We have a portaloo!

Well, I’ve just experienced that very strange joy shared by most home builders: the arrival on site of a portaloo! And fencing!

portalooWe also had first contact from our site supervisor, who expects the demolition and site clearance to happen in the next week or so. Hooray!




Wreck it, Ralph!

1280px-Wrecking_ballMore arcane processes between bank and builder means we didn’t quite get underway this week, but the demolition has been ordered and so have the site fences.

We’re off to the house today to collect a few things we need to keep, like the rubbish bins, and to have one last look at the ‘before’.

We can’t wait for this project to be underway. It’s been more than 12 months in the planning stage, so we are more than ready to go. Still hopeful for a June handover, but given how long the pre-build stage has taken, we are not holding our breath or making any definite plans!

Nearly at the starting gates

Dollar_SignWell,  after a three-month delay, we are just about to commence the ‘build’ stage of our new home odyssey. The bank baulked at the total cost of the build so we had to made a ‘contribution’ (meaning top up the loan).

Fortunately we had already sold a property and it settled last week. With our contribution now made, the builders are just waiting for the green flag from the bank and we will be underway. First up, demolition of the old house, which should happen in the first week of Feb, pending weather and demolition crew availability.

Hopefully we’ll in by June. Fingers crossed?

Hurricane Metford tears through block!

photo 1 “It just came from nowhere”

“There were trees there one minute, none the next”

“Holy cow, that fence really was only held up by the vegetation!”

photo 2Yes, dear readers, it’s true, Hurricane Metford has been through our block, wreaking havoc and destruction. We received permission from the ACT Government to remove three large trees from our property and one large tree from our verge. Engaging an arborist, we decided to remove all of the shrubs and small trees from the property too, in preparation for demolition of the old house and for building works to get underway before Christmas.

photo 3Well, the arborists didn’t muck around! In one day they have taken down the four large trees, all of the small the trees and most of the shrubs. They’ll be back to take out all the stumps next. We visited the block yesterday and couldn’t believe the difference!

It really does look like a cyclone/hurricane/tornado has been through. The yard looks much bigger, which is good, because the house will take up a good part of the land. The hold house looks very sad and dejected now that it’s not obscured by vegetation. Looking forward to that coming down too. One of our shared fences is barely erect. It was held up by the shrubs on our side. I dropped letters in the mailboxes of our neighbours a week ago to warn them that works were starting soon. I also warned out the owner of the investment property next to us that we would need to talk fencing soon. Good thing I did!

The build is still a little way off: we haven’t finalised the kitchen drawings yet. The kitchen company, Elba, is struggling to keep up with demand and we are awaiting revised drawings before we can finalise all variations and get the contract approved by the bank. Slowly, slowly, slowly. Sadly, the delays mean we have missed the slot for a November start, so it looks like we’ll be a December start. This means it’s touch and go whether we’ll have a slab down before Christmas.

We will really appreciate this house when it’s built!

Colour selections finalised – exterior


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


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

PGH Espresso house

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 🙂