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!

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We got plastered

Oh, yes, the puns keep on coming 🙂

Plastering is finished apart from the cornices, which are lined up in the garage, ready for installation.

We dropped by the block yesterday (Saturday) and were pleasantly surprised to find two of the tiling crew hard at work laying the scree in our bathrooms/powder room. They were happy for us to have a look through the place while they were on site, so it was nice to see everything starting to come together. We imagine we’ll be at lock-up by next week and the kitchen installation won’t be too far away. We think we have about 10 weeks to go on the build, all going well. Not long to go now!

Here are some pictures for those of you playing along at home.

Brickwork complete and electrical consult done

14Jun16_2_editedThe bricks are done, steel beams are in and the aircon venting has been fitted (although the air intake return is smack bang in the middle of our hallway ceiling and will need to be moved so it’s not an eyesore – our SS has that on his list of things to fix), so there has been some good progress over the past two weeks. We can also see the plumbers have been in fitting black piping and tap points throughout the house. We just need the concreters to come back and rectify two small issues with the slab (they forgot to recess our stacking/sliding doors out to the al fresco and they put the aircon slab under a full height window – both are deviations from the plan so the concreter must rectify at no cost) and we can mark off this stage of the house as complete.

Despite both my other half and I ‘dying’ of the lurgy, we had our consult with the electrician today and what a pleasure he was to deal with. Very professional, had some great suggestions for us about switch placement and options for lighting set ups we hadn’t considered. He’ll also install our pendants if we can provide them to him at fit-out stage so we’ve been ordering light fittings like a couple of crazy kids over the past few weeks. We have no light fittings in our current place (yup, still bare globes after 16 years) so we want to have beautiful lights in the new one. Our porch feature light and main hall lights arrived today and our bedroom light should arrive sometime this week too. We have ordered some gorgeous hand blown glass pendant lights for the kitchen; they should arrive in the next five weeks. Super exciting and we can’t wait to see it all come together over the next couple of months.

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It was nice to see the brickwork around the front pillars too. They may end up being rendered if we decide the front of the house is a bit dark and we need to introduce some additional contrast. But we won’t know that until the house is finished. There are some things that CAN wait until the build is done 🙂

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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It’s beginning to look a lot like a house!

More progress! Bricks were delivered and the roofing scaffold is down. It’s really starting to look like a house now! I haven’t had a chance to drive by this week, but my other half has and he said the wall wrap/sarking is going on and the bricks have been moved around the site, with strategic piles ready for bricklaying. We are hopeful the brickies will start this week, but it all depends on whether they get the house they’re working on this week finished!

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The bricks were delivered late last week

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Looking good now the roofing scaffold is down

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PGH Espresso bricks

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 🙂