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.

Onwards and upwards!IMG_0387

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!

 

 

 

‘Cause I’m feeling good

Birds flying high
You know how I feel
Sun in the sky
You know how I feel
Reeds driftin’ on by
You know how I feel

That’s how I felt today after doing a walk-through of the house with my husband and our Rawson SS. The painters were on site, working on our doors – looking totally hot in black – having spent the last week putting on the first coat of paint throughout .

We’ve had our first view of the blue master bedroom and blue loungeroom and, while it’s  a bit in your face the first time you see it (as in OHMYGODWHATWEREWETHINKING), the colours are exactly as we’d pictured them and think they’ll look brilliant with the dark chocolate floors, white ceilings and trim.

I continue to be in deep love with our en suite (that marble mosaic feature wall is THE BOMB) and the blue kitchen just pops! The caesarstone benches are all in (covered up) and we’re getting close to plumbing and electrical fit-out.

Timber cladding wasn’t on site yet, but it’s not far away. We’re looking at having the practical completion walk-through in about four weeks.

We’ve down selected the company that’s going to fit plantation shutters throughout and they’re doing a final measure tomorrow.

I think that’s about it for this week. Except for some photos!

IMG_0323_editedThe en suite I’ve been dreaming of (that weird patch is a reflection – there’s nothing wrong with the tiles, promise 🙂 )

IMG_0305_editedOur sexy black doors!

IMG_0306_editedYou can see a tiny bit of caesarstone poking through!

IMG_0308More doors and lots of paint! I’m a painter’s daughter, so this is a cool moment for me!

IMG_0310_editedCaesarstone benchtop is installed in the kids’ bathroom

IMG_0312_editedFirst coat of blue is on in the lounge room. Also, more doors! We seem to have a lot of doors…

IMG_0317_editedMaster bedroom with its first coat of blue.

IMG_0318_editedView from the master bedroom into the en suite (can’t wait to see it when the bath has been installed) and WIR. The WIR are supposed to be silver charm, so the blue will be painted over in there. Good thing too, it looks a bit too like a cave right now 😀

IMG_0322_editedAnd a long shot from the master bedroom through to my very fancy shower! I will be able to see it from bed (just about) – morning motivation 😀

In summary, I’m feeling good.

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!

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 🙂

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 🙂