Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Playing the waiting game..

As I only instsalled the power box when the concrete slab was being poured, I am now waiting on power connection, which can take up to 10 working days. The paperwork has been submitted to the power company, and I am hoping they can do it within 3 working days as I have the carpenter's scheduled for Monday.

The good news is that the timber and trusses are all ready for delivery, and the windows aren't far away. The fascia & gutter and roof tiler has been booked in and bricks have been ordered. Once the carpenters start the frame, the house construction should start flying.

The site is now clean and all excess soil has been removed. I am currently working on the kitchen design, which is driving me nuts as we can't make a decision. I am also still 10k over budget, so hopefully some things will come in cheaper than expected from here on in.

The only real bad news so far is the concretor has placed one of the showers in the wrong spot. Once the frame is up, the concretors will return and fill in the old rebate, as well as create a new one. The rebate is needed as I want a stepless shower base.

I am still on track to be complete by January, ready for the new school year. The wife however is due on the 2nd January. Luckily I have 3 weeks off over Christmas as I'll need it for the new baby and moving house !!

Friday, July 24, 2009

We have a slab !

After a couple of wet weather delays, the concretors finally got a run on site and poured the slab. It wasn't looking good on the morning of the pour, but the early morning rain dissapeared and held off for the day.

I also got a bobcat and truck in to take away the excess soil.

I still have to get power on, and we are still waiting for the fencer (the developer is yet to re-establish the survey pegs after removing them after my set out for their feature piers). Trusses are ready for delivery and I have ordered the timber for the frame. The carpenters are due Monday 3rd August.

Preparing the slab, with formwork almost complete:

Pump set up on site early in the morning:

During the pour:

Finshed product !
Looking from the front door:

Looking from the backyard (notice the pile of dirt has all but gone)

The "proposed" swimming pool area between the garage and alfresco.

View from the master bedroom:

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Colours finalised

Possibly the least favourite part of the process has now been completed - choosing the external colours. We had an idea on what we wanted, but couldn't quite nut out the brick/roof tiles/powdercoat/colorbond/render colours we wanted. That is until we realised a house we drive past daily had the exact colour scheme we were after. The house is up the road from where we currently live, so today I knocked on their door. Luckily the owner was approachable and spent some time talking to me about the colour scheme. Anyway from the conversation we now have our colours. Here is an indicative sketch that I put together (the door and roller door colour is meant to be cedar - I have used it for the pergola colour also). I only have to match up the render colour and gutter colour which I will do when I look at my samples tomrrow.

Roof Tile: Boral Striata "Charcoal Grey"
Bricks: Austral Homestead range "Tan" (with an off white mortar)
Gutters: Monument
Fascia: Paperbark
Windows: White Birch
Render: TBC (will match the paperbark)
Door/garage: Cedar
Pergola: TBC

This "mock up" seems to look nothing like it does in real life :)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Slab sub base underway.

Concrete pour not far off now !

This picture was taken early Saturday morning. I was expecting a little more to be done, but a small machine was delivered to site yesterday that couldn't handle the job and they give it in after about 4 hours. Today a bigger machine was on site and ripping through the excavation of the beams.


Friday, July 17, 2009

Finally, the concretor is on site. They were due Monday but had lost a few days due to the past weeks wet weather. They'll be working tomorrow, and hopefully be pouring the slab Tuesday or Wednesday.

There were only a few teething prolbems on site this morning. One were the floor levels, which were quickly rectified. Another was a couple of setout issues. They first set the west side of the house out off the boundary pegs, not the building line pegs. Grrr. Secondly they assumed the east and west sides of the home were the same length and couldn't figure out why they were 90mm out. I can only imagine how much work would have been done before picking up the mistakes if I wasn't there checking everything...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Damn delays, but we do need the rain !

A couple of weeks ago, the concretor was due Monday, then as of last week was due Wednesday (today). Due to the wet weather during the past week they have lost time on other projects and are now due Friday. I have delayed the inspector and termite contractor twice now - so hopefully they get in Friday. They'll need 5 or 6 days and I have the carpenters booked for Monday week.

The electrician went to site today to run the conduits in for my switchboard. I need to get power on.

I am also trying to confirm external colours and the kitchen design. I enjoyed designing the home, but I don't like this stuff too much !

Monday, July 13, 2009

Cost savings & time programs

I'm constantly checking my budgets and trying to figure out cost savings without compromsing what we want in the house and the quality of the build.

Just prior to commencement on site I rasied my budget to include things like a cedar garage door in lieu of a colorbond cedar look, and upgraded the appliances and fixtures and fittings. I also managed to downgrade some items as a few subcontractor quotations came in cheaper than I have budgeted for. Yay.

This morning I was working out the blinding concrete quantity I need for around the pool area. I originally allowed about 15m3, but since re-checking only need about 6m3 to cover the angle of repose at the footing. I'm not sure how I stuffed up my original quantities, but it does mean at about $200/m3, I'll be saving $1800. Yay again ! This also means that instead of booking a machine and doing it myself, I can get the concretor to do it. The lesser quantities don't make it worth my while doing it prior to the concretor starting. The concretor is still due Wednesday, providing the weather holds up.

I have been informed that my roof trusses have been delayed. I ordered them a little late so it is my fault...The carpenters are due around Wednesday 29th July to commence the frame. The trusses are due the 30th July. Hopefully they get to site prior to the carpenter's completing the frame. I also hope the windows make it on time !

It's a little difficult at times trying to build a house while working a full time job. I don't mind the 7am visits to site every morning, but it does get hard organising the trades, ensuring the work is completed correctly and to a high standard. Colour selections, quantifying materials and ordering them, selecting fixtures and fittings, etc is all pretty much done out of hours with only a few phone calls made during the day in relation to the house.

I'm about to finish up at work and now I have to take off the framing timber and order it so i can get delivery by early next week.

My program is to complete the house, landscaping, etc by the new school year (early February). It's a long build compared to some of the volume builders (approx 28 weeks in lieu of the 20-22 they quote), but we're doing it part time. We can handle the extra build time as we'll be saving builder's margin, which on a house is quite considerable.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Drainage in !

Sewer and stormwater drains have been completed. The forecast is for rain all next week, but I hope it holds off so I can get the slab in ! I have a machine coming Tuesday to pour the blinding concrete which will sit under the slab beams to allow the pool to be close to the house. The concretors are due Wednesday to start prepping the slab.

In ground plumbing:

Tapping complete:

Ensuite plumbing in the foreground.
Kitchen and bathroom in the background:

Friday, July 10, 2009

Drainage almost done & odd looking holes.

I visited site this morning and the drainage & sewer work is almost complete. Tapping has been completed and water is on. They have also excavated for the electrical services so I can now book in my sparky to lay some conduits below slab. Once the slab is poured I can get power to the site.

I also noticed a couple of holes in the front corners of my block. It seems the developer has excavated for footings for bluestone features piers that will be going in along the street at site boundary corners. In doing so, they have also removed the title pegs. Supposedly I was meant to get a letter telling me this was all happening, but I didn't and neither did the neighbour. They say they will re-survey the area and place a pin behind each pier to re-establish the title boundaries. I told them that I was within my rights to remove the said piers, but will see how they turn out before taking any further action. It could look odd with piers along the street, except for in front of me and my neighbour's house ! They were not part of any covenant, nor were they ever mentioned in the original contract of sale.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Project commencement

Spent a couple of days cutting the site over the slab area. Drainer commenced today and hopefully will be complete by the weekend. Concrete slab due next week.
A friend and I were out on the site over the weekend setting out the pegs. Hopefully not too many get knocked over!

Here is a view to the park across the road. It has a nice flat grass surface down the far end for kicking the footy, and a couple of gazebos in the middle creating a nice place to sit and relax. It was a cold, frosty morning this morning, and it looks like the developer is still doing some cabling. The one way street loops around the park. It will look even better when the trees grow !

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Land settled, plans finalised

We built our home that we are currently in, and myself and the wife felt it was time for a move so we purchased a block of land in the Maples section of Laurimar (land was settled 31st May 2009). We picked out the block as it is placed on a street that is a one way street that loops around a park.

In order to suit the block and get exactly what we want where we want it, I decided to put pencil to paper and design the home myself. After quite a few drafts on paper and via a standard architectural drawing program i picked up, we finalised our design and gave it to a local draftsperson to draw up in cad.

The master bedroom will have it's own courtyard out the back, and the kid's backyard will be outside the rumpus/alfresco area. The windows opposite the lounge room will go from floor to ceiling to allow an uninteruppted view of the pool as you walk into the house.
I am still working out the finer details of the bathroom and kitchen.

We decided to put the kids up the front for two reasons. Firstly, we will be at the opposite end of the house in our own little wing, with our study near the master bedroom. Secondly it allows us to entertain friends and family without waking up the littlies (who are 7, 20 months and soon to be born - which means the proposed play room will be another bedroom)

The rumpus/family wall will be 600mm wide to allow for built in reptile enclosures and a bar on the rumpus room side. It's also not full height so the family room doesn't feel "blocked off".

Works are due to start this week. All design, colour selections and the supervision and management of the building itself will be done by us.

Now to see if the marriage survives another build !

Floor plan:

Front Elevation: