Saturday, January 24, 2015

Been a While!

It has been a long time but here are photos from our second Christmas in the house. A late Christmas present in Mid-January 2015 was having the handyman and gyprocker return to make repairs that were reported in October 2013! We have settled in really well to the house and yard.

Monday, August 12, 2013

A busy couple of months

We had a deadline for much of the finishing off work. It was our Christmas in July party. It had to be put off to the first weekend in August. So here are the things that have been completed just in time.
I purchased an alarm system from about 12 months ago. The install instructions were great and the price good as well. After many trips up into the roof and a lot of checking and double checking connections, all seems  to be working.
I also purchased a video intercom system from EBay about 12 months ago. A simple system that has two monitors (one in the house and the other in the garage at the rear of the block) and a camera/doorbell at the front door. Another simple to install device but just a little bit fiddly.
My final purchase from EBay was a network/phone and video hub. From this our coax, LAN and phone lines are split and sent across the house and up to the 'mancave' at the rear of the block. A bit of a crash course in wiring :)
Outside we have completed a gabion wall through .
A mistake with rock size has resulted in some 'leakage' but we will perservere. Boral were good enough to supply another load of rock in a more suitable size. A little late once most of cages were filled though.

We have laid Sapphire soft leaf Buffalo in front of the gabion and in the front 'courtyard'. It has taken really well considering the chilly weather. We purchased through who were really good to work with.

Drainage has been an issue but most of the problem spots have been alleviated with rubble trenches, slotted pipe and surface drains that lead directly to the street. The rubble trenches have been a pleasant surprise. A trench filled with aggregate and covered in geotextile fabric. Stormwater flows quite freely through the aggregate.
We have had a slab verandah laid across the width of the house at the rear and a simple pergola installed above. Ornamental grapes have been planted near a few of the pergola posts. They will hopefully be trained up and over the pergola to provide shade in Summer and allow warmth in Winter when the leaves have dropped.
Last week the pool was was dropped into place with plumbing and electrical work continuing this week. Concrete will be laid around the pool to join up to the existing rear slab verandah.

Friday, May 24, 2013

What a busy month......
Internet and phone back on last week. Around 23 days without a home phone. Apparently much of the technical resources of Telstra have been redeployed to Queensland after severe storms recently.
We have had retaining walls done, most of the drainage done and most of the electrical work done (mainly light fittings and a few extra power points).
Under the guidance of the electrician I have installed the security system and distributed phone, data and TV system around the house. Very fiddly but rewarding to  see it all work in the end.
Retaining walls were done by Mat at Bay and Beyond Landscapes, and he will also complete the concreting around the back in the next week or so.
We have had a fight with council over the final occupation certificate. They won't issue one until we have completed a 'driveway application' form at a cost of over $100. I don't think it is fair that others around us have been issued a final certificate without the driveway application. I had to pay for an interim certificate for our garbage bins to be issued - though that request was also held up and took over a week for garbages to be delivered.
I still await any confirmation that the interim occupation certificate has been issued.
The pool DA also had some hiccups having only been submitted to council on the 15th May.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Most of the issues with the house have now been rectified. We have been offered an independent inspection of some of the brickwork to clarify the robustness of the mortar. Some of it appears and feels very soft - you can rub it away with your finger.
Work has started on the outside, although we got caught short with some wet weather over the last few days. Unfortunately the clay will probably take a few days to dry out to a point where excavators can start working again.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

I had the final inspection with the site supervisor yesterday. I found a few things that needed adjusting/repairing. One cupboard door needed adjusting. A damged heated towel rail needs to be replaced. Overall, pretty happy; site supervisor happy to explain things. The MDJ quality assurance inspection had been done the day prior and I noticed many blue tags that had identified areas in need of rectification - again mainly paintwork.
I also had a private building inspector go through at about the same time. His summary was a little disturbing - 'the worst he had ever seen'.
I was quite shocked. He pointed out a few of issues (which to the untrained eye, would be missed) but I will need to wait until tomorrow for the final report.
Anyway, some photos.


We are now free to start earthworks, but handover of keys will probably be next week.
Today I have marked out the run for stormwater lines so I can order pipes and drains for a Saturday installation. The excavator is now onsite ready to start moving soil and shaping the site.

Friday, April 5, 2013

The final clean has been booked in for April 10th. Things completed over the last week include HW system installed, door furniture, appliances, light fittings and the water tank has been connected.
Halogen wall light in the hall - these will be converted to LED after handover

kitchen almost complete

main bathroom shower screen installed
We have also contacted a private building inspector who will do a report for us on the build prior to handover. Considering little things we missed last time, we thought it was a good idea.
We have had final quotes for the excavator to come in and shape the block after final inspection. Total price $8000 which includes a few hundred tonnes of fill being carted and a 50m gravel driveway installed and rolled.
Pool colour has been chosen and ordered. Carpet and bamboo flooring has been ordered and a date has been pencilled in.
We have mesured the windows for blinds. We will probably go with blockout roller blinds from  We have used these people before and were very pleased with the product and followup service.
I have had the electrician in for his thoughts on connecting my shed and pool to the house and any last minute details about the light fittings that need to be installed in the house after handover.
I think it's coming together now....

Friday, March 15, 2013

Getting closer to the finish line

We had a meeting on site with the site supervisor today - mainly just to meet him but also to get a walkthrough as the house has been locked up now for a few weeks.
Tiling and kitchen looks great and house has had a coat of spray undercoat.
He has given us the timeline for the rest of the build.
  • Painters til 25th March
  • Electricians (and other trades) til 1st April
  • Final walkthrough and inspection week beginning 15th April
  • Handover week beginning 22nd April
We have also had a meeting on site with landscapers who hopefully will begin on the week of 15th April along with other earthworks outside.
Jobs for us still to do -
  • organise removalists
  • book in day of flooring install
  • book in electrician to fit lights and other bits and pieces.
  • get on site to measure for measure for blinds
  • place final order for door screens.
  • book install date of pool