Sunday, 30 September 2012

Counting Down

It's now less than two weeks until PCI, and with all the little things happening to finish the house off it would almost be easier to list what is yet to be done!  The outside is looking great, with the temporary fencing and port-a-loo gone we are just waiting on the external painting.

The taps have been moved to the front of the house as per the estate covenants, and the WIR window has been changed to obscured glass.  This window was an oversight on our part, thinking that we would just manage privacy with blinds, but once construction was underway we realised that without a door between the WIR and the ensuite this window was effectively a window from the street into the ensuite, and privacy became a whole lot more important!  Fortunately our site supervisor was very accommodating and arranged the change for us.

WIR window and taps


The big change this week is that we have carpet!

Rumpus room
Master bedroom

In some ways I'm not thrilled with the carpet.  It matches the tiles quite well where they meet, but the carpet doesn't have the same depth as the tiles, which makes it look quite brown.  However, I'm not unhappy with it.  It works with our colour scheme, and although I would probably prefer something lighter, we specifically chose something darker on account of the little guy.


The fibre hub has been installed, and the data points are in.  The pre-wiring for the TV wall mounts has also been started.

Data point and TV wall mount


The bathrooms are close to complete.  Both toilets are now installed (the one in the ensuite having been delayed due to a crack in the first one delivered.  Both shower screens are installed, and the plumbing appears to be complete.  There is a tile missing in the bathroom, which appears to be intentional to allow access to the bath pipes.  The bath itself is in but is not fixed.
Bathroom Shower


There hasn't been much action in the kitchen for a little while now.  This week some preparation is underway for the glass splashback, which has been delivered.


Windows and Doors 

Most of the door handles have been fitted (I think it is the doors with privacy sets that are yet to be done.  Door stops have also been fitted throughout.  In the wet areas with tiled skirting the doorstops are attached to the door which makes perfect sense but was interesting as I had never seen that before!

Internal door handles
Linen cupboard

As mentioned above, the window in the WIR has been changed to obscure glass.


The windows have all been cleaned, and it appears that the broken window we identified early on has been fixed.  The gap above the sliding door in the alfresco has been covered, but the bifolds, bathroom and ensuite window are yet to be done.

Sliding door

Sunday, 23 September 2012

...including the kitchen sink

With just two and a half weeks until PCI, we are getting down to the nitty gritty of it now.  This week was dominated by plumbing and electrical.  We multi-tasked our visit this morning by meeting a representative from the curtain and blind company to measure up the windows.  When we arrived there was at least one person working in the roof.


The electricians were in early in the week.  Lights have been installed, as well as power points, the alarm system, smoke alarms and the doorbell.  I wanted to try out some lights, but we didn't know what the guy/s in the roof were doing, and we didn't want to do anything annoying or risky.  This is all really boring stuff.  I have a heap of really dull photos of light fittings (obligatory power saver bulb and plastic chinaman's hat), but it's hard to justify sharing such bad, boring photos!  So here's just a couple.

Down lights
Doorbell chime

Heating and cooling

Heating and cooling vents are finished, as well as the return air vent.  The controls have also been installed.  Believe it or not, these photos are more boring than the electrical ones, so you will have to make too with the glimpses of cooling vents and the controller in the electrical photos.


The plumbers have been in and the difference the finishing touches have made in the bathroom is significant.  Although for the most part the basins and taps etc. aren't features in their own right (and add nothing to the colour palate, they do have the effect of bringing everything together.

One toilet has been installed, the other had a crack in it so needs to be replaced.

Basins in the bathroom and ensuite are in.

Ensuite vanity
Ensuite vanity
Bathroom vanity

The bath has been installed.


The shower rails have been installed in both bathrooms, and the shower screens have been fitted in the bathroom (with the ensuite screens delivered but waiting for installation).

Ensuite shower
Bathroom shower

In the laundry, the trough and veggie sprayer have been installed (not that we are expecting to see a lot of vegetables in the laundry!), as well as the washing machine taps, including the compulsory recycled water tap.

Laundry trough
Laundry trough
Washing machine taps

The kitchen sink and tap have also been installed.

Kitchen sink
Kitchen sink

Other fittings

The walk in robe, wardrobes in the bedrooms, pantry and linen press have all been fitted out with rails and shelves as appropriate.

Walk in robe
Bedroom 3 wardrobe


Yesterday we ordered our letterbox, the "Maddison".  The centre panel can be ordered in any colour, and we have chose Colourbond woodland grey to tie in with the roof, the garage door and front door, and to contrast against the lighter render that it will be in front of.

The Maddison Letterbox

Sunday, 16 September 2012


This week we have seen a big change in the inside of the house, and a couple of small changes to the outside.  We're also trying to organise some of the "finishing touches" that we will be doing after handover.


Although it was installed a couple of weeks ago, today we saw the front of the garage door for the first time.

Garage Door

The cladding on the facade and plastering under the eaves have also been completed.

Cladding Completed
Cladding Completed


The big story this week is the tiles.

We were told that the tiles would be finished this weekend.  Well, they're not quite finished, but they are close.  They need a clean, and there is a tile missing in the bathroom and a little grout to be done in the ensuite, but the kitchen/study/living area is done, as is the laundry.

Bathroom shower
Ensuite shower
Laundry splashback

None and all of the pictures show the colour of the tiles well!  With the exception of the splashbacks they are all the same tiles, and look completely different according to the light; from a fairly dark brown to a light grey.  Ever since our selection I've been a little (OK, a lot) worried about how they would turn out, but they look great; we're really happy with them.

Some other things


Yesterday morning we went back to our preferred blinds supplier, after spending the last few weekends visiting showrooms and getting quotes.  We have gone with a small, independent company based in Coburg who were not only the lowest quote but offered by far the best service.

We will be having roller blinds throughout the house, excepting the bathroom, ensuite, laundry, and rumpus room sliding door.  The master bedroom at the front of the house will have double privacy/blockout blinds, and the rest single blockout.  Our chosen fabric for the blinds is Stamford Lava Blockout.

Stamford Lava Blockout

Next Saturday they will come and measure the windows (having quoted off the plan) and with a three week lead time hopefully we will be able to have them installed shortly after handover.


This morning we met with the landscaper nominated by the developer.  Our front yard will be landscaped in accordance with the development guidelines at the developers expense.   As we spoke to him, the landscaper marked out our landscape plan which will consist of a path to the portico with garden beds either side, a garden bed along the side of the driveway, and another along the front of the house, and the rest lawn.  He will do some drawings to submit to the developer and once approved we will be placed in the queue for the work to be done.  Currently it's a long queue, so it's good that we're having out plans submitted before handover.  The landscaper said it would hopefully be done "before Christmas".

We are also in the process of pricing landscaping the backyard, which will simply be grass.

Alfresco and portico floors

We had been at a bit of a loss about what to do on the alfresco and portico floors, which are currently just concrete slab.  Then, during the week I discovered that there is an external version of our internal tiles.

Wet Cement External


Although the tiles are the same range as our internal tiles they look quite different; mostly due to the internal ones being polished.  We feel that this will provide nice continuity between the indoor and outdoor areas without being too "matchy-matchy".  We are currently getting quotes from tilers to do this relatively small job.


Alfresco flyscreen

We are concerned about the ingress of bugs into the house when taking advantage of our lovely big bifold doors, so looked for a solution a bit more robust than moving air (although we do intend to put a fan in the alfresco).  We came across these retractable fly screens for bifold doors and other large openings.

Retractable flyscreen

We visited a local showroom and met a very friendly and helpful salesperson.  He was also an excellent salesman who has all but talked us into doubling our order!  His suggestion was to put two screens on both of the open sides of the alfresco, rather than on the bifold doors.  The advantages being that we essentially create an outdoor room in which we can eat bug-free or open up as we like, and we can still open up the bifolds and guard against bugs.  This idea is one of the reasons we are trying to integrate the internal and external tiles (as above).  It will be our most expensive addition if we go ahead, but we are both keen to do it.


We have now gotten two quotes for an exposed aggregate driveway and are in the process of getting a couple more.  We hope to have the driveway poured as soon as possible after handover (in fact, our estate guidelines state that the driveway must be completed before the dwelling is occupied, so we need to get it done!)


We started looking for light fittings a couple of weeks ago, focusing on the feature pendants over the island bench.  We have all but settled on these gorgeous lights with edison bulbs.

Mercator Toledo 30cm

The rest of the house has us completely stumped though!

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

PCI booked

This morning our site supervisor called with an exciting update!  He said that with the beautiful weather today the cladding on the exterior will be completed, and the tiles will be finished this week.  He has now booked in the rest of the trades, and also booked in our Practical Completion Inspection (PCI) for 10 October.  All things going well we will be settling on 17 October!  That's just a little over 5 weeks away!

Monday, 10 September 2012


We're at the business end now!


On Saturday we arrived at the site to find the tilers working.  It looked like they had just started, with a couple of dozen tiles laid in the ensuite and laundry.  We didn't stick around long because we had the little guy with us and we didn't want to get in their way but did get a peek at the tiles.

Piles of tiles
Tiles waiting...

The tiles had been distributed through the house.

Laundry from outside
Laundry from inside
There were two guys working, one in the ensuite and one in the laundry.  We were actually lucky they were there, as for the first time our 'secret' entrance was locked (presumably to protect the tiles which would have been conveniently packaged for a thief to make off with).  It was also nice to see them working on a Saturday, as it gives me the impression they are keen to get the job finished.


The showers and bath have been waterproofed in preparation for tiling.

Bathroom Shower


Obviously, to get to this point the internal painting has been completed.

Painting finished

With the tiling underway, we hope that our site supervisor will be able to give us an estimated completion date soon.  When we met with him a few weeks ago he told us that once the tilers give an indication of how long they will take he books in the rest of the trades and have a good idea of our 'best case scenario' completion.  So we're hanging out to hear from him this week.