Saturday, 28 December 2013

The joys of moving in - Part II

After a couple of days, one of our neighbours came over with a box of chocolates to introduce herself. How lovely! We have met the majority of people living in the houses we can see. Makes you feel more at home, safer and more community oriented I guess. There are a few people who go walking in the mornings with dogs, bikes, people. Seems like a nice community so far. The tradies we have spoken to have been awesome. The guy over the road at Allworth even tried helping us out with the air conditioning. Hopefully the Masterton tradies next door will be just as good.

Something I wanted to touch on was trespassing on your site. It's very tempting to do it. You should definitely not do it, but if you can't help yourself, be sure to tell your SS that you plan to go to site for whatever reason, whether it be to measure something (to order blinds, to plan for building something for the house). At least he can prepare to meet you on site and prepare any necessary paperwork to cover himself AND if you are going on site, don't be an idiot and wear thongs. Wear appropriate closed in footwear. Runners. There are pieces of colorbond, nails, screws, reo, shards of brick and pavers on site. Slippery clay, loose rubble. You do not want to be slipping on this or having a nail go through your thong and into your foot. Plus if you get hurt, you aren't covered. Our SS told us some horror stories of people who had been hurt (or worse) on site. We have seen people take their kids up scaffolding in Oran Park. If you are going to be on site when you shouldn't, at least use your common sense and don't climb on things or put your life in any more danger than you already have. You want your SS to be on your side - and he is - so don't risk irritating him by injuring yourself when you shouldn't be on site. (This is a huge case of "Do as I say, not as I do". We had been on site, and I never felt comfortable being there. And if you feel uncomfortable, there's probably a reason why! I did a lot of looking from afar and sitting in the car haha...)

How about I go and take some photos of the work done to date? :)

The joys of moving in - Part I

We had our site meeting with the SS at 7:30am. Paul has been amazing. If any of you are in our area and you manage to get him, you will be in good hands. We went through everything and the only issues were a downpipe and electrical. We were done in about 45 minutes and most of that was hanging around waiting for the electricians to arrive. Then we drove to Norwest to meet our CSA. I do not envy the job they have to do...being the point of contact between a whiny client and estimators/the other consultants. Katherine was lovely. We took about half an hour to go through everything, get our keys etc and get out of there. We went via the in-laws to collect our shutters.
The first thing we did was put up our shutters. Fairly straightforward, just measure twice (cut once)before you order. I Seek Blinds was the company we used and we could not be happier. I will post photos in the next blog.
At the time of writing this, we have been in the house for one week. At first I thought the house was doomed. Our appliances all needed tweaking.

The air conditioning didn't work on the day we moved in. That day it was 41 degrees. 41 DEGREES. We worked from 12-4pm in the stinking hot heat. Called the CSA and got her answering machine. Called the SS and got his. Called the air con mob and got the machine "We won't re-open until the 13th" or something to that effect. So Stephen kept calling and I think he got through to our CSA who said she would sort it out. At 4pm we had a visit from the air con maintenance guy! The installer had put in the wiring backwards. You would think that either they would know where to put each wire OR they would test it out to ensure it is working. We had a play around with it on our final inspection day, and it worked fine for the first minute or so, so we switched it off. It wasn't until we needed it that we realised it wasn't happening.

The washing machine drainage hose didn't fit properly, so we flooded the laundry a few times.

The clock on our oven was knocked back (we bought this, so not EBH's problem), into the oven cavity. To work the oven or stove at all, you need to set the clock. We couldn't do that, and we couldn't get a gasfitter to come out to set up our gas connection until yesterday.  I lived on cereal, 2 minute noodles and leftovers until last night.

The fridge. Our hose connection wasn't the right size. Went to Bunning's to get a connection to reduce the size but even that wasn't right. A couple of trips to Bunning's and the fridge is connected and working like a dream. Having an ice machine and cool water from the fridge is still a novelty. Good thing Bunning's is just around the corner. Everyone must know Stephen's face by now.

Electrical. Was. A. Nightmare. Ok maybe a slight exaggeration but we had issues from the start. Emailed SS about them, fwded to electrical people, most weren't resolved. Points were missed. Extra holes unnecessarily punched into the walls. One of our switches still doesn't work. Switches placed willy nilly in some areas, very close to robes, not anywhere near evenly spaced in the room. If you want that, specify it in your contract because they will just put it to the closest stud. Fair enough, but it isn't always practical. We had different tv points which have since been rectified.  A bar panel was busted from a screw. They are all minor things but some of them just seemed so silly that you'd think no professional would make such a mistake.

We have television sets, but no television. We called opticomm who pencilled us in for January 6, but said they could do it on Dec 20 if we had someone home. 2-3 days after the initial call (when we have arranged to have someone house sit for the opticomm guy) they said they wouldn't be in the area and as it was 2 hours from their location, it wouldn't be worthwhile.

Stephen has been working his butt off with the joinery in this house. He has fitted out our pantry, linen cupboard and my wardrobe. They all look sensational. Next on his agenda is fitting out his own wardrobe and  storage/cabinets in the bathrooms. Eventually he will renovate the kitchen, and fit out the study, laundry, BBQ, Home Theatre and other wardrobes as well. It looks amazing. He is a very talented guy!

We have had a lot of help with this move. A friend of Stephens is an electrician and was able to install our down lights and pendants. He did a sensational job. One of my friends played removalist recently and we brought a LOT of our belongings over to the new house and we are very grateful to both. We have also had people visit us unexpectedly. Sometimes you just need people to stay away for a while so you can get stuck into doing what you need to do. This might sound rude or ungrateful but if people are coming over and wanting a coffee and a chat, you can't really give them the time they deserve if you have as much to get through as we do. We're only off work a little while so we don't have a lot of time. If people can wait to have their stickybeak until after you are mostly set up then that is ideal. Either that, OR have a HEAP of tasks you need people to do, ready to go so that when they ask you "What can I do?" you don't think "Just p!ss off and let me do it", but rather have a plan ready to go and they can help and be out of your hair for a while. We had 9 people in this house at one point, and it was only the second day. We had planned for a maximum of 4 people. Not to sound ungrateful haha...  Moving is stressful, so if you can make it as stress free as possible I recommend it!

Friday, 13 December 2013

Things we didn't consider...

We noticed a few things at the house that seemed odd...or we just didn't think about them. Not complaining, just thought that it might be worth mentioning in case these were things that anyone might be overlooking, or interested in.

The Doorbell
Ours sits horizontally, rather than vertically. Have you EVER seen a doorbell attached horizontally? Ours was my first! Now Stephen wants to do away with it altogether.

The Lintels
The section above your door frame that holds onto the lowest row of bricks. They paint the bottom of it...and they painted ours in monument (dark grey), when every single door or window frame is (basically) surfmist (white)! So there are white frames, light brown bricks, and light grey tiles, and of all colours they pick the darkest one not even out there :P Oh well, it will be an easy enough fix and it's not like we noted what colour we wanted them so we'll cop it.

The Garage Door
Similar story. Except this one is painted white. If there is any leftover paint we will paint it a dark grey...because it leads outside and it's going to get dirty in no time. Might pay to note on your contracts (or at your colour appointment) which colour you want this to be! This never crossed our mind.

The Front Door
Ours is stained and still waiting to have the final gloss added. At the moment it's quite rough in areas and there are a few drips but they should be easy enough to fix I would think. Everything *should* be finished off by Friday.

We upgraded ours, and were asked if we wanted it included in the patio and alfresco. Check if you are getting cornice out here too.

Skirting boardsThese were put on after tiles...originally we thought it wouldn't look as good but the tilers have done a very good job. If you do want your tiles put on before your skirting, make sure 
you mention it at tender or you will likely need to pay a PCV fee.

Bathroom Tiles
If you want your top row of tiles in the bathroom to line up, put it in the tender. It's standard (in our package at least) for them to be finished neatly, but neither our bathroom or ensuite line up at the same height. As they have tiled to standard, we will fix this in future.

Items to leave off walls
Don't want a soap holder or rail attached to the wall? You know what to do! I was actually quite worried the tradies might put them on anyway...but they didn't. We've got the towel rail and will install when we move in...we just don't know where it should go yet. 

Depth of wardrobes
I think this was around 450mm. It's not terribly wide and at the narrowest point of the wardrobe, I can turn sideways but there's not much room either side. You might want to consider making this deeper if you have space to play with. What we have will be sufficient, but an extra 10cm would go a long way especially when we are going to add cabinets, drawers and doors.

Location and style of Window Handles
Something to consider, particularly if you are getting shutters installed. Can you get to the twisty knob? Can you slide your window open and have your slats open?  


Where will they put them? At electrical appointment, be sure to make a note on your plan stating where these go. We had a bedroom planned out but the electrician put a powerpoint about 20cm from the wardrobe. Still functional, but it's in the middle of no mans land and is less practical for what we had planned.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Post Construction Inspection

Today was the day! Neither of us went to work and we started off the day with a filling breakky from our friend Andrews cafe (at Moorebank Flower Power). Delicious as usual! We arrived to Oran Park at 9:45am (for a 10am meeting), and saw that our Site Supervisor was already there. We headed in early as these guys have a ton of jobs and we didn't want to waste his time or ours. 

He explained that he had already gone through the house, marking any imperfections he could see. They use painters tape, basically. He went through with blue tape, and the Tyrells inspector went through with green. There were a HEAP of blue ones, and only a few green ones that had been missed. To be honest we had a look at some of the green dots and we couldn't tell what the problem was. I guess that's why EB use Tyrells! We really didn't find much. I think most of it was due to the trades coming in after the painters, with scratches, scuffs etc on the paint. No huge issues that will delay us. An example of touch ups required:
  • Stink pipe to be painted, and downpipes to receive second coat
  • Electrical - a missing powerpoint, power for rangehood
  • Kitchen - back panel of island to be replaced as a screw or two were almost protruding through the board.
  • Clean up of mortar in back corner of yard. Wheelbarrow took a tumble. Whoops ;)

Sorry about the angles...they were edited but apparently stubborn and don't like change. We really love the carpet. REALLY. If you are considering upgrading your carpet, you should do it! We are really happy with the house so far. But we're at a point where we feel very disorganised. We are so close to moving in and we just want to get started already :)