Sunday, November 23, 2014

Outdoor spa and deck - build and installation

This weekend our spa area was finally completed. The glass pool fence is now up so now we are ready to have it all inspected by the surveyor. This is what it looks like viewed from our bedroom window. The sides of the deck still have to be dressed and we are considering what to do here. I want to avoid having more merbau and it needs to be easily removable in case we need to access the sides of the spa.

Below are photos of the build progress. Deck built by hubby, spa is from Spa-Rite and pool fencing by Peninsula Glass Balustrading.

outdoor spa

The spa slab all boxed up. They put a lot of steel in there but I didn't get a photo of that. 

outdoor spa

outdoor spa

The slab. 

outdoor spa

The spa being delivered. 
outdoor spa

Our deck timber and concrete delivery. The truck had to offload it at the top of the vacant block next door and we had to carry it all down the hill - approx 45m downhill! So much timber and so many bags of concrete - 50 bags in total. 

outdoor spa

The stumps for the deck. I didn't get photos of the footings. 

outdoor spa

outdoor spa

Deck construction continues. 

outdoor spa

outdoor spa

Merbau decking was laid. 

outdoor spa

outdoor spa

Glass pool fence was installed today and now we have to phone the surveyor to inspect and hopefully sign off on the permit. 

outdoor spa

outdoor spa

outdoor spa

The finished product! 

outdoor spa

I'm looking forward to wasting many days and nights in this spa :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Front retaining walls

We had two concrete retaining walls constructed at the front of the house to make two levels of garden bed. We had had those large rocks placed at the side of the walls. I only have a couple of plants planted at the moment. Next thing to do is put in more plants then some tan bark. After that I have to get some top soil and get a lawn started at the top.

concrete retaining walls

During moving around of the soil
concrete retaining walls

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Rock my world

This weekend hubby and I visited Rocks Plus in Bayswater North to choose some rocks to be placed around the retaining wall that is getting built this week.

We were given a can of spray paint and had to spray a mark on the rocks that we wanted. After choosing the rocks they were loaded up onto a truck and they delivered them to us the same morning. It doesn't look like it but we have a total of 11 rocks. We chose honeycomb rocks of varying sizes and shapes. I can't wait to see these in place by the end of the week. 

volcanic basalt rock honeycomb rock

Zebras are.... well hung?

I finally purchased our first picture for the house. I didn't know exactly what I wanted but I knew it had to have hints of green and orange. When I stumbled across this zebra canvas artwork I couldn't resist it. 

zebra canvas

We hung it in on the wall between the front spare room and theatre room. It's visible from the kitchen/meals/family area. At 120cm x 90cm it's the perfect size - or I thought so. 

zebra canvas

Now I have to finally get some pieces for the hallway niches. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

I'll be floored!

I haven't updated much the last 4 four weeks but we have had little bits and pieces happening. The floor in the man cave is finally finished! We used Gerflor brand vinyl planks for one side of the man cave plus the games area. We chose the Pecan colour from their Senso Rustic range. I love how they look like timber but are easy to maintain. The planks are only 2mm thick and have a self adhesive back and stick right down onto the sealed concrete slab. Hubby put the skirting board back down on top of the planks and now I have to paint the bits where the nails were shot through.
vinyl floor

For the lounge side of the man cave we laid carpet tiles. Photos for another post :)

In other news we have had our spa delivered **yay!!** but we can't use it until the deck and fence is built. Permits have all been approved so now it's down to construction. 

We have also booked the retaining walls for the front yard next week and hubby has started the small garden bed retaining wall between the house and driveway. 

Hopefully several more updates with pictures soon! 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Stairway to... heaven!?

...nah. It's just the stairs from the lounge door of the man cave. This is another project hubby completed, he is so talented. Anyone want to hire him ;) LOL

merbau stairs

I'm thinking of painting the side of the staircase in Monument, which is the same colour as the door. I figure it would look better than the naked pine but I'm not too sure whether Monument would look weird :-/ I'm open to suggestions here. 

merbau stairs

Here is what the guts of it looked like before he nailed the merbau down. This thing is so damn solid it ain't moving anywhere!! 

merbau stairs

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Well gated

Hubby finished building the side gate!! I think it looks amazing and a very good job by someone who hasn't welded in a very long time, nor ever made a gate in their life.

The actual gate door is 1 metre wide and is locked by a keypad. We even have a remote control to unlock the gate. He's so clever :)

merbau gate

He used 140mm wide merbau decking for the timber and steel for the posts and gate frame. 

merbau gate

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Sealing: shower grout and concrete

This weekend hubby sealed the concrete floor in the garage. We also sealed the concrete slab in the man cave in preparation for floor coverings. The concrete sealer was easy enough to use, simply clean the floor and apply the sealer with a roller. After 30 minutes apply and second coat and you're done. In a couple of hours it's completely dry.
garage floor sealing

concrete sealing

GroutPro came over on Saturday to colour seal the grout in the ensuite shower. We had this done at our old house and it was awesome, the grout always looked so good. Very happy with how this turned out. I have asked the guy to come back in a few weeks to seal the other shower too. 
grout colour seal

A closer shot of the wall tile grout. You can't even see that it has a coating on it - bonus! 

grout colour sealing

We met with the head builder on Thursday night. We have now received our final invoice, minus all the appropriate adjustments. We are glad that that worry is finally over. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Builder arguing the final invoice

Well, things are starting to get really interesting now! 

We received the final invoice from the builder last week - the full invoice! We are owed 22 weeks of damages and that wasn't deducted from this invoice. We have since spoken to the head builder who will meet with us later this week to discuss the adjustments... Apparently the builder has a list of "extras" that they did for us and are trying to use that as an argument to reduce the amount of damages they have to pay. It's amusing really because there is only one variation where we owed them extra money which we signed and agreed to (for the non standard tiles) which has already been paid in a prior progress payment. 

I really can't wait to see this alleged list of extras. There were a number of things the builder had to do but they were to cover up errors by his trades or things he offered to do, they weren't things which we requested. 

My husband and I are willing to take this matter to the Building Commission if they do not pay us our owed damages, as well as other reasonable things we are requesting. At this stage there are actually a lot of defects and incomplete work that we haven't even raised with them. If they want to go down the Building Commission path then we will raise every single grievance and defect with the commission.

Both my husband and I want this resolved quickly. In fact, we have already arranged for the bank valuer to come out and inspect the property so that once we receive an appropriately amended invoice we can arrange final payment ASAP. The only person delaying their final payment is the builder. 

To top it off we still have some items sitting here that belong to the builder. Not sure when he's planning to collect them. We have a wheelbarrow, ladder, hose and I think a few other things. Not to mention the skip bin that is still sitting on our nature strip which our neighbours have taken full advantage of! 

I guess by the weekend we will know whether we have to prepare a case for the Building Commission. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Little happenings and disappointed

Downpipe at the front of the house was connected on Monday - finally! 

The concreters turned up today to form up the spa slab and another area we want concreted for the dogs. They left because they couldn't do it :(  They have recommended we engage a formwork company to form it up and then they can come and pour the concrete. Wasn't happy at all to hear this. I just wish they told us in the beginning as we would have organised it by now :(

We are still waiting on a few jobs to be finished by the builder. Hoping they arrange for these jobs to be finished shortly. 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Recipe: White Chocolate Pannacotta

I thought I'd share a beautifully creamy gluten free White Chocolate Pannacotta recipe with you. Visit here for the recipe.

white chocolate pannacotta recipe

In house related news Melbourne Stairs arrived this morning to repair the few squeaky steps between the garage and the house. At this stage we are unsure as to whether the fix worked as we can't walk on the steps until tomorrow. We were annoyed that they didn't phone first to confirm what day and time they could attend, as they previously advised they would. The repair guy arrived at 8am this morning and poor hubby had just finished nightshift and was woken up by their power tools :(

We are STILL waiting for the downpipe at the front of the house to be connected! Let's see if it happens early next week. Not holding my breath!

Friday, August 22, 2014

18000 page views!

Wow! This blog has hit 18000 page views!

I started this blog to document our home building journey, I didn't imagine that so many people would view it and follow our (long!) journey. Thank you to each and every one of you, from the silent followers, to the email subscribers and to the people who have offered supportive and encouraging comments throughout this process. 

Our home is not yet finished, there are still things the builder has to do. Then of course there is landscaping, finishing the Mancave and other bits and pieces we have to do. 

Stay tuned as there will be many more posts to come :)

Thank you to those who have already subscribed to receive my posts by email. If you haven't already you can enter your email address in the 'follow by email' field on the right hand side :) 

More damage and trying to settle in

This last week we have been busy moving things and trying to get settled.

This afternoon we removed the glass globes for the hallway lights from the laundry cupboard and attached them to the pendant lights.

pendant lights

My heart sank this afternoon (it's happened way too often with this build!!) when we pulled out the glass globes for the hallway pendant lights to find that one was broken :( So we couldn't fit the globe to the bedroom light :(

I'm extremely upset about this as I checked each and every one of them before the builder's cleaners came through, and we popped the three boxes in the top of the laundry cupboard to keep them safe. These glass globes are packed very well with a fair bit of space between the top of the box and the top of the glass globe. In order to break the glass the top of the box would have had to have been hit very hard, or it would have been opened before being hit... 

Here is a photo with the lights turned off. 

pendant lights

Here is my poor broken glass globe. You can see that someone has knocked it on top...

In other news we finally had the downpipe connected at the front of the house last week. Although he didn't actually connect it to the stormwater... You can see the stormwater pipe popping up in this photo. It needs to be moved around to align with underneath the downpipe and then connected. We have been promised that this will be done 'tomorrow'. We have heard the word 'tomorrow' since last week... It has been a common occurrence with this build, things will always be done 'tomorrow'. 

We are still also waiting on Melbourne Stairs to come and fix some squeaky steps between the garage and the house. The original stairs had to be replaced as they were 2mm too high to pass the building inspection. When they removed the old stairs they also had to remove one side of the skirting boards on the landing. We are also waiting for the builder to replace this. Once these stairs are fixed the builder has to arrange the stairs to the polished/lacquered. I'm a little disappointed this hasn't been done yet as I had this week off work and it would have been perfect for the stairs to be fixed this week as I could be home to arrange access for the trades. Now it will be more difficult for them to get access. 

You can also see our German Shepherd lying around here. 

Last week we also had a subfloor ventilation fan fitted. The builder had to fit these as the bricklayer placed the front ventilation grates in front of the joists/bearers so they can't actually work... Anyway, it's great that they finally fitted the fan, and I can just barely put up with the hum we hear when its running but I'm not happy about the ongoing power bill to run the damn thing! Especially because it was something we had to fit because someone many months ago stuffed up.

There are many other things outstanding which I won't go into detail with today. I think I'll reserve them for future posts! 

Hubby and I are looking forward to the day when everything the builder is supposed to do/finish is finally done so we can concentrate on other things such as landscaping. 

Don't forget, you can receive my blog posts by email when you enter your email address in the 'follow by email' field on the right hand side :)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Moved in! Sneak peek...

We have finally moved in!! Here a few snaps of the kitchen / family / meals area. The rest of the house is still a bit of a mess...

meals dining table

meals dining table

If you look closely you can see my baby girl on the left

family room

We still have to take the protective film from the top of the rangehood and lower the pendant lights. 

kitchen laminex crystalgloss laminate

kitchen laminex crystalgloss laminate

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Curtains and blinds installed

Wow! I never realised how hard it is to take decent photos of curtains and blinds when they're hanging, especially with an iPhone! Apologies for the crap photos, I will try to take better ones with a real camera. When I do I'll update this post.

These are the curtains in the master bedroom. Blockout curtain to the rear and sheer curtain in front. I love these!
sheer blockout curtains

full length sheer blockout curtains

sheer blockout curtains

The bathroom has a roller blond in a taupe colour. My step-son's room and the spare bedroom (which we are using as study) has the same roller blind.

taupe roller blind

Front study (ie. spare room) has a sheer roller blind inside the frame and a blockout blind in taupe on top. 
taupe roller blinds

In the laundry we opted for a single sheer roller blind to filter light as required. 
laundry blind

The theatre room has a sheer roller blind inside the frame and heavy blockout curtains the full width of the wall. These are a grey colour but the warm lighting makes them look brown :-/
theatre room curtain

Tried to take a photo with the curtains open and failed miserably! Lol
theatre room curtain

The curtain is a lovely mid grey colour
theatre room curtain

For the two windows on one side of the Mancave we chose dark sheer rollers inside the frame with a very dark charcoal blockout roller on top. These work well against the grey walls. 
mancave blinds

mancave blinds

There are many windows that we didn't buy coverings for. Unsure whether we will or not. Many of the other windows are up high or are quite private so I guess when were living there we will decide.

Our fence guy was back today and should hopefully be finished.

Fingers crossed we have the surveyor coming out tomorrow. We still haven't received confirmation as to whether it has been booked in or not.