The tortoise and the hare

Well, we’re shuffling our way to the finish line and it’s hard to know whether it’s going to be the tortoise or the hare. Will handover happen before or after I have to go away for three weeks in mid-October? It’s anyone’s guess right now. I am finding it hard to believe we could be done in the next five weeks, but the logistics of this build have been so mind boggling to date that I guess anything’s possible.

Progress this week:
– electrical fit out underway
– plumbing fit out underway
– tiling nearly complete

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Getting better all the time

I’m sticking with song lyrics. When you’re on a good thing, you might as well stick with it  😅

The painters and tilers are still cranking it on site, with tradies present both yesterday and today. I had to go to work on both days this weekend so it made me feel less bad that they were at work too  😉

We decided to leave all the wardrobe doors black, as they look very cool in their silver and white homes. All the doors have been rehung so we got a really good idea of how it’s all going to look. We think the dark chocolate floors will help tie it all together, so we are looking forward to seeing those laid (although that’s a few weeks away).

The walls are just about done (there might be one coat to go, but it’s hard to tell) and we love, love, love the blues we picked for our bedroom and our lounge room. The black feature wall in the study looks great. And check our our front door! Another coat to go and it will be done. It’s lairy, all right, but we love it 🙂

The tilers have been back and finished the niche in our shower. It still looks great. So happy with our choices.

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Ooooh, looky, our front door! Yes, folks, the much-vaunted and much-promised Taubman’s Electricity!

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Feature wall in the study in Taubman’s Abyss

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The niche in our shower is done but not yet grouted (which is why it doesn’t look quite right)

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Our gorgeous inky blue bedroom. We’ll have white plantation shutters installed after handover, so the contrast value should be high.

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Black master bedroom doors (1 1/2) looking across the hall to the study.

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A different dark blue in our lounge. That niche will house our vinyl collection and a turntable/stereo. You can also see the electricians have started fitting our gazillions of power points 🙂

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Looking out of the lounge room to the kids’ bedrooms and shared bathroom. You can see all the downlight power points are installed.

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From inside the kitchen across the family room to the kids’ rumpus room.

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From inside the kitchen, looking into the dining room (sliding stackers lead out to the al fresco area) and across to Johnno’s Place.

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Johnno’s kitchen is looking good, so is the bedroom past the extra-wide (wheelchair friendly if we need it later on) door.

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The en suite in Johnno’s Place is just about done. The IXLtastic is in – just need the shower frame, mirrors, taps, toilet, handrails and towel hooks. Wait, that’s a lot to go, isn’t it?

Anyway, great progress.

We hope to see the kitchen splashbacks go in soon, but not before the electricians and plumbers come and do their fit out. We are supposed to deliver the light fittings to the electrician this week. I am pretty excited about seeing the light fittings go in – shit is starting to get real, people!

 

 

 

Getting close to lock up

We had a site inspection with our SS this week and it was great to see the progress:

  • Bricks have been cleaned
  • Water tank has been installed
  • Wet areas have been sealed
  • Floor tiles in wet areas have been positioned
  • Cornice has been delivered and should go up soon
  • Doors have been delivered and should be installed soon
  • Downlight holes have been cut from the Gyprock, including four that shouldn’t have been 😮 (an easy fix, so we are told; when the electricians come back they’ll patch the plaster and affix the battens ready for our hallway pendants)
  • Batten fixtures cord is poking through the ceilings in the right places
  • The concreters have been back to recess the sliding doors but they haven’t been able to dig up the slab they laid in the wrong place for our aircon unit – it’s been so wet they haven’t been able to get the bobcat in through the quagmire that is our front yard

SS thought we’d be at lock up by the weekend so we’ll swing by and check it out!

We also got a call from Don’s Tiles. Two of our choices are no longer available so we had to make the trek over to Mitchell to choose some new ones. New concrete/stone look tiles for our front porch were easy to select. We were advised on Monday that our first new choice was available (and slightly cheaper than the original ones we had chosen). Despite the energetic, helpful and polite assistance from the tile rep, we didn’t have much luck with the tiles for our en suite feature wall (back wall of the shower). We had to pick three new choices as they couldn’t tell us what was in stock/able to be ordered and, to our disappointment, we found out on the following Monday that neither the first two of our choices were available or could be ordered and that our third selection was the only one available – naturally it cost more than our original selection and naturally we picked freaking Carrara marble. It had better look awesome!

So, a general comment: it is 2016. Online stocking systems have been around for more than 20 years. It befuddles us completely that a flooring company holds stock in its showroom that it can’t get. If they can’t get them in, why is the tile still on display? We provided feedback to the SS, as this episode left a slightly sour taste in our mouths; we felt like Don’s Tiles was letting Rawson (and us) down.

We also learned that the Laminex colour we selected for our main kitchen was no longer available. This was a real bummer, as it was a lovely petrol blue and would have complemented the chocolate tones of the bamboo floor and contrasted beautifully with our white Caesarstone benchtops. Fortunately, Polytec now manufactures a ‘woodgrain’ look blue that is close to our original colour selection (a little brighter, perhaps, but given how dark our kitchen is, probably not a bad thing…we will probably need to install a sunlight/diffuser but that will have to wait). So we have gone with Aegean Oak with Ravine finish for the kitchen. This cost us an extra $1k, but we are at that stage in the build that we have spent so much money what’s another thousand? (I die a little every time I say that but they don’t call houses money pits for nothing…)

Anyway, if that’s the worst of it, we will have gotten off lightly with our build. Let’s hope the mudpit that surrounds our house doesn’t cause too many delays. We are still on track for handover late Sep/early Oct.

New photos.

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A big bunch of something (architraves?) in our dining room and family room

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Charcoal tiles for the laundry and the extra storage room we snuck into our modified plans

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Kitchen looking through the family room to the kids’ rumpus

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Hallway (with bonus holes!) looking back to the front door (should be on soon!)

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Our ‘new’ en suite bathroom feature tile. Our fourth choice. Next time I’d exclude feature tiles from the contract and get it done separately so we could work with a company who could guarantee their supply. This marble mosaic had better look good!

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Not new, but it’s nice to see a sample of our bamboo flooring again. In a few more weeks we should see if this choice pays off!

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Our gigantic front door. It’s a timber veneer, but will be painted neon. We’ll be known as the house with the fluoro door 😉

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Our internal doors ready for painting and fitting. They’ll all be painted black.

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Ahoy there! We have a water tank 😀

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Very nice. The Deep Ocean colour works perfectly with the Espresso bricks.

 

 

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!