Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The light at the end of the tunnel...

...and there it is, our hallway!  Not such a fab photo but a lovely view to the front is there somewhere (until the house smack bang in the middle of shot will be built!).  The house has been kinda cleaned, enough to give more of an idea of how things will look at the end.  Obviously the painting is yet to be finished.  I am really happy with the tiles even though they will require some cleaning mainetenance (they are a very pale creamy/grey).  The tiles were a small upgrade to the ones that came as part of the house package.  I am pleasantly suprised as I expected these to be one of the letdowns.  I have a couple more pics below, but not a lot at this stage as we have no plumbing, mirrors or carpet in yet so a lot of the rooms are just white boxes.

 Fireplace in the living room

...and then there is the kitchen with the interesting laminate on the back of the bench (anticipation).  I didnt have much faith when it first went in, but I am hopeful that once it is put into perspective with splashback/furnishings etc, it will look lively and fun (whatever that is supposed to mean?!).

Few more issues were picked up such as brick overhang, no sound insulation in walls and the roof tiles are in quite a state.  A couple of errors with positioning of electrical I have made and others that they have made. A few other things, which are to be expected but hoping all will be fixed and will not affect our move in date...which is:

 30th July 2010


Thursday, June 24, 2010

A follow up to the whine...(if only it was just a hangover!)

Hello lovely people! Thanks for your words and stopping by to comment. Well, despite all the below still being true, I must say the re-read makes me sound like a very sore and sorry young lady. Its true that at times this build has been overwhelming but I do realise that once we are in most will be forgotten (but not all!!!). I still stand by the fact that I couldnt recommend PD in future but that is not to say that others have not had better experiences.  I have been very unlucky and I had hoped that there would of been more support or effort to make up time after things had gone wrong, but as I've said, if your build starts to spiral out of control, they are unlikely to attempt to fix it - just pop you in the too hard basket.  To clarify, we are about to expire our contract, and have not already, but we have been told that we should of been in by the end of April, then the start of June, then the start of July and now mid August.  We have been at fix stage since the beginning of May, so that is a lot of mortgage to pay for nothing to happen.  The issues have been trades not turning up, materials just not arriving, trades on holidays, and I suppose a lot of mismanagement and lack of initiative from my SS (he's a lovely bloke though?!) At the end of the day, its just money, I suppose. 

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

No pics...just whining

I've been quiet- the wind has been knocked out of my sails, I am no longer interested, I have many regrets. As you know we built with PD over 5 years ago- they were fantastic. 5 years on, same size house etc. and they suck! There is no doubt that this company is capable but they let themselves down in one big way- they lack respect, any initiative or care for their clients. We are heading toward 8 months with no date in site for completion due to constant delays and a lack of supervision. I have already whinged about spiraling costs, I just felt it only fair to be honest about our experience to make those possibly embarking on a similar journey aware of the risks. Worst part is, I am so stressed that I find it difficult to crack a smile and that's not worth any of this.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Forgot to add some external pics...

I got a bit of a shock when the scaffolding came down and how boxy the house looked, so we'll be whipping up a pergola on the left (north) side quick smart - poor hubby, the list is getting rather long!

The front looks a little odd, especially as the plastic is still on the window frames and the the brick looks quite dark, but its actually quite creamy.  There is also a smashed window thanks to the scaffolders and the garage roof is yet to be tiled.

Lock up and plaster zzzzzzz......

Its been ages since I have blogged! So little is happening its almost embarrassing to write!  I mean, there are bits n' bobs here and there, but nothing earth shattering going on (like us moving in!).  We are now at lock up with the plaster in.  My SS said a few weeks ago that the start of June for handover was likely...oops, a few  weeks later and we are now being told that the start of July at the earliest (where on earth did an entire month go?!!).  I ran into the the lovely carpenter today who happened to of been the same guy who did our first PD build 5 years ago, even he said the guys fitting the stairs didnt turn up today and then he was having to leave my job early to attend someone elses at last minute.  Kerching, another $80  thrown to the wind for a day in lost time - grrrr!  We are approx 10 weeks behind, so thats a lot of $80's! It would be fair to say I am feeling rather bitter and twisted, but amongst all of that I spend a lot of time daydreaming about living there - still spending sleepless nights decorating rooms in my mind. Ultimately I am still really, really excited and it means the world to me - I just wish the builders knew just how much and actually gave a damn!  Oh, and the quote for the bitumen driveway $20,000 - keerrrrrrching!  As if?!  Crushed rock it will be!

Looking from front door up stairwell.  Stairs to be located on the right...if the fitters decide to turn up ;-)

 Looking from the kitchen toward living room and my glorious fireplace!

And back the other way.  Study/music room through the all looks rather small in print.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Build it up, build it up, build it higher, build it up, up , up , up ,up into the sky!

The title is a line from a kids song, in case you didn't know!  Not one to be frivilous, the build is still moving along at a snails pace.  The brickies were there for a week, left for a week while scaffolding and top floor wrapping happened  (and they completed another job they are working on) and have just returned to do the top floor. In the meantime, they delivered the plaster (as modelled by the stunning Eve and Lily above!) and put in external doors ready for lock up.  I was told the first fix electrics would go in once ground floor had been bricked - apparently the elec company are yet to even recieve our plans or book in the job! My SS has predicted we will be in for the start of June - that is a mere 11 weeks away and I am tempted to hold him to it!!  We are feeling the financial strain now and every day counts!  Despite that, spendaholic Liz  (if I talk about myself in the third person it really helps the denial!) has spent another $500 on extra electrical as I had forgotten a few integral points.

Unfortunately someone has been on site and helped themselves to our piles of top soil  (inside our temp fencing mind you)- I haven't bothered to fight it but it is really disappointing to think a neighbour or their representative are so dishonest.   I am also struggling to get fencing quotes.  I have no idea why a tradesmen would bother to come on site and spend half an hour looking at a job to not quote.  Fair enough if they didn't want the job, but after chasing him up he insisted he was keen and would send it through - still nothing.  We are also looking at a bitumen driveway - we have major cracks (more like canyons!) from the rain and its a real concern.  We hadn't budgeted for this, so this could be a bit of a blow . That's tomorrow's meeting and I'm really tired...

A couple of pics - the wrong vs. right mortar and inside living/dining

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Bricks and mortar

The bricks (Boral La Mesa) arrived Feb18th as promised, but the house hadn't been wrapped, problems with windows hadn't been rectified and the brickies weren't ready to start, so another week and a bit on my brickies finally came on site!!!  What a lovely bunch of fellas they were too - local lads who seem to work at a cracking pace for just the 3 of them.  While bouncing around in excitement to finally see solid walls growing from the ground, out the corner of my eye I noticed big sloppy cow pats of dark grey 'mud' (aka mortar) being applied to the wall.  While trying not to ruin the relationship I was trying so hard to build with my new best friends I coyly enquired about how dark it looked.  You see, I had ordered off-white mortar which has a creamy appearance but all I could see was prison cell grey.  After much assurance it would lighten up in a week or so, I went away with a niggling feeling and felt not so pleased with the way my $6k bricks looked - it wasn't what I had spent many sleepless nights imagining.  After some advice, my new neighbour Jo suggested I check out the dry mortar on the ground to get a more accurate idea of the finished result- how clever was she?!  That also meant another visit to site the following day and yet again my reputation for stalking preceding me.  Smiley, smiley with donughts and coke in hand, while sneaking  looks toward the ground, I mentioned that the mortar despite its amazing lightening up potential didn't seem right.  Sure enough the mortar being applied was natural and not off-white, semi relieved I asked the brickies what could be done to fix it and he said 'we'll just have to pull the wall down and start again'...WHAT??!!!!  But he said don't worry, it was my house and I was entitled to have what I'd paid for.  Aarghh, not another delay!!  Still smiley, smiley, I hot footed it off site and speedily got on the phone to my SS...who was off sick!!!!  Nooooo!!!  Thankfully he was picking up messages and called me back pronto apologising for the error and said that the brickies would continue laying with the correct mud and the rest would be bleached - PHEW!   Despite all the dramas, I am beside myself with excitement watching this process and cannot wait until the day we move in...well actually I'm a witch on moving day, so maybe the day after!!!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

After 6 weeks of waiting...more waiting!


I was sooooo excited once the tradies came back from Christmas break that I even sat in my car and ate lunch while watching them work on the roof (slightly exaggerated - but not wholly untrue!). The frame was completed pretty quick smart and the tiles were up within a couple of days, so I was riding high!  I then got a call...'the bricks will be delayed by about 6 weeks due to a problem with the current batch'.  Oh my lordy!!!  That will be now a total of 3 darn months of sitting and waiting!!  I was given the choice to choose new bricks but realised that by the time they are approved by the estate etc I may aswell have my number 1 choice.  Now, for those who haven't had the building experience before and are just browsing because you simply care about me (!!), its not because I am just an impatient so and so - it's because it costs money to do all this waiting - lots of money!!!  Mortgage payments are being made on a house that we aren't living in and the longer it takes the longer we are paying rent AND mortgage - its just a terrible state of affairs!  So, what do I do while I wait to make it all better, spend even more money and buy a new couch, outdoor setting a several fancy decorator items for the house that still resembles a pile of match sticks!  Yay for me - I am such a problem solver!

Saturday, December 26, 2009


It's that time of year and not a lot happening.  How on earth do these tradies put food on their table?  Apparently shut down is until mid Jan with the build picking up slowly by the end of Jan - are you for real?!!! Apparently so...

Monday, December 14, 2009


Here are the sticks in 3-D!  I had a ball getting a real feel for the size of the rooms.  The master bedroom with retreat (ahem - watch out, the white trash are moving in!) is much bigger than I had imagined and the living area is a bit smaller - especially once we get the fireplace in.  The framers have got a couple of windows positioned the wrong way around but I've left a message with the SS, so I'm sure that will be fixed in a jiffy! 

On a side note, by golly the tradies are messy!  I'm not talking timber, I'm talking juice containers and crisp packets - they are all over the joint.  I mean, its lovely to see their mum's still make their lunch but its a little unnecessary to flaunt it!  We'll head to the block on the weekend for a bit of a tidy up, I think.

Friday, December 11, 2009

I think this blog is more for me than anyone else!

I mean, really - is a day by day account of this really that interesting to anyone but me?  Maybe at the end of all this you could cut out all of the pictures and make one of those flip books!

I drove past this morning after I had noticed the delivery of timber a couple of days before.  While nothing had started, there were plenty of young men moving sticks around.   So this evening I sent Matt up to the block (as I was already in my PJ's, and even though I am from the country I have not got to the point of getting in my car with them on!).  These are the pics he came back with.  It reminded me of those matchstick games you got on the back of the Redheads packets, so I think all the boys were doing all day were playing puzzles!  I just kind of expected my 2D house to finally become a little 3D...I'm not expecting too much am I?!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Cup of tea, anyone?!

Who'd of thought I'd get so much entertainment out of a slab!  Now that the concrete is set,  I was able to have a wander around the 'house'!  The framers have penciled the ground floor frame positions so I had the fun of pretending to have a 'day in our life'.  As its only the children's/guest rooms upstairs I was able to get out of bed, have a shower and then make brekky!  Rather than joining in my fun, my girls simply looked at me frozen in amazement as I skipped from room to room with a running commentry of my daily routine - I think they were especially appalled when I proceeded to get 'undressed' to have a shower (what is wrong with these kids?!!).

I noticed that our sign at the front had the wrong lot number on it, so it gave me an excuse to call our SS - I also happened to mention one major concern for me which is the cement sheet infill over the garage.  The whole house is brick so I have no idea how we missed this - it was our error but I had tried to change it before commencement on site (in fact atleast 3 weeks before we started) but admin refused.  Thankfully the SS rocks and has said I can order a steel lintel and negotiate with the brickies to get it bricked!  I knew my super hero would fly in to rescue me...

Frame starts this week and will take approx 2 weeks - although the rain has been a little persistent today and is forecast for the end of the week,  I'm sure they will ensure its done before Christmas so they have some cash in their pockets.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Concrete and beer

A text from a friend on the 11th hole sent me racing.  I cheered, even Lily was over the moon excited, but I suspect it was seeing that there was machinery and movement on this block of land which has laid dormant with promises of movie nights and chickens that had her going! Merely a day later and the slab has been laid! Happy me!  I was tempted to put a coin in for luck but realised that I wasn't superstitious, although I did buy the 'boys' half a dozen beers as I think that is one superstition that may be true!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

While out walking I discovered I was not alone...

Now this is what I am talking about!  Progress.   Not only was I all boxed up but I saw someone - a man - and he was inspecting our waffles (not to be confused with the toasted ones) and he promised me that our house won't be falling down on us, which is just great news!  With the sun shining  we are hoping to have a slab by the end of the week (terribly exciting!).  I'm hoping to be around for the cement pour and somehow getting the chance to make my mark, some kind of sign or imprint in the concrete, maybe like a snow angel, infact we can all have a go, Matt, the girls and myself, flat on our backs, waving our arm and legs creating a memory embossed forever.  Ahh, how special...