Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Block minus some trees

The block looks a bit like a hurricane has hit. The developer has removed some trees and dragged them down to the back of the block.
We survived pre-start. It took nearly 4 hours to go through everything. Hopefully the "new kitchen" will work. We should get paperwork within the next 2 weeks to sign. Any last minute deletions have to be done then. In a couple of cases we've asked for pricings on several options for the same thing so that we can have the choice of a lesser priced variation. or... no variation at all if it all goes pear shaped.
Considering we were expecting pre-start to last around 2-3 hours it going on as long as it did was shocking. I didn't think we were that difficult. We had picked basically everything before we went in there. It's hard to believe that it took that much longer to sort out the kitchen.

Block has been given an S4 rating which is slightly better than an M rating but still not the cheapest possibility. This will mean some extra slab work and stablising but hopefully not too much. We did allow for some in the amount we planned for site works so hopefully it's more than enough.
Should have paperwork to sign soon and be at plate height by October.
Roll on slab pour!

We've changed our window and door colour to colorbond "charcoal" and the back doors will now be painted with wattyl's "weekender". A deepish blue.

We've also had some lovely news about the plum farm behind us. Rezoning failed! So it will be at least another 6 years before we have back neighbours. A mixed blessing really. We love the idea of having no neighbours to look on and be able to pretend it's all ours. Without any upkeep required. BUT we will have to live with another 6 years+ of an air cannon during fruiting season. This is a very loud explosion and it goes off a lot during the day.

We worked out that we can see horses in the far distance beyond the plum farm. Hubby thinks he saw some cows there the other day. We can certainly hear cows from the block but for how much longer we don't know. A few of the farms near by are being sold off and redeveloped.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Almost pre-start time

A lot happening atm. Can't sleep. Tomorrow is "prestart" for the new house. We've had a bit of a kerfuffle changing some colours and items in the house choices and realising there were a few things wrong with the plans that we will need to sort out tomorrow when we meet with our builders.

OK major problem. dawned on us when we took another long look at the plans over the weekend. The kitchen is ridiculously wide. I hadn't taken in comments from everyone about how "big" the kitchen was. I had been assuming they were talking about the length of the kitchen benches. Yes they are long. But the width of the kitchen is stupidly ridiculous. ( is this a description?) some how we've ended up with a floor area of 2.5 m between one side of the kitchen and the other. I know why. When we changed builders and they redrew the plans they moved the office forward and that widened the kitchen and for some reason we've only just noticed it. As well somehow they manged to slip in a mega tiny pantry door that is 520mm wide. Biafran size, as someone at work put it. hmm I guess it's a "diet" pantry since I couldn't fit in there even sideways! So We have a plan to narrow the kitchen, put a bigger door on the pantry and lengthen the pantry at the same time. Fingers crossed it's cost effective.

We've just spent 2 1/2 hours going back over everything tonight to make sure we have all the decisions we can have made, before the meeting. I've redrawn all the positions of additional lights, power points, tv points switches, taps etc etc on multiple copies of the plans. Hubby has 2 +pages of notes to refer to tomorrow. I've got about 5 with all the paint choices, laminates etc on it. We've also got to carrying the building file provided by the builders and remember the receipts from the tiling places that have our selections and reference numbers on them for the tiles. He's just rushed out then wondering if we need to take the cheque book in case we need to make a payment. No idea! was my reply. Something else to carry with us.

The developer has visited the block and pushed down the trees that needed "removing" but unfortunately he hasn't removed them just dragged them down to the "bottom of the garden" sigh. Hubby is now muttering about having to cut them up before snakes move in. I have visions of arriving home to no hubby and finding him lying amongst the bits of wood having had a heart attack from sawing and chopping all the trees into bits. He's not convinced he should consider a chain saw.

And.. it's reporting time at work. so I'm busy marking, composing paragraphs of comments for each of my students, recording data on how they are going in preparation for reports which are due on Monday. Great timing!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Final colour selections.

We have "pre start" booked for Thursday. It's a 2-3 hours appointment when everything has to be finalised. all colours, tiles, plan changes, upgrades etc have to be agree upon. Yesterday I was at an all day course in Bunbury where we have to go to choose tiles and meet with our builder so I did a quick visit to the Builders to check on a few things. Found out that because we'd picked tiles from 2 tile shops we will have to pay an additional delivery fee as only 1 delivery fee is included in the house building price. One win though was I was told that there was no reason why we couldn't have jarrah capping in the kitchen and other half walls. This was fabulous news as now we can stop trying to find a timber and stain colour to try and re-create a jarrah look . Yippeee!!! Also got some prices on upgrading power points and adding additional lights, phone points, tv points conduit. Today we drove into Bunbury to visit the tile places again to determine exactly what we are going to have. After last weeks kitchen bench discovery we needed to pick a new splashback for the kitchen. I was also wanting the chance to have a look for something else for the main bathroom.

We've now done the tiling deed.
After much contemplation we've settled on some 100mm x 100mm smooth, shiny , black tiles with gunmetal grey grouting. Almost went back on the decision though when we discovered that they were so expensive they were $30 more than porcelain tiling. Ouch! There was some lovely black porcelain tiling. 400mm x 400mm but the black was more a deep grey than deepest black. And the deepest black was the look we were going for.
Main bathroom tiles have been changed as well. We've gone for a creamy stone look floor tile with an off white plain wall tile for main bathroom, W.C. and laundry. Cupboard doors for the vanity will still be laminex stone beige but the top will now be Formica "antique white dust".
this is it below. It's much less pink than it appears in this sample from the formica web site.

The bottom colour looks green on my monitor but the green is actually a brownish/beige and the flecks in the top sample are the same beige colour.
I think it's that time of the build process when you start to question everything. We've changed the laundry door colour as well. We've decided on something darkish now. Prob a mid to dark blue. Colour to be finalised tomorrow.
We ended up taking a drive today to check again that we were happy with the garage door colour as we are worried it will look too bland. Our house will be quite wide and the garage door is to blend in. Saw a lovely dark blue garage door today with our colour brickwork. But it had the reverse drive way colours to ours. Being mostly a dark driveway the darker garage door looked great. But our driveway will be mostly cream. I think we've now decided to stick with the cream.

Movement all around

There's been movement on the block although not from our builder. We had an agreement with the developer when we bought the block for him to remove a couple of trees that would be in the way of our new house. On Friday he arrived and removed the trees. We had wanted 4 removed. 5 have gone. A smaller tree was too close to one of the large ones ended up being removed at the same time. The block looks very open now. It has a very different look and of course there is a heap of leaf litter and minor branches spread all over the ground. It looks like a tornado has been through. Now comes the big question. The developer dragged all the removed trees to the back of our block. Something I was half hoping he would do so we could keep them for future firewood. However Hubby is not so sure about this and is quite rightly worried that snakes might like to make their home in it. So it seems we will have to find a way to chop up the trees. I guess we've got a year to do so. Photo to come when I take the camera to the block tomorrow.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

kitchen choices.

This shows our cork flooring wiht our new kitchen bench top choice.

time for some tough decisions.

kitchen confusion

We visited the granite benchtop suppliers yesterday and checked out the granite we'd picked for our benchtop and discovered we didn't like it at all. The sample we'd seen had a very even pattern to it which was lovely BUT on a large piece there are big black spots in random spaces. It seems when a tree grows through the granite and fossilizes it makes big black spots. sigh... didn't like the effect as all on the beautiful little dotty grey /black and white stone. so we've picked a brand new colour. Thank goodness we decided to pop in and see if they had a large sheet of the granite or we would never have known about this quality. Anyway the upshot is we will need new splashback tiles and a new laminex cupboard door colour. Thank goodness we haven't gotten to prestart yet or it would have been a cost variation. Anyway the new colour from Absolute Stone is called "pampas" So now we will be looking for an creamy white colour laminate. The lovely lady suppler provided me with a sample and I've got my camera with me so I might be able to up load a photo. Yes it does have greenish tinges but with the right colours it looks more gold/brown and deep grey ou can also see the original "graphite' choice in the paper pamphlet. The real sample ( 10cm x 20cm) we'd seen looked like that too. I t did look excatly like the picture except that in a large ( 600 x 1.5m ) sample there were these huge 20c piece sized black spots. so suggestions? we are hoping to visit somewere with laminate displays while in perth today so we don't have to spend ages looking for a laminate next saturday. Finding a new tile splash back will be painful enough.