Friday, July 29, 2011

Frame Stage Complete

I met our SS a the house this morning for a quick chat about some things I noticed that were not 100%, but they are not major things - nothing to worry about. Now we just need to arrange for payment. While I was there, I wandered past Reinsey's house and almost got blocked in by a delivery truck (thankfully my wing mirrors fold in)... But I'll let them fill you in on what looked like a hectic morning!

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The roof is complete... well almost, still need downpipes and for the gables to be filled in, but you get the idea.
Ok, so this is a bit silly... but we have a postie... ok we don't have a letter box for them to put anything in yet, but we have a postie (means it's a real address)! I think one was an apprentice... both had rather muddy tyres - I didn't help as I was parked across the footpath making them squelch across the nature strip. (Sorry if your letters are all muddy)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Roof, Roof!

As Debra pointed out after her morning walk... the roof is going on! I think our house must be too big because they never seem to complete a job within the one day.. Framing, up to the family room, roof sheeting a bit further... I guess they poured the slab, roughed in the plumbing, and put the gutters up in a day each... ok so I'm a typical impatient customer.

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Here's the view from the front of the house... the bit that isn't complete yet. Pity as it would make for a better picture.
And the view from the back corner of the block (the two pink dots are our little girls).
This was the view of the afternoon sky as we came home from visiting our house.... I like the colours of our house, but let's just face it... God does the best colours.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I'm guttered

And the winner for next thing is... plumbing! Quickly followed by the fascia, gutters and roof battens.

Oh, and looked like the Brickie was a Janine K's, other movement at LouNa's and Tristan&Natasha's! Looking forward to the updates guys.
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The gutters and facia are up... starting to really take shape now. Really liking the colours - the mud (and the car - can I keep it?) go great with the bricks.
The blue bits are the roof battens, ready for the colorbond sheeting, which I hope will be done tomorow - our rainproof 'hat' as Debra put it.
The observant among you may have also noticed the plumbing rough-in has been done (gas and water).... I think I heard that colorbond is actually installed by plumbers (rather than tilers), if that is so; it kind of makes sense for them to be done together. So pleased with the progress so far.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

All trussed up

The roof trusses are now up. Looks like some more bracing is required, and or course the battens for the colorbond need to be added, but all the trusses are there and in place.
Here's looking from our rumpus room back towards the front of the house through the family room. Starting to feel more and more like a house everyday.
And the verandah looking out the ensuite door towards the back of the block.
I'm not sure what is next.. I think the windows will arrive sometime in the next week... not sure if the roofing will turn up as well... guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Big brother is watching

Thanks to near map, here's a view of our concrete slab you don't see every day!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

We were framed!

At the moment, the house is moving along faster than my blog! The frame is up, all ready for the roof trusses, which should happen soon. Here's the progress in pictures.

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27th of June: The site scrape turned into formwork! I imagine some concrete will be sloshing around in there soon. Exciting.

28th of June: Turned up to see some guys standing through the main bedroom floor... ok they were waiting for the next concrete truck after having already poured 60m3 of the stuff.

15th of July: This is our dreadlocked brickie - really nice guy - seems to do excellent work. On this day he had a dreadlocked friend working with him - I think the common hairstyle must be something to do with cement dust flying around.

Don't you just love watching other people at work? Pity I didn't have a cup of tea to watch over, but you can't have everything. Our house is taking shape... by the end of the day (Friday) the framing for the back half of the house was complete.

We noticed that our bin was looking a little precarious - perched as it was on the side of a mound of dirt... I can now report that the dirt has been removed (or painted pink with an S.E.P. field generator).

19th of July: The framing is now complete; apart from the bits that go on the brick wall of the garage. (The police say the case is water-tight) The brickie is here waiting for the steel lintel to be put on the pillars he finished yesterday for over the garage door.

Here is the still-wet (un-cleaned?) brick wall of the garage... for those who want to know, they are Austral Lonsdale with off-white mortar. Funny though, at the colour consult they said they only ever used white sand... but it looks yellow to me... no problem it's what I preferred anyway - it will blend in much better with the bricks.

20th of July: Sorry for all the night shots... It's sometimes hard to get here during the day... not much has happened except the garage lintel is now in place, bricked in; and the ground floor framework looks to be complete.

Friday, July 8, 2011

So where's the pictures?

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Here was our block before settlement - the orange electrical pipe is where the lamp post will spring to life.

After settlement, with the addition of fences and water taps (it's the little things).  At least we didn't have to pay half of what the real fence cost us for temporary fencing. We did however have to talk to South East Water to have the water taps moved 600mm to the left (away from the driveway), or we would have run over them at some point.

The site scape... The turning of the sod... Yay the building has begun! We like the look of the soil... Just hope they don't take too much of it away!

It's a concrete slab! The house has a good foundation, it sits nice and high on the block, so we won't feel as if our house was built into the ground (one of our personal dislikes is when you see a house that looks like an iceberg; with more underground than above).

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The plans of mice and men

After 3 aborted attempts with other builders, I wonder if Rawdon Hill feel lucky or wary of their clients?  Regardless, they have been very willing to adapt the Montague to our requests.

I have scanned and simplified a copy of the final plan with the modified areas shaded in blue.
The changes are:
  • 600mm extra width to the garage
  • 600mm extra length to the house through the garage, entry, WIR and ensuite. (This allowed us to move the ensuite toilet out of the WIR space, giving us three usable sides to the WIR)
  • 960mm extra length to the house through Bed2, family room and verandah.  (Rawdon hill extend in brick lengths... 120mm I think)
  • Moved the fridge to where the pantry was, and removed the hallway in favour of a walk in pantry.  We added a solar tube (skylight) to the hallway outside the toilet to compensate for the loss of light from the WIP.
  • Swapped a window for French Doors in the Theatre room.
  • Put a floor drain into the laundry.
  • Moved the electrical meter box onto the porch (garage wall)... so we don't have to worry about excessive EMF while we sleep, and so I can flick the circuit breaker without having to venture out in the rain with a torch.
  • Added doors to the study.

The cost for all this was very reasonable, with small refunds for downgrading to poly-marble shower bases for example.  I won't give the specific amounts here as each client's results may vary because of various factors and I think it would be unfair to Rawdon Hill.  I can say (having been through the modification costing process with numerous builders) that what they quote is fair and reasonable.  We were pleasantly surprised with the overall cost (relative to other quotes), for us the total came out less than most other builders even though the starting price was higher to begin with, and the house is much closer to our desires.

One thing we didn't get was a bath in the en-suite, but we think a spa bath outside the en-suite door might be a nice substitute.

I will take the space here to mention some other builders we had pleasant experiences with:
  • Kevin Warner at In Residence Building and Design. He's worth a look if you have the need for a custom house, want a good honest builder, and have the budget to allow for it.   He provided really great feedback on our plans and came out with something that would have been great - we just couldn't afford it. 
  • Carlisle - we were very tempted to go with them, if only we had the block to fit the size of the house plan that we really wanted.  Again, quick and easy costing for available modifications.
  • Clarendon - had a very easy time modifying a plan and getting costings.  The problem here was that they only did galley kitchens (same basic kitchen design in every house), though this may have changed.
I would also recommend that you check out some of the home building forums to see what other people think of your builder.  Home One is very popular:  If you want to comment on our build you can do it there: Building with Rawdon Hill at The Avenue Estate

    Friday, July 1, 2011

    It all starts with the block

    So here is the block we chose:
    Nothing really special about it... It's a bit larger than the average block being released now.  The problem was the narrow frontage.... Well that with our desires for a larger than standard garage, east facing main bedroom, kitchen with a window, walk in pantry, 4 bedrooms plus study, with three living areas, entertaining on the opposite side to the garage all in a single storey dwelling.  It was almost impossible.  I tried many custom designs, but none seemed right.  Double storey would have been a breeze, but we hate the stairs.  (And did I mention we still wanted to make the most of the yard - especially the back corner where most of our block is located?... Are we just fussy?)

    The moral of the story, if you are looking for a block and want a good sized (32Squares plus) in a single storey dwelling, then the width and shape of the block is all important.  If our block had been 16m or more in width, we would have had many more choices.  Having said that, because of the smaller blocks developers (and councils) are lumbering us with many of the builders have already started designing for them (14m blocks), so your mileage may vary.

    For the curious, this is how the modified Rawdon Hill Montague sits on the block: