Sunday, May 22, 2011

..if we only had a roof...

We had an unscheduled tour of the house yesterday with the brickie. Out for a Saturday morning family walk, we got chatting to the bricklayer who was on site finishing off. He turned out to be a lovely, very chatty guy who walked through with us admiring his handiwork !

The brickwork is all but finished now. They are short on bricks for piers for the alfresco and porch but have now done enough that "no one else is being held up", so will finish those last bits off over the next few weeks once more bricks are delivered. 

Max's contribution to the build.
View from the front, with sarking/frames on front portion of house for tiles to go up next week (correct tiles still not on site but due any day...). 
Stacker doors finally installed.
Family room window.
Soon-to-be alfresco ! Got very excited about the thought of lazy brunches in that morning sun.
Master bedroom.
Nursery/parents retreat.

Bath in ensuite to Master.
My walk-in wardrobe with a long view of the house through it. 

 External view of alfresco. 
Back of house, all bricked up.
Drop off the alfresco. Umm...yes, I think we need a railing!

 Speaking of That Issue, the brickie was aware that he was now doing two piers on the alfresco now instead of one (part of the most recently proposed solution) - he was ordering bricks to build what we haven't yet agreed to. I'm still waiting for a response to email and phone call last week chasing all of this up...

Made some decisions about window furnishing and lighting this week, will update with some piccies when I have some more time.

Its horrid weather here this afternoon...hoping that tiles arrive and roofers will still be able to work tomorrow, as once that roof goes up, Mother Nature can rain all she wants!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Brick by brick...

Brickwork is nearly finished...

This wall, and the last half of the garage and entrance, are all that's left to do. 

We were excited to see tiles arrive last Friday, then disappointed to discover they are the wrong type. We have ordered a "traditional" rooftile which has a fairly flat profile, instead "waverly" has been delivered, as the name suggests these have several waves in them. A few phone calls later, this is being rectified.

Still waiting for the decking issue to be sorted. A rethink has been required on the railings, as what was originally proposed was not adequately stable. I've approved a mockup of this but am still waiting on updated pricing. My blood pressure is a little safer this week than last though, although I'm not thrilled that its still outstanding, I am satisfied that someone is paying sufficient attention to the problem now that we will get a good outcome !

We've selected a concreter who will lay the driveway and pathing to the front door and along the western side of the house - this needs to be done in about 8 weeks time, which apparently means booking it in now. We have decided on "Monument" colouring for the concrete in lieu of stencilling it at a later date. We had several quotes for this - with extraordinary differences in the prices quoted. Quite amazing that we can get all of the concrete we need for just a little more than the original quote from the builder, which was just for a double to single driveway to the road!

Sarking to the roof being applied this week, with correct tiles due for delivery before Friday.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Bricks and tricks

The bricks arrived late last week, and brickies started yesterday. We couldn't quite get the bricks as dark as we'd hoped, so we had asked for the darkest possible natural mortar and for the mortar to be flush to the bricks - we're thrilled with how this has worked out. 

This last photo is to show the depth of the backyard. It extends to just between those two grates you can see in the bottom right hand corner, so quite a way beyond the builder's fence.  Not nearly as small as I'd feared when we were at foundation stage, certainly plenty of room for a trampoline which our son might say is all that matters !

So happy days on the build front this week, and you'll notice scaffolding now on the roof for tiling to start shortly.

 Not all is rosy in builder-land though, after many emails and phone calls, we finally got the price to sort out the decking situation today. It would be impossible to update you on the latest development without a Gordon Ramsay style rant, so I will summarise it thus: firmer discussions to be had in coming days. 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Inside !

This post is going to be picture-heavy, so I'll try to make it text-light! In summary - concerns about size of rooms completely unfounded, and a few little hiccups but all-in-all, looking great.

Looking inside from the front door

Standing in hallway looking into master bedroom. The sliding door is on the walk-in robe. The original plan had the robe open as per the en suite, however it is fair to say one half of this couple does not manage their wardrobe in a way that should ever be seen by guests. Ever. 

Uh oh! This window should be 100mm higher. And apparently, it can't be fixed as there's a bulkhead beam above it. The reason I'd raised it was so we could put plantation shutters here (and still open them to clean or open the window), at this height they will only open out 1-2cm before hitting the lip of the bath. Solution: Dan will physically remove shutters every time I need to clean window. Great excuse to not clean window very often.

Kids play room from kitchen

 Bedroom 2 (our son's room), Dan and site supervisor having a nice chat in Master Bed ensuite

Bedroom 3 (aka "the nursery")

Main bathroom. Uh oh, another window that is at the wrong height - this one 400mm too low (this will be the child-de-filthing zone - no way was I having a window at bath height with 2 children in the house - see above note about not cleaning windows often!). There will be tiling between bath and window as a splash buffer zone. As of this afternoon this has already been fixed.

The study

View from the study of the backyard, which extends beyond the fence, to about 1m in from the slope against the noise bund.

Site supervisor and Dan in the rumpus room. Note the stacker doors which will lead out onto the deck.

 Dining room.

Standing in the family room, looking across kitchen/dining rooms. A double set of stacker doors are going in behind where Dan is standing and beside where I am standing taking the photo, this leads onto alfresco/deck.

Standing in dining room looking to kitchen (right hand side) and family room (left).

And today, installation of fascia and guttering began.  

Roof tiles or brick work should begin next. We got our next progress payment today - apparently the house is 40% done (at least, 40% done cost-wise). If only the whole build was going to move at speed like this! 

Monday, May 2, 2011

Week 3 Progress

We spent a lot of time last week trying to resolve some issues with the plans, all of which relate to the deck. It seemed pretty obvious to us from the tender document that the railing around the deck would extend under the alfresco, however on later versions of the plans, this was not the case. So back and forward we've gone for a few weeks, until we acknowledged the wording was vague and have agreed to pay extra to "make it so". And then the next edition of the plans came back and the railing was finally there, but now the deck had mysteriously shrunk in width, so that it was now 40cms shorter than the alfresco which it sits off. Ummm....nooooo!!!

Our new (and improved) CSO tells us that this is what was originally drawn at colours, but like a lot of what was discussed at colours, it is NOT what we asked for ! We are hopeful this is being resolved now but even as I write this I'm conscious that we are still yet to see updated pricing or plans...meeting with the site supervisor at the house tomorrow for the first time, he has really impressed us so far, hopefully these little hiccups will be resolved soon. At least before the house is finished and they start on the highly contentious deck !

 In the meantime, the house is still evolving...we have trusses!

Its funny, from the front (beyond the fence where all of these photos were taken) the master bedroom looks very small to me. Dan thinks this is hilarious as I've stood many in an exact copy of this layout in the display home and know very well how large it is, but with the frame up, perspective is very hard to find and it looks tiny ! I'll have a better idea after standing "in" the frame tomorrow. 

The windows were delivered today and most of the external wall sarking was hung - unfortunately Mother Nature rained on the parade but finer weather is predicted for later this week so more progress isn't far away. 

I will update with more pics after our site visit tomorrow !

Bye for now