Saturday, 28 July 2012

Cleanliness is next to Godliness

A shower is always a pleasant experience, but it's even better in a brand new ensuite!  Every day when I step into the shower, it feels like I'm staying in a resort.  Glossy new tiles, fresh clean grout, fluffy new towels (I had a voucher for Adairs and so felt justified to buy new towels last weekend!) and nothing but the smell of my chosen soap products.  Mmmm...

So today it dawned on me that we've been living in the house for two weeks now and the bathrooms are way overdue for their first proper clean!  Apologies to anyone reading who doesn't clean bathrooms - this is an entirely practical blog might want to stop reading here!

The salesperson at Beaumont Tiles advised me when we made our selections that I should only ever use diluted methylated spirits to clean the bathroom.  Apparently household cleaners are either abrasive and wear down the polished surface of tiles and glass over time, or contain various silicones and waxy type ingredients that cause buildup.  Both being prime environments for grime and mould to take hold.

I don't think I've used methylated spirits since I had my ears pierced at 6 years of age.  The smell that hit me when I opened the bottle brought back a wave of nostalgia!  It's not the nicest smell really.  Not like the lovely fresh clean smells you get when you clean your bathroom with household cleaners.  I wouldn't even describe it as a hospital disinfectant smell.  But anyway, I want to prolong the 'new' look of my tiles and grout for as long as I possibly can, so I'll continue to use it.  I must say though that it really is the best thing for mirrors anyway (along with a trusty glass cleaning cloth to dry it afterward).

Perhaps I'll clean the toilets last in my weekly ritual - so the lingering smell is the toilet cleaner, instead of the metho!

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Cold (Wet) Feet...

Just when you think life is challenging enough, another challenge pops up to test your patience...

I'd just got into bed on night four in the house when Paul reports to me that walking through our Walk in Robe has made his socks wet.  Sigh...we have a water leak.

Roughly 2 meters of carpet is wet along the wall next to the ensuite in the master bedroom, of which the bath is located directly on the other side and and also backs onto the external wall that plays host to the water mains entrance to the house, the hot water tank and the hydronic boiler.  We were both too exhausted from weeks of sleepless nights with a newborn and the physical demands of the move to get emotional about it, and so we went to bed.

The next morning an inspection of the bedroom on the other side of the ensuite revealed even more water in the carpet, worse than our master bedroom.  I phone our Site Manager and he sent a plumber to the house later that morning.

After a quick call to his head office to determine the cheapest (read 'least destructive') way to investigate the problem, the plumber advises us he'll remove the bath to see if he can see the problem.  I was glad he didn't start by cutting holes in the wall.  However, before he even started to remove the bath, a closer look at the bath waste revealed the issue.

The rubber seal that is (supposed to be) fitted around the drainpipe and bath waste wasn't installed properly and consequently was only half way around the pipe.  Hence, over four days of bathing our 2 year old, half the bath water was running underneath the bath and seeping through the walls into the adjacent bedrooms.

It was lucky that Paul had only gotten around to sealing the grout in the ensuite and not the bathroom that we discovered the issue this early.  Otherwise, who knows when I would have had time to get around to using the ensuite bath myself!

After sucking about 2 litres of water out of the carpet in Bedroom 2 with my trusty old wet n dry Vax, I again called the Site Manager and requested professional carpet cleaners.  From having water leaks in my last two properties (yes I'm jinxed I'm convinced!) I know the underlay and slab won't dry without lifting the carpet and getting in blowers and I don't want a mildew problem in my nice new house, and with two very young children.

So we now have two industrial fans blowing air under our carpets in our brand new house for 4 days non stop!  That's apparently how long it takes for the slab to dry out.  The restoration guy will be back early in the week to assess any damage and write a report.

I'd have to say the plumbing has to be our worst trade on this house.  A gas leak, hot and cold taps in the kitchen and laundry plumbed back to front, a water pipe that is barely under the surface in the front yard, risers that couldn't be located for months, severing the telephone lead in with installation of the storm water run-off (and not reporting it to the Site Manager) and now a negligent fit off of a rubber seal around a frick'n pipe!  Someone should lose their job, honestly!  Surely even an apprentice knows how to fit off a bath waste properly!

The house isn't feeling quite so shiny and new anymore.  Can't wait till this little episode is well and truly behind us (and we can actually finish moving furniture, etc. into 2 of our 4 bedrooms!).  Paul returns to work tomorrow after a very generous 6 weeks off.  I'll be staring at unopened boxes and mattresses in the hallway for a few more days yet!

Oh, and the second delivery of our Artichoke light is also silver!  Another week to wait for a (hopefully) white one!  Third time's a charm?...

On the upside, a lovely neighbour from 4 doors down knocked on the door last night to introduce herself and give us a beautiful home made chocolate cake.  What a lovely gesture!  I didn't think anyone does that sort of thing anymore.

I hope the curtain guy turns up tomorrow as scheduled to install the sheer curtains in our bedroom.  Then I can stop living in the dark, or conversely advertising my wares to the street! Hehe ;)

Friday, 20 July 2012

"Love Where You Live"

Yes thank you Metricon, we do indeed love where we live!  It's so nice to be in the house, albeit extremely frustrating that having a 6 week old and 23 month old means we don't get much time to unpack our boxes - or make considered decisions as to where things should live (think which drawer for pots and pans and which for glasses and mugs?  Ah, such a nice problem to have a large kitchen with plenty of storage options)!

Our gift from Metricon

It's been a mad flurry of activity at the house in the past week.  We moved ourselves in last Sunday with some bare basics to get us through for a couple of days until the movers brought the large items on Tuesday.

We now have airconditioning installed, although they were missing a power pack for the control panel so have to come back to commission it.  They also needed an Internet connection to configure the panel - it connects to your router so you can control it with an iPhone or iPad.  It must be relatively new technology (MyAir) because the electrician didn't know how to configure it and instead the Sales guy will have to come and set it up for us (he's on leave at the moment).

If anyone's in the market for airconditioning, I can highly recommend Coldflow from our experience.  They arrived early in the morning with a team of electricians, plumbers and the like and set about installing ducting, the external unit, etc. and cleaned up all the debris and rubbish.  Very friendly installers, neat and tidy and didn't make a mess of our new house ;)

Our electrician has installed our light fittings too.  Of all those we purchased, I'm loving our George Nelson lights in the Family Room the most.  They were well worth the expense!  Unfortunately our Artichoke light was the wrong colour (we ordered white but received silver) so the electrician couldn't fit this over the Dining table when he was here.  We still have other electrical works to do, so he'll be back in a few weeks to install it then.  I received the replacement white fitting this morning so we're good to go now!

Phone and Internet was installed on Monday, hence I now have an opportunity to get back to blogging when both boys are asleep!

Will post some pics when the house is looking less like a bomb site!

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Farewell Prahran

After 3 years (for me; 4 for Paul, 2 for Oli and 5.5 weeks for Lucas!) it is time to bid Prahran farewell.  We are leaving the relative security of our 2nd floor apartment and the hustle bustle, walking distance convenience of Chapel and High Streets and heading East to the 'burbs to settle in to family life.

A few specific things I'll miss about Prahran:

Dukes - for coffee and brunch
Peter, the owner, used to own and run the cafe where Paul and I used to work in Mulgrave.  So when I moved to Prahran and Dukes opened shortly after, it was a nice surprise to see Peter would be making my coffees once again!  Not that he spends much time behind the coffee machine these days.  He now has very capable funky baristas doing wonderful latte art.

It's quite a dilemma as we buy all our coffee beans from Dukes, which are roasted on site.  I've no idea where to buy my beans from now!

Dukes - Chapel St Windsor

A younger Oliver on one of my many Dukes coffee bean runs

Market Lane Coffee - for coffee on the run

Hobba - for coffee

Prahran Market - for meat, veg & speciality goods

Borsch Vodka & Tears - Polish Tapas Style Dinner and vodka cocktails

And of course, 'celeb' spotting...

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Kitchen Appliances Installed

Today the kitchen appliances were installed.  Finally our kitchen is complete!  Well, almost - the dishwasher is semi integrated and needs a cover panel made to match the cupboards.  I ordered a quote for this today from the company that made the kitchen.  I couldn't order it before installation because the  panel size is dependent on the height of the adjacent cupboards and the kicker, so it needed to be measured in situ.

Here's some pics (apologies for the resolution - Paul only had his phone handy).  We'll take some better pics once the light fittings have been installed and we've cleaned!

The curtains were installed on Friday, but unfortunately the wall brackets for the ripple fold sheers in the Master bedroom were too short which meant the curtains wouldn't clear the holland blind underneath, so the Installer had to order new brackets.  These should be arriving later this week or early next week.  It was a bit of an anti-climax - I've been waiting 3 months to see the curtains installed!  But one more week won't hurt I guess.

Air conditioning gets installed tomorrow - a nice little birthday pressie for me - I haven't lived in a house with ducted refrigerative air conditioning since I was 7 years old and it feels like a real treat to have it!

We also had an electrician around today to quote installation of our light fittings.  Hopefully he is available to install them sometime before next Tuesday, which is MOVING DAY!  We booked the removalists today - no turning back now!

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Post Handover Activities

This first week of possession has been a busy week of deliveries.  Monday the kitchen appliances arrived and the hydronic heating was commissioned.  There's a problem with the Rumpus room radiator, which doesn't heat up for some reason so they have to come back to look at it.  The incoming pipe is hot but the panel itself doesn't heat up.  The guy who commissioned it left a key and instructions on how to 'bleed' the radiators as sometimes when you first install there can be air bubbles in the panels that prevent the water flowing, but Paul bled it for quite a while and no air was in it and it didn't resolve the issue.  Every other room is nice and cosy though :)

The kitchen and laundry mixers were plumbed back to front, so hot was cold and cold was hot, but the plumber came back yesterday and fixed them.

Our wonderful King Jasper sofa was delivered yesterday also.  The size is perfect I think, so the last minute change to a smaller modular layout was a good decision in the end.

The dishwasher was delivered today also and while Paul waited for that he painted the feature wall in our Master Bedroom.  It's Dulux Timeless Grey.

Tomorrow I'll be at the house while Victory install all the curtains.  I can't wait for this!

The kitchen appliances are being installed Monday or Tuesday and Wednesday our air conditioning gets installed (on my birthday - yay nice present!)

I've also organised Phone and Internet connections for Monday 16th.  I can't wait for Cable 100mb - and it's $20 a month cheaper than our current Phone and ADSL plan and no installation costs!  Telstra are doing the phone connection as a 'moving house' order so there's no connection fee - saving $299 and doing the Internet as a new connection and the promo is currently free installation.  So pleased, wasn't expecting to get away without installation charges!

The only item left to organise is our electrician to connect all our light fittings.  A phone call for tomorrow...

Moving day is looking like Tuesday 17th!