Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Anyone still awake?

OK, so once you actually get into the  house, updating the blog becomes a lower priority, and actually getting stuff done seems to take over all of your time.

So for anyone still paying any attention, here are some of the more recent photos.

I think since last update we have had the driveway and concrete/spray crete finished, and have put a little work into the turf and landscaping.

The Pergola for the back patio area is the last thing we have left to do, and with Christmas quickly approaching that likely won't be until the new year



Friday, June 17, 2011

Careful what you wish for

OK, so that moment you've all been waiting for is finally here!!

What moment? you all say.  Well the moment when I inundate you with all the pics that we've been saving up over the last few weeks.

A lot has happened, we've moved in and are getting settled, the driveway and paths have been cut out and poured, it has rained on and off for the duration and now things are starting to get back to some kind of normalcy.  So without anymore pointless babble, I will just let the photos do the talking.

We chose 600 x 600 polished porcelain floor tiles for downstairs and were lucky enough to have our cousins from Brisbane offer to come down and lay the tiles for us.  It was a big job and I'm sure a lot of work for the boys, but I know our company for a couple of weeks made it all worth it ;-)

We had a little drama with the glass tiles behind the range hood as some appliance installers said it wasn't possible to hang without a support board behind it, some installers said you can't drill into glass tiles but persistence prevailed and we found a great range hood specialist who had no troubles hanging it on the glass tiles within about 20 minutes.

Don't listen to the naysayers!  Anything is possible if you ask the right people

Progress being made here on the installation of our carbonised strand woven bamboo flooring upstairs, we are delighted with the finished product, and cannot recommend our carpenter any more, he did a fabulous job.  If you need a chippy in the Central Coast or Sydney areas I can't say enough how great a job he did and a nice guy as well!!  (which is sometimes hard to find these days)

Area cut out for outdoor entertaining area and driveway (below).  Concrete has since been laid since these pics, but have yet to get any photos.  We have a few weeks wait now until they come back to finish the stencil off.

 The Media Room
 The downstairs living room
 Formal Lounge
 Formal Lounge / Dining
 The Entrance Foyer
 Upstairs Living Room
 Main Bathroom
The Infamous Maple Stairs

Monday, May 23, 2011

Keys are OURS!!!

Thats right, the keys were handed over on the 17th as planned, we did our final inspection and took ownership.

Was a great feeling, weird, but still great to be walking through the house now and knowing that it is ours, and that we didn't have to scarper out the same time as the site supervisor was leaving.  Also it was amazing how much bigger the front yard feels now that all the security fencing has come down.

So now we move on to the finishing touches that we need to do before we can move in, starting with the flooring.

The tilers (fantastic relatives from QLD) came down and started work on the 18th, so far they are doing a fantastic job and they are expecting to be finished by tomorrow evening (24th) if everything goes to plan.

The bamboo flooring for upstairs started today and is scheduled to be completed by the end of the week as well.

And the driveway/concreting is scheduled to begin on Wednesday.  Although I think rain has been forecast, so that might get delayed, let's hope not!!

Unfortunately for all those following the blog, we have made a decision not to post any more photos until everything is complete, this way our friends will still get a decent surprise when they come to visit.  I know you're all on the edge of your seat with suspense (yeah right), but you'll just have to wait.

So we are firing on all cylinders now, hopefully won't be too long before me start to move in, and I'll share all the juicy photographs then.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Slowly inching closer

Ok, So the ETA of May 13th has been pushed back to the 17th.  Only a couple of days so no major drama.  Just means a few quick phone calls to flooring tradesmen to move them back a few days and hopefully things will still roll along smoothly.

Will have some new pictures soon, however, there are not a great deal of visible changes.  The last of the scaffolding has finally been removed and the balcony railing on the portico has been installed, so at least from the exterior it looks as though we have a finished product.

Things are so close now that everything has slowed down and weeks feel like months, and changes are so small that it almost feels like no progress is being made, but no doubt, in a week or so, things will all be finished and the wait will be worth it!!!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

First look inside

Ok, so it's been a month since my last post and there has been a fair bit of water under the bridge....

Since my last entry we have had another issue with the staircase, but to save a long and drawn out story, the long of the short of it is that we have agreed to a compromise with the builder that will see some of the stair built of solid maple and some of it from MDF with a maple veneer. The builder has agreed to provide the same warranty on the staircase as they would if it was full solid wood maple, and aslo provide us a refund for the difference given that the entire stair will no longer be solid wood.  My wife and I are just happy to be moving forward on the matter and are glad to be able to put the entire staircase chapter behind us.

So, that all cleared up........

Since my last post, the tiling has been completed, the painting has been completed and the electric finishings have been finished.  The bathrooms are all but complete, they now have everything except the shower screens, and from what I can tell the plumbing is complete with the exception of the hot water tank.

Easter is now upon us which measn we'll likley see not much happening over the break, but afterwards we understand they'll be sanding the floors, and then installing the last of the fittings, and a big cleanup etc so we've been advised a tentative handover date of May 13th.

Here's the first pics we've got of the interiror which we grabbed when we poped out one day and the tradies were nice enough to let us have stickey beak inside.  These were taken just before the toilets were installed and whilst the painting was underway (if my memory serves me correctly)

Downstairs/Guest Bathroom

Ensutie vanity and bath

Ensuite shower with waterfall shower head

upstairs leisure room and stair void

Main Bathroom vanity and bath

Main Bathroom shower

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

It cant always be roses.....

So we're within sight of the finish line, but we've unfortunately had our first stumble.

We've had a slight difference of opinion with regards to the stair issue mentioned in the blog entry below.  We have however stood our ground requesting the product that we paid for and was detailed in the contract, and after some less than comfortable discussion the builder has begrudgingly agreed to remove the incorrect staircase and install the maple one. But not before making us feel as though the issue was our fault and that our desire to have what we paid for was unreasonable.

The whole incident has left us feeling a little deflated and now the excitement of it all seems a little tainted.  So now we're just hoping that both parties can put the matter behind us and forge onwards for the last few weeks until practical completion.

So, this weeks update is that the tiling is being done, we met the tiler onsite yesterday and he advised that the job will take approx 2 weeks.

A couple of recent pics of the exterior

The front elevation with front door hung and garage door installed  
The Completed Rain Water Tank

Friday, March 18, 2011

Update Time

Hello All,

I know you've been feverishly awaiting a new update, so although I don't have any more images to share with you at this time, here is where things are at.....

So, since the last update the gyprock has gone in, the waterproffing of the wet areas has been completed, all internal doorframes and doors and window frames have been installed.  The cornices have all been completed and the stairs and balustrades have been installed.**

All external doors were installed and at the end of last week (11th March) we were at lock up.

This week we have seen the baths, bathrooms cabinets and kitchen delivered and installed.  The Rain Water tank has been fitted and looks like it's finished. And the garage door has also been fitted and is ready to roll (see what I did there :-)

** One problem that arose however, we paid to upgrade the staircase to solid maple timber so that we could match the stain of the stairs with the bamboo flooring we intend on finishing the top floor with.  We did however notice that the stairs that have been installed are the regular MDF particle board stairs which usually get covered in carpet.  We've raised this cocnern to the site manager and we are assuming he'll address the issue, but at this point in time we are still awaiting confirmation that the stairs will be changed to the solid timber we requested.

Apologies for the lack of photos, but now that the outside is completed we don't get much of an opportunity to get inside and take a look around.  We are basically limited to peering through windows or hoping someone is still working onsite when we drop by. 

Would be nice if the builder offered the odd walk through so that we could take a look now and then.  We got lucky that we picked up the mistake on the stairs which we would have missed had we not dropped by whilst the workers were still onsite.  We would rather the opportunity to pick up any issues now during the build than after the fact and have to go about ripping things out.  Anyway, just my 2 cents

New pics coming soon......... hopefully

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Time for a quick update....

Ok, so now that the external parts of the building are pretty much complete, the pictures are not going to be really changing all that much.

That said.  Last week the scaffolding was removed and the bricks cleaned top and bottom.

This week we are expecting the insulation and the gyprock to go in, we're hoping for the stairs to be complete next week as well as the waterproofing and with a little bit of luck by the end of next week we are hoping to be at lockup.

We had a couple of little setbacks, nothing major.  A glass panel from the front door frame somehow got cracked, but a repair there has been promised.  And one of the exterior light points at the front was installed a couple of brick course lower than on the opposite side, which would look pretty bad to have front house lights that were not level.  Good thing is that the Project Manager noticed this before we did and he has had it fixed already. So we were pretty happy about that.

So here's the latest pics.... enjoy!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Ever Onward

No Pics for this short update, however.......

This past week we saw the electrical wiring go in and the eves installed.  Friday saw the top level of the bricks washed and I am happy to say it looks FANTASTIC!!

We're told that next week the down pipes will be installed, and eves and external pipes etc will be painted, then the scaffolding will come down.

Gyprock installation also due to begin next week.

It's all happening!!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Brickwork - DONE!

So, after a couple of stumbles, the brickwork is complete.

We are still happy with the progress we have seen so far, considering we didn't get started until mid November, and we missed 2.5 weeks over Christmas, ultimately we've really only been building for 10 weeks so far, which has our hopes high for getting the keys earlier than we had scheduled. (Which would be GREAT, mums house is getting a little cramped :-)

So here below are the latest pics with the brickwork finished, we believe the electrical will be done next week and I suppose from then on it's just the internals and fittings etc.  It seems as though the rest of the work to be done should happen rather quickly., although we're trying to stay grounded so as to not set expectations too high.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Latest developments

ok, so I might have been a little tardy with the updates on this blog, However......there's been good reason.

Over the last couple of weeks there has not been much visible progress, and I know a lot of people who are reading this blog are mainly just keen to see what the place looks like now, that's the reason why I haven't made any updates, because I don't have any new pics to look at.

So over the last couple of weeks we have seen the roof completed in full, all tiles, capping and sarking are all done.

Next was the gas and water lines, we met the plumber onsite, really nice bloke, and he advised he would be spending 3 or so days there just putting all the plumbing in.  That went ahead and has been completed (I assume) because on close inspection we can see all the pipe work running through the walls and through the floor joysts for the upstairs plumbing work. It looks like it was a bigger job than we expected. It all looks very good.

Which brings us to this week....

We had expected the brickies to complete the rest of the brickwork and when we went onsite Monday they were indeed there with a new delivery of bricks, setting everything up on the scaffolding.  We returned on Tuesday to find that no one was onsite, and couldn't see any more work done.  We assumed that the heat had caused the workers to stop work (Sydney has had a week of temperatures between 35 - 42 degree days) which we were a little dissapointed about because it just meant more time missed.  we returned on Wednesday, again a very hot day, and again, no one onsite.

The temperatures cooled by today (Thursday) but it was still 34 degrees, and we were nearby so decided to head out just in case they had been back, and low and behold the brickies were back at it.  We got out and said hello and had a chat to them, and it turns out our assumptions about the heat were wrong.

The work had resumed on Tuesday, however after laying a couple hundred bricks at the back of the house, the brickies realised that the bricks were the wrong colour (similar, but definitely the wrong ones) and as it turns out the delivery from the supplier had sent the wrong brick.  So the brickies at that point stopped laying the bricks and contacted the Site Manager.  Apparently they had to wait for confirmation that the bricks needed to be removed, and confirm delivery of the correct bricks.  Wednesday afternoon they were advised to go ahead and rip the incorrect bricks out and re-do them with a new delivery of the correct bricks.

So this morning we had a pile of old wrong bricks in the front yard and they were proceding with the correct bricks.  Some of you may be annoyed by this mistake, maybe think that we're upset about it, but ultimately, we're happy.  Of course during the process of building a house there's the possibility that mistakes could be made, what we are happy about is that the brickies were good enough to notice and to cease work until the problem was fixed.  We'd much rather have a day or two lost in the progress than have a house that was two toned in colour and weird looking, which may have been the case if they had completed the job I suppose?  I'm not sure how keen the supervisor would have been to rip them all out if they had've completed the whole house that way.

So barring any more setbacks, we are hoping that within the next few days, maybe mid to end of next week, the last of the brickwork will be complete.  At that point in time I should have some new pictures to look at, so as to satiate those of you who don't appreciate my profound opus.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Roof is all but done

Ok, so not much more to say for this update, except that the roof tiles were delivered and installed last week.  Also. as of today the internal plumbing and gas is being connected up.

Everything tracking to plan so far, so we're happy.  Would like to see the bricklayers back on site soon because it would just make everything seem more whole, you know?

Anyway, here's the latest pics

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Roof is on Fire!!

Thursday 12th Feb and as expected the roof trusses were installed.

Next steps from here will be a site cleanup on Saturday, followed by delivery and installation of facia's and guttering, then on Wednesday 19th we're hoping to see the roof tiles start to get laid.

So, we have a full shell of the house now, and can really see what it is going to look like on the block.  Standing alongside it makes it feel really big, I suppose being able to see up through the second floor and the roof, out to the open sky, has that effect though.  Still, with my fear of heights I can't see me getting up to clean the gutters too often.

Took these photos late in the evening, so we were running out of light.  Will take some clearer daytime pictures next time we're out there.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

And we're back in 3......2.......1.......

Ok, so the builders are definitely living up to our expectations at the moment.  They had initially said it could be up to 5 weeks off for the Christmas period, however then said it likely would be less because a lot of the contractors want to start working as soon as they can.  So we were told they would begin again on Jan 10th.  As it turns out, construction resumed after the Christmas break on Jan 7th, which means they only stopped work for approx 2.5 weeks instead of the initially quoted 5 weeks.

We headed out to site on Monday 10th just to have a look and see if the builders were on site, we thought they may have left because there was a fair bit of rain about.  As it turns out, they were sitting in the garage waiting for the rain to stop, and also waiting on delivery of the frames for the second level.  So we got the chance to meet the site supervisor, and some of the carpenters.

It is great to know that they don't walk off at the first sign of drizzle, and excellent to meet them all in person and have a chat about the house and what is to happen next.

As of Wednesday 11th afternoon, the second floor frames have been erected and the roof trusses have been delivered.  We are hoping for some decent weather today, and fingers crossed that they will get the roof trusses erected some time today.  Once that is completed it will be over to the brickies or the roof tilers.  Site Supervisor says once the trusses are up, he will make the call as to whether the roof tiles will go on immediately or not.  We are hoping the tiles get done asap because then it should reduce potential delays that may be caused by future rain.

as always, latest pics below