Saturday, 29 October 2011

Day 29: Framing

Todays visit to site, although brief, was our most exciting thus far. We could really see what the house will be. We were very excited about the size and layout of all the rooms, it's nice to see the vision take place. We can definitely see ourselves living here, it feels like a home (wouldn't mind a roof though).

Some minor negatives, not biggies but a little disappointing. Our lovely timber casement windows were left out in the rain, and have filled with water. I hope this does not damage them permanently. Also, we realised there was no drain in the laundry floor. We assumed, wrongly as it seems, that this was standard. Dooh! Hope it doesn't flood when the washing machine blows up.

Anywho, our level of excitement is reflected in the short photo essay that follows. Apologies in advance.

Front Facade

The Entry. Welcome.

The DLUG! (Double Lock Up Garage)

View from our master bedroom of the street

View from our ensuite (seems a lot shorter than we had envisaged, hope we are not disappointed)

The Sitting Room / Study. Will be nice once we plant some foliage along the fence-line.

The open plan living area. Lounge on the left, kitchen on the right, and dining opening out to the verandah and backyard.

The butlers pantry. Really looking forward to seeing this one. Loads of storage.

The Rumpus Room. This room seems a lot larger than we thought it would be. We had to take out 240mm from the width of the house due to the block width.

Ahhh, the Street view. Love that tree.

The back of the house, from the backyard. Bedroom on the left, Verandah in the middle, and Rumpus on the right.

The Laundry. Can you spot the drain? hmmm

 Probably not the best place to put that door hey fellas? Hmmm. Please hold up fence!

Friday, 28 October 2011

Day 27: Deliveries

Drove past the site on Wednesday to hopefully see a frame, but alas much to our disappointment there was not much progress. Apparently the chippies got delayed finishing another job because of the rain. (You're welcome..whoever you are).

On that note, logged onto mymetricon and noticed that we apparently have a frame that I missed somehow.

Now I'm no expert but I always assumed you had to start something before you complete it. 

There were some deliveries, which is cool. All of our frame timber has arrived, and most of our windows as well as our rear sliding door.

Some arty timber shots. (Oli was sleeping and I was bored)

Here's the wood.  Not much else to say really. 

Believe it or not this is the first we have seen the Southern Star 300 Series Sliding windows or doors. Southern Star did not have any on display, nor could they give us a house in which they were installed, love buying stuff un-sighted.

Here's our Rear Sliding Door. (Southern Star 300 Series Sliding Door). Seems like a logical place to put it (in the driveway).

Our Rumpus, Lounge and Sitting room windows, the elusive Southern Star 300 Series Sliding.  Love the frame thickness.

Here are the windows, still some absent.  Not sure that's the best place for them, but space is limited.

Our SS also told us that our bricks are ready, but he has held off on the delivery due to aforementioned space issues.

Finally, here's a panorama of our slab that i took. Look at the size of it!! 

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

A Blast from the Past

Got a bit of a surprise yesterday when I received a spam from a Real Estate agent containing recent Auction results and saw that my previous house, which I spent 3 1/2 years extending and renovating, sold last month!  The owners only lived there for a little under 2 1/2 years - I wonder why they sold...

It was listed for $930,000 and sold for $1,021,000.

From what I can see the only change the people who bought it from me made was to add bi-fold doors between the dining/study and sitting rooms (and the furnishings of course!).

I spent 2 months removing bricks from the old part of the house and cleaning them by hand...ugghhh what a job!  Not to mention the months of scouring brickyards for matching red/blue clinker bricks!

I loved those skylights over the kitchen - we plan to put the same in the new house.  They are motorised opening and auto-shut if they sense rain!  I turned the old laundry behind the new kitchen into a butlers pantry.  About halfway through the fridge is where the old house used to finish.

I see my B&W ceiling speakers are still in residence!

Oh, the new owners added evap aircon.  I always planned to put refrigerative in when the budget allowed...just never got around to it (telling sign for the new house...?!)

After living in England for a year I was keen for some type of conservatory to eat breakfast in.  To adapt the idea to Aussie conditions I went with an open area with 10mm comfort glazing glass over the deck.  Took 3 months to come to terms with the price of the glass before I committed to it!  I never regretted it.  It was a lovely spot to eat dinner on a balmy summer evening.

My open toilet and shower setup which used to freak visitors out a little!  No one could see - it's only the driveway and it's fenced off!

My hedges are still alive in the planter box to the left!  I dug them up from the old garden and kept them alive in pots for 3 years!  Battlers!

The photos don't show the lovely liquidamber in the front yard, which was lovely shade to the front rooms from the North in Summer.  The tree is the reason I bought the house in the first place!

Ah, memories!  Makes me hunger for the new house all the more!  Framing is due to start today, the Site Manager called yesterday to say the rain held up the framer finishing his previous job so there's been a few days delay on starting ours (he was supposed to start Monday).  Hopefully some pics to take this weekend!

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Slab Photos

Arrived back in Melbourne today, and headed straight out to the block, while Oli nicely slept in the car (for 2 Hours!).  Here are some photos of our beautiful slab on a very warm spring day!

Here she be! Garage on the left and looking at front porch and entrance.
View from future driveway. (skateboard ramp)
Front on! The lower part in front is the porch, then it steps up to the Master Bedroom and the Front door. (recessed). Garage is on the left.

From the back of the block. The indent is our verandah. Tree looks nice this time of the year and shades the front of the house nicely from the hot afternoon sun.

The stand for the hot water unit.

The right side of the house. Notice the recessed shower base for the Main Bathroom. Plenty of room down the side there.
From our bedroom (in front) looking toward the back. Another  shot of the right side, and all the plumbing for bathrooms, kitchen, laundry..etc

And the left hand side, and double garage. (looking forward to that). 

Thought i would add this one to show the view from our ensuite, clear glazed fixed pane window. Hmmm..what you can't really see here is the neighbours window looking right at us...classy!!

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Day 19: Slab Poured

Received a call from the site manager this morning to say the slab has been poured.  Unfortunately we are interstate and can't see it for ourselves.  Instead, here's a pic of our current view - we are staying at Paul's parents in the Barossa Valley, and yes they own a winery, so the views are vineyards as far as the eye can see.  Somewhat more picturesque than a dirty grey slab, yet Paul and I are itching to see the progress on our building site!

Our view over the past week, taken from the back verandah at Paul's parents

The next few days will consist of a site clean and then the frame timber arrives Friday for a Monday start. The Site Manager had been trying to get a delivery of bricks to place at the back of the block before the slab was laid, but unfortunately Austral have a delay in supplying the Hawksburn brick and he's been told delivery won't be until 24th October.  This is the second delivery date he's been given in 3 weeks so it's a bit of a concern if there's a short supply issue at the moment.  Hopefully they stick to the date and we'll see brickwork commencing the day after Melbourne Cup day!

We fly back to Melbourne tomorrow, so will head out to the block and take some pictures in the next few days.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Day 11: Drainage

I met the drainage guys onsite early Monday morning to discuss the location of the storm water runoff to the street. I wanted to make sure they knew we are going to move the driveway and to therefore allow enough distance from the pipe to shape the kerb. I gave them a copy of the council drawings which show the crossing measurements and stipulate the minimum distance from the tree on the nature strip.  I didn't get a great feeling from the guy.  He said he'd speak to some of his guys about a solution later that day, took my number and the plans and said he'd call me later that afternoon.

Needless to say I didn't get a phone call at all that day, or since. Went to the site Tuesday to check it out and it doesn't look like they have installed stormwater to the kerb yet.  They've installed all the sewer and storm water pipes that go under the slab and dug a trench toward the back of the property for what looks like an inspection point. Unfortunately in doing this they dug up one of our apricot trees, and didn't bother to put it back!  It's just sitting on top of the ground!  This doesn't give me much confidence that they'll treat the nature strip tree with any care.  We are going away for the next week so I won't get a chance to be onsite for the works. I'm dreading what I'll return to.

Unfortunately we won't get to see the slab formwork, which would have been installed Wednesday and Thursday.  The site was looking pretty messy at our last visit.  I'll be relieved to return to Melbourne to a nice clean slab!

The uprooted apricot tree below, sitting almost on top of the tree it used to be some distance from:

Oli and I taking a stroll amongst the pipeworks:

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Day 7: Site Works

The Site Manager called this morning to inform me the concrete piers would be done today.  So mid afternoon curiosity got the better of me and I took a drive to have a look.

When I arrived, the concreter was waiting on a second delivery of concrete to fill the last few holes.  It's such a surreal feeling to have people working on the property without me expressly organising it.  I can't really put it into words.  It just feels strange.  Perhaps because I was owner builder on my last project and lived and breathed every detail, every contractor and every day of the schedule.  Anyway, I'm loving being a passenger in this build.  It means I can enjoy watching the changes evolve without the stress of having to organise other people.

The following sign greeted me upon arrival.  I wonder if the Site Manger put this up this morning.  Love it!  Obviously not M standard logo or slogan...

Glad to see the Site Manager had the tree protection fencing erected.  He spoke to me this morning and said he'd organise it.  A few hours later and here it is:

 Retaining walls are in:

There is still somewhat of a backyard to play with:

Wow the house is close to the boundary on the South side!  Not the best bedroom views...better get creative with a fence colour and plants!  Ah, the challenges that lie ahead!

I'm meeting the drainage guy on Monday morning to talk about the stormwater run off to the street, to make sure he'll install it clear of the proposed new driveway and not sever the roots of the 50 year old liquidamber tree on the nature strip.  At my last place the neighbours killed a similar tree on our boundary when they installed underground power to their house, so I've seen first hand how easily it is done!

Can't wait to see the slab in - still on schedule for the 18th.  Formwork is going in this time next week 12th - 13th.