back into the lounge/kitchen area from the alfresco

Guess I'll be talking to the SS in the morning to get the pantry door sorted out.

November 1 2014

Dropped by the house today to find that we are locked out!! Well, not completely, as one of our sons happily climbed in through a window we found hadn't been locked! The pantry door has been fixed and now the opening is where it should be. The cornicing has been done, and there is a pile of architraves and skirting boards on the loungeroom floor.

When we did colours, we were told that we couldn't have just a clear lacquer on the front door...... we had to choose a colour. So we chose Walnut as we thought it would look good with the colour of the brick. So today, when we see that the front door is on, and as yet unstained, I'm really liking it as it is and it just makes me want it unstained even more!  I'll have a chat to the SS tomorrow to see if we can just keep it the way it is.

The concretors were there this week and have done the formwork for the water tank slab, as well as the slabs for the gas bottles and the air con unit. They have also started the process for concreting the portico and the front stairs.

I'm guessing the next step is the kitchen!!  Can't wait to see it installed!!

They haven't fixed the facade as yet..... although there are now black cap-like things on the top of the "columns"...... not sure what thats all about, but we will wait and see!

November 29 2014

It's been a few weeks since I have done an update, and lots of things have been happenning. We put our current house up for sale at the beginning of the month, and it sold pretty quickly. We exchanged contracts nearly a week ago, and the buyers are happy to have a delayed settlement. They are locked into a lease, and we aren't completely sure when we will be able to move in. If things move ahead quicker than we expect with our house, the buyers may be able to get out of their lease early, then we would be able to settle sooner rather than later. At the latest, settlement is scheduled for late March 2015. At the earliest, it may be early February 2015.

Things that have been happenning with the new house..... I dropped by the house on 6/11 and found that the cornices have been mostly done. They had put the waterproof membrane in the bathrooms and the kitchen cupboards and vanities are sitting in the rooms waiting to be installed.

The next day (7/11), I stopped by on the way home to find the carpenter installing the architraves, so I could get inside to have a look at the progress. Our kitchen is in!

No benchtops yet, but apparently they're coming next week. The blue protective film won't be removed till handover.

The vanities are in too......

Main bathroom


Powder room

On November 19, they finally fixed the facade. Still need to clean the bricks, but definitely looking better!

On November 15, the front stairs were done......

Plus, the tilers have been busy laying the tiles in the bathrooms and laundry....


Main bathroom

Powder room

Plus we have a bath...... although it IS sitting in the middle of the lounge room!

On November 22, I called in to the house the tilers have been busy!

Main bathroom


Then on Sunday 23/11, we called in to see the painters (and to give them the clear varnish they will use on the front door) and they have already started to paint...   looking good even though its only the first coat......

Today, we dropped by to see whats been happenning this week. When we were there last weekend, we found that the bathrooms had been painted Calico Beige (same colour as the living room) although they should have been white. Plus the Home Theatre was also painted Calico Beige, and it should have been Canyon Black. On the upside, the painter said he would paint the internal doors all white for us. When we went to Colour Selections with Masterton, they said that there was an extra cost of $30 per door to have them painted a colour different to what the wall colour was. That would come to about $900..... and it would be no extra work for the painter, and no extra money for him either! I was planning on painting them myself after we moved in, but this will save me the hassles. He said he didn't mind what colour he painted them, so white it is!  So today we called in to see how the painting is going. The Home Theatre is going black (one coat done so far) and the bathrooms are now white. Second coat is going on throughout the house.

Then we had a look in the kitchen...... the benchtops were uncovered (looks good!) and the sink and taps were in. As is the water filter, although they have installed the filter on the right side of the sink, when we had specifically requested that it be installed on the left hand side. I know it doesn't sound like a huge issue, but we had a new kitchen installed in our current house about 4 years ago, and the plumber, for whatever reason, moved our water filter from the left hand side to the right hand side and we have hated it ever since. I wash up left to right, so having the filter on the right gets in the way of the draining board, and the draining board blocks access to the filter. They have made a hole in the granite benchtop to install the filter..... I guess they will have to have a new benchtop made and this time they can put the filter where it was supposed to be.

The bath is in!

Ensuite Shower

That pretty much brings me up to date with whats been happenning.

The shower screens are apparently booked for later this week, and the carpet is booked for 13/12/14. The tiles for the living/dining/kitchen have been delivered and should be going in soon (depending on tilers). Our first walkthough is scheduled for 7.30am on 11/11/14!!

December 6 2014 

Called in to the house Friday morning to find the electrician putting in power points. Had a chat to him and he is happy to return after handover to install our lights (internal & external). There may be some other changes to be done - we'll know after handover if we have put in enough powerpoints!

The water tank arrived last Monday (although it is inside the garage - not sure how they're going to get it around the back!) and the garage door was installed on Tuesday. I haven't seen it closed yet, as the workers have it open so they can get in & out.

Today the tilers were back, grouting and more tiling (internal stairs).

Front stairs haven't been done as yet, but it has been raining lots so that's probably causing delays. The shelving in the pantry is in..... not sure about it though as its very "compartmentalised" - I though it would be more open.

Again, it's something we can change later if we find it doesn't work. The shelving in the linen cupboards is done and it looks great. The melamime for the wardrobe fit-outs is all there, so I guess they will be back on Monday to finish.

December 8 2014

Got a call this morning to say that the towel rails are being put in today, so I need to pop over to the house to choose where they will be out. Unfortunately they called as I was heading to work, so it was a very quick stop by the house! The alarm installers were also there this morning. Stopped by again on the way home and the carpenter was still there adjusting doors, installing door handles, etc. The electrician had also been today and had installed the downlights and light battens. Smoke alarms are also in. Plus wardrobes have had their fitout done. Apparently there were people there today attempting to move the water tank out to the backyard...... they moved it about 6 inches and then gave up! Bit of a shame as it has been raining so much lately....... would have been lovely if some of it was getting into the tank!

December 11 2014

Had PCI with our SS this morning. Nothing major to be fixed...... lots of spots of paint that need to be cleaned or removed.

The water tank has been moved around the back but isn't in place - the neighbours builders have put their scaffolding on our water tank slab, so the tank can't be put in place or connected as yet. I called the builder and he says it will be moved today or tomorrow. Let's hope.

There is a minor tile issue in the main bathroom..... the tilers haven't put the metal strip down the edge of the tiles in the shower, although they have put it on the edge of the tiles near the loo. There's a couple of holes in the gyprock (two from the electrician, two in garage) which need to be patched and painted. Overall, it looks great!!!!! There were guys there this morning digging the trench to put cables in for the telstra connection, and the bank man arrived to do the final valuation. Front door handle is being fitted next week, then we should get the keys on Wednesday! Just make it before Masterton have their Christmas shutdown! We may not get the appliances in (stove, hot water heater, air-con, etc) until the New Year, but we aren't planning on moving in till end January anyway, so not a great problem. We can start taking boxes around as soon as we get the keys! Doing the happy dance!!!  

December 17 2014

We got the keys this morning!!!


Walk in Wardrobe (before carpet)

Carpet going in in the master bedroom

Yay!!!!   The fence is gone (mostly....... down the side, the base is buried under rocks and M need to send someone out to dig it out!!)

Some outside pics...... LOTS of work to do yet!!!

January 14 2015

The basic necessities!

We've been trying to get quotes for concretors to do the driveway. Must be a good business to have, cause most of them seem to be fully booked for months ahead. We've got a couple coming to give us quotes...... hopefully we'll get a driveway soon!

January 30 2015

The side construction fence has come down!

February 20 2015

Finally got a concretor to do the driveway!  Quotes varied so much...... anything from $7,500 to $20,000! Needless to say we didn't go with the $20,000 quote! It was supposed to start about 3 weeks ago, but then it rained and got postponed, then it was scheduled for the following week, but the concretor hadn't lodged the application with Council. Then it rained again........ during all of this we had the removalists booked for the end of February, thinking that as the driveway was booked for early February, then all would be done. So now its started (20th) while we're away helping Ashleigh move to Brisbane for Uni. (You can probably hear my sobs).  Concrete pour is supposed to happen tomorrow (Saturday 21/2)..... removalists are coming on Monday to pack, then we move in on Tuesday!!

February 23 2015

My little girl has moved away for uni....... :(   But our move goes on, and will keep me busy and keep my mind off missing her.

On Saturday we got a phone call from our boys to say that the concretor couldn't do the driveway as the concrete truck driver refused to drive up our street as he felt it was too steep !!!!!  Seriously? So the move will go ahead tomorrow regardless, with a half finished driveway. And hopefully Cleary Bros can send the next truck with a better driver!

February 24 - 26 2015

A sea of boxes!!!

And then they appear at the new house!!

The move was a bit of a nightmare. They said they (two removalists) would come on the Monday and pack the house. Then 3 removalists would come back on Tuesday....... one would complete the packing, while the other 2 packed the truck and dropped it off at the new house. Rather than fully load the truck, they would do a couple of trips...... apparently easier/quicker as the two houses are close to each other. By lunchtime Tuesday, one of the removalists stopped work as he had hurt his leg at footy training the night before. So then there was just the two of them, and the house wasn't fully packed. They moved some of our goodies, but said they would return the following day (Wednesday) to do the rest. They seriously underestimared how much stuff we had! So on the Wednesday, it was pouring rain, and there was still only two of them. They still didn't move all the furniture (mostly the big stuff)..... they had it all packed into the truck, but decided to leave it in the truck (as it was getting late) and they would drop it off the next morning (Thursday)!!!   And in that final truck load, amongst other things, was the washing machine. By this time, I hadn't been able to do any washing since Sunday night...... tomorrow was Thursday, and it was photo day at the school..... and no more clean school clothes!  Ahhhhhh..... Grrrrrrrr!!!!!!  Needless to say I was extremely thankful when the move was done!!!

Not a bad view after unpacking some boxes......

February 27 2015

The driveway is done!!

March 4 2015

During February we started the process of finding someone to build the bones of our garden.... the retaining walls and paths. We can do the gardening part later (in fact, I am soooo looking forward to that!). Today (4/3) the bobcat arrived to start getting some levels in the backyard. And the landscaper started working on the retaining walls down the side of the house.

Plus Dal sealed the driveway......

March 10 - 28 2015

The landscaping continues....... backyard, front yard and down the side.....  

We've also made a couple of trips to Ikea to start planning the changeover from all the dark wooden furniture to lighter more modern furniture. The old stuff just looks so out of place in the new house.

Lots of boxes of flat-pack furniture!

April 10 2015

The materials for our new deck arrived!!!

April 13 2015

The path down the side of the house begins.....

Plus work on the deck begins.....

April 29 2015

Starting on the paving around the back

And the deck is progressing too....

May 3 2015

Deck is built, just need the railing...

And the paving continues......

May 7 2015

The landscaper has started working on the retaining wall on the lower side of our block. This will allow us to level this side a little, plus the fencing can be attached to it.

May 23 2015

Got home from work today to find that the railing has been put on the deck!  Woohoo!!

May 30 2015

Started laying the turf....

We need to get the garden edging done (hopefully next weekend?) then we will get more turf and fill in the gaps. Plus we still need to turf out the front, plus get some more garden mix/soil to level things up a bit and to fill behind the retaining walls down the side of the house. Then I can start getting some gardens in!

The front yard hasn't changed much....

June 3 2015

We've been in for 3 months now, and slowly its all coming together. At least the loungeroom looks at little more organized!!

Late 2016.......Final update......

The gardens slowly came together during 2015......

During summer of 2015/16, the gardens started to get established nicely.

The views our of the kitchen window, lounge room and the back deck were stunning.....

But in early 2017, it was time to move on.....

Front yard....

Kitchen, dining, living room.......


Living room .....

Media room.......

Home Theatre......

Master bedroom ......

Second bedroom ......

Third bedroom ..... (fourth bed is mirror image) ......

Main bathroom .....

Looking towards deck......

Not a bad view from the washing line!!  .....

Back deck ......

And then .......

On to the next adventure!!!

Thanks for sharing our journey!!!!