Sunday, October 28, 2012

Day 40 - Taking Shape

Elevation A

Elevation B

Elevation D

It's kinda exciting seeing things take shape. We only ever see the plans in 2D, seeing it in 3D real life is something else!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Bathtub Love

This is the bathtub that will go in the main bathroom. Isn't it GORGEOUS!! I'm very, very fortunate to have got it for a VERY good price. Suppliers have been very generous to me and I'm very grateful. It's the Caroma Blanc 1700. I can just imagine laying back, magazine in one hand and soaking in a tub of fragrant bubbles.

*bathtub happiness*

Door Hardware

I've ordered the hardware for the doors. Seems early in the piece to be doing it, but I guess they need it for lock up.'s what I've chosen.

"Align" Modern Leverset by Gainsborough

These are for the internal doors. They're the Align Modern Leverset by Gainsborough. I like them because they're simple and they match the bathroom accessories which are round as opposed to square. The doors are just going to be flush, no panels or cutouts so the look will be very modern and contemporary.

These are the handles for the main front door. They are 370mm pull handles on either side of the door. 

This is the lock/door handle for the garage door and the laundry door. I have a dilemma. This   lock comes as a single barrel and a double barrel. Basically a single barrel means it needs to be unlocked from the outside with a key, but from the inside it's only a turn lock. A double barrel needs to be opened with a key from both the outside and the inside.

While I like the idea of double barrel for the purposes of  security, I think it might be an inconvenience when you want to open the door regularly, and from a fire point of view, I think a double might be a hazard.

What does everyone think?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Day 35 - Second Level Frame Commenced

I had to go back up to North Queensland on the weekend for a family emergency and came back last night. I drove past the site on my way home and was stunned to see that the second level frame had begun. Things are moving at such a lightening pace. I was really only away for 2 working days. Is so exciting to see things take shape so quickly.

Monday, October 22, 2012


I've ordered the toilets. This is them. Just thought I'd share :-) .

Friday, October 19, 2012

Day 31 - Wall fabric goes on

I'm astounded at the pace the house is going up now. In just 2 days the wall fabric is almost complete on the "ground" floor. (I'm going to call it ground floor even though it starts 1.6m off the natural ground.)

This little pod will be the guest bedroom. There is a bathroom on this lower level too which will be perfect for friends and rellies, especially ones from interstate or overseas who will stay a bit longer. I think it's nice when you have  your own private bathroom.

I also had my first look at the house from the back and I know I keep saying it but my God these posts are high. Standing underneath them and trying to imagine another 2.6m above the top just blows my mind.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Day 29 - Slab is poured!

A lovely $50K progress claim invoice landed in my inbox today so I figured the slab must have been poured ;-P.

And indeedy it had been! The garage and portico slab are down! I hadn't actually been expecting there to be a slab for the portico, I thought there would just be stairs up to the small deck outside the front door. Now that I look at the plans though, there needs to be a slab for the column holding up portico cover. A rather important engineering fact.

So the house is really starting to take shape now and the plans are starting to make sense. Luckily the builders were on site today and I had a good chat with Daniel, the site foreman. This is their main project from here on in so I expect I'll be seeing a lot more of them on my regular visits.

In my last building progress post (Day 25), only the rear poles had gone up and it looked ridiculously high. I wasn't sure if the top of the poles went to the floor of the second level or the ceiling of the second level. Daniel said it just went to the floor so there is another 2.6 metres on top of that!! Crazy high. Crazy flood proof! He said it was the highest pole they had ever had manufactured.

From the side view too I'm actually a little surprised at how large the house is. All the way through I've been worried that the house was too small for today's average family, especially when I had to cut that chunk out of the lower level. Looking at this though I'm not worried at all, I'm just worried about how I'm going to clean it all!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Flooring Dilemma Part 2

I'm still struggling with what flooring to put down in the house. I've chosen Boral Silkwood as it's easy to lay and one of the only floating/engineered floors that can be sanded back later because it has a 4mm timber veneer as opposed to 1mm in most other floors.

The situation is that I can get either Sydney Blue Gum or Blackbutt at a very, very reasonable price, but in a previous post I was worried about the Blue Gum looking too red. I still can't get it out of my head so I went over to Finlayson's today where they had a few of the timbers laid out.

The Sydney Blue Gum is in the middle between Spotted Gum on the left and Tallowood on the right. It didn't look as red as the last place was in, so I feel a little bit better that it will be OK. The guys there were so helpful and he did say that if you were using it in a house with a lot of colour on the wall, it might clash and look a little too much in red but given my interior is going to be all white he said it will be fine.

My second option is Blackbutt, which is in the centre of this photo (on the right of the Blackbutt is Jarrah, which is much, much more red than the Sydney Blue Gum) . I quite like the colour of the Blackbutt and it would certainly lighten the room with no risk of it being too red. The only thing I don't like as much is the amount of grain through the timber, which is a lot more than the Sydney Blue Gum.

Weirdly, this is ALSO Sydney Blue Gum, but in a solid flooring which had just been sanded last week and just varnished with a clear satin varnish. It's so much lighter and hardly red at all! I love this colour of this but it is so different from the Boral one...but same timber. Go figure. The guy at Finlayson said it will darken over time.

This kind of just confused me more...

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Day 25 - Posts are in!

The posts are in at the back and they are so very, very tall. If they go to the top of the second floor they are pretty high, but if they only go to the floor of the second level and there is still another 2.59m on top of that....they they are ridiculously high!! I will be the ONLY house in the suburb to be in a flood zone AND have city views!

Looks like the formwork for the slab is done and so I'm expecting the slab to be poured sometime next week. The garage slab is still much higher than I expected so I'm anticipating a much higher driveway cost than I had budgeted for to account for the extra concrete to raise to this height.

This garage was a touchy subject for the Council and I. Originally they wanted this slab another 700mm HIGHER than it currently is. Their argument was the car needed to have flood free access! (I'm still perplexed as to why the car would need this. If it flooded to the same height as the 2011 floods, the car would still be almost completely submerged). I argued that fact, plus I would need an elevator to get the car into garage as it's only 6 metres from the front so the gradient would be on a 45 degree angle (slight exaggeration in the heat of the moment). Also the additional cost of the concrete would have been exorbitant.

The garage slab is still high, but not nearly as ridiculously high as council wanted.

Friday, October 12, 2012

To buy or not to buy?

Ohhhhh these AMAZING Bally canvas posters are on sale at Temple & Webster!! 

I would love these for the study or maybe in the hallway downstairs. I love the bright, bold colours.

This is such a weird time in the project from a decorating perspective. The date for completion is a moving target and with a shaky looking budget I don't feel right buying things for the new house. I really feel like building the house should be the financial priority.

But then I see beautiful things like this ON SALE and think it will cost me more later in the long run because I'll end up buying it at full price.

What to do?

Live vicariously though other people? Someone else please buy these then? K, thanks!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Best Bargain EVER!!

Today I think I got the best bargain I am EVER going to get in relation to this house project!

So...this is the basin I've chosen for the bathrooms.

It's the Leda Vasque Inset Basin by Caroma. I love how it sits above the bench top (but not too high) and I've also combined it with the tapware pictured. RRP $299. I need 4 of them...and that's expensive.

Hallelujah for eBay!!! I still can't believe this. It was listed for a reserve of $29 and didn't sell. So I contacted her and asked a barrage of questions cause I couldn't understand how it couldn't sell.

Nothing dodgy, they had planned it for a bathroom renovation but changed their mind to a square one instead. It had been sitting in their garage for ages and she had thrown out the box because it had become so dodgy.

And yep she was happy to sell it for $29.

I am crowning this the bargain of the project. Love a bargain. *Happy Face*

Monday, October 8, 2012

Day 21 - Not much progress

Day 21 and looks like no progress since I last went to site. Bit disappointing.

Although they do seem to have added a port-a-loo....

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Marimekko Wall Art

My cousin has this Marimekko 'Ho Hoi' Fabric Wall Art in her living room and it looks awesome! I have a space at the top of the stairs specifically for some art. This would look fabulous!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Single Seater Dilemma

These are the matching single Tatler chairs to the 3 seater couch I have on order from Oz Design. I'm in a dilemma as to whether to have the matching set or have 2 different single seaters. The trend seems to be different singles. Also, these are quite large and I think having both might crowd the space.

Quite like this Sienna chair, also from OZ Design. I can't see on the website though whether it comes in black leather as well. I think it would match well though and not take up as much room.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Day 16 - A few more bricks

I came back from holidays in North Queensland yesterday and went straight to site to check on the progress. It's been 6 days since I last saw the house but there's been a weekend and public holiday since then so there's really only been 3 working days.

It looks like the retaining walls for the slab for the garage and the portico are almost finished. It already looks so high, especially compared to the lowset houses on each side. The top of the bricks has already lined up with the floor level on the house next door and there's still another 700mm to go up to my first floor.

It will be a tower and dwarf the houses on either side. This isn't the look I was after. I tried to fight the Council to make it LOWER (I know, usually people are fighting Council to go HIGHER). In my case, they wanted me to go 700mm higher so the first level was "flood free" and the extra reinforcing, engineering and materials added another $27K to my costs. My argument was that going up 700mm wouldn't have made the lower floor any more flood free, it would still have flooded in the same circumstances, it's just instead of flooding to the ceiling, it would have flooded to the windows. No difference and the additional height looks out of place in the streetscape. I lost that battle though and so here is the start of my very high home.

It still gives me butterflies though ;-) .