Wednesday, November 11, 2009


I took the day before cup day off and had some turf delivered. We went with Kikuyu which is what we had at our last place, it's agressive growing so is good with kids and dog and is also at it's best in summer.
We had plenty of helpers and we were all knackered at the end of the day.

I got the tank pump running and we've been watering it in since.

Unfortunately we are now into 'the hotest period for November on record in Melbourne' with the entire week being above 30 deg and posible relief next Monday before being back to above 30!!! So we're now rationing the tank water.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


We've moved into the house although there is still alot of work to do.
To start with we haven't got our phone or internet connection yet hence the lack of comunication.
Last week we got the last of the electrical stuff finished so all the lights work and the central vac (the vacpan is Ritas favourite toy at the moment.)
The garage is still full of stuff so we'll need to put up some shelves out there to organise things.
My Mum and Dad have been staying with us and have been a great help.
I've attached a few photos of the family / kitchen / dining area.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Yes we're in. No phone or internet connection yet.
Photos to follow

Thursday, October 15, 2009


As predicted this week has been a busy week. Busy but productive - a bit of project management and it amazing what you can get done in a short space of time.

Monday the carpet was laid upstairs. A friend suggested we wouldn't do better than Fowles Austions and they were right (so far). The young guy who laid it was very good.

Tuesday & Wednesday we had the timber 'engineered flooring' laid which wasn't too bad. We used a system called Readyflor Uniclic that uses a patented tongue n grove system that requires no glueing. The variety is 'blackbutt' Australian hardwood - see photo.

The painters have been in all week but the rain has beaten them before they could paint the last of the outside items. We still have the crappy buff paint on the upper weatherboards - legal action pending.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Thats right on Friday we had our hand over where the house is now our responsibilty.
It was a bit of an anticlimax as there are still so many little niggly things to be done.
It was a quiet week at the house except for Friday? So as a result we'll have to have the painter, the electricain, the lock smith, the plumber and the chippy all back to finish things also we have no gas or phone connection, the fence, the toilet, the excess concrete has to be removed and of course the upstairs cladding is still painted that shitty mustard colour.
So this week I've organised Carpet Monday, Timber flooring Tuesday & Wednesday, Skirtings Thursday, Appliances Friday, move Saturday - Sunday. I need to get a dingo to clean out the driveway and get some crushed rock so we can get a truck in.
Oh and work as well

Sunday, October 4, 2009


Getting close now. This week saw the installation of the showers and mirrors. Rob has also finished the shelving, put all the door handles on and weather strips.

Really the bathrooms are about done so here is a photo of each
Main bathroom
Master en-suite
Guest room en-suite
Down stairs toilet
...and the laundry minus the drier and washing machine.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


The last couple of weeks we have had the tradies doing their fit-offs.

The plumbers had a bit of trouble fitting the taps we supplied to the basins although they all came from the same plumbing supplies.

The Electricians fitted the ceiling fans (all 8 of them) and found most of the wires in the wall.

The ducted heating tech had to cut a couple of holes in the upstairs floor to find his ducts.

I've attached a couple of photos of the kitchen splash backs (or lack of in the case of the south wall). Lesson learnt is make sure the lousy Architects draw an elevation of the kitchen. We would have realised that the window was too big which sacrificed our splash back leaving a section on the left side and a ridiculous 10mm strip of red glass on the right.

... and what about those mighty Cats?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Things are moving very slowly now as I think 95% of the payments have been made (and the last 5% probably is owed to tradies anyway).
The tiler is in residence at the moment and seems to be doing a good job. The painter has finished inside (we made sure he had the right colour by sticking a sample card to the wall)
We have been busy sorting out flooring and have booked them in for early October after consulting with our SS (I feel this date may be optimistic but we'll push to have the builder out by then)
Whats more after 2 weeks in the ground our 7000 litre tank is full to the top!!!

Saturday, August 29, 2009


After a lot of planning and with great relief our 7000L tank is now safely in the ground.

We'd had a shocking wet and windy week but Friday was a nice fine day.
We started at 7:00am digging the 3m deep hole in the front yard. The depth was at the limit of excavators reach.
After a lot of juggling stockpiles and a couple of trips to the tip we were ready for the concrete tank by about 12:30.
The truck backed across the kerb, up to the hole and craned the 9 tonnes of tank and lid straight in with absolute precision.
After back filling around the tank with crushed rock it was up to the plumber to connect up the inflow from the down pipes and the overflow out to the street.
We were all finished by about 4pm which just left me to clean up the street, naturestrip and footpath. We'll connect the pump, float and rainsaver closer to move in date to prevent them 'going missing'.
We previously plumbed the house with a seperate tankwater line feeding the downstairs toilets and the washing machine. For now they are charged from the mains.
It all ran smooth thanks to Dave and his excavator, Frankston Concrete Products who supplied, delivered and craned in the tank (and pump etc) and John from John Henderson Plumbing (Geelong) who ran the show.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


This weeks addition to the house are the cabinets made by Harnett Cabinets who have been really good with their comunication and ensuring things run smoothly.

The first 2 photos are of the kitchen with a nice wide space between the wall bench and the big island bench.
The island bench is a 3.0m x 0.9m slab of ceaser stone which is as long as they make with no joins. It doesn't have the sink in it either and will have a 300mm over hang as a breakfast bar.

The other photo is of a typical bathroom cabinet, benchtop, basin. The basins replace the original display home basins. We found these at Tradelink and they were cheaper, bigger and deeper and don't require a tall tower mixer. The mixer comes out of the basin instead of from the bench top.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Last week and this week Rob the carpenter has been on-site hanging doors and preparing skirtings etc. It's amazing how many internal doors there are. The photo right is taken from the family room looking at kitchen left, fridge recess & hall centre, dining area right.
The big addition last week
were STAIRS!!!

There was more preparation for the under ground water tank last weekend. I'm a little concerned about the amount of ground water (as can be seen in the photo) and whether my tank will stay under ground or bob to the surface? Anyone know a good civil engineer?

No doubt the rain will stop as soon as the tank is installed and need to be filled.

Monday, August 3, 2009


I've been a bit slack with the posts of late but here is an update.

Last week the plasterers spent the week 'walling in' and by the end of the week the external doors were hung and we were locked up (or locked out). The 'lock up' payment was actually made the week before as the contract definition of 'lock up' doesn't include doors?

Currently the renderers are working on the facade.
As you can see we haven't resolved our colour disagreement yet.

I have spent the last 2 weeks preparing the front 'set-back' so we can install an underground water tank which has involved moving a few things to make room.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


First it was the bloke from down the street now we find that we are living next door to what may turn out to be the neighbour from hell.
Our neighbours son (30 -40 y.o.) yelled at me to stop hammering (inside my roof space) as he was trying to sleep at 4:45 Saturday afternoon. So I did.
This morning I got to the house at 10:15 and began moving the bricks in my front yard to make way for a in-ground water tank we plan to put in, next thing he leans over the fence yelling and screaming ordering me to stop making noise. I told him to calm down, stop swearing at which point he ripped the trellis off the top of the fence and stormed off.
It has sort of taken a bit of the shine off looking forward to moving in. We are a bit scared what he may do next.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


A week of wet weather stalled things at the house but things have started moving again. Since my last post the ducted heater and ducting has gone in along with the electrical wiring, ducted vacuum and most of the insulation. John and I put in all the data cable, surround sound cables, foxtel cable and extra phone and TV points over the weekend.
We also went out and bought a fire place and 8 ceiling fans so the credit card is maxed out.
We are still have a couple of issues with the builder that have yet to be resolved. (one being who is going to pay for the repaint).
The roofer has finally turned up to finish the roof on the single story parts of the house which will trigger the lock-up payment (a big one).

Sunday, June 28, 2009


Here is a lesson to others choosing paint colours. Dulux 'buff' and Dulux 'buff it' are 2 totally different colours. We now know this. I suspect 'buff' is an old colour as it doesn't come up on the dulux web site search as a current colour - in-fact it directs you to 'buff it' which is the colour we wanted. Despite this the painter managed to find the wrong one.
For the record the colour in the photo is Dulux 'buff' and we hate it.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


This week the weatherboards have been going up and are nearly finished apart from being sealed and painted.
Rita quite likes the unpainted colour of the cement sheet boards. The final colour will be dulux buff which is not too dissimilar. (see above)
Also on Friday they started on the infill for the gable up top which was one of our additions to the facade. (it matches quite a number of houses in our area)
Happy Birthday to Ben (the 'Small Geelong Supporter' for those who have been following from the first couple of posts). He turned nine.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Look beyond all the scaffolding and fence and you can see the house taking shape.

The last couple of weeks have been cold and wet and it would have been nice to have things closed up.

Recent progress has been the sofit under the eaves on the upper roof and now the weatherboards have started on the north wall.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


The last of the brick work has been completed on the weekend and this week should see the roofing blokes move in.

Each trade manages to add to the mess which now covers the site.

This week I've shown a photo from the rear of the house looking towards the family/dining/kitchen and of course the 'alfresco' area which will be half under-cover and half open air.

You can see the fascias have gone up and some of the colourbond roof was delivered.

The 3m offset from the northern boundary is allowing the late afternoon may/june sun into all the rooms down that side of the house. Come summer we plan to install some shade sails to keep the sun off the wall.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Arthur and his team of brickies have been on-site all this week. By weeks end they look to be about 3/4 finished.
I think the bricks look OK although Rita was concerned about the inclusion of alot of brown bricks that seem to be from a different range. We raised the query (as did the brickie) with our SS but he and the rep deemed them OK. I actually think it breaks the brick work up abit.
I'm a bit nervous about the brick column / double timber post combination and low nib wall (just started) as it's one of my inputs to the design. We are still not 100% on what should be rendered and what should stay brick.
Luckily the builder has not used a cheaper brick for the bits that we nominated to be rendered, allowing us to change our minds. (they love that).

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Work in progress

Sunday, May 17, 2009


We've been very busy since my last entry as we moved from our home of 13 years to a small rental. Not something you want to do too often.
As far as the house goes things have slowed a little as the builder had a few issues obtaining the framing approval.
We are still working thru a few things with the builder but the framing payment has been paid and we're off again.
As you can see the windows were delivered and installed this last week.
The front facade are timber casements which look great (I think) especially the 3 panel upstairs bedroom windows which look similar to a lot of the older houses in our area.
We also forgot to change the entry door side lights to frosted glass so we'll fix that later.
The remainder of the house are aluminium. All are double glazed.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


From the outside the progress this week doesn't look as dramatic as the previous 2 or 3 but things are still moving along despite the cold wet weather.
The most noticeable addition are the roof trusses but also the plumbers came in to do their 'rough in' which has all the hot n cold water lines, waste pipes and gas lines in.
We also had an independent inspection carried which has highlighted a few issues particularly with the steel work so will be following that up.
Here's this week photo - although a little dark you can see double timber columns at the front that will sit on the brick columns. There is a 3rd one just out of shot to the left. The gable at top front is taking shape.
The 6 wide stud in the garage is temporary as the beam that will eventually span the openning sits on brick columns (yet to be constructed).
oh and of course another apearance of the Small Geelong Supporter (SGS) laying claim to a bedroom apparantly?

Sunday, April 26, 2009


For those also building, I've noticed a couple of thingswith our frame that I wasn't expecting.
Firstly most of the downstairs studs seem to be factory joined, ie. not one length of timber.
Secondly the sales rep for NDH said stud spacing would be 450mm. Well downstairs is but upstairs is 600?
A builder friend claimed both of these are normal practice.


It’s been a busy and eventful week this week.
The builders have started upstairs with the framing.
They had a bit of drama mid week when a nut-case from up the street took exception to the noise from the generator being used which resulted in the Police having to sort him out. What sort a neighbourhood are we moving too?
All seems to be fine now (back on his medication)
We also settled on the sale of our current house which is great news financially but also means we have 2 weeks to find a rental.
Rita has been looking and has been finding it depressing. It is appalling the condition of some properties but they still ask full market rental. Anything in reasonable condition has a queue of prospective tenants. The other annoying part of the procedure is having to deal with the rental agents who almost never return a phone call and often just don’t show to appointments.
The good news is that we have been accepted for a tidy house close to the kids school and footy club and the landlord is a nice bloke we know.
It all happening!!!

Sunday, April 19, 2009


The framing for the first floor has been completed in 3 days.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Before Luke had a chance to skateboard on the newly completed slab the framers arrived and went to work. Ben took this photo at the completion of day 1 showing the rear family room wall and the opening for the big double slider.


Nothing to do with the house but check out the views and weather we had to put up with over the Easter break up at the Grampians.


Here is a shot of the finished slab showing the recesses of the garage, entry and veranda (and the dodgy side fence)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Thursday the 9th April: First thing this morning the slab got poured. Before it drys we'll try and put a 2009 $2 coin in the concrete as a date stamp.


After a week down time Monday saw the Concreters arrive and proceed to excavate the edge beams and put in the 2m deep tree root barrier which will prevent roots from the big gum behind our block disturbing the slab.

The trenches show about 600 deep of silty sand over clay which means generally easy digging.

By mid afternoon today (Wednesday) the slab was boxed up and ready for the concrete pour tommorrow. The weather looks good for next few days as well which is good for the curing of the concrete and good for us as we are off camping up the bush over easter.

We can now certainly get a feel for the size and shape of the house and the area left for the back yard.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


24th March 2009
We're off n running now. This morning the drain layers came thru with their fair share of drama due to lack of preparation and never having seen the site before.
I think they were expecting a greenfield site where the drain & sewer connections were constructed last week and just waiting to be connected too.
Instead the sewer connection was a 50 year old earthenware fitting full of crushed rock and 3m deep beside the neighbours brick wall.
In contrast the drain connection was too shallow?
Apart from all that they were done by early afternoon as the electrical connection guys came in and did their thing.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


The day after our permit arrived in the post our block has had its topsoil stripped and is ready for the plumbers. A few more concrete floaters surfaced but nothing too bad.

Monday, March 23, 2009


Friday 13th March 2009 - At long last we have a building permit.
I tell you this date was going to unlucky for someone if this permit didn't come through.


We suspected the demolition of the previous dwelling several years ago wasn’t entirely thorough so after locating a substantial concrete footing we enlisted the help of our friends at Adept Drainage
who ended up pulling out about 20 tonnes of concrete from the rear of the site. (Apparently from a previous owners attempt to build a unit minus a permit).


We looked at several builders and settled on a company called New Dimension Homes (Vic)
as they fell into the ‘project builder’ category as far as price but also allowed us to design the layout ourselves.
A lot of project builders say they’ll accommodate design changes but you quickly realize their list of allowable changes are limited. Not only that but their pre-prepared floor plans are very general and don’t take into account specific site and orientation requirements.
A great source of information and advice was the forum

Thursday, March 19, 2009


We heard about the block being for sale on the Thursday, had a look at it during my lunch hour on Friday and bought it 1 hour before auction on Saturday. (The auction was going to clash with the footy)
If you look closely you'll see it came complete with a small Geelong supporter


North is up the page