Monday, December 21, 2009

Top level Slab completed

Stairway to heaven, well not quite maybe to main bathroom, bedroom2 and garage then. The Roof trusses also arrived today.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

One level poured, one to go

The Concrete has been poured on the bottom level and the top level reinforcements are complete and ready for the top concrete pour.

Also, the timber frames have arrived, look like they will be getting a little bit of sun and rain during the Xmas break.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Hmmm, plenty of wine coolers

I wonder if the polar caps do melt and the coast went under water if our house will float with all these foam boxes under it? lol

Ready for the concrete trucks to arrive.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Block cut, ground plumbing completed

The block has been cut, the base plumbing, (sewerage and storm water) completed and the electricity trench has been dug. The site has been prepared with the split level (garage, bedroom 2 and bathroom on the top level and the rest of the house on the bottom level).

Wow, where did the slope come from? I thought we bought a level block, oops.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

We finally have lift off. YAY!

Well, its a start the sign and porta-loo have arrived.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Approved Plans at last

Well, its almost Xmas and after fours (4) months and another plan change (had to split the house to fit it within the council 1m cut and fill self assessible requirements, otherwise it would have been another wait), we finally have the building plans approved.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

All systems are go well almost

We got the best news yesterday, our building loan has been approved (paper work to be sent to us soon) and its all systems go except...

Got an email from the builder too, apparently the certifier had been in contact with Redland Council and oh no the dreaded word "overlays" are present on our block of land. The advice go and get a town planner to do a submission for the overlays. Not on their life I will do that I thought. So, we went and spent some hours with the council town planner.

Turns out there are a lot of overlays on our block but all have been met by the developer except some new ones just to make our life interesting. They are heritage Place and Character Precinct overlay (and its adjoining state) which is straight forward to complete and low level landslide overlay which again is easy to complete.

So, what is all the fuss about then? Think the town planner like his job too much and before doing his research saw all the overlays listed on our block and took it to town.

I tell you if the town planner does not approve our building application, I hope he has plenty of room at his house as I'm moving the family in until we get our approval. Its ok for them to collect rates from me every quarter but when it comes to building apps well no that is a different proposition.

The customer service officer is trying to tell me its like buying a car, buyer beware and I'm trying to tell her yes it is but if its built to specification (which I'm sure the developer had to jump all the loops to get the land developed and registered in the first place) then these overlays should be a no brainer. Anyone interested in the overlay fact sheets, the council was kind enough to give me all of them to read. At least I know that my rates and taxes are well spent, NOT!

So for now, I guess we will wait and wait some more.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Contracts signed

Well, its been a little while since the last update mainly because there has not been any exciting things to write about.

We also got a letter from Council this week that they have approved the plumbing and drainage plans so guess its all moving forward now.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Most enjoyable day with Newstart's colour consultants

Firstly, let me paint the scene for what was a most enjoyable day (well it felt like a full day as it went on and on and on).

It was early Saturday morning, we packed the kids into the car, drove out to Austral bricks to pick up a few more samples (got a brick display at the front of our rental at the moment) and headed down the highway towards Gold Coast to Newstart's headquarters.

There we were greeted by two smiling, ever helpful and very patient colour consultants who not only had to put up with our in decisions but also our three kids who did have plenty of fun with their display items. Think Nathan really liked the non slam toilet seats, with its soft closing action and no we are not getting them Nath.

Quick summary of colours:
External: Roof, gutter and garage door will be colorbond Jasper, bricks will be double brick from the Pavillion range in Mandalay and off white mortar, Fascia is pap
erbark, window frames is merino (which is very similar to paperbark).

Internal: Walls will be Taubmans Portland Stone, Door handles including kitchen will be satin chrome and the bathroom colo
urs are well I'll let you see for yourself. Again we think it all looks nice with little samples but we won't know till it's built.

We changed the vanity sinks to well I call them fruit bowls:

We completed our electrical plans with the electrical consultant who was very helpful as well.

So quick check at where we are. We have done all colours, wet area tile selections and completed the house, electrical and kitchen plans. Just waiting for the final tender costings from Newstart and we will be ready to go to contract.

We also got covenant approval from the developers. Oh, need to find two (2) missing boundary pegs, where did they go?

Kitchen cabinet/layouts finalised (well at least we hope so)

After emails going back and forth with our kitchen cabinet makers (and I must say they were very patient and helpful) we have signed off on our kitchen layouts.

We also completed the colours for the kitchen with the help fr
om the
Newstart's colour consultant. (More on that later). OK, at least they looked all right with the little samples lol.

Colours we have chosen are: Almond Rocca caesar stone tops, parchment laminex for doors, along the cooker wall will be painted Taubmans Moon Shadow (brownie coloured) covered with clear opti-glass splash-back and along the window (left and right of it) 100x200mm latte tiles. The window frame will be Merino which is a creamy-light brown (colorbond paperbark) colour. The walls will be Taubmans Portland Stone and we have no idea of the floor coverings but the way we are spending our budget exposed concrete is looking really good.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

We have a Preliminary plan

Wow, we have the preliminary plans, how exciting? Been going thru it with a fine tooth comb and was only able to come up with a few changes like which way is the windows going to slide in the bedrooms.

We have also been speaking with the kitchen cabinet makers, looks like we have settled on a 900mm appliance (with roller shutters) and microwave tower next to the fridge space and three (3) 800mm pot draws on each side of the 900mm under bench oven/cooktop.

Next stop is to sort out the tiles, bricks, electrical and finally colours with the colour consultant, everyone has been booked and hopefully we will complete this in the next few weeks that is if we can make up our minds.

Thanks to Sha's information on Solar Hot Water System we have now changed to Solar Hot Water and looks like we are getting gas boosting which we are hoping will not be required too often.

We have also sent the plans to get covenant approval which we are hoping will just be a rubber stamp process.

Oh, forgot to mention our soil tests came back we are going to need an H Class slab, P for all the trees surrounding us and an N2 wind requirement. (Oh the dollars are sinking fast into the ground now).

Monday, April 13, 2009

The proposed changes

After reviewing Sha's Homestead 37 plans (thanks Sha if it was not for your blog postings we may never have considered these changes) and more sleepless nights tossing up whether or not we should include a WIP in leiu of the garage workshop we have submitted them to our sales consultant.

We have also decided to go with the electric heat pump hot water instead of solar.

The rubbish dumpers

Visited the block again and found more rubbish dumped on our block. Looks like we have a landscaper near by who thinks its cheaper to dump his rubbish on our block. Its not grass cuttings but large chucks of old concrete, wire and soil. Does anyone know what is the best way of deterring dumpers onto our block?

Friday, April 10, 2009

Colour Ideas

Oh the fun has just begun again, just received the colour package from Newstart this week.

I guess we should state that this is our second build. Our first house was built by Coral Homes (around five years ago now) and it was a great experience. We have not one bad word to say about Coral Homes and if they had a house that suited us we would not have hestitated to have built with them again.

Been driving around new estates getting colour ideas for roof, gutter and brick combinations. As part of the April promotion we signed with Newstart we are able to get colorbond roofing which is different to our last build where we used cement tiles and due to covenant we had to have that house smooth rendered. It was also a 2 storey house so even though we have done it before this one will be totally different.

So far, we are leaning towards deep ocean blue for the roof, a light coloured brick with off white mortar. Still debating whether or not the garage door should be of the same colour as the roof.

Going to visit a heap of display homes again to get ideas on kitchen, bathroom cupboard/bench top colours next. Its also the first time we will be using stone (20mm ceasar) for all the benchtops in the kitchen, laundry, bathroom and ensuite areas. Again thanks to another April promotion special from Newtstart. (I'm sure we are paying for it indirectly in the price somewhere lol).

Still undecided on what hot water system to use. With a family of 5 and no direct town gas to our block, we will definitely not be using the standard supply option of instantaneous gas hot water. So its down to solar or electric heat pump. Knowing how badly we manage day to day tasks, we will most probably go for the electric heat pump system as we like the set and forget solution. Apparently with solar someone will need to remember to turn on the boost when the hot water runs out at night or it will be cold showers in the morning.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Off again

Just signed a new preliminary agreement with Newstart Homes today. Now, waiting for the soil tests to come back again.

The picture is the very early stages of our house planning process. We are hoping we won't be changing too much from the original Newstart Homestead 37 plans. Of course none of this is final (just a starting point).

The false start

Oops, after signing a preliminary agreement with Hallmark and them taking their sweet time in getting back to us (7 weeks), we found a builder which will build a house that will better suit our block/family.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The block

This is the piece of land where our new dream home is going to be built on. Of course, we are hoping that the bank will fund the build project.

Our land is approx 5999 m2, but our development envelope is what is cleared (at least we only have trees and snakes as our back neighbour lol).