Going for Gold

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Well, our SS and the subbies have done an outstanding job over the past two weeks. They are going for gold, with our SS talking around six weeks to handover! I think it’s more likely eight, but that is not long!

Progress over the past two weeks:

  • All doors hung – we are now at lock up
  • Final al fresco sliding door has been recessed into the slab as per the plan
  • The incorrectly located aircon unit slab has been dug up by the concreters
  • Our kitchen carcasses have been installed! I am thrilled with the Polytec Agean Oak in Ravine finish – my husband won’t know if he likes it until the kitchen is complete! Fingers crossed our selections all work together 😆
  • Laminex benchtops installed in the pantry, laundry and kitchen 2
  • Vanity carcasses installed in all bathrooms/powder room
  • Laundry cupboards installed
  • All cornices and architraves are in and ready for painting
  • All internal floor tiling and most wall tiling is complete
  • Porch has been tiled and looks the bomb 😀
  • The feature wall in our master en suite has been installed and looks AMAZING!

We are very happy with the progress and can’t wait to see what the next two weeks bring. This is what we know is planned for the coming week:

  • Painters will prep and begin their work – Taubman’s Silver Charm throughout except in master bedroom 1 (which will be midnight blue) and lounge 1 (which will be a petrol/indigo blue) and a feature wall in our office/study (which will be black)
  • Caesarstone benchtops (Osprey – off white) will be installed in kitchen 1 and all bathrooms/powder room
  • Cedar cladding will be delivered and installation of the porch and al fresco ceiling cladding will get underway
  • Spotted gum timber for our rear deck will be delivered
  • Tilers will finish the remaining wall tiling in the bathrooms and the splashback in kitchen 2

What still needs to happen after that:

  • Bamboo hard flooring and carpets need to be installed (this will be a moment of truth, as we’ve chosen very dark boards and charcoal carpet, which *should* contrast nicely with our Taubman’s Silver Charm (half strength) walls and arctic white trim/white ceilings)
  • Concreter needs to pour a new mini-slab for the aircon unit
  • Concreter needs to pour a brushed concrete ‘path’ to wrap around the back of the house where our deck will go (I am so excited to see this. This was one of our major innovations on the plans and it should really enhance our backyard living – we haven’t had a yard before (we are in a townhouse now with a courtyard that we don’t use much)
  • Garage door needs to be installed (but that is one of the last things they do, to reduce the risk of something being backed into it)
  • Electrical fit-out, including alarm system, all lighting (we are awaiting two more fixtures and we will have everything ready to go)
  • Plumbing fit-out
  • Decking to be installed in al fresco and out to the wrap-around deck
  • Pour the driveway and path to the porch
  • A million other details that I’ve forgotten! 🙂

Then there’s the list of things we need to get ready as the build enters the last stages:

  • Decide on which company will win the contract to install our plantation shutters throughout (we have three quotes coming in; two received so far with a 7k price differential – will be interesting to see where the last one lands!)
  • Get three quotes for fencing (we are going with Colourbond for the back and side fences with aluminium slat fencing/gates between the side fences and the house at the building line (I’ve read just about everything on ACTPLA’s website about what’s allowed and what’s not)
  • Get three quotes for wardrobe fit-out (we deleted the shelf/rail from the contract)
  • Arrange for all tiles and the driveway to be sealed as soon as we have the keys in our hot little hands 😉
  • Get Foxtel/cable sorted out, as the internet speed in our new suburb is likely to be as glacial as our old suburb, neither of which are in the NBN forward work plan 😦
  • Get some quotes for simple landscaping (we’ve been doing some sketches)
  • Get some quotes for the installation of a Colourbond shed in the back yard
  • Decide on what we’re going to do about a letterbox!

So much to do, so little money! We’re waiting for my dear, departed father-in-law’s estate to settle, as he is funding all of the above through his frugality in life and generosity in death. He was one of the war-generation babies who never forgot the hard, lean years before and after WWII. He didn’t throw anything away and was very careful and clever with his money. So much so, he had more tucked away than anyone knew. We are very grateful for that but we miss him terribly and are sad that he won’t get to see the house that he part-funded. While he was ready to go when he did, at the ripe old age of 88, I had hoped we would all get some time together before he died.Hopefully the estate will settle soon, as we need the bequest money to commit to the above list.

We are calling our self-contained flat ‘Johnno’s place’ in his honour. We have a few bits and pieces of his and my long-departed mother-in-law that we will use in decorating the place. My father-in-law was a mad-keen yachtie, so we are also decorating the self-contained flat in a nautical/coastal theme in his memory. RIP Johnno.

Here is a selection of photos taken during the week. It’s really starting to look like the house we imagined. Happy days 🙂

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Porch tiles, contrasting beautifully with the bricks. That door, as magnificent as it is in merbau, will be painted Taubman’s Electricity (neon chartreuse!). We’re hoping it all works out okay!

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Vanity in master bedroom 1 en suite (Polytec Char Oak)

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Our spectacular mosaic feature wall in master bedroom 1 en suite. I am in love! All the trouble we had over selecting a tile (and paying through the nose for it) has paid off. This is stunning and really ties together the black/white/silver/grey colour scheme. I think I will look forward to getting up in the mornings when I have this beauty awaiting me!

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View of our en suite from the bedroom. The walls will be painted a silvery grey.

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Guest powder room. We’ll wallpaper at least two walls in there in something dark and textural. We are going full luxe in the littlest room in the house 🙂

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Vanity installed in the kids’ bathroom. We swapped out a single basin vanity for dual basins. Perhaps marginally less squabbling in the mornings? (We can but hope)

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Our Polytec Aegean Oak kitchen! We had originally chosen a darker blue matt, smooth finish from Laminex, but they are no longer making it. The Polytec is a little brighter, but the Ravine finish adds the texture I was worried we wouldn’t have if we had been able to have our original choice. It’s very blue, but it pops and should be toned down a bit with the white Caesarstone benches and the very dark brown floors.

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Walk-in pantry! We have a two door single cupboard for our pantry in our current place. We have things double and triple-stacked and it’s a pain in the you-know-what. We’re looking forward to having this pantry set up properly so we can reach everything easily. Also love the light coming through. There will be a door on the pantry, but it’s got a frosted glass panel in it so the light will be filtered, which will be a good thing in summer, as this window faces west.

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Acolytes of the Rawson Metford33 design will notice this is a non-standard kitchen. We spent hours in the former display home in Dubbo and decided the kitchen, while lovely, simply wasn’t big enough for what we had in mind. So, we turned the island bench into a peninsula by converting the original galley style kitchen into a u-shaped kitchen. That also meant we could accommodate more cupboard space, a two-drawer bin insert in one of the cupboards, a longer overhang so we can all sit at the bar for our breakfast and the all-important (hahaha) wine fridge!

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Kitchen 2 (Johnno’s Place). Sorry for the crap photograph – the sun was over the other side of the house. Lots of extra storage in here for anything that doesn’t fit in our main kitchen/pantry. We’ll also make use of the second oven when we host Christmas festivities later this year 🙂

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Our newly tiled porch. Am loving these tiles, which were our second choice and have worked out beautifully.

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Our laundry door! This door will be accessed via the wrap-around deck, which will run across the full width of the back of the house and then down the side to the laundry. Our clothes line will live under the awning of our shed, so there’ll be a path from the laundry to the shed. A clothes line is a novel idea for us after 20 years of apartment/townhouse living!

Bricks and mortar

So pleased to see the brickwork get underway this week! Love the colour! The bricks are PGH Espresso and they’re just what we wanted. They work nicely with the Ironstone Colourbond roof and Surfmist guttering and fascia.

I am so happy the bricklayers started at the front – really helps us to visualise how the completed house will look. The garage door will be dark too – in Ironstone – but once the mortar dries off, the off-white should complement the guttering/fascia nicely and provide a good contrast to the dark bricks and roller door. If the front of the house ends up looking too dark, we’ll use a light render over some of the brickwork to add more contrast.

Photos from today – they’re a little on the dark side as I got there just as the sun was setting.

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Colour selections finalised – exterior

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Well, we have finalised our colour selections! I’ve put together the above picture based on our selections, but it’s not the Metford (and our garage will be on the other side of the house). Also, we are having a Colourbond steel roof, not tiles, but the colour tool wouldn’t give me that option. You can find the ColourTouch tool on the PGH Bricks website.

Here are our external selections:

  • Bricks. As forecast, we went with the PGH Espresso bricks (a $3k upgrade). We will have off-white, raked mortar.
  • Roof. Colourbond steel in Monument
  • Gutter and Fascia. Surfmist
  • Windows and Flyscreens. Woodland Grey
  • Garage door. Nullabor/woodgrain texture in Ironstone
  • Driveway. 5% Synergy Black
  • Front Door. Taubman’s Electricity (see below!)
  • Timber Posts. Sikkens Ebony
  • Door Frame and Eaves/Al Fresco. Taubman’s Crisp White

Taubmans Electricity

Can’t wait to have our front door this colour. We think it will really pop against the high contrast charcoal/white colours.

Update on colours

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No new piccies, so here, have some palm trees and sunny skies (the opposite of Canberra right now)

Well, nothing’s set in concrete till the contract’s signed, right?

Another visit to Don’s Tiles/Accent Carpets on Saturday saw us firm up our decision on bamboo flooring. We have decided on Godfrey Hirst Zen Brushed Onyx, which is a very dark, engineered bamboo, pending confirmation of the price (we have a fall-back tile selection should the bamboo prove to be outside our budget). They have a really good range of bathroom tiles too, so we’ve decided on the tiles for our ensuite, main bathroom and Granddad’s ensuite.

We spent a bit of time driving around on the weekend in the new Googong estate just over the border in NSW to check out the new house builds – PGH Espresso sure is a popular choice. While we were out looking, we decided the APO Grey window frames just didn’t give the look we are going for, especially as we will have white shutters on the inside. We are all about high contrast it would seem! We also thought the surfmist garage door might be a bit bright, so have gone the opposite way and decided on dark grey/charcoal.

We’ve therefore made a couple of changes to our external colour selections (new choices are in blue):

  • Roof – Colorbond Ironstone
  • Fascia and guttering – Colorbond Surfmist
  • Cedar posts and cladding – we have decided: Sikkens Ebony
  • Eaves and porch ceiling – Taubmans Silver Blaze
  • Downpipes – Colourbond Ironstone
  • Window frames – Colourbond Ironstone
  • Garage door – Colourbond Ironstone
  • Front door – Taubmans Electricity (you simply must see this colour!)
  • Front door frame – Taubmans Crisp White
  • Driveway – charcoal or bluestone (we’re happy to be guided by Rawson’s colours expert here)

We also popped in to the two Rawson display homes to re-check out their kitchens, bathrooms and laundries, as they will be our next set of decisions.

After that comes electrical – we’re well ahead on making decisions there too. Can you tell we’ve done a lot of research and are very prepared? It’s important to us to get the build going as quickly as possible so we don’t want Rawson to be waiting on us. Hence the hours I spend on Pinterest and the Homeone forum 🙂

Exterior colours just about decided

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PGH Espresso brick – note, this is not the Metford 33. Who builds houses without eaves in this climate?

Well, we have made the big decision: PGH Espresso bricks it is! That means we can just about lock in our exterior colour selections:

  • Roof – Colorbond Ironstone
  • Fascia and guttering – Colorbond Surfmist
  • Cedar posts and cladding – hmmm, haven’t decided between cedar and Sikkens ebony…comments welcome!
  • Eaves and porch ceiling – Taubmans Silver Blaze
  • Downpipes – Colourbond Ironstone
  • Window frames – APO Grey
  • Garage door – Colourbond Surfmist
  • Front door – Taubmans Electricity (you simply must see this colour!)
  • Front door frame – Taubmans Aspen Snow
  • Driveway – charcoal or bluestone (we’re happy to be guided by Rawson’s colours expert here)

We’ve decided against render for now – it was going to cost approx. $8k for a relatively small amount of render on the front of the house, so we’ll do that after handover if we still want to. We are off to Rawson tomorrow morning to make what we hope will be the final changes to the application plans. Once we are happy that all the changes have been made, we’ll finalise the external selections and the plans can be submitted for approval. Urban Treescapes contacted me yesterday – we had applied to remove two registered trees and build within the canopy of a third registered tree. They have approved the removal of the first two trees and advised that we must remove the third tree, as it has started to rot from the inside out! Good thing we had that tree checked or it could have eventuated in a nasty shock down the track. So, it’s just about all systems go – we just need the bank to come to the party with our construction loan and we will be ready to demolish the old place and get started! Very exciting 🙂

Anyone fancy an espresso?

Well, we are one step away from selecting our bricks! Mr Boral Man, as forecast, was as helpful as the Amber Tiles uninformed dude. No list of homes built from Boral bricks, so no soup for you!

We are, therefore, very close to settling on PGH bricks. The two now in contention are Blue Steel Flash (which sound awesome) and Espresso (which sound brown, but are not). Husband is leaning towards Espresso (he does love a coffee) so we are heading out on another drive with the kiddipops tomorrow to check out a few more houses built from PGH Espresso. And then hopefully we’ll have a winner! Here’s a house made from Espresso bricks:

PGH Espresso

PGH Espresso

Before that the kids and I will pop down to the old house on the new block and paint a few more colours on the interior walls so we can see what the colours look like in the actual light. We think we’ve found our main interior colour (half-strength Taubman’s Silver Charm), so that’s pretty exciting. It should go nicely with the very dark brown bamboo floors we’re hoping to have through the main part of the house. Honestly, it’s like putting a jigsaw puzzle together without a picture 🙂

The other thing we are doing is going through the first set of plans against the concept drawings and our tender documents – the draftsperson missed a few things, so we need to make sure they’re added in now. Once we’ve done that, chosen our external colours/selections, then the next step will be electrical and internal selections. Oh, and the next set of plans!

More on bricks (not moron bricks)

Well, a migraine stopped us from getting out and about to look at more bricks today. I’ve been doing a little bit of web research instead (to try to slim down the options we’d like to pursue) and I’m drifting back to liking Austral’s ‘Chiffon’ brick from the Urban One range.

Austral Chiffon

Austral Chiffon

While the PGH Blue Steel Flash is my fave, Chiffon is only $1k extra (not $4k like the Blue Steel Flash). Will have to call Austral next week and get some addresses for houses in the area that have been built in Chiffon.

My husband and I both love the Deep Ocean colour in the Colobond range and I think the Chiffon brick would go well with a Deep Ocean roof. We would have our fascia and possibly also the garage door in Surfmist to ensure we get enough contrast and make sure the front of the house doesn’t look too dark. We are looking at a very bright citron/chartreuse front door, which would also complement the Chiffon. Exciting times 🙂

Hopefully my migraine buggers off for tomorrow – I want to get down to the old house and paint some swatches up on the walls from the sample pots I picked up last weekend.