Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A spanner in the works

I haven't updated the blog for a while (busy with work and uni!) but since my last post we have:

1) flip-flopped on some of the colours decisions below (whoops). Anyone who's ever been to a restaurant with me (Kelly) and seen me agonise over which meal to have, knew this was likely to happen when I decided on the kitchen in one day! My love-affair with the tiles and carpet has not faltered, but the kitchen benches etc disturbed me for weeks until I finally conceded it needed a rethink. 

So we have gone for semi-gloss white cupboards/benchtop against the back wall, with the (dark grey) floor tiles as the splashback, with a Jordanstone gloss benchtop/waterfall edges on the island bench. I got the basic idea from the Polytec Thermolaminated brochure (excuse the screenshot). I am finally happy with the kitchen !

I did take some photos of the new materials...but if I wait to upload them to update this blog, the house will probably be finished by the time I get to it again. 

We also changed the matt wall tiles in the bathroom to gloss (it occurred to us belatedly that matt = dried watermarks), changed the vanity benchtops, changed the laundry, shrunk a window in the main bathroom and decided to tile the family room instead of carpeting. There are still a few decisions to be made, pending final site costs (see below), but at a minimum we will upgrade to a wash and wear type paint internally and add a solar tube to the kitchen. Am I a builders worst nightmare? Possibly. Speaking of which...

2) Nagged the builder to death for answers to questions we asked at colours, and prices.  I took a lot of questions to the colour selection interview (43 from memory?) but most of them, from my research, I knew should have been simple. It took 4 weeks to get a response, which I was/am disappointed about, but the pricing was very reasonable for the extras we wanted, so that soothed the disappointment a little. Or at least, it did, until...

3) Learnt our soil is crappy. We commissioned the builder to do soils back in early November and you'd think someone organised enough to take a typed list of referenced questions to colours would have thought to chase up a result after 3 months. But we'd been told the soil was M and it didn't cross our mind again, until the phone rang earlier this week...the soil results have finally come back, and because we have to cut in 1.4m at one point, we are now dealing with H (reactive) soil. 

What this means exactly to the bottom line we should find out tomorrow but from some research today I'm expecting at least $10k. It will be a H class slab with some piering on the fill side. Not really a deal breaker, but that lovely big deck that we were planning to mitigate the drop off the alfresco might now be out of reach for now...unless we can live off tuna and air for the next few months, which we are willing to attempt !

We have another builder looking over the plans/soil tests/etc once we get them all back, which Rawsons was fine with - we just need to be absolutely sure we are getting maximum "bang" for our buck. 

Our soon-to-be-neighbours are having their slab done this week, and it looks like the people next door to that as well, so I guess it must be our turn next...

Bye for now ! :)