Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Yes I like Pina Coladas and getting caught in the rain

I'm not much into health food - I am into champagne..... I never knew the next line of the song but I think it's an ode to me.
I am starting to picture myself swinging on my hammock (purchased in Mexico about 14 years ago and never hung up) on the deck below and drinking Pina Coladas.

On the house front there still seems so much to do in so little time; at least them was a lot of progress today with the kitchen starting to go in and the laundry almost completed. Builder is still expecting to be completed (practical completion) by 24th December; so we will probably try to move in around 2nd January.
Very happy with the large deck, nothing worse than a small one

Kitchen in progress, looks bigger than I imagined and pretty spacious for an Inner West house

The laundry which Trevor and the painter says should not be all yellow (cabinets are white) but I am pretty sure I will get my way. They think just one wall in yellow would be better but I think a feature wall in a laundry is naff.

Downstairs bathroom - with little tiled niche on the far wall

Mosaic wall in the ensuite  Bisazza Oleandro shading blend mix
The atrium - almost finished - just needs a Rhapis Excelsa (see below) and a solar uplight (if they exist and actually work)

Monday, 12 November 2012

Variety is the spice of life but variations I’m not so keen on

It seems there are always unexpected costs with a major renovation, especially on an old house, even with the best of planning. We had allowed a pathetic contingency of 5% in the hope that we knew all the problems with the house and were addressing them but there have still been some unknowns. We are not yet at the end of the build but thought I would share the extras that have come up so far. Some are us wanting what we want (and not willing to compromise - Mr R or I); some were just not thought about or not included due to the floor changing from concrete to timber. The contingency is now at 6%.

removal of extra bricks
due to changing from concrete slab to timber floor and not requiring fill
Sub floor ventilation
Just to be on the safe side
Extra steel
So house didn't fall down
Centor retractable screen
To keep flies out and not look as ugly as convential flyscreens
Wanted Namlam timber veneer, good runners etc etc
Roofline dictated this change and was unavoidable - not us changing our minds
Power for Pump in Pit (100%)
Unknown/not allowed for
Light under Floor near Pit (100%)
Unknown/not allowed for
Power & Timer for Ventilation Fan (100%)
Unknown/not allowed for
Gerni side wall
We were going to do this ourselves but ran out of time
Power to street
Not allowed for
Additional electrical (ac upstairs, cut tree for wires)
Not allowed for
Front of house repair brickwork
Didn't know it was in such a bad state and just painting over it would look dodgy
Front of house rendering (putting sandstone look lines put in)
ditto above
Ply in wall for shelves and TV bracket
Wall behind so bad that they would not be able to support the shelves and TV without something more to drill into
Unknown/not allowed for
Windows extra
Still don't know what this is
Not yet paid so may be less - haa haa haa, what a funny joke!

Sunday, 11 November 2012

What I'm stressing about this week.....

Downlights in the wardrobe - we have two door activated downlights in our wardrobes (LED wide beam 12 watt) but the joiner suggested an LED strip instead. Crap - I wish he hadn't said anything (or do I), now I'm thinking do I or don't I, where will the powerpoint go. Will need to make a quick decision so the electrician doesn't cut a hole for a light which might not exist

Ceiling in hallway - why is there a new frame there? Why is my ceiling 8cm lower than it was? How will a new/old cornice go back so there is now not enough space for that and the picture rail. Must have the picture rail as we can't put holes into old brick and lime mortar - they just come straight back out again. Builder is away this week so maybe I just need to wait and see but then the plastering might get done and then there is no turning back

Rainwater tank - why did I not realised that my glorious 1.2 metre side access (great for Leichhardt) would end up being 700mm with the tank in. How do I bring in my double door fridge, what about the 3300mm long sofa? The tank is only 380mm wide but with the slab etc it will still come out further. Why had I not considered this? This will be an issue, not just moving in, but in the future if we buy anything else. Our bar-b-que was bought on ebay for $80 and it pretty crappy but if we get a new one it won't go down the side and we have no rear lane access.

House numbers - actually no stress but do I go too big or too small? I can just the right size from the US but for $110 plus postage - no thanks. So it's either 65mm or about 120mm - might make a test up and see how they look.

Exterior paint colours - had it all picked and am now having 2nd thoughts due to comments about my main colour looking like nappy poo. Unfortunately I can get no help from Mr R as he is colour blind (very beneficial in other ways though - see interior decorating below)

Purchased a letterbox from Bunnings, very stock standard but I thought either make a feature of it or just have it blending in. The price was right at $50 including the heavy duty post. Unfortunately no where to put the letterbox as Leichhardt Council (expletives removed) have insisted on two stormwater pits in the front garden with grates on top so I can access them to remove leaves - haa haa, as though that is going to happen. The front yard is about 1.8 metres x 2.5 metres so two pits in the front is well, ridiculous.

Pretty things - met with Steph at the house, she was my teacher at evening college and is a professional Interior Decorator. We had a great time going over the plan for the master bedroom. I will be looking at curtains etc in the 2nd bedroom and lounge room but that will be down the track a bit but I wanted to have a nice bedroom and I've spent too much money on the past on things that don't go together so I wanted professional help. We are going to do a wallpaper wall behind the bed with a tall mauve bedhead (style to be decided), some lovely sheer/shimmery curtains with blockout behind, bedside tables, lamps and some gorgeous cushions and bed runner. Will be very excited to see it all come together.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

You, light up my life…..

I could write a whole post about LED downlights but to be honest I am sick of researching them, getting 100 different opinions about them, wondering why the same thing costs 3 times the amount retail to ebay and why doesn’t the Electrician give a straight answer to a simple question – i.e. can we have these lights. We can’t wait any longer so are just buying what we think is the right thing, they are complete kit 12w or 15w gimble white dimmable LEDs lights with a warm white globe – degree beam 60 ($50 on ebay and $170 from Brodie lighting at Brookvale – interesting). If these don’t turn out to be the ‘right’ thing then I will be inserting them somewhere the sun does not shine.
On a brighter note (hee hee) heaps has been happening at the house and it is really taking shape. The gyprock has made a huge difference and we can really picture ourselves living there. The quality of the workmanship is excellent and so far we have not looked at anything and thought “god that looks terrible” etc; but enough boring stuff, lots of photos below
Lounge/dining area looking at at the backyard - love our big stacker sliding door with little lourves above

Looking towards the kitchen - skylights on the right


The three skylights - make a huge difference to the amount of light inside




Bedroom 2 upstairs

Bedroom 2 with triangle window which mirrors the slope of the roofs

Upstairs landing

Upstairs landing

Storage room (S&M room - rack to be installed next week)


Master bedroom

Master bedroom - wardrobe and hall

Ensuite with underfloor heating - pipe shows where freestanding bath will go

Ensuite and my atrium