Monday, 25 August 2014

In The Beginning...

Hi there. A couple of things keep popping up at work so I thought I'd touch on them here just in case anyone is still reading (aside from who or what ever is spamming my comments!).

Look at your plans. Really LOOK at them. If you don't understand something, ask, because what you sign off on, is what the builder is going to build. Go through the display home as many times as you need to. Take a measuring tape. Compare the display to the first set of plans the builder draws up for you. Are you happy with the type of glass, the direction of the doors, the fridge space, the placement of the tap and niche in the shower. Is there something you have seen in a display home that you would like in your home? Just because the display had under stair storage, does that mean you will have it? Do you want to move or remove walls? Are you doing flooring afterwards? Keep in mind that the builder is going to go all out in a display home, so you won't necessarily have the things they have provided. Check with your salesperson, because the sooner you realise these things and make the changes, the greater chance you have at saving money. Builders will often charge a fee for any late changes.

Especially important are the windows. I know when we built we assumed bathrooms would have obscure glass provided. Clear glass was the standard. You can choose from a variety, including obscure and translucent glass but get onto it early. The upgrade isn't too much but not realising you don't have this can again result in additional costs. Check that your tender and your plans match up. Windows take quite some time to order (allow about a month) so you don't want to get this wrong.

On a similar note, does the builder provide a privacy set for the doors on the bathrooms/bedrooms? You may need to add these into the tender. When you're at tender stage, it may be wise to list as many of the items you could possibly want, as early as possible. To go back for tender after tender is extremely frustrating and time consuming. If you are advised "you can discuss that with the supervisor", make sure you can. There have been times when people have been advised of this (e.g. tacking on skirting boards so the owner can later remove and do their own flooring) when it really should have been disclosed on the tender, and in the end you are hit with a late fee.

Rubbish on site. Oh my goodness. Check your tender because there could be a section that advises you need to ensure your site is clear before the builder takes over. Not getting rid of this before you are out of admin can mean delays. You might need your site to be pegged out again, which takes a few days.

Have you got the fusebox on the correct side?

Where do you want that towel rack?

External lights?
(Which reminds me, if you want downlights in your eaves, get the electrician to get that started for you. I have had my arm in our eaves far too many times.) 

That's it for now...
Oh and by the way, I mentioned our 21 photinias in my previous post. I think we have maybe six left, and even those ones are now half the size thanks to the dog.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

We have a backyard!

So the job with the builder seems to be going well. I'm still learning exactly what goes on behind the scenes but it's nice to be able to help people and make them feel more involved in the process. The less worry, the better it is for everyone. Everyone in my team has been really helpful. Hopefully I will be there for some time if the morale and enjoyment continues like this. I guess it's still the honeymoon phase for me :)

On our block, we have completed the fence and gates. We've also turfed the backyard - completed that on Saturday. If any of you are local you will know that it has been bucketing down since Monday with no end in sight. A little too much rain for my liking! We had a big area of the front yard under water twice this week. 4m x 8m. We had to pull apart one of our drainage pipes to get the water level down as it was soaking into the grass and waterlogging it. We already have some minor issues with waterlogging but for the most part it all looks ok. We REALLY need some sunshine, or at the very least warmth to dry out the grass a little.

Brett the Bobcat Man had a couple of extra tonnes of soil he needed to get rid of the other he dropped it off to us for nothing! So stoked! We also got extra turf from Cobbitty Turf Farm, though I initially was quite cranky as there was a miscommunication which led to our turf being delivered at 11am rather than 8am. It really sucked to be shovelling soil and playing with turf in the hottest time of the day. Plus a trip to the nursery was needed. YES another one! We have bought about 21 photinia. I am convinced our dog will destroy these when she comes to live with us. I have attached a couple of before and after shots, our front yard water feature, and a cute little white lizard who has been spending some time in our alfresco recently. Waterlogged? Albino (that can't be good for a cold blooded(?) animal?)? Chameleon!?!

Friday, 21 February 2014

Fences delivered. Now to install!

How have I left it so long between blogs! I turn on the computer to add an entry, and then we end up looking at pavers, fences, concrete, turf name it! Like this post. I wrote that first sentence half an hour ago, and Stephen came in saying we should move our fence palings into the garage. Interruptions! :)

So we've been in for two months now. The first few weeks were absolutely MENTAL. We didn't really have a break over Christmas, we just did 'house stuff'. About a squillion people came over, and we just kept buying things for the house. I'll add some photos shortly.

I am so glad this blog has helped some of you guys out! I know what a pain building can be at times. And you know what? I just went and scored myself a job with a builder. WHAT am I doing!!!!??!?!? To have to deal with people like us, who freak out about an email being a day late? Panicking about the estimator taking too long. Panicking about why something hasn't happened on my site exactly when you said it would. We did all these things. At least I will have empathy!

So basically, the cabinetry has been added to bathrooms, our wardrobes, the pantry, and almost the garage. That's one of this weekends tasks. We still have a few boxes leftover but we're getting there. We got our rebate in about 5 days. That has since been spent on wood, soil, I don't know what. But I certainly underestimated exactly how much would need to be done afterwards. Add to that organising a wedding...there goes some more money.

If anyone is looking for someone to level their land, we used Brett the Bobcat Man. He's local and didn't charge a bomb. We also got him to get us 8tonnes of soil. More to come. He'll take away your excess clay/fill too if you need it. We didn't have a lot. Made up a sign saying 'free fill' and within the day, it was gone! So put up a sign if you want someone to take something, and it might just happen!

Post handover cabinets. Shelving to go between and around the mirrored cabinets.
Post-handover wallpaper and pendant light.
Post Handover wardrobe (ex study nook).

Post Handover: fencing!
Post-handover levelled land, retained, fresh topsoil. Yum!
Todays action - reo in, formwork up, ready for concrete next week!