Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Kitchen island is in!

Late yesterday afternoon, it must have been after 5pm, the kitchen island (2900mmx1000mm) was delivered.

We can only see it through the dirty windows and there's bubblewrap over the benchtop so it's hard to gauge exactly what it looks like.

It isn't exactly what I wanted.. laminate dates the kitchen. We're planning to remove the laminate benchtop and replace it with Caesarstone waterfall edges when we do put in the back wall of kitchen cabinets next year.

Eden Brae consented to only doing minimum cabinetry which we used to get the island done. Creative cooking (using only an electric wok, George Foreman grill, microwave and toaster) will be required to make do without a cooktop and oven until then. Our gorgeous Smeg 70cm oven will be winking at us from the box but we can't install it till we can afford all the cabinetry, benchtop and backsplash along that back wall.

In the island we've put 90cm soft-close servery drawers. We put them to the right of the dishwasher for quick unloading. Cutlery, everyday crockery and cups/mugs will be in those drawers.

I can't wait to scrape scraps from plates at the sink with a bin drawer to the left and the dishwasher to the right. *bliss* No more trails of water and goop on the floor from sink to the bin.

Still no pics.. forgot the camera again this morning. But more good news.. construction is currently 2 weeks ahead of schedule and my SS is try and push it further ahead.

At the moment, if all goes to plan, we may get the keys at the end of next month.


Bathroom finishes begin..

The carpenter was not kidding when he said he'd be locking us out today. We are well and truly relegated to Peeping Tom status.

When I pulled up to the front, I saw garage door and front door hung and I realised immediately that we hadn't remembered to take a key over the weekend (they stick them to the doors). How ridiculously silly.

Anyway, too excited to ponder this any longer, I peeped through every window and I spotted bathroom cabinetry, basins and waterproofing done. For the first time, I feel quite confident that I'm going to achieve the look I wanted in the bathrooms. The main bathroom I wanted relaxed elegance but the ensuite I went all out to try to get the hotel luxury look. I can't wait to post pics up but I'm ecstatic about the handles I've chosen. They turn cabinetry into statement pieces. Hopefully a good statement! Anyway I know I'll be going to the bathrooms just to stare at those handles... I no longer believe building a house is conducive to good mental health.

Photos to follow =)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Cornices going in today

Just a quickie.. I drove past this morning to see the plasterers finishing off and the cornice people getting started. Tomorrow the carpenter is booked to come in and hang all the doors and put in the wall skirtings.

We are so lucky (so far..) to have our SS "SH" who started with Eden Brae with us as one of his first projects. He is flying through and scheduling all the trades to roll in smoothly after each other with not much gap between. There are not many days that I remember seeing no one on site.

We were due to get keys mid August but at the moment, the build is ahead of schedule.

A note if you're pre-construction, make sure you go through your variations and describe in detail how you want the variation to look and exactly where it should be. We've learnt the hard way. If it's not in the Final Variation Contract then you have no power to negotiate. Of course, you can ask your SS but it will then depend on them and your relationship to them, whether they want to action your request.

Attention to detail will save you money and disappointment if the builder says no.


Candle lanterns lighting up the garden path..

Here are some gorgeous rooms and fittings I've found along the way during my late night online design fixes. At the moment, these pictures are the closest I get to retail therapy. My eyes say "Aha, yes please!" But our budget says, "NO WAY". Flooring and retaining walls are snapping their fingers to keep my attention on the essentials. Along with my husband who puts brakes on quick smart as soon as I mention the words "sale" or "oooh look at that pendant light". But for all of us who like beauty, there's always room for a little dreaminess..

some of my fave online shop finds:

Soft furnishings


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Multiple rounds of inspections

We had three inspectors go through a couple weeks ago. Eden Brae uses Tyrells as an "independent inspector". There is a fine line though because of course they are paid by Eden Brae and only look for certain issues like problems with the frames. Apparently they don't do a thorough inspection of everything. They are given a brief and they stick to it obviously as any other contractor of Eden Brae's. Tyrells found a few basic things which was fixed within a day by our Site Supervisor himself. Missing nails, shaving off a bit of frame here and there. That was about it.

The round after was the council inspector. We got lucky and had the most pedantic of the inspectors who went through the place with a fine tooth comb. This time our SS (who expressed his frustration to me about this while I held back a smile) had to call back some of the brickies to redo some of the facade. The brickwork under the cladded wall areas did not have an adequate flashing (water proofing?) installed
He also asked for Eden Brae to get the frame manufacturers engineer to inspect and certify the beam supporting our huge 4.2mx3m bulkhead. Along with numerous other bits and pieces. By this time, the wall insulation and plasterboard had been delivered but had to be put on hold for almost a week because the council inspector came back out to check all issues were fixed to his standard.

Our inspector Howard from H&K Ryan was the final building professional to go through the place. I attended this inspection and found it interesting how people in the trade could look at something and immediately pick up issues at face value. It was a flag that said that if any building had major issues, the SS would almost certainly know and should have done something about it before getting to inspection stage.

Howard was worth the $595. Our SS was on top of the build and he found only a few things. For the piece of mind of having someone with 20yrs experience in the trade tell me the building was of high standard was more than worth the expense. How would we know otherwise?

He picked up one major issue that would have caused a hot water pipe to blow in the Guest room in years to come. There was no insulation (separation) of the wall frame brace from the copper pipe.
<----The pipes were behind a couple posts in the frames so was missed by the other inspectors.

Other defects include a missing weep hole and the rear French door unit needs an angle fitted above. I was incredibly irritated to hear that one of the brickies had purposely put a brick rear (rough side) facing at the back of the house. Howard said some of them do this as a signature. The brick can be replaced but the risk of the mortar colour being different to what's already there which leaves us no alternative than to just leave it as is.

<---- Missing weep hold under window frame.

Howard stayed for a chat and answered all my questions and also gave me some landscaping advice since we'll have a massive retaining wall bill and need decent drainage as the water features and wading pools are plentiful after the massive deluge we've had in the last couple weeks. He said to call anytime to ask questions and he was even happy to drop in and offer advice for any work we do after handover. Which was lovely to hear as we'll need as much help as we can get to make sure our own subbies do the right thing.
<---- Our alfresco swim up bar

Now that inspections are done, our insulation and plasterboards have gone in (will post pics soon - I couldn't work a camera at that level of excitement). Seeing the house was beyond overwhelming.
I think I had the energy to pack up our rental house, get everything on a truck, offload it all into the garage at our home (Our Home! love being able to say that) and then unpack the entire contents. Let the building spirits be on our side. We want the keys. NOW.