Monday, July 21, 2008

On hold again

Due to the massive blowout in budget, much of which is architectural in nature, we have put the build of this renovation on hold until later in the year (possibly October) before we revisit tenders for this job. Probably not an unusual dilemma we find ourselves in.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Tender results

3 tenders submitted.
All waaaaaaayyyy over budget.
We have to cut back down to a more manageable figure.

Friday, June 27, 2008

The new fence

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Builder #2

We had a site visit from a prospective builder. He took photos, and had a good look around. He hadn't been over the plans as yet, so he wasn't too sure what he was looking at initially. Luckily I have marked out some key structures on the ground (for out benefit, not anyone elses really) so he had some clue.
Not sure if he's keen. There are issues of access particularly for demolition purposes, but not impossible.


The Moreton Bay Fig has been revealed to us in all its glory.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Rear boundary

A new fence is being erected this Sunday or Monday.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Its out the door

Our final plans have been distributed to be tendered on by 4 builders. Its starting to get to the pointy end, and we're going to have major decisions pretty much set in stone soon. Hopefully one of the builders will come back with a reasonable price and time frame. At this stage, still looking to start building in January/February, and maybe demolition before Christmas.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Landscape design

We went to see the first proposal for our front and rear garden.
And we really like it. There's lots of decking out the back and the choice of plants is great. I don't think we will have many (if any) changes to the design. But we will sit on it for a bit and see if we come up with any ideas or objections.

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Tree

Our neighbour out the back has been over to discuss rebuilding the fence.
There has been neighbourhood discussions about the big tree out the back. Some talk of chopping the tree down etc etc. But that is not happening, and probably not without council intervention.
So the tree stays.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Pressing Pause

We're putting the breaks on the house at the moment. Well the designing will continue, but plans to build will be shelved until early next year. We need more time to accumulate the capital, and be able to do the house justice, and get it done right and perfect the first time.
Just means another winter in this place with no insulation, crappy gas heaters, and the dodgy plumbing!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Getting close

Well we had a long chat with the architect about engaging the builder and the stipulations involved with contract details etc. Its starting to get interesting!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Landscape designer visit

So the landscaper designer popped around to have a look at his blank canvas.
He gave us some food for thought regarding the Moreton Bay Fig tree growing at the back fence. He will have to take it into consideration as apparently it loves water, so therefore, anything planted nearby will need to be able to thrive without vast amounts of water, so it doesn't compete with the fig.
I just want it all started already. I think next week I have to make a concerted effort to make some more decisions regarding the kitchen.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Concrete floors

How hard could it be to pick a concrete floor?
Well, you have to consider other materials that will be juxtaposed with it.
For example: a stone fireplace, a stone kitchen top, timber finishes...
Then you have to decide on the colour of the floor: grey? black? cream? white? orange??!!
Then what stone mix goes into the concrete: granite chips, quartz chips, natural stone...
Decisions, decisions...

Thursday, February 14, 2008


We went to Yering Station for lunch, and primarily to look at a stone wall there made of "Coldstream" or "Dromana" stone. This is proposed for our fireplace. Having looked at Mt Angus sandstone, we are leaning towards the Coldstream stone.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Long meeting

Today we went over more details pertaining to finishes and materials. We're off to a tile supplier in on Monday. We decided to engage the landscaper of our choice.
We also went to a house designed and built 2 years ago in the neighbourhood. Using similar front exterior finishes. But we went to see a stone wall that was installed there. Very nice (if a bit over whelming); luckily ours will just be cladding the chimney and fireplace. The owner also had some interesting comments in hindsight, about builders and architects in general. His feedback was quite good for the architect, however he said he wouldn't be recommending the builder.
All very interesting indeed, and food for thought.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


Well last Friday we met with a landscape designer at his office/showroom. He seemed quite nice. Very easy going nature, relaxed, comfortable with his work and not pretentious at all. And sounded willing to collaborate with the architect and will work to our budget.
So we think we'll go with him.
This Friday we have a meeting with the architect to, I guess, really set some of the plans in stone so to speak. I really haven't been running around sourcing appliances etc. Been a bit busy this week. I thought retirement meant you had more time, but my days are just disappearing all the time!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Landscape Designers

Well its heating up. We're seeing another landscape designer on Friday.
I'm going to have to get a couple more folders for "Lanscape" and for "Appliances et al".
My other two folders are reaching critical mass!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Builder #1

Our architect's preferred builder came around to have a look at the house and the scope of works. He was very thorough and spent a fair bit of time looking at each room, and looking outside, making notes on his set of plans.
Unfortunately for us, he is quite busy and wouldn't be able to start til mid year.
We will wait to hear from the other builders and then go from there. Whether we will wait for this particular builder depends on the quote they come up with in comparison to the other tenders and their availability.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Meeting of minds

Our architect came over and we had a nice discussion with the neighbour about his concerns. Despite the fact that he didn't object to the plans, he still has some issues with the windows. So really if we wanted to, we could just disregard him completely, as he had his chance to object. But we have to live next door, we will do the neighbourly thing and at least take him into consideration without compromising the architect's vision completely.
All in all, it was a good discussion and there is a path forward.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Things about to get serious

We have planning approval! Yeah!
Now we have to get building approval and that's the council side of things done.
Bad news is the preferred builder our architect wishes to use is tied up until June/July and even as late as August. Add 6 months and that's February 2009!
But we will tender out the build and see what transpires. He has a 2nd preferred builder and if he comes back with a competitive price, and he is available sooner; then we'll have to make some decisions.
In the mean time, its time for taps, appliances, fixtures etc etc. More decisions to make, and from now on, its up to us to keep the momentum going before the first sledge hammer brings down a wall.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Neighbourly love

Things are looking up in regards to the neighbour. Looks like we'll be able to take into account his concerns regarding the bathroom window etc. And he may just get himself a little bit of extra land that we won't need.
Anyway, a meeting will be organised with our architect to come and have a friendly chat with next door.

Monday, January 7, 2008

There is hope!

Had a short chat with our neighbour that shares the contentious hiatus with our property. He has obviously heard from the council and he wants to sit down with us and chat about the issues regarding our boundary. He says he wants us to build whatever we want out the back, but we need to sort out the other issues in regards to the fence/combined sewer/utilities and services etc.
This is good news! I'm feeling really positive. He has shown that he is not an unreasonable man and doesn't want to perpetuate the ill feelings he had with the previous owners. Excellent.