Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Backyard Blitz!

It's starting to look more like a backyard now! The retaining walls are done (just need to get a few more caps on top of parts of the wall), fences on either side are done (the one at the back is almost done) and we have grass and decking, which was done just in time for Christmas! Still need to stain the deck but we need to wait 6 weeks from when it was laid so probably around the end of January. As you can see we have some cute outdoor furniture under the alfresco, just need to tart up the table a bit with some colourful citronella candles to keep those annoying mozzies away.

Next is gardens, which will be a massive job. The retaining walls will basically house the garden beds, on the side retaining wall (which will be getting a good gurney as it is filthy!) we will be planting some tall plants / bushes given that the wall is so high and imposing so it'll break it up having some greenery there. Along the back we still haven't decided exactly what we will have (we have no idea when it comes to plants and gardening!) but we would like to incorporate a herb garden of sorts.

I was also excited to finally have the clothes line put up! Didn't want to have it whilst the yard was dirty so it was 15 months of using a clothes horse, I have now finally started to enjoy doing the washing again (never thought I would say that!) as I love being on the deck hanging it out LOL! It won't last though haha.

The front is looking great too but I will wait til the front porch is decked so I can put a final finished photo of the house, and will do the same once the back gardens are done :)

Friday, 28 August 2015

11 months on!

Been quite a while since I have posted on here! I can't believe we have been in our beautiful home for nearly a year it's crazy. I have loved every minute of it, we haven't had any major issues and Mac Jones have been reasonably good with attending to defects. Our estate is quickly filling up and we have been blessed with many wonderful neighbours.

Unfortunately we are STILL going with the yard, but we finally got some momentum and our retaining walls are almost done. Once they are complete we can finish off the decking, gardens and the turf. A couple of our fences have gone up (all except our back boundary, which will happen once the retaining walls are finished). We had a concrete path poured down one side of the house which is also progress!

If you are in the Illawarra area and need retaining walls or anything concrete related, I highly recommend Total Concreting. Anton has been an absolute god send, a real gentleman and is so reliable. When he says he will be there, he's there. So many people would not even look at our job (a long story but a friend of ours was going to do the job as he is a landscaper by trade however Council said we had to use a licensed landscaper - it was like the day I found out Santa wasn't real) and wouldn't show up for quotes, but Anton has been amazing. Here are some progress shots, our yard still looks very much like a construction site but we are getting there:

Friday, 14 November 2014

Shutters & Driveway!

It has been a while between posts, again! A few major things (OK, major in my opinion!) have happened such as plantation shutters have been installed and our driveway has been poured, yay! Was a bit of a debacle and drawn out process with the driveway because of the sewer pit but we got there in the end. It looks fantastic. The pics I am posting are before the tint seal went on so the colour is now much darker than what it is in these photos, but you get the general idea anyway. It’s like a charcoal colour, I love it and it seems the norm around our estate.

I am in love with the plantation shutters! Very happy with them. After my disappointment with the double roller blinds (the flimsy openers etc but I have gotten over it now and don’t even notice it) I was kinda dreading the shutters but I am pleasantly surprised, they look great and actually make our little house seem a bit more spacious due to their sleekness and the bright white colour. I rather enjoy pulling up into the driveway and looking at the shutters that are on our bedroom window, it makes the fa├žade look that much more beautiful. Now all we need is all the landscaping to be finished and we’ll be good!

Landscaping is a whole other thing. It’ll be at least another 6 months til that will be all finished if all goes to plan (and how often does that happen?!) but I like to think that 6 months is realistic anyway. We have to do retaining walls – another ongoing saga but we have FINALLY submitted to council for the second time. Actually our Engineer did, we asked him to do it for an additional fee as we didn’t want to waste more time if we were to get rejected again. So that was lodged 3 days ago but I can’t see us getting approved before Christmas, so it’ll be well into the new year I’d say. But we are going to order all the blocks soon so we are ready to rock as soon as we get that approval. The only thing we can probably get started with in the meantime is the decking of the alfresco and maybe the front patio, still deciding on whether we are going to get a concrete path leading from the driveway to the patio or not. It would only be small and regardless we will still deck the patio, but how it all gets done depends on whether or not we concrete a front path. But the decking won’t depend on the retaining walls whereas turf and gardens will so that will all have to wait until the retaining walls are up. We will also do a concrete path around the dead side of the house but cannot do that until our neighbours retain, but again that won’t be for a while because A) they haven’t finished building yet and definitely won’t be in before Christmas and B) we cannot expect that they will do their retaining walls straight away and I don’t blame them – as we have discovered all of these things take time!

So here are the pics of the shutters which also shows the front of the house with the driveway (pre-tint seal). Plus one of a beautiful sunset we had last week!

Main living area / dining
Main living area / dining
A spare bedroom (before the bed got pushed back)
Main bedroom (excuse the mess!)

Front Facade and driveway
Front Facade and driveway

Stunning sunset!


Saturday, 4 October 2014

We're in!

Well it's been a little while between posts - handover happened on 23 September, carpet was laid on 24 September just in time for us to move in on 25 September!

We are loving our new house and have been enjoying some well earned time off work to set it up and make it a home. We still have a long way to go with decorating etc... but I am pretty happy with what we have achieved in the 9 days since we have moved in. All went well with handover and most of the things picked up at PCI were sorted, though as you would expect there is a growing list of minor bits and pieces for our maintenance period, but most of those are paint issues. A couple of our lights have died but the electricians are onto that.

Very happy with the carpet though not impressed that they have scratched walls in every room that carpet was laid - before they cut the carpet to size they had the excess lengths sitting up against the walls which caused scratches to the walls - we will definitely be getting those fixed when our painter comes back at the end of the maintenance period, some look really obvious. So if you do carpet after handover, look out for that! We have had our double roller blinds installed and just waiting for our plantation shutters to come in. I am a little disappointed in the blinds as the opener thingys are plastic and feel like they would break at the drop of a hat, we will just have to be extra careful when we are opening and closing!

The night before we moved was chaotic as my sister in law went into labour and we were "on call" for when that happened as we needed to look after my niece whilst my brother and his wife were at the hospital. So I looked after her whilst poor Vas spent the evening disassembling our furniture without my help - but luckily his Dad helped him out :) we were blessed with another beautiful niece, Lola Eve. It was a very late night then an early morning for the move, then after the removalists had been we were dying to go meet our new niece, so we went up to the hospital for a cuddle. Wow, what a hectic 24 hours that was!

Anyway, here are some pics. Once again a big shout out to our SS, Iain - he made our building experience enjoyable and we would definitely build with McDonald Jones again.

How amazing are our temp blinds haha. Still a lot of accessorising to do...

Love my theatre room lamp!

That chandelier is coming down unfortunately - it sits waaaay too low :(

Friday, 19 September 2014

Practical Completion Inspection

We had our PCI yesterday and all went really well - no major issues at all. Mainly just paint touch ups, cleaning some areas of brick work, towel rails etc still to be installed and our walk in robe door doesn't close properly but other than that not too much of a list! Of course we will see more things once we move in, and today we have Howard Ryan going through for an inspection to pick up anything we may have missed so will be interested to see that report. Handover is booked in for Tuesday after work - extremely excited! Appliances (except for dish washer) had been installed and look AMAZING! Splashback looks stunning as well, very happy with it.

Have booked in our carpet installation for Wednesday as well as a measure and quote for a Clearshield front door, and our hot water system will go in on Wednesday too so we can pop on our steel strips straight away to try prevent the unit being stolen. We have called a plumber to come out (hopefully he can make it on Wednesday before our fridge goes in anyway!) to install the water point for behind the fridge.

Thursday is moving day! And NBN will be connected on Monday 29th :) Busy times but looking forward to a couple of weeks off work, been a while since we've had a decent break and looking forward to just settling in and making our house a home!

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Fence is down!

Yesterday morning I had to duck out to the house as the guy from Accent was there doing the final measure for our shutters / roller blinds, it was awesome to be able to go inside yet again and check out the flooring and the other progress that has occurred over the last week or so. The cleaners were in the other day and the shower screens and windows are looking sparkly and clean :) when I pulled up out the front the first thing I noticed was the security fence was gone! The house looks so much prettier without it! Our flyscreens have also been put up. Sounds like all that is left is splashback, appliances, silicone sealing in the bathrooms and hot water system (which will be lucky last after all the thefts that occurred recently).

We will hopefully have our PCI early next week, hoping to hear from our SS in the next day or so to book it in - very exciting! Hopefully the list will be minimal, we will wait and see :)

Saturday, 6 September 2014

The end is nigh!

Took my inlaws to check out the house today as they have been overseas for the last 3 months so the last time they saw the house was when the frames had gone up! They loved it and we came across a few pleasant surprises ourselves, such as the installation of the shower screens, mirror sliding wardrobes and the shelving / cabinetry in our WIR. Other things (that we knew were happening) was the Gerflor flooring has been laid and all our tapware has been installed, as well as our air conditioning! Love the flooring but sure I will love it even more when it is clean but it's completely to be expected that it is dirty and dusty at the moment.

All I can think of that needs to be done before handover is splash back, skirting boards, flyscreens and the ceiling fan in our master bedroom is yet to be installed. There are probably a few other things I can't think of but we are definitely very close to PCI.

Here are some not so good pics of the flooring, taken through the window: