Let there be light!

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Racing to complete everything now. The electrician has been busy installing some 50 down lights, fans and exterior lighting.

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Boy do I love the louvres I pushed so hard for (was an engineering and building feat to get them in). Hubby is concerned about privacy so we have been researching ways to install blinds or curtains to sliding glass doors that won’t detract from the look. I love some of the nicer timber roman blinds but these can be see-through which defeats the purpose of having them at all, plus we would need multiple blinds and then where do you hide the cords?

I don’t mind the idea of installing a curtain rod below the louvres, but do not want to have curtains either side of doors. It would need to stack on the outer ends of this space. If anyone has ideas on how this can be done, let me know! Each side/section of three stacker doors is approx. 4.3-4.5 metres wide. I should call a curtain expert, but don’t have a lot of free time at present!Β It seems there will be ways to do this but not on the cheap- damn! πŸ™‚

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Door handles and door stoppers are on- we purchased magnetic door stops for all exterior doors as well as the two sets of French doors off the foyer. The breezes are lovely so looking to minimise slamming doors!

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The pantry is almost complete, missing only one shelf-above the fixed window- which will be installed after the floors are done, along with the kick plates and the cabinet/drawer hardware.

The rangehood was installed this week. Waiting not-so-patiently to see the kitchen completed, including my favourite pieces, the pendant lights (currently sitting in my pantry in those two big boxes!), to hang over the kitchen bench. This time next week I think they will be in!

Spent last Sunday moving all of our plants from the rented apartment to the new house. We are in the rear unit so utilised the kids’ red radio flyer wagon to move all of the heavy pots to the ute/truck out front. If you have used one of these metal wagons you will know how noisy they can be! Lucky the neighbours whose windows we kept roaring by were away and nobody else seemed to mind! So the plants now live at the new house! I can’t wait to live there too!

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Backsplash and cooker in, two weeks to go!

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We are on the home stretch and racing to line everything up to work in with our two week deadline!

The tiler finished my kitchen backsplash and the gas fitter has hooked up our upright cooker, as well as the water heater and a gas outlet for the BBQ, no more gas bottles to change out- ever! A little drama with the cooker which arrived with a massive ding in the side and one of the panels on the door is peeling off also. Not impressed but they assure me they will come out and change out the offending pieces.

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The porthole window is much more what we were after, looking out on the pretty foliage in the street.

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After obtaining a quote for internal window coverings (simple roll down blinds) and, having bought and installed our own blinds at every house we’ve had, we balked at the cost which was three times what we have purchased white timber Venetian blinds for. This was partly due to a timely 40 percent off sale. However, sales cause shortages of some items and the last three days have seen many hours in the car driving around, loading up blinds from various stores to get what we need. One final trip to go, but so worth it. When plantation shutters are just too expensive, timber venetians are a more affordable substitute and they look pretty great too.

The colour of the venetians is somewhere between our wall and trim colour which I think will work. The trim is a much whiter white than we had in our last house and we didn’t consider the blinds when we selected paint colours but it should all work together- I hope!

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Now that the interior painting is almost complete, the doors have been hung and in the next couple of days their handles will be put on. Towel rails will be installed and the electrician has started putting in switches and down lights. The floor sanders are booked to start Thursday. Fingers crossed they don’t let us down as the time required for three coats of varnish and drying/hardening time Β is substantial. It will mean a final three days to finish everything before we move in. I am hoping really hard right now- and preparing for an exhausting couple of weeks. We cannot wait to be in!

A whole lot of paint, lighting and a new window

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This week the interior of the house is a little eerie and mono-chromatic, having been completely sheeted and taped off then under coated with a sprayer. The ceilings were completed this way and lastly, a first coat of colour was applied to the walls with the sprayer. The painters are currently rolling the second coat on the walls.

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The round window now has clear glass with the cross piece applied. Looks better, even with the painted plastic sheeting stuck behind it, don’t you think?!

When the drop-sheets are pulled up, the plastic comes off the windows and the floors are sanded and finished I think it will all come together.

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I was delivery girl Thursday, loading 13 unused boxes of wall tile into the back of my little Lancer Wagon and returning it to the tile store- the builder had measured for the tile, allowing extra, as you do. We then added 10 percent to that figure and then some- we being the builder, the tile guy and I- to ensure we weren’t short. Since we took out the wall dividing the main bath and WC, and added half walls, the plans were not particularly helpful for this purpose. Thankfully I was able to return the surplus.

After my trip to the tile store I picked up all lighting- which barely fit in my car πŸ™‚ I had drawn up a plan for the electrician, numbering the lights and fans (except the down lights). I delivered the electrical, taking a red marker and labelling all boxes with numbers that correspond to the plan. The electrician starts Monday! Also purchased two fancy power points for either end of the kitchen island- these are going to be so handy- chose black ones, in regular double points.

Lastly, worth mentioning is the emergency lighting I bought. Was chatting with the salesman about an LED torch and how great it would be to have handy when the power went out. He showed me an LED that looked like a down light but it had a power cord and a battery attached. When installed, it comes on automatically if the power goes off and provides a lot of light for up to eight hours. Apparently they are common in commercial buildings. I bought one for our living area. How awesome is that?! It’s called a spitfire!

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It was a huge day but I feel more organised, a few more boxes ticked!

Last of the hardware and yet more painting!

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Wasn’t sure I had much to share this week. I hardly took any pictures. I was too busy racing around selecting and organising the final bits and pieces! I agonised over towel rails and the like, mostly because we are near the ocean and I was told that the crappy stuff will rust really quickly. I love what I selected but didn’t think to take pictures before I dropped it off… Anyway, I’m sure no one will be too disappointed πŸ™‚ I’ll show you later.

the guys installed the mushroom stops we had to chase up for the French doors. I found bolts in a brushed finish to secure the doors (they attach at the top of the left French door and anchor into the door frame- the handle attaches to the right door).

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Went by the carpet store and took a shot of our selection- this is for the bedrooms (the colour is called “moon glow”)- with our interior paint chip. However the shot has some glare so I’m not sure it’s a true indication of the colours- what a quality post, right?!

The builder ran the skirting around the plaster join between the top and bottom floors. I wasn’t sure I liked it at first but think it will work well if we (later) add some wainscot type detail- Hampton style below this line.

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The exterior painting is nearly done and the interior has started. The painter wrapped everything- I think he will have to wrap my Xmas gifts πŸ˜‰ he then used a paint sprayer to undercoat the whole house! Later he will switch to a roller and brushes but I love the time he is saving right now!

I asked for a re-do of the round porthole window, as we had requested clear glass with a cross in aluminium on the exterior. The white translucent isn’t at all what we were after. Think there was a communication breakdown somewhere along the line but it is going to be fixed, hopefully this week. Fingers crossed it looks fabulous!

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My kitchen backsplash is (partially) tiled- to the base of the rangehood which will be installed shortly, before the remaining tiles are cut around it and extend almost up to the top of the window architraves.

Estimated move in date is the end of the month! Nearly there!!!!

Fix out, plumbing and kitchen countertops!

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The skirting and architraves are in, all internal doors have been hung and the inside is now just waiting for paint and polish- and the electrical fittings if we’re being pedantic πŸ™‚ imageimage

Apparently, on Monday six men carried in my stone island countertop- wish I could have seen that! So it is in, complete with undermount double-basin sink and as of Friday, the pull-out goose-neck mixer tap is also in. I ran water in my kitchen sink, filled up my drink bottle- it was wonderful! I turned on the shower heads in the bathrooms and saw water in the toilet bowls. It’s a little sad how ridiculously exciting that was for me! Plumbing is now done until we get the fridge, dishwasher and washing machine in for hook up. imageimage

Sliding doors to the pantry are in. The backsplash and rangehood will be installed shortly then all that’s missing is appliances and kick plates- oh, and handles and pendant lights, the jewellery of the kitchen πŸ™‚

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Painting of the exterior is more than 75% complete. The front door has been oiled (or whatever it is). The painter should be onto the inside this week. It’s hard to be patient when the house looks like we could live in it- Like a nicer version of the renos we have lived through before! It’s certainly much more pleasant spending time there, even in its construction state than being in our little rental apartment on top of one another. We will just have to survive the next few weeks. Hopefully the time will fly! It’s going to be a very Merry Christmas!

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Kitchen, plumbing, cornice and yet more carpentry!

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The kitchen is here! My absolute favourite part of the house, though there are many other things I love about it. Couldn’t be happier with the way it is coming together. The black kitchen island cabinets are perfect- I never doubted I would love them, but getting the balance of light and dark in the space is key and I did fret over that a little! Stone countertops to come- they are white with a subtle fleck through them. Two more weeks until those will be installed.

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The cornice went in over the weekend. We are going for fancy cornice and wider skirting boards in the living areas, where we have timber floors. Boy am I glad we stretched for the pretty cornice. Well and truly worth it- and not much more in the scheme of things either.

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The plumbers have been busy installing vanities, toilets and taps. Can’t believe how quickly things are changing now. The kids bathroom or main bathroom has come together. During framing our builder realised that the bathroom was on the small side whilst the WC next door was quite enormous. I originally balked at putting the toilet within the bathroom but upon realising that we will have two other toilets in the house rather than the one we lived with for five years, I warmed to the idea. We had ordered the windows so the bathroom wound up with three, one of these in the shower itself! Looks very cool, completely tiled for waterproofing. Going to be escaping to the kids bath/shower occasionally I think!

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Exterior carpentry is complete, ready for the painters to finish it off. Fix out of inside is happening at present. Meanwhile I am selling furniture on ebay so we don’t have to move the things we don’t want to keep. It’s my way of prepping for the move which is not far off now!

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Timber floors, bathroom tiles and details

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Busy, busy, busy! So much happening I haven’t even had time to write about it. It’s fabulous though!- despite the constancy of it all. Not long to go now.

We have spotted gum timber floors throughout, excepting the bedrooms and bathrooms and I love it! The timber is more browns than reds, with light boards mixed in. Truly beautiful… Even unpolished!

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Tiles are going in, the outside is almost complete and ready for the painters. It’s all happening!

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Tiles have been a bit challenging to say the least! From the initial supplier closing its doors to supply issues and delivery delays, leading to- with only one type of tile on site (that i picked up in my car from the store that was closing down), a mix up which resulted in the bathroom tiles being laid in the downstairs laundry and powder room. Fortunately i stopped in after work and our 2IC builder was still there. More good fortune in that the adhesive was still wet. Not so good for the 2IC and builder who then had to pull up the tiles, scrape the adhesive off the tiles and floor then wash them. Needless to say I dropped off beer to finish off the week πŸ™‚

Also chasing up more feature stone mosaic tiles for around the top of the bath tub. We were a couple sheets short- Got the first eight sheets on clearance for $40 total, the final three sheets will be double that… but it will all be worth it in the end. Love the classic, bricked subway tile. More of that to come in the kitchen- only a smaller tile and beveled- my favourite.

Next week will see the install of our kitchen cabinets! Whoooo! The guys will be finishing up exterior carpentry and starting the interior fix out. Only an estimated 6-8 weeks until completion! Can.not.wait!

Plaster, tub and tile

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The interior is taking shape! No more looking through the interior frame across all rooms. Now we have defined rooms and a hallway! The house is quite literally an unfinished version of itself. All of the elements are there, we are almost down to finishings, all the beautiful details.

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The glass is installed, including the round porthole window we ordered. The big commercial stacker doors are in and all of the louvres as well- Β we had louvres put in every bedroom as well as throughout the main living space with classic double hung windows for the remaining window spaces- this will provide such great airflow throughout the house.

The bathroom layouts which we have had to adjust for various reasons are looking great. We have been able to avoid installing shower screens, instead having both showers as walk-ins. I am so excited not to have to clean a single shower screen in this house! Did I mention that I don’t particularly like to clean? The ‘island’ tub is in- since this was taken the tub has been mortared in place, which I wasn’t aware happened- stops the tub from moving around. Sounds good to me πŸ™‚ I can’t wait to see how the tile we have chosen comes together in here.

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Front and back decks are laid, as are the Italian timber-look tiles on the upstairs back porch which had to be waterproofed and tiled due to the build and electrical below. I am really happy with the way it looks at this point.

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We now have internal stairs so were able to take the kids up and show them their bedrooms today. We spent a little time there which was lovely. It will be wonderful to be in. Not too long now!

After spending a lot of time driving around trying to find the perfect handles for our kitchen cabinets- I knew what I wanted- I wound up ordering them on ebay, from Texas, USA! I am presently tracking their progress and eagerly anticipating their arrival.

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This week will see completion of the plastering, the start of prep for the timber floors and lots of bits and pieces of exterior carpentry to work towards finishing off the outside, ready for the painters!

Siding… in colour!

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The past week or two has been a blur of activity on the house and otherwise. There has been some serious carpentry going on to install the chamfer boards/siding to the exterior of the house. The front has been saved for last because it is intricate and also because special scaffolding is required so as to protect the roof over the front porch (if the guys walk all over it, the roof will get dinged up and damaged). I cannot wait to see it finished! The painter is following behind the building team, priming and painting the exterior while the scaffolding is up. Boy does it look beautiful to me πŸ™‚

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Had a bit of a paint emergency- well not really- but it felt like it at the time. We had bought lots of sample pots of paint, most from a local reputable place but one in particular we bought one day whilst in a big, commercial supply chain place, having asked for 1.5 x the interior colour we love. We were really happy with the colour, in fact basing every other colour/finish selection on that sample. I emailed the painter, told him what it (supposedly) was. He was going to pick it up in a gloss and paint a sample piece for me to check, which he did. It didn’t look right. I thought he had just forgotten to ask for 1.5 x the colour.

Nope… Turns out silly person at big chain place had mixed up a tiny sample tin with not 1.5 x the colour but the amount of tint for a 1.5 litre tin of paint, so rather than being 1.5 strength, the paint was actually six times the strength and the paint was severely over-tinted, which i did not know can cause major dramas. Painter had a 15 litre drum of it ready to go. Fortunately I had a spare couple of hours the next morning so I whipped the paint over to his supplier and the awesome guys at Resene paints in Geebung spent a good half hour adding, mixing, testing until they matched the colour beautifully, whilst maintaining the integrity of the paint (not over-tinting).

I visited my kitchen cabinets on Friday which was fun. Below is a pic of my island cabinets! They will be sent off to be painted or 2PAC finished now in the black (dark charcoal really) and white I mentioned in an earlier post. We are also going to have a bench seat for the dining space made in the same materials and installed at the same time. I love a good bench seat in a casual dining space. It will run under the window and move the table closer to that wall giving us good flow through the living space onto the back deck.

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Front door and bath tub were delivered last week and we picked up a few exterior doors we had purchased on our own. I refined the lighting fixtures and am looking at a couple of basic shade pendants in custom fabrics for the dining area and entry. Turns out custom is not always unaffordable if you have good reps who know where to look πŸ™‚

So, that’s the general update. Many things in the works plus life is rather hectic. I am not sure exactly when but next big item on the schedule is plastering- the inside- meaning we will be at lock-up… Very soon! Will keep you posted when I next get a moment πŸ™‚

Windows in, sarking to come!

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The past two weeks have seen lots of new trades laying the groundwork for plumbing, electrical and gas for the house. Hubby has been using a few days off to run internet and speaker wire throughout the house. When you can do bits and pieces yourself it saves $- and it’s fun πŸ™‚

We have selected bathroom, laundry and kitchen backsplash tiles and removed an internal wall when the kid’s bathroom wouldn’t fit all of the things we had hoped to put in- shower, double sink vanity and island tub. Fortunately, the huge toilet room next door allowed us to open up the space and although the toilet is now inside the bathroom (our last house had one bathroom which contained the single toilet, proving difficult in times of visitors and also when gastro hit- not fun!), the room now has a big, relaxed, luxurious feel- I hope!

Our kitchen guy came out to take his measurements and drew the plan onto the floor so we could check the layout. I love it! I am trying to be patient but I can’t wait to see it all come together.

The windows are in, next the house will be wrapped in sarking and the chamfer boards will start to go on this week. It’s really starting to look like a house now! – I think I have said that a few times now- every time something is added πŸ™‚

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