Monday, 2 June 2014

An update from a homeowner!




So it has been two weeks since we moved in to our humble abode!
It has been such a busy time but things are going well.
There have been no identified problems apart from a couple of door handles that stick. Nothing a bit of WD40 won't fix!

Our fencing is up so it is nice to have some privacy and a wind-breaker. We also finally have the internet connected. What a saga! It ended up taking about 5 technicians and 12 phone calls to get it sorted. We were finally connected last Friday night so I am back with the land of the living! (How did we survive before the internet?).

My focus over the last two weeks has been SO exciting!
1. Get dirt
2. Cleaning the laminate floors without leaving streak marks


We need a lot of cleanfill for the backyard to level it out and get it ready for turf and gardens. I discovered that you can either pay $45 a cubic metre for soil or get it for free! There are several internet sites such as fillwanted.com.au/Gumtree where excavator companies will advertise free fill and deliver for free as well. The problem I found is that you have to wait...wait until a job comes up in your area that has decent soil and they will then give you a call. Others that just have soil that we wouldn't consider suitable (clay/rock mix).
So after many calls and waiting I have had no such luck until today. I decided to put my own ad on Gumtree offering a slab for free soil! I am getting dirt delivered tonight... :-)

The floors. Laminate floors have been great but when we moved in they were very dusty due to the tradies and also from us walking through with our boxes etc.
We were given a microfibre mop kit from the builder with floor solution. I broke the mop as I was trying to put it together (came in 6 pieces). So I brought another microfibre mop that had loose ends based on the recommendation of the Bunnings rep. It was horrible, it just streaked the floor and spread the dusty look.

I spent 2 hours on my hands/knees cleaning the floor with microfibre cloths and the floor solution. It came up great! I have since brought a new mop - a flat head microfibre one and it seems to be going very well...watch this space!

Yesterday we mounted our tv and floating shelf on the lounge room wall in an effort to minimise and modernise some key areas of the house..no more entertainment units collecting dust.
My partner has also successfully installed the TV aerial on the roof.
Slowly getting there!




Monday, 19 May 2014

All moved in!

What a crazy week!
Last week was insane and I was certain it wasn't going to go to plan...somehow we got there, by 4pm Friday 16th May the keys were in my hand!
The bank organised a valuation walkthrough on Thursday and received the report back the same day. The final step was to send the payment to the bank. 
As the bank is in WA it is not a case of walking in to a branch to grab the cheque. As I was losing all hope I received an email from the bank offering to make a real time payment to the builder on the Friday which would take a couple of hours (not days) to be received. It cost me $30 but was worth it!
I was at the Builders office in the Docklands by 3:30pm to collect all of the keys, warranties and necessary information. I was also given a gift hamper of wine, glasses and spreads.

We had the removal truck booked for the next day and excitedly moved house!
I transported all 5 cats on my own and although it was a stressful ride they are settling in well.
Our kitchen appliances and hot water is being installed this Wednesday followed by ducted heating programming on Thursday.
We had the concrete paths done around the house today and our new fridge arrived! 
The NBN technician came out and said the pipes under the ground are blocked, he can not carry out the job. We contacted our builder who then put in a few phone calls and was told that the land estate have known about the blockage for some time...so we cancelled the second Telstra appointment which was due to happen tomorrow so we could investigate who has the responsibility of a fix. I then received a phone call today from the land estate office reps telling me there was no problem reported and as far as they are concerned we are good to go!
Then Telstra calls me today and informs me that NBN Co have fixed the communication issue in the lines and we can now book out appointments- they are happening next week. I'm so confused about this saga but too tired to care...I am letting these appointments play out and shall see what happens!

I am just so happy to be in my new home! 





Sunday, 11 May 2014

All packed and ready to go!


Week 17.


So we "signed off" on the house last week. All is well apart from a door frame that has a chip in it - apparently it can't be fixed. Oh well. It's not the end of the world and you can't really see it. If they fill it and repaint it will just chip away again every time you close the door.

So the plan was for HBC to obtain the occupancy certificate last week, hand our file over to accounts who would then request final payment from the bank. We would then need to sign a payment authority, send it back to the bank and then go and pick up keys!

As this is pretty standard the builder said we would be fine to organise NBN technicians, fencing, concrete paths and a few other things we wanted to do from Monday 19th May as we would be in our house by then...
So that is exactly what we did - we have our bins arriving from Council on the 19th, our fridge being delivered and the concrete commencing. We also have the first NBN technician coming out on the 19th too. We then have the 2nd NBN appointment (yes there are two) for the 21st of May, getting soil delivered for the backyard and the fencing on the 22nd. It all sounds pretty organised doesn't it?

WELL IT'S NOT TO BE.

Our builder is still waiting on the occupancy certificate which means our file has not gone to accounts and seeings as the bank have casually told us in an email they are short staffed, it doesn't look like everyone will get their act together this week for us to be able to collect keys.

We won't have to cancel the bins and the first NBN appointment as the technician doesn't need access to the inside of our house but someone does need to be there so it looks like I will be twiddling my thumbs out the front of our new pretty house without access.
At least I will be kept busy on my phone canceling the rest of the appointments (if need be).

So this week ahead is a stomach in knots kind of week...I have been very lucky up to this point.
Just as well we kept our rental property until the end of May!

Saturday, 3 May 2014

All FINISHED!


Week 16.


The house is completed. Finished. Wow. We are finally here!

Continuing on from the previous post, we contacted the site supervisor about the landscaping after a sleepless night of worry.
He went to have a look at our place, called back and said that the landscaping would be fixed. Phew!
So this week saw the side garden bed be extended out to our boundary line, the pebbles were topped up in our garden and a plant was put in front of the taps in an effort to disguise them. It didn't work - I mean, one plant? It's a bulb in the grass but whatever! I would rather do that bit myself anyway!

The glass splashback was in and I really like it! It will look even better once the appliances are in but that won't happen until after handover.

We have contacted the builders concreter about coloured concrete paths around the house and received a quote. This will be happening on the 19th May which is after we are expected to get keys.

So next Tuesday 6th May 2014 is our "New Home Presentation" where we have our final visit with the SS to check out the splashback and the fix it jobs from PCI #1 and SIGN OFF.


Friday, 25 April 2014

Practical Completion Inspection #1


Week 15. 


The Practical Completion Inspection (PCI) was moved closer by the Site Supervisor as he wanted to keep things moving. We met with him on a cold, rainy and very muddy day on Thursday 24th April.

I took a mobile phone with a charger and tested every single power point in the house with it as I had read a few times that people find some points don't work after they move in. Ours did..all of them!

I was completely happy with everything. There are a couple of paint touch ups that I had found and a chip in a door frame which will be fixed next week. The SS spotted the loungeroom windows leaking on the window sill (there is an upside to a rainy day) and was fixing the outside window seals after we left. I'm not worried about these items at all as the workmanship up to this point has been amazing and I know they will fix it.

The Brivis ducted heating control panel was in as well as the kitchen sink. Everything done except for the glass splashback which is being installed on 2nd May 2014.

I am loving the kitchen sink and the size of the shelved pantry and linen cupboard.

So all was well and dandy up until today. Landscaping. On a public holiday too. 
We went to our house this evening to have a look and it was all finished. The design is fine...basic but fine. A couple of disappointments - there were no plants to hide the front taps that are in the lawn and this was written on the final plan to do.
The meter box door is dented and broken.
The strip of garden to the left of the driveway was supposed to be against our boundary line but it has been in line with our garage bricks. This can cause a couple of issues eg. 1. The neighbours boundary line would have moved in to ours and secondly if the neighbours stick to their correct boundary line we will have a lovely strip of dirt in between our garden bed and theirs.
Finally the other problem is that lawn has been placed right up to the house when our engineering report recommended not to do this as the lawn holds moisture which can unsettle the slab in poorly classed soil which we have.

So my partner will call the SS on Monday. We have had an excellent run up until this point so I am not complaining, nor am I worried as these things are easily fixed.

On the plus side, we have a great looking driveway and porch as well as an installed irrigation system in the front yard...my favourite though is the letterbox!!!

From here the plan is to inspect our glass splashback on 6th May, sign off on the house, the bank valuer will then inspect and if happy will release the final payment. When this is cleared it's KEYS KEYS KEYS BABY!

We went shopping too. We have already purchased a new dishwasher and microwave and to add to that we have brought a new stainless steel side by side fridge, a retractable clothesline (extends 7 metres from the back of the house to the back of the fence) and a new fancy Bosch vacuum! Love shopping :-) 
 
Left side of the pantry (more shelves to the right!)






Linen Cupboard






Thursday, 17 April 2014

Bye Bye Landlord...



Week 14.


This week we told our landlord we are moving out! We gave a courtesy call so he had more than 28 days to get his head around losing the best tenants ever.
We are providing official written notice on the 1st May and will hand over the keys at the end of May. So far things are working to plan with an overlap of the new house by a couple of weeks.

Although I am desperate to have the experience of a pressured shower rather than a 1960's gravity feed 'drip drip' system that I have now...I have to keep the rental for at least a good week because we won't have a hot water system, stove top or oven for the first week in our house. Apparently there is a high number of thefts in new houses that have just been completed so the builders policy is not to install until after handover. So be it.

So with that out of the way I had a good crack at packing this week and finding out about home/contents insurance and NBN packages. We are picking up our digital tv aerial tomorrow and a new dishwasher and microwave on Sunday (happy Easter to us!).

The house is looking fantastic!
We haven't been able to get in but we have had a good look through the windows. We are able to see the benchtop, shelving in the wardrobes, pantry and linen as well as the blinds fitted to all windows.
The measurements for the glass splashback have been taken and this is going to be installed on the 2nd May 2014.
After speaking with the SS today he told me that the Regional Managers have had a walk through of the house to inspect the workmanship and pointed out small items to be taken care of (paint touch ups and a door hinge replacement) and the plan from here will be:
Next week - Driveway/Landscaping
Thursday 24th April - Practical Completion Inspection at 9am (minus the splashback so we can't officially sign off on the house).
Friday 2nd May - splashback installed
Monday 6th May - inspect splashback and officially sign off on the house if we are happy.
Organise payment authority and wait for the final payment to clear (the bank will do an inspection)
Pick up keys on approximately Thursday 15th May
19th May - I'm have 3 weeks off from work to re-organise my life, yay!






 

Friday, 11 April 2014

Nearing the finish line.



Week 13.


To think back a year ago how excited we were to begin this journey and only imagining what house we would have, what our selections would be and how the finished product will look...to now seeing it. We are the first to admit how lucky we have been to have a completely problem free build - smooth sailing all the way.

As of the end of today there should be only one item to go in the house - the glass splashback in the kitchen. Measurements are being taken for this on Monday and if all goes to plan there will only be a few paint touch ups to do, some shelving to put in and then our humble home will be complete.

We had another early morning walkthrough with Mr SS this morning. I actually was asked to take my shoes off at the door (insert laugh) because the flooring had been laid.

The Coffee Oak laminate floorboards look amazing and could easily be fooled for timber.
I was truly speechless walking through. The ensuite was complete with toilet, mirror, two basins, tiling, shower with frames, glass shower shelf, taps and showerhead all in place.

All lights have been fitted and the covers for the heating ducts in the ceiling are on.

The main bathroom felt very "roomy" with a massive mirror reflecting the light coming in from the frosted window - this bathroom was also completed.

The guys were in preparing for the carpet to be laid and although we didn't see this happen it would have been completed today as well as the stone bench tops being fitted.

The garage door fits in so well with the front and I am really happy with the colour.

The SS said that the site fencing comes down today and if all goes to plan we will be doing our Practical Completion Inspection (PCI) on the 28th April. If we sign off on this, the bank will walk through and final payment is made which will then lead to us being able to collect the keys the following week.

I think it might be time to give 28 days notice to our landlord! 





















Friday, 4 April 2014

Crazy about tiles...


Week 12.



What an awesome week! I've been expecting things to slow down by this point because we are creeping towards the end but it's full steam ahead all the way!

As I said in my last post, the tiler was due to start on Wednesday this week and I know I heard this correctly but when my SS rang on Wednesday to provide an update he said the tiler was just finishing off....I said "what, for the day?" and he replied "no, it's all done". Geez. I couldn't help but ask him how much V or Red Bull these guys are having because they are on fire!

So the painting AND tiling was completed this week. We went for a sneak peak on Tuesday and I was like a kid in a candy shop! New door, new paint, downpipes fully connected, laundry sink in, laundry tiles down, toilet, ensuite and bathroom floor tiles down, shower tiles up, the kitchen benches are marked out for sink/stove cut outs...it's great.

I was SOOOO happy with our front door. My partner and I like neutral colours, safe colours but decided we would take what we would consider to be a risk on the colour of our front door and we are happy with the outcome!
The wall paint has a grey tinge, while the ceilings are bright white and I am loving the contrast. I must admit I forgot that our walls had taste of grey in them!

So - according to Mr SS we should be about 6 weeks away from the house being presented to us.
Next week the internal fittings start - plumbing, electrical, shower screens etc.









Saturday, 29 March 2014

Internal painting


Week 11.


Good-bye plaster walls, hello paint!
I didn't visit the site this week...I mean really, do I want to go and watch paint dry?
The other half went to check on progress and reported back. He happily said that the render on the front of the house is now finished and he loves the light grey colour (Silkwort by Dulux).
Meanwhile on the inside it looks as though majority of painting has been done, as well as the eaves on the front of the house. The kitchen and windows have been covered up so the tradie could go wild with his spray gun.

Only a few photos from the outside this week.
I haven't heard from the SS (he calls every fortnight and this is the off week) so I am not sure if the tiler has set up yet. Next week should see the painting complete and the tiling would have commenced.