Sunday, October 30, 2011

and there were lights

... and lots of other stuff. It's been awhile since my last post, feels like an eternity. We have entered this strange state where anything with the house seems to take an eternity, and we feel like we are never going to move in. I'm sure we are going to need to pinch ourselves to wake up when we actually do get in (no help with the pinching please). I'm just going to chat with the pictures this time... the pictures are in chronological order...
(Click image for larger view)

9th of October: If you go across the road, climb up the small embankment and stand on tip-toes, you can just see the outside view of the skylight (and HWS solar panel) that was installed on the same day as the lights. Nice and neat.

11th of October: The lights have been installed, including the fan-light in the main bedroom.

... the lights in the dining room and family-room...

Here's a close up of the family room feature lights - white on white. They have multiple layers with oval holes in them to let the light through. They still have their plastic lining on here. I can't wait to see them lit-up!

Don't forget the heat, light and fan units in the bathroom... (it's a little bit silly, but the builder insisted on still installing their own fans apart from the ones in the 3-in-one light/fan units...hope it's not too noisy when they are all turned on)... I have no idea if any of them are actually vented or not. I guess I'll find out after hand-over.

That is not all that was added to the bathroom! Behold the tap-ware has made it's appearance. This is the main bathroom shower.

(and the toilet)

Not to mention the shelving in the walk in pantry (this is the bench end, the other end is all shelves).

And the shelving in the cupboards, including these in our walk-in-robe.
I'm assured I will get my fair share of the space (at least one of the three sides), which should be more than enough to see us both organised and neat - yay finally!

16th of October: To compound our unease about the stain colour on the windows, one of them was broken. Not particularly good as our carpet was being laid on Tuesday (18th). A hurried note to the supervisor to make sure he was aware of the situation. Emotionally a bit of a downer and with busyness of business, I didn't really feel like blogging at this stage.

But you can't stop progress, and our door furniture was installed - including for the first time the deadlock on the en-suite door.

And the mid-door latch on the double-doors to the study, and of course the rest of the handles and latches throughout the house.

The finials and fretwork have been installed, and the site has had another clean. This time they knocked over the 'bin' like they don't want anyone to use it any-more - seems they are getting serious. I like this photo through the bars, it's fitting as we are still locked out, even though everything is painfully close to completion.

I may as well mention here that either the stain colour has faded a bit, or we are getting used to it, and it no longer feels so bad - we will even get them to do the second coat if it's still possible.

19th of October: My wife managed to get in to the house and couldn't help but play with the lights.

The carpet has indeed been laid, including in the main bedroom - even though the window is still broken and open to the elements.

The observant would have also noticed that the vinyl planks have also been laid in the family room and kitchen. I am really happy with the colour and the effect. What does everyone else think of the vinyl?

The mirrors are also in the en-suite.

.. and the bathroom. Not to mention the shower screens as well!

These are the feature tiles in the laundry... I think my wife thought we didn't have a nice enough picture of them. I'm still not sure we pick up the full range of colour in them, but they are very nice.

29th of October: Finally the caulking has been done (sealing around the tiles and such), though it's hard to take a nice photo of it through the windows

... especially hard through the flyscreens, which have now been installed.

Last but not least, the TermGuard has also been installed around the perimeter.

So where does this leave us? We still have some painting to do (finials, fretwork, and front windows). Perhaps a tile to replace; the quality inspection has already been done and apparently one was chipped. I think that is about it. We should have our own inspection in the later part of this week (we hope).

Yes packing has begun, and as we are renting we plan to have a week or two transition between the properties. There is still a lot to organise - and I think we are going to have sheets on the windows for a few weeks while we sort out what we can afford.

UPDATE: My responses to the comments got a bit long, so I'm putting them here:

Yes window is now fixed - it's double-glazed, so it took a bit longer to source the glass.

The lights came from Australian Lighting and Fans on the Princes Hwy (next to Fountain Gate, near Webb St)

I've added the link to the vinyl flooring product on our colours page, which should provide more than enough information. We sourced it through Dandenong Carpet Choice. We chose it as it seemed to be the better option of what we had available. Here is some of our opinions on the subject:

  • Tiles are hard-wearing, but cold, and the grout usually ends up totally gross, and doesn't have a smooth finish (unless you pay a lot for porcelain square edged with minimal grout - like Tristan & Natasha). Where we living at the moment has tiles in the kitchen and family room - and with little kids they are a death sentence to our cups and crockery.... even the plastic ones!
  • Carpet is just not cleanable enough for these areas.
  • Some laminate flooring is like a thin printed layer on top of MDF and you get this tinny click-clack sound from your shoes on it.... It would drive me nuts..
  • Engineered wooden flooring is nice, but you have to allow for expansion, some people recommend you don't have it with evaporative cooling, but definitely don't let water sit on it for any length of time or it will destroy itself. Plus you can get an annoying bounce or a hollow sound as you walk along it (depending on product and installation method I think). And it can have small catching edges due to unevenness in the floor or product. I didn't want to risk a result I wasn't happy with.
  • I would have had a real wooden floor (like JK), but wasn't able to find a cheap enough option available to us. Plus my dad has this and it got wet and swelled, dried out and had to be totally re-sanded and painted again - two weeks in a hotel anyone? Except I would have liked to use Tung oil and wax instead of the usual paint / varnish - more natural and can be re-finished in small sections easily... just too expensive and time consuming at this stage of our lives.... perhaps one day I will get to do it myself over the top of this stuff - which will act like a sealing layer for it - bonus!
  • So we chose the vinyl planks - a bit more expensive than the tiles, perhaps not everyone's taste... but we had old fashioned (pegulan - good quality) lino in our old house and loved how easy it was to keep clean (even scour off paint!). We were there 10 years and it looked as good as the day we moved in. These promise to be even better! They come in tiles (rectangles like planks), not sheets and are stuck down to the floor with a thin layer of glue (and presumably one could be replaced if damaged). We had a similar product installed in our office kitchen and they were great. It's not soft or spongy like lino and should wear well (colours and finish). No grout, no edges, just a smooth surface to run the enjo mop over.

But it really is a personal thing. There are different forms of the planks too - I think Harvey Norman has a DIY version that just sticks to the next plank (like the wooden versions) - I'm a bit sceptical that they would be as good in the long run, but I'm no expert... ask me again in 5 years and I'll let you know how this one has gone.


Shan said...

It's great to see it coming along so well! It's a shame about the window, but at least that's something that should be relatively easy for the builder to fix. I love the choice of flooring and the cabinetry in the kitchen. Where did you source your light fittings from?

edscl said...

Hello, love reading your blog, what type of flooring do you have in the kitchen/family room? When you said vinyl is that like lino, because I have been trying to convince my husband that there is some great lino, not like when we grew up in the 70's and 80's. It looks great.
Hope you get rid of those bars soon and move in .

Janine K said...

All looking good, what a speedy build! Have they given you a move in date yet?

PuzSol said...

Hi JK, no, no move in date yet (not even an inspection date)... will let you know the progress.

See updated post for answers to other comments.

Reinsey said...

It's all looking amazing! What a great build you've had!!

Debra said...

Looking good PuzSol Family.....Xmas for the girls in the new home.

How did you go with phone/internet?

PuzSol said...

Thanks Reinsey, overall I think it's been excellent - I just feel for our overworked site supervisor.

From what I can see our exchange is limited to Telstra only. TPG have an off-net offering, which means you go through Telstra's hardware but pay TPG for it - but you can't go naked meaning you still have to deal with Telstra (not worth it IMO). Mobile coverage is still too crap last time I checked to go without a landline, so Telstra it is. Though I think their offerings are now more in line with the others anyway.... What's 24 months on a contract? Btw Sandhurst should not be STD, your exchange is Cranbourne North which is just off Thompson's Rd, Sandhurt's is just off wedge Rd - shouldn't be more than 15km...

Debra said...

Re Sandhurst....let me know how you go calling your Dad.

Is their phone with ClubCom or Telstra? this might be the problem.

Sandarra residents (Luke) must be with ClubCom.

Thanks for the info.

Rachel said...

Hi PuzSol,
Thanks for your comments on my blog

You are probably right about the 3 girls sharing one bathroom, we know when they get older they will want to spend all their time in there doing their hair and what not - but the budget was stretched enough as it is - we just couldn't afford to add in another bathroom.

Yes we changed the plan (alot) but even though it took ages in drawing them up, we are so pleased to have the house we wanted.

Rawdon Hill (or I should say Jeanette from the Pakenham display) was fantastic in helping us get them right.

You seem to have had a straight forward build - lucky you! We are very disappointed with the lack of communication from the Rawdon Hill office and our SS. Can you believe we have not spoken to her or met her even once!

Your house is beautiful, and yes our colours taste seems quite similar! lol!

I honestly don't know where I find the time to do the blog, but I guess it is something that I wanted to do so that we can remember our build, and so I have made time. All the kids are still little, so once they go to bed at night - then it is my time!

We have a toyota tarago to carry all the kids around. It is a great car!

Thanks again for your comments, and sorry for the long story here.