Monday, July 30, 2007

Won't they.................

well, looks like they want 5 days of clear weather to start digging. because the foundations are so deep (1.6m) they are concerned rain will cause it to cave in a bit once it is dug. so, that means no action for the rest of the week and fingers crossed for no rain next week. I feel slightly bipolar with my environmental side supporting rain while my building side is hoping it won't rain. oh well, will just need to go and pay for windows or something to keep the old spirits up!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

will they or won't they?

Monday Fog then sunnyMin: 9°C Max: 15°C
Tuesday Late showerMin: 8°C Max: 17°C
Wednesday Possible showerMin: 10°C Max: 16°C
Thursday ShowersMin: 10°C Max: 18°C
Friday ShowersMin: 9°C Max: 13°C
Saturday Showers easingMin: 8°C Max: 14°C

Weather forecast for the next week.............................. just our luck; rain most days. this might mean they don't start this week. one of the problems of being owner builder; you don't have a deadline to wave in front of their face. How often is the weather man actually right?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Windows

Has anyone ever been able to negotiate 10% off the price but still walk away paying more than the quoted price? Well, it happened to Helen today when she ordered the windows. It seems the quote we got has run out (1 month expiry period) and they have had a price rise since then. The window guy told me that silver (aluminium) colour was standard when i was in the shop yesterday. But when I ordered them today, he told me that they were an extra 10% on top of the quoted price. My (pitiful) attempt at arguing resulted in him not adding the 5% price rise and instead of charging us 10% for the silver colour, he offered to charge us only 5%. So in summary, I negotiated a 10% discount on the cost of the windows but it ended up costing us $600 dollars more than the initial quoted price! Only me!

The Sparky

We met with the sparky last night to finalise plans. While I am not looking for a vibrant personality in my electrician, it would be nice to see that he has some personality! Frank thinks he might have been electrocuted a few times in his career! He obviously knew his stuff but he took his time explaining it and questioned a lot of what we have been told to do by our draftsman and other electricians. Oh well, he got the job based on his skills rather than personality but it could be the start of something.............. awkward!

Monday, July 16, 2007

First (?of many) setbacks

Unfortunately our plumber is living the high life and is going skiing right when we need him (just our luck). This puts things back by one week. I am guessing this is the start of what it is like to be owner builder! This means he is ready to go on 30th July so we should be able to lay the slab right after that. That means the countdown is still on but is slightly extended!!

just wish we could go skiing! maybe in 30 years time when we have got over the stress of building.

The Lights

The end of the financial year saw a lot of sales. Frank and I decided to capitalise on these by buying everything we will ever need for the house many, many months before it is finished! (well, we need to get excited about some house stuff!). anyway, a quick trip to the light factory which was closing down turned into a purchasing extravaganza.
we managed to buy many of the light fittings for the house, except the downlights and the hallway lights. it was a pretty arduous task but quite worthwhile. many things were (supposedly) on sale, with extortionate prices on the tags crossed out and replaced with less extortionate prices so that you think you have a bargain.
on paying for everything at the end, I decided we really should get more for our money and asked for a further discount. the chap said that his lights were already heavily discounted and that he could do no better. On providing a little bit of pressure the main acknowledged that he could probably give us a few globes to sweeten the deal. He then presented us with a shopping bag full of 50 light globes (unfortunately not the environmentally friendly ones).
so, just to recap;
expensive block of land; check
bore water; check
light globes; check
house: uhh,

now all we need is a house, wiring and electricity. no worries

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Tile Selection

We managed to finalise our tile selections and will order them next week so that they do not run out of stock meaning we would have to choose them all over again. We have gone for pretty simple and neutral colours for a couple of reasons;

  1. we don't know what we are doing

  2. we have no idea what we are doing

  3. everyone says stay neutral

We think the results are pretty trendy but not overkill. We are tiling all the way up to the 3 metre ceilings so there are a lot of tiles! Luckily the tiler is Frank's cousin so he can't complain too much about the work involved. It's all getting a bit more exciting.

the bathrooms will generally be the same except for the coloured features;
solid grey; floor
white; walls
striped grey; small wall / toilet separator wall

a) ensuite; grey / purple striped tile

b) main bathroom / powder room; grey glass mosaic

c) outside bathroom; red glass mosaic

Friday, July 13, 2007

Call off the cement boots (for now)

We met with the concreter tonight (he is over his mystery illness) who was a real character. We managed to negotiate a little with him to make the price reasonably outrageous rather than just plain outrageous (note to self; change careers). He said he can start Monday 23rd July with the job being completed within 1 week (we plan on holding him to that) weather permitting of course. it is starting to feel a little more real now that we are talking specific days rather than 'sometime soon'.

Following laying of the slab we need to let it cure for 4 weeks to prevent cracking. This length of time is also necessary because we are building double brick. I guess that gives us 4 weeks to get everything else organised and coordinated for delivery.

it is getting much more exciting now, imagine how i will be when there is actually movement at the station!

The most important room in the house

Here is the dream walk in robe. Enough room for our clothes? And perhaps half the streets' clothes too

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Cement Boots?

We were all geared up to meet the concreter to start negotiating start date and price; Helen had even planned a low cut top! We were due to meet at Frank's folks place. An hour after he was supposed to arrive, Frank's dad calls him to find he is sick in bed! and no, he hadn't thought to call! Is this a bad omen!! He assures us he will be well enough to meet tonight. Fingers crossed

Is this the opposite of what we are supposed to do?

Today we had 150 tonnes of soil added to our block. Now my understanding was that we were supposed to dig soil out rather than add soil (anyone else?). I guess it's a good thing that Frank's dad is project manager given we clearly have no idea. One of Frank's dads' colleagues, flattened and compressed the soil and made an outline of the house. this is the first time we have had an idea of how the house will really look on the block. it felt really small, but everyone says that!

Do we have water?

A friend of Frank's family is a water deviner. He came to our block to see if we had any bore water. He devined 2 streams running left to right of our block right at the back (couldn't have picked a better spot ourselves) but said they were 30 metres down. Helen offended him when she asked whether everyone in the world would hit water if they dug that deep! Frank offended him by also being able to find water using his devination stick. However, he reminded Frank that it took a lot of celli's to actually tell someone to dig! Perhaps another career for Frank if physio doesn't work out!

One house down; one house to go

This weekend the block was levelled; no remnants of the beautiful (falling down) old house left. It does look a little smaller than it is now that it is bare. it is 15 metres wide by 42 metres long (total of 650 square metres in total).

The house plan

After umming and aahing about where to put a wall and where to put a toilet, we finally decided on a plan for the new house. Now all we need is money, time contractors and a holiday!! The plan is pretty flexible with regards to each room working as either a bedroom or a media room or, probably more likely in our case, a junk room!

What we could have lived in

Here are a couple of photos of the house before we demolished. After careful consideration, we decided that it probably wasn't liveable! A good decision at the time but will it pay off?