Friday, September 30, 2016

Waffles for Breakfast

It's the strangest feeling.  You know nothing will have been done overnight, but yet you find yourself driving by anyway.

On a public holiday.

When you'd already been past the night before.

Total jaw-dropping moment when we came across a hive of activity on our block.

Our nice, neat framework and waffle pods with a reo topping.

The Melbourne weather has been a blessing, as it gives my Dad a chance to check their work pre-pour.  30 years in the concrete industry means that he'll be checking this inch by inch.

If it passes the Dad once-over,  all we need is a few rain-free Melbourne days, and we'll have this baby poured.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Finding a facade

There's a heck of a lot of choices to be made in this building caper.  One of our first was facade.

Last build, I remember agonising over choosing the face of our home.  Our builder gave us an address lists of other versions of our base house being built or recently finished, and off we'd go, taking photos, comparing, deciding, changing, deciding again.  Agonising.

Not so this time around.

Arden gave us 8 options to choose from, and in less than 2 minutes we were down to a choice of two.

We 100% knew we wanted a raised ceiling in the entry, which automatically ruled out the first 4 options.

Keeping within budget disqualified these two;

Which left the two contenders...

I like them both.  I like them boooooooth.  The portico makes the house look wider and definitely more welcoming.

Do we like the bottom one $1,500 more than the top?  Nope.  Done.  Arco it is!

Probably no coincidence that it's also the facade of our display.
I wonder what percentage of people stick with the displayed version.

Here's a very rough idea of our home's face.

Our roof is a touch darker, and that wall to the left of the column is narrower.  Thank goodness!  I would have LOVED a long, narrow window in here but I misunderstood the timeframes for changes.  The windows in this front room have given me a few nights of broken sleep.  But it is what it is.  And if we're smart with our plant placement, we can balance it up visually again.

The contrast Mt Eden (charcoal grey) render we originally chose for those front columns has changed.  We're keeping it all a consistent Limed White which should make it seem wider and give a cleaner look.  Fingers crossed.  Or the paintbrush will come out!!

Friday, September 23, 2016

The Underground

Every day this week there's been some form of action at Balanced HQ.

Yesterday's pile of gravel became todays trenches and the start of plumbing.  So.  Many.  Pipes.

It was pretty exciting to map out the rooms and start to get a feel for the space.

Now that things were sticking up from the ground, I could use these as landmarks to navigate my way through the whole house.  Room by room I could feel the flow of rooms; where the master bed will sit in relation to the sun court and ensuite.  The vacant space left between bathroom and kitchen for the theatre.  The width of the kitchen bench.

In my mind it all looks amazing.  Calm.  Balanced.  Contemporary.  With a touch of architectural edge.

I wonder what next week will bring?

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

What's a-piered

A couple of blue lines.  A couple of concrete piers.

We're VERY lucky to get out of the ground with only 2.  Some sites nearby have looked like they have a contagious disease, they're so dotted with concrete spots.  Site costs in excess of $20k are pretty common in our estate.  We were bracing ourselves for that kind of news, so at Tender, when we heard M Class, there was a total party going on in our heads.  Less than $4k in site costs, and that includes the temp fence!

That blue line gave us the first look at the size of our backyard.  Just 3m wide.  Golly it's tiny.

I'd imagined a bit of a deck out the back.  Space for the BBQ.  Maybe an outdoor table.  Maaaaaaybe not.  We're going to have to be creative with this area to make the most of it.  Tiny.

That's the idea of downsizing though, eh?

Tuesday, September 20, 2016


You really know action is imminent when your fence and dunny arrive;

 And a bonus pile of rock, too.  Must be getting ready for plumbing.  It's all happening!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Positive Power

Trying ever so hard to flip the - into + and focus on the awesomeness of this build.

Yep, a few things aren't how we'd like them, and although getting exactly what you want is kind of the point to building from scratch, in reality, it's our fault for not spending enough time with the plans before we got to contract stage.

With hindsight we should have rescheduled our contract appointment though, as we had our first look at full drawings and elevations on the friday night before our first open house weekend.  Which ended with a very late sunday night going through the offers presented, and negotiations, and acceptance.  So it's not as though we were sitting around twiddling our thumbs, neglecting the plans.  We really didn't have a chance to give them our full attention before fronting up to contract signing the next day.

Anyway - we move on.  The plans are the plans.  They can't won't be changed.

I could go into this build thinking that it's going to be crap and we will sell it within the first year.
Or I could get over my perfectionist tendencies and accept that I can't always get my own way.

I've got the power to change my thoughts.

And our block has power too.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Scraped In

Pretty frustrating few days!

Finance approval is dragging it's heels.  About 8 weeks after application and we're still waiting.
The plans aren't correct.  We've requested changes and been denied.  They've missed some things but they're okay to be changed.
Another Council fee to be paid.  This time to protect "Council's asset", i.e.: footpath.  $200 application fee on top of a $1,000 bond.  And WE have to pay this.  What the?

It's feeling as though the house is trying to tell us something.  It's resisting it's own start.  (if you're not a fatalist then you'll think this is cray cray).

All day my mind was processing the dodgy window placement in the second bedroom, the lack of an alcove for the microwave, the tiny size of the tiny block and the tiny yard we'll have, the less than ideal orientation on the block; round and round it all went, sending me for a trip down what-are-we-doing Rd.

I was ready to walk away from the whole build.  Sell the block.  Stay in our rental for a while and reassess everything. As I drove to the block in the pouring rain, with tears in my eyes, I was imagining the conversation we were going to have to have, and how we could escape the build.  Seriously.  Over before it had begun.

And then I saw this;

They've started.

No finance.  Plans not final.  They've started.


We're not ready.  We're not happy.  There's no out now.  They've started.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Grass & Brass

With our site start imminent and excitement building, we charged up the mower and trotted on down to give the nature strip a trim and tidy up.  As you do.  Well, as we do.  Gotta make the place look respectable before it gets chewed up and turned into a construction zone.

 The battery almost lasted long enough to get half of it done :D

But... while we were there, we noticed something about our taps.  You know, the bright sparkly new ones that were installed last weekend?  They're gone.  Stolen.  Severed below ground level.  Bastards.

We checked out a few other sites nearby, and yup, theirs were gone too.  Grrrrrrrr.  Maybe we should  camp out on our block with a baseball bat ;)