Wednesday, 5 December 2012

04.12.12 Brickwork started today

Not a single person on site last week.

Today we received a message saying 'the brickwork on your house started today'.


Saturday, 24 November 2012

23.11.12 Windows are in and bricks are on site...

Windows are in and the bricks have arrived. 

Looking from the alfresco to the living room panorama window

Full length of the house, from one end of the house to the other

Monday, 19 November 2012

19.11.12 Frame - finished!!

Wow... our lovely next door neighbour sent us a pic of our finished frame.
Our Site Supervisor called to say the roof will now start and the bricks will arrive on site this week... the brick laying will start next Monday. They are flying along!

Friday, 16 November 2012

17.11.12 Frame - front & back. . . and our first light fittings!

We went out to see the house today, to see what the frame looks like. Got talking with the neighbours ended up spending near on 2 hours with them, chatting in their house (it's massive and gorgeous). Our house is 26 metres wide (including the garage) theirs is 40.5m wide. They need it they have 6 kids. Spent time with the 2 youngest boys today, Clayton (4) and Cooper (6 months) and hubby Greg was home today so we met him for the first time. Lovely family.

Front of our house from the street . . .

Back of our house . . . from next door neighbour's backyard. 

Our first light fittings:
Today we also went looking for light fittings at Recollections and found the perfect lights for the kitchen island bench and our bedroom. We have placed an order and paid (before we doubt ourselves and change our minds). We love both of these and think they are exactly what we were looking for. . .  and they were a great price - perfect!!

Island bench x 3 
($89 each)

Our bedroom 
(Discontinued stock - reduced from $189 to just $59

Final note... While we were looking at our house frame a ute pulled up, out jumped Glen the local excavator  who seems to be working with all the houses in the area. He has offered us his services. So we have a local to help sort out the 'landscaping'. . .  Brilliant!! 

A very eventful day today. . . really looking forward to moving (hopefully in 5 months time. . . April at the latest all going well). 

Thursday, 15 November 2012

15.11.12 Frame started today . . .

Received a message from our Site Supervisor to say the construction of the frame commenced today... very exciting!!

Friday, 9 November 2012

10.11.12 Steel frame and water tank... on site.

Don't get too excited, but the 'frame' has been delivered and so has the water tank. Hopefully the frame might start to go up next week.

Our frame has arrived...

Our watertank...

Monday, 5 November 2012

05.11.12 Slab - poured

We received a call from our concrete slab supervisor this morning asking us to come out to the site to confirm the location for the water tank... luckily we were not working today.
On arrival we were very pleasantly surprised to see the slab for the house was complete - poured yesterday!  Sure puts things into perspective...

                               Hubby knocking on the front door!

Just needed to confirm the location for the water tank. We had initially wanted it close to the back corner of the house, but being on site today and listening to the slab supervisor it is better to have it in the middle, we just don't want it towards the street front.

The blue marks indicate where the slab for the water tank will go.

Frames, windows and carpenters arrive tomorrow...

Sunday, 4 November 2012

01.11.12 Plumbing and Waffle Pods are in place

The plumbing and styro-foam waffle pods are in place... concrete slab will be poured over the next 2 days! 

The styro-foam waffle pods are in place... concrete slab will be poured over the next 2 days!
The frame and windows are arriving on Wednesday...

Friday, 19 October 2012

16.10.12 Port-a-loo and cut & fill

We went for a drive to the block today and to our surprise the cut & fill has been done today - wow!!

Monday, 8 October 2012

08.10.12 We have PEGS!

Very exciting... any day now machines will roll in and dirt will be turned!

Thursday, 27 September 2012

27.09.12 It's official - we are on the Construction List

Wow what a huge week it has been... pushing and shoving all the final steps needed to finally be told 'congratulations - it's official you are on the 'CONSTRUCTION LIST'.

Fantastic news and what a way to start a long weekend!

All the hard work is done from our perspective... now we can just step back and watch it being constructed.
Should all commence sometime around 16th October-ish.

A massive thank you this week goes out to MJH NSW Customer Service Manager - you have been fantastic!

Thursday, 13 September 2012

13.09.12 Electrical Selections... TICK!!

Electrical appt went really well today. Very happy with all our selections and the way the appt was handled by MJH and we even had a 'hello' from Bill McDonald himself, walking through the colour studio.

We went 50/50 bayonet/downlights throughout. We asked for all downlights (inside & outside) to just be pre-wired. We think this has saved us heaps $$.
We also have outside lights just pre-wired, we know where we want lights but need to think about what fittings we want. Same with fans to alfresco, bathroom, ensuite and laundry, just pre-wired. 

Hubby's man cave (media room) is all wired up and bracketed for wall mounted TV and speakers. 

We went with all white Clipsal Slimline light switches. A strip of LED lights in the pantry for a bit of fun and more than enough double power-points everywhere.

That's it, plans/colours/elec/all approvals ... we are done! Next - construction, very soon... woo-hoo!   

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

11.09.12 Construction Certificate - TICK!

Construction Certificate was approved yesterday - woo-hoo!

Electrical appointment tomorrow and then - we are ready to go!!

This will put us on the construction list, for building to commence within 20 days... building site should be pegged very soon.

Next thing we will need to do is organise a truckload of gravel to be dumped on site as a makeshift driveway for the building site...

How exciting!!

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

28.08.12 Development Application - APPROVED!!

BIG news today... we were notified that our Development Application (DA) was approved on 28 Aug... that means it took 18 days - to be approved by council!!
Not 8 to 10 weeks as anticipated, based on other DAs with our council and what we were told when we enquired with council. Woo-hoo!!

Next - Construction Certificate... this will take 5 working days.

We have moved our electrical appt fwd 1 week from 20th to 13th Sept.

THEN we will be ready to be listed on the construction list and then MJH must start construction within 20 days.

This is a miracle... less than 4 weeks!
There is a local council election looming, I wander if this has anything to do with it... to our advantage.

Very happy and excited now!

Soil might be turned 2 weeks from now. OMG!!!

Thursday, 23 August 2012

10.08.12 Finally - we are listed on the council webpage - APPLICATION RECEIVED

No real news... except -

At long last we are listed on Palerang Council webpage as Development Application received!

Their date for application received (more like , finally got around to picking it up after having it for 1 week and assigned an application no. to it) is 10 August so by our calculations that means we should have approval by 3 October.

On 20 September we have our electrical appointment... then it will be just a few weeks before the first clump of soil is turned.

We are now contemplating whether or not to go ahead and start planting fruit trees up the back.

waiting waiting waiting... but it is all good.

Friday, 3 August 2012

02.08.12 Building plans lodged - now with Palerang Council

At last... received a message yesterday to say our building plans have been lodged with our council!
We made a call recently to council asking them a few questions and most specifically how long would the process take. It was comforting to know the process might only take 6 weeks (worst case scenario 8) instead of the anticipated 10.  So this is a positive.

This is exciting and now we just have to be patient, some more... and not lose sight of the end goal.

Another step closer.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Our colours...

Now that I have added taps and doors, I thought I should add some colours...

Roof - Colourbond Woodland Grey

Exterior Walls - Thunderbolt

Window Trim - Dune

Window Frames -  Surfmist

Internal Walls - White Pepper 
Ceiling, doors and trims - Snow Drops 

As an example - our internal walls will be this colour, white pepper...something like this house (with surfmist window frames)
(pic borrowed from Homeone forum)

24.06.12 Preliminary Plans... and tapware & doors!!

Signed off on the Preliminary Plans today.
Apparently it will take 15 working days to get this finalised and contract ready to sign and send to Council. So it is looking like we will exceed our 150 planning days and possibly incur a late fee of $1k for every month exceeded. Not happy!!
But we are trying not to stress as there is nothing we can do about the Palerang Council taking 8 to 10 weeks to provide Development Approval (DA). A bit hard to understand why it takes a regional council 8 to 10 weeks when a city based council only takes 2 weeks!!
What the #^&*!!

Anyway on a brighter note... here are some pics of the tapware and doors we have chosen.

Gorgeous Phoenix - Nostalgia tapware series.


Shepherd's Crook hand basin taps... my favourite!

Shower mixer

But the kitchen sink is a (standard) monster... Technobili gooseneck - 

Our front door - Newington XN5 stained dark brown (not painted) 

All internal Doors will be Hume - HAG11 - white

Friday, 22 June 2012

22.06.12 Colour Schedule - tick!!

Today we finalised our colour schedule, to lock in all colours, fittings and finishing touches... at long last!!  Tick!!

On Monday we have our preliminary plans appointment to finalise and accept our floorplans and this will mean no more changes can be made.

THEN... hopefully all details will be consolidated into 1 contract and finally submitted to Council!

Fingers crossed the Palerang Council will have our application to build within the next week or so... then as mentioned previously, wait 10 weeks for the DA (Development Approval).

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Vinyl plank wood flooring...

Pictures showing the vinyl planks from my previous house... we are going with Gerflor this time in the Wenge colour... so a bit darker than this floor was. 
I loved these floors!

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Exterior colours... example only.

I had a website recommended to me, that could be used to simulate what our exterior house colours could look like... and this is pretty close (can't change the colour of the patio with the simulator, it will be the same as the front door). Very happy!!

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

11.06.12 Colour appt - tick!

Wow!! We had our all day appointment to choose all our colours and fittings today... so much fun, hard work, stress and excitement.

We surprised ourselves and chose a few things that we didn't think we would, changed our mind about a few, stuck with a bunch of original ideas and we are very happy!

We have chosen 'woodland grey' for the roof and 'thunderbolt' for the exterior colour.
Dark wood garage door and front door, with dark floors (but not too dark). Off white window and door frames. A soft latte colour for interior walls, with white trims around doors, windows and architraves. So because of the dark floors, being the feature we have kept the kitchen simple -  off whites. A taupe/mocha colour glass splashback. Nice taupe colour wool carpet for bedrooms and living room. Charcoal for the media room (to go with the charcoal walls Michael wants to have). Taupe tiles for all wet areas... except the ensuite. We have a chocolate brown tile for the entire floor to ceiling ensuite with similar colour cupboards and vanity top. Same dark brown for the bathroom, powder room vanity and laundry cupboard. Hume HAG11 doors (5 vertical panels) throughout the house... very country.

These pics don't really show it off, but we know it will all look gorgeous (fingers crossed).

Next appt is in a day or 2 to check the final floorplans...

Taupe carpet  in bedrooms and living room, charcoal carpet for media room, 
brown tile for ensuite, taupe tiles for all other wet areas, 
medium brown planks for all other floors, 
white kitchen cupboards and benchtops, taupe splashback, white and dark brown shelves in pantry, 
dark brown cupbaords and bench tops in bathroom/ensuite/powder room/laundry. 
All internal walls painted white pepper.  

Woodland grey roof and gutters with surfmist facia, 
dark brown stain to garage door, 
dark brown stain to front door and wood trims around edge of patio roof and pillars, 
thunderbolt bag and paint all external walls and all down pipes, 
dune window trim, surfmist window frames

Sunday, 20 May 2012

The land has been cleared... we're ready!!

Today was a beautiful autumn day, so we went for a drive out to the block.

Last week the land was cleared of trees / shrubs (about 15 in total) and the grass slashed with the whole thing tidied up, looks great.

Just sitting there, waiting... for a gorgeous home to be built on it.........................................

After clearing - from the street front looking to back fence.
From the back corner looking to the front.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Colour appointment booked!!

Woo-hoo... we have our colour appointment booked -  Tuesday 12 June. V excited.
Planning appointment booked for the same day, to see and accept the draftsman's final floor plans... both appointments in Sydney.
A later date than we were hoping for but we are not concerned, just don't like all this waiting.

McDonald Jones have kindly offered to pay for our overnight accommodation... nice.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

15.05.12 Now with the Planning Department

       The Bronte Blog has had a little renovation and a slight name change. We are thinking the house name plate (included with the house) will be 'Notre Maison'. Quite simply - 'Our House'.

        So... this past week we have accepted the 'Consolidated Tender' (agreed inclusions, building costs, variations etc) with McDonald Jones.

Of course there were more costs... upgrade to a H1 slab is required due to soil test report indicating lots of clay, which means an additional $6k. ka-ching! ka-ching! Here we go.......................

Now we are waiting for the 'Planning Department' to get back to us with the finalised drawing of our floor plan and electrical plan... hope to hear from them in 2 or 3 weeks to see and sign off.

In the mean time we are still waiting for an appointment to go to 'Colour Studio' and choose our colours, fittings and fixtures. We are guesstimating it will be 1st June!

        I am guessing once all this is done and we get through 10 weeks of waiting for Council approval, we might start preparing to build by late August, early September. Add 26 weeks + 3 weeks Christmas break... that's an estimated mid to late March for completion... so add another  4 weeks just because and we might actually be in by Mid April!

        A long way off but still very excited.

Friday, 27 April 2012

27.04.12 Waiting for the Consolidated Tender

Nothing happening this week... waiting for the 'consolidated tender’ (final costing, floor plans etc) which will include the contour & soil test results. Hopefully no surprises there and therefore no hidden additional costs.

Fingers crossed we receive some answers next week. 

Sunday, 22 April 2012

21.04.12 The Bronte display home at Lochinvar!

This weekend we walked through a display home of The Bronte @ Lochinvar... WOW!
Now we are really excited.
But this has to be the last display home we visit, because yet again the visit resulted in needing to ask for 'one more change'. lol

The hallway linen cupboard is displayed with a hinged door but it definitely would be much better with a cavity sliding door... so after a nudge from a niece to convince me it would be ok to ask for it, and much creative begging by me... the designer agreed. Niiiice!!

Canberra has never seen as much rain as it has in the past 3 months. Not much at all compared to other places by far, but it doesn't usually rain so often here... let's hope this changes and we don't have a wet winter (usually dry, sunny clear blue sky here around this time of year). Hopefully building will commence in June/July and be finished by Feb 13.

Monday, 16 April 2012

14.04.12 Display Homes and Colour Studio info...

Made a trip this past weekend to Sydney with the aim of seeing McDonald Jones display homes at Kellyville Ridge and the near by Homeworld 5. Wow, just beautiful!!

We saw about 10 display homes and we were quite impressed with every detail.
Exactly the quality we are looking for.

Called our building designer when we got home and he was excited that we visited so many displays but was now nervous as he waited for our long list of changes. lol

We only had 1 change to make - a glass panelled door to the media room instead of a solid door. We think it will make a huge difference in the room.

Yesterday we received a large folder full of brochures and other documents, papers, details...  all from the McDonald Jones 'colour studio' for everything they can offer us. We now need to start deciding which 'colours' and fixtures we will choose, ready for our colour appointment... niiiiiiiiice!!

Colour appointment in Baulkham Hills (day/time) to be confirmed today.

I believe the soil tests will happen in the next week or so.

Very excited!!

Monday, 2 April 2012

30.03.12 Settlement and draft floorplans

Settlement on the land finally took place on Friday 30th March... very exciting and very real.

Further discussions and finalising the floor plan for the house this weekend and have paid our deposit to lock in the contract to build! Even more real now... we are one step closer and a little more excited!!

I think the next step is, 3 weeks from now we will visit a McDonald Jones colour studio to decide on everything for the interior...we are told this will take 8 hrs in one day!
I just hope we get it right and don't end up with mismatched fittings, colours etc.
Looking forward to it, should be fun, excited with a small element of self doubt about getting it right (I guess everyone goes through the same thought process when doing this).

Monday, 26 March 2012

25.03.12 Tele conference - Part B

Yesterday was part B of our tele conference (rather than another road trip to Nowra) with the building designer. It went really well. I few small items to amend and pricing to adjust.
But overall very happy.

Now just have to wait for the final copy of the quote to come back and we sign off and accept, pay that small deposit and lock it in!

About 3 to 4 weeks from now we will start choosing fixtures, fittings, colours etc... how exciting!!

Saturday, 24 March 2012

24.03.12 Tele conference - Part A

Today we had a great tele conference with our McDonald Jones - Building Designer, to tweak the final details of the floor plan... and it went really well.
We are quite happy with everything so far.

Tele conference Part B tomorrow morning... then accept final floor plan within the week and pay the building deposit!

Went for a walk on the block this afternoon and stepped out the house from street to front of where the house should be, from the fence to side of house... nice.

The house will be about 30m wide, 6m from left fence and 10m from right fence and about 10m back from the gutter at street front. Plenty of room for the circular driveway  I have always wanted.

Very exciting...

Sunday, 11 March 2012

11.03.12 Meeting with MJH

Met with Rob from McDonald Jones today in Nowra to finalise a few details before getting an official quote and price.

Very happy and excited, about the design and very happy with the estimated price, so far.

Ten days until we have the real quote and price... then time to make a $$ deposit!

Next, allow 8 ~ 10 weeks of planning and choosing colours and design details with the builder.
Followed by 10 weeks waiting for the Palerang Council to approve the building plans.
Then 26 weeks (+ 3 weeks Xmas break) to move dirt and build.

It's looking like March 2013 at the earliest before we have keys...

Sunday, 4 March 2012

04.03.12 Lots of rain

Supposed to meet the builders in South Nowra this weekend - but given it has been pouring rain for days on end and it is starting to flood in various areas, we have decided to stay home and not risk anything.

Off to South Nowra next weekend to see the builders and look at a concept plan for our house and discuss final pricing...

Hopefully not a sign of things to come... rain!


27.02.12 Exchange in 30 days

Finally - deposit received and contracts exchanged today!!


Settlement will take place on or before 28th March 2012.

23.02.12 Choosing a builder and a floorplan

We have been looking at display homes around the ACT region and up in the Hunter Valley and Goulburn for several weeks.

We love Rawson Homes, Masterton and McDonald Jones.

But in the end one was out of our price range, another was becoming less of a favourite the more display homes we saw... one stood out for us.

Played with a few floorplans, made a few changes here and there and started talking with our preferred builder - McDonald Jones.

24.02.12 Deposit sent to wrong bank account

Oh great... the Real Estate agent gave us incorrect bank details.
Or should I say the receptionist who rang on the agent's behalf.

So we have been waiting for the funds to appear in the trust account so the exchange could take place, but the money disappeared into a black hole in cyber space for 4 days.

When I asked the RE agent if she checked the receipt she replied - "oh no we don't check receipts, we don't have time for that".

So we immediately organise another deposit only to find out from our bank the transaction that bounced, came back but was against our investment home loan, not into our savings account... thank you very much!!

22.02.12 We have vendor contract

Yey... the vendor contract has arrived.
All signed and final...
Now to pay the deposit and set the time and date for exchange - that will be tomorrow!

21.02.12 Still waiting

waiting... waiting... waiting... still no contract agreement from the vendor

17.02.12 Waiting... waiting

Waiting for the vendor to produce a land sale contract...

07.02.12 Fences and slashing

Vendors are dragging the chain a bit.

We instructed our conveyancer to include a special clause to say, if the vendor does not agree to clearing the land we will take care of it and if we find the land then causes us to incur additional building costs exceeding $10k then they will be liable.

Needless to say the vendor suddenly decided he was now willing to have the land cleared.
We organised it to be done today, he paid for it.

The land is fine, in fact great, no issues at all.

28.01.12 Fences and slashing

Vendor is not willing to prove they have paid for the fences, but have said they are paid for. Now if this was the year 1812, maybe his 'word' would be enough, but today it would be stupidity on our part if we do not get something in writing.

Oh and as for the slashing/mowing - they are refusing.
So this has unsettled us a little, as we cannot see the land, it is in a suburban area, so what are they hiding?

27.01.12 Contract review

Met with our conveyancer, who we think is a miracle worker. Very impressed.

We are happy with the contract, except we need the vendor to prove payment of fences and have the block slashed/mowed... not an unreasonable request!
The grass is up to my shoulders.

25.01.12 Bank evaluation

The bank evaluation has come back and it is spot on... the bank has approved our loan!

12.01.12 Property Offer Submitted

We submitted our offer and it was accepted by the vendor for 17 Lithgow Place Bungendore.