Tuesday, 30 August 2011

It's Crunch Time!

Speaking to the demolisher yesterday he says, '7am tomorrow we'll crunch the house...'

'Crunch' indeed...

And so it was that early this morning the old house came down.

When I turned up mid afternoon it was to an eerie sight; a huge excavator perched atop a pile of rubble, lifting the concrete slab of the garage, scraping and sifting dirt from pavers. A small 'flick' of the claw and a steel gate is effortlessly separated from its hinges.

A conflicting swathe of emotions hit me: excitement at the sign of progress, yet a pang of guilt at the destruction of someone's previous family home.

Thank you old house for making way for our new family home. If it weren't so cost prohibitive these days to renovate, you'd likely still be with us.

It feels somewhat disrespectful to publish photos of the carnage, but I remind myself that a house is an inanimate object, and hopefully previous owners and tenants got their closure when they parted ways with the building...

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Building Permit Approved

Our CSC emailed today with fantastic news that our building permit has been approved!  Woo hoo, YAY!!!  That's only taken a little over a week!

It was a straight forward process I guess, as we have no overlays on our block, don't require planning permission for our design and everything was within rescode guidelines (even if not entirely desirable by us, namely a larger setback than we'd like and no eaves to the sides of the house.  The latter is our fault given we chose a wide house...oh well).

Will make a visit to check the demolition progress in the next couple of days and hopefully we'll be close to having a cleared site so the ever elusive construction can commence!

Friday, 19 August 2011

Demolition Has Started!...somewhat...

Went to the site to check whether the demolishers started yesterday and....YES!

Although the house is very much still standing, there are signs of disruption...

The eaves are gone:

The roof tiles have begun to disappear.  The tiler must have got interrupted, either by the rain or the site safety practices for the asbestos eave removal at a guess:

The fuses in the electricity meter box must be worth salvaging, because they're gone too oddly enough!

We offered them keys to the place, but they just looked at P strangely.  Obviously they like the breaking and entering aspect:

Then upon sighting one of the bedrooms, I thought perhaps it wasn't the demolishers and maybe the place was ransacked by someone else!

But then I saw that they'd mowed the lawn, so it couldn't be anyone with ill intent! Hehe:

They salvaged the vice off the garage workbench.  Would have liked to keep that and the bench, but unfortunately we have no way to transport it without cost, and nowhere to store it!

The most progress is that the bathroom has been stripped, but it's lying in pieces all over the rest of the house!

Looking forward to more progress next week!  And with the weather looking fine, sunny and about 20 degrees there shouldn't be any weather impediments to progress!

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Demolition Scheduled to Start

Our demolisher advised earlier in the week that he'd booked WorkSafe for the asbestos eaves removal today.  He'd also booked his roofer to remove the roof tiles today, so has had to reschedule that.  It started raining about 10am this morning so hopefully they got in and started early!  Or are happy to work in the rain...perhaps...maybe... hmmm wishful thinking!

Won't get a chance to check on any progress until tomorrow.

Yesterday we received a second quote to move the Telstra pit from our proposed new driveway location and...YAY it's a full $5000 less than the first quote!!  Much more in line with my initial expectations of between $2k - $3k.  Needless to say I have already sent off authorisation to commence - lock that price in baby!

Have also spent the last few days doing cash flow forecasts, as we sold a couple of properties to fund the build, rather than increase the mortgage, we need to keep an eye on the diminishing bank account, and all the committed costs to getting us into the new house!  Been thinking I might put O in childcare in Feb/Mar next year and see if I can return to work 3 months earlier than forecast.  (If my previous Manager is reading this, I'll be giving you a call in the coming weeks to discuss available options!...)

I can hear a waking baby...time to go...it's a cold, wet, grey day and I need some cuddles!

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Contract Signed

Yay, contract signed! Sooooo excited!

It's O's 1st birthday tomorrow - I can't believe that this time last year I was in labour! All 38 hours of it! I never would have thought that a year from then I'd be signing a contract to build a new home. We started our search for the family home before O was even conceived. It's been a long patient journey to this point. I hope my patience lasts! I can't tell if my buzz tonight is in anticipation of a backyard for our boy to play in, or the fact that he's having his first birthday tomorrow.

All in all, a very emotional couple of days!

Electricity Abolishment

Dropped by the house today, and noticed that the electricity has been disconnected, and our smart meter is gone. Yah! Called the demolisher and left him a voicemail to let him know. Get on with it! Its a sunny day!

Also, Nat called the Power Company and our new pit will be installed by the 5th September.

I love it when a plan comes together. (mmuuaahahahhahaha!!!)

Tuesday, 9 August 2011


Ahhh, the relief!  We have a new CSC and she's on the ball; sent through the plans today and everything is correct.

All set for contract signing on Thursday!

Monday, 8 August 2011

Gas Abolishment

We went to the house over the weekend and discovered the gas meter has been removed.  Yay!  After setting the expectation that this wouldn't be done for another month and a half, the supplier actioned it within a week!  Nice work.

Water branch lines have also been disconnected, leaving the front tap and meter.

Just waiting on Electricity and the demolishers can go hell for leather!

In the meantime they will be starting this week on things like removing the asbestos eaves, salvaging any worthy internals and removing paving & shrubs, etc. from the backyard.

Contract Specs Received

Our CSC emailed the amended Specifications today and it was great to see all the items identified for changing are done and correct :)

Just waiting on the final set of plans now - hopefully these reflect the changes correctly too.

Thrown a bit of a curve ball this afternoon however.  At 3:30 the CSC emails saying he's looking forward to seeing us on Thursday for the contract signing and I reply asking the amount to make the bank cheque out for the remaining 5%...and he replies at 5:20 saying it's his last day at M today!!  Huh?  Sounds very sudden!  I wonder what happened between 3:30 and 5:30?!!

I hope someone (anyone?!) sends us the plans in the next day or two, but given we're now without a CSC I'm guessing...hmmm...not.

Hoping to be pleasantly surprised...

Friday, 5 August 2011

Tile Selection

We had our tile appointment yesterday. It was by far the most straightforward selection so far. This was solely down to the fact that we had envisioned this to be the choice we would be most indecisive about and therefore had visited the store 3 or 4 times over the past 3 months to view our options and look at sample tiles in different lighting with samples at home.

We were able to choose from the 'silver' range of tiles, which had quite a lot of options in glazed ceramic tiles, but P & I were keen on having rectified polished porcelain.  To make things simple, there was only 1 choice of polished porcelain in the size we wanted and luckily in a colour we both liked!

So the result is a single colour palate for the main bathroom in a taupe porcelain 450x450mm, the same tile in the ensuite with a feature wall in the shower in a rough charcoal 300x600mm and the same taupe floor tile in the laundry with a white gloss 100x300 tile for the splash back (so it can easily be replaced or extended later when we fit out the laundry with cupboards).

There were additional labour charges for rectified porcelain at $35sqm which we were expecting and had roughly calculated our sqm prior to the appointment, so the actual cost wasn't too far off our expectation...for the first time in this whole process!

The charcoal tile may be my biggest mistake in the house, given it's rough and dark in colour I expect it will collect water and soap scale.  However (in my mind at least!) I think this is what actually appeals to me as it will give the tile depth.  Ask me again in a couple of years time when I curse not being able to get the shower looking clean!  Oh well, in my last build I played it completely safe and I was bored of the bathroom before I even used it, so this time I feel I owe it to myself to take the risk!

Here's some photos of the tiles (the main tile is the same in each room, just different lighting in the photographs), and also a photo from M's website of one of the bathrooms we took inspiration from:

Bathroom Colours

Laundry Colours

Ensuite Colours
Metricon Display Home Ensuite

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Power Pit, Crossover Prep and Demolition Booked

The wheels feel like they are now beginning to turn.

Today received the quote for the underground power pit, about $2.5k.  This should be installed by 1st week of September.

We received our letter of consent from Council for the new vehicle crossing last week (hand delivered as the Inspector was in our area at the time - thank you David!).

Also received a quote from Telstra's 3rd party contractor to move the cable pit from the location of the new driveway.  Almost $7.5k...OUCH!  I was expecting perhaps $2-3k although I didn't have anything to base this on, so who am I to know if this is excessive or not....?  But, given it's less than a third of the price to supply underground power a total of 16 metres, how can it cost that much to move the cable pit a mere 3m?!!  Sigh...the price of wanting North facing living rooms...about $6k to install new crossover and reinstate the old, another $7.5k to move the comms cables.   This removes airconditioning from the budget :(  Perhaps I should offer to dig the trenches...?

Demolition commences next week - in part!  It will probably consist of removing the asbestos eaves,  stripping the salvageable internals and tree removal in the backyard.  Unfortunately our gas provider is tied up with works in our area due to water in the lines so this delays the gas meter removal anywhere up to 12th September.   The demolisher said he'll work around this in the meantime.  P is meeting him onsite on Friday arvo to discuss what trees and paving are to be removed in the backyard.

Electricity will be disconnected sometime in the next 3 weeks.

Also received a new appointment time for the contract from our CSC, which is next Thursday.  Our build is pretty straight forward and siting is well within council and rescode guidelines so the building permit may only take about 2 weeks to get, but given our delays with the gas abolishment there won't be a site start until end September.

Still, things are booked in so I'm happy with anticipation of a flurry of forthcoming action!