Saturday, March 31, 2012

Crickets....chirp chirp 30/03/2012

Crickets, nothing but crickets this week!! The scaffolding went up on Monday, but as for the rest of the week, nada, zip, zero, zilch. I was very patient and waited until Friday morning to call the SS, when I spoke to him very briefly he advised he had been off work sick all week (including last Thurs & Fri) and it was his first morning back and he was about to go into a meeting and find out what had been happening while he was away as apparently the CM was looking after his jobs.....he advised he would call me back with an update later during the day, but by 3:30 no phone call so I called and left a message but did not receive any phone call back :-( The most disappointing thing about it all is the weather!! It has been perfect!!! clear sunny skies all week, the first time since we started building.

Last weekend we bought our new letter box, some numbers for it and also the ensuite bathroom mirror lights. We went to Masters for the first time, which was great, very helpful staff there in comparison to Bunnings, however their range of letterboxes wasn't as extensive as Bunnings, so we ended up going to Bunnings on Saturday and then back to Masters on Sunday to get the numbers we liked for the letterbox and also found out they supply full deck kits. So we gave them the measurements of our future deck and they were able to price it on the spot with the timber we selected and we can just order it when we are ready and they can deliver it, fantastic!!!  I will update with a pic of the letterbox and lights later but here are some pics of our lovely scaffolding and SUN!!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Win, Win Win 22/03/2012

Weekly update ending 25/03/2012

I figure I may as well write the weekly update today, given that nothing is going to happen between now and Sunday, other than some scaffolding may or may not be dropped off, and I might pop in over the weekend and do another clean up. The window and door sills have lots of mud and mortar in them etc.

The major win this week was internal, I met with the ducted vacuum guy (Michael) on Tuesday morning, (who is also the data, telephone & tv guy). When I spoke to the SS about getting the telephone point moved he advised to speak with him (and also in relation to the dustpan). We are now a little poorer but we will have 5 data points (previously none), a telephone point where it should be, an extra telephone point that we had somehow had forgotten to put in (which means we can now get foxtel), and a full audio/video intercom, and my dustpan thingo, he has done all the rough in work for it, so happy! I am really happy with the price, he discounted everything for paying cash, effectively there is no labour costs. Apparently he is pretty close with the SS so all is ok in respect to that (no variations to be signed or anything), sooo lucky we have a flexible SS! The reason we didn't get any of it in the first place was the cost directly through M, so it has saved us at least $1500 or more had we gone direct, not a small amount of money.

Our SS called me!!! I know really, he called me, he said he is off work today and tomorrow due to some medical things but was calling to give me an update; scaffolding to be dropped off Friday or Monday and top floor of bricks to start and then depending on rain they will get the gyprock etc moving after that, and just saying that as soon as that is done things will be moving much quicker, and (jokingly) to stop spoiling his tradies, we have been buying beers, dropping off muffins, coffees etc. throughout the build, he said himself they better be doing a bloody good job....don't worry SS we are thinking the same thing!!!

I am looking forward to seeing the white mortar actually dry! So I can really see how it will look. I am definitely keen to put a clear glaze over the bricks after hand over, they are looking a bit dull I think (I still like them though), and especially after seeing  M's Blog feature bricks.

The weather forecast is mostly fine with a shower or two for next week, so cross your fingers for me that it's just mostly fine!

Here is the brick work progress to date:

Monday, March 19, 2012

Convo with a brickie 19/03/2012

We stopped by this afternoon to see how the guys had gone with the bricks today. I am pleased to say they/he has made quite a bit of progress. The brickie was still there when we arrived and was happy to have a bit of a chat despite it being surely past his home time. He let us know about a few things that had been going on.....apparently the chippies have been slacking off and cutting corners, in general unorganized and left to their own devices...which would explain why things seem to have been going slowly compared to other peoples blogs and next doors house. A few things the brickie pointed out were beams that had been bolted and not welded, and the pillars both front and back have been moved 3 times because they were in the wrong spots and not lined up (one which was blocking the entry to the garage, a slight problem when parking a car). They had covered the entire balcony so it was flush against the bedroom which is fine for when we move in....but makes it difficult for the brick layers to do their job! So they have cut all that correctly now, but he was saying how they haven't been reading the plans properly etc. So a little bit concerning but it appears the SS and CM seem to be picking it up after the fact, though it would be better if it didn't happen in the first place,  but as they say don't sweat the small stuff.

 He also let us know the head brickie has been off sick after a brief trip to the hospital so it has just been him doing the bricking! no wonder it is on the go slow. I asked him about the area that doesn't have the wrap he said they had had to take it down because of the fence and that the chippies need to put it back, and to make sure they do. They have been having lots of problems with the bricks themselves, they are different colours and different sizes, apparently the SS and CM have been out to inspect it and have said just to keep going. The skip is overflowing with discarded bricks. They have been doing a really good job of mixing up the different colours and using the "good" bricks but looking at them a lot of them are pretty crap. There isn't much they can do though, and there really isn't any point pulling them down and starting again. We are hoping to have enough $'s to put a clear glaze over the top of them after handover, but will just have to see how we go.

The other thing we noticed, is throughout the build our SS has been carrying on about next door having their bits and pieces on our land and has had multiple run ins with their SS, but today we noticed we have 5 pallets of our bricks in their front yard and the roof of our outdoor room is leaning up against their back wall, nowhere near our house! So will be funny to see if the tables are turned, and who would blame them!.

Here are some piccies of today's progress:

Rain rain go away - week ending 18/03/2012

Sadly not as many bricks as I would have hoped, the rain in Brisbane was pretty solid during the week and they really only had 2 full days of work. We are happy with the brick work so far, so that is the main thing, I would just like a few more of them....possibly even enough to cover the whole house lol. 

I will ask our SS, but does anyone know why they wouldn't have wrapped a small part of the garage? the rest of the house has been re-wrapped, but for some reason this section of the garage hasn't been? (the yellow circle is actually on the wall by M, not me using Paint, the bit that is missing the wrap is on your left of the yellow circle/arrow). 

I finally received the quote for the dustpan thing just on Sunday afternoon, $330! jeepers! Don't judge me but I think we are going to stretch that piggy bank even further and get it, it's one of those things, if we don't get it now it pretty much can't be done later. I will just have to make sure I get my monies worth from it and use it allllll the time. The vacuum guy said he wants to meet onsite tomorrow but he hasn't confirmed the time with me yet so we will see. They also do data cabling, intercoms etc so I have a feeling our meeting could mean more $$'s, lucky I planted a money tree on Friday (more on that later). We didn't go through M for the data cabling as it was a whopping $1K for their data package, we use wireless at home now and plan on buying a top of the range wireless modem/router shortly, and figured we could get someone to do it a lot cheaper afterwards if we go down that path, but potentially we can go through the vacuum guy....maybe...we will see what our SS thinks we can get away with. 

I received a phone call from the Construction Manager himself on Friday, he wasn't overly chatty, just wanted to find out whether our SS had been keeping us informed and whether we had any issues...I said communication has improved since the beginning where it was zero but still a little lax...and there are no issues that I know of.....but that could be because our SS hasn't told us of them, who knows. The CM said he would follow up as the SS should be keeping us updated weekly. It would be different if we lived far away, but we are at the block almost every other day anyway, and so long as I can see that things are moving and nothing is glaringly obviously wrong then I don't really need him to call, though it would be nice!

Because our block has no trees I really want something quick when we move in (I am incredibly impatient) and don't really want to wait for the hedge trees to grow, and cant afford to buy the bigger ones, so I had a little brain wave. I bought a bunch of the $6 ones, and some cheap plastic pots and have planted them now so they will have 3 or 4 months head start on what they would have when we move in. Yes it will be one more thing to move when we move house, but hopefully worth it. I also came across a plant called a Fortune Fig, that is supposed to bring money in when it is outside the door, well I figured snap! that's exactly what we need right now, so I spent more money in the hope that it will bring money? sounds crazy really doesn't it!. Oh well fingers crossed it works! 

Just on a side note, how good is Gumtree! The other week I picked up some free pot I just need to be able to plant them.

The spa frame in the ensuite went in this week, can't wait to be in it for real! 

We spent Saturday at the house and Rick ran the speaker wire and I swept the place top to bottom, it was feral  so much for M doing weekly sweeps, not sure why they haven't the last 2, probably because the brickies are just going to traipse more mud through it this week. Does anyone know if they pressure hose it to clean it before the tiles go down? or do they just sweep through? or do the tiles just go over the mud? So glad we opted for the ducted vacuum, it took 4 hours to sweep right through, granted that was with me chipping all the mud stuck on the concrete off, and I am not planning to have to do that after we move hopefully it should be a LOT quicker. 

The forecast in Brisbane is rain alllllll week, literally every day says rain :'''-( but up until I started writing it hadn't rained , so they should have had about 6 or 7 hours to brick today, fingers crossed they made good headway. The brickies are going to make us a letterbox too,  I wonder if it is too soon to have the mail re-directed ;-) 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

We have Bricks!!!! 14/03/2012

Mid week update

We have some bricks!!! I don’t exactly know how many, but the brickie sent me a photo early this morning, loving it so far!  Can’t wait to see them over the whole house. Apparently it has been raining all day in Bris today and the forecast is more rain tomorrow, so I doubt much more will have been done.
Well it’s been 6 days since we have seen our house and I am itching to see what it looks like! We come back to Brisbane tomorrow Yay!!

I haven’t spent much time on there yet, but was reading on the Homeone forum which prompted me to look at our electrical plan again, and Oh O, we put the telephone point in the middle of the wall.......I thought it was at the end of the bench but it turns out there is a wall there...which means the phone point is in the middle of the wall on the wrong side of the bench! As is an extra power point that clearly won’t need to go there...I sent a text message to the sparky earlier this morning (who hasn't replied) so I rung the SS this afternoon who promptly returned my call (a bit of a surprise as sometimes it can take a couple of days for him to call back) so I let him know Do Not gyprock as we kinda stuffed up!!! All good though, crisis averted, I just wish I had have stumbled on the forum before we started building or signed a contract etc. Sooo many good tips on there. Obviously the lady at Stratus who was with us during the electrical appointment didn't see the wall there either. We will likely make a few other electrical changes after re-visiting this plan.

Whilst speaking with the SS he said the ducted vacuum guy (Michael) had called him and all is ok to go ahead with getting the dustpan thing put in, Michael was supposed to email me with a price...but that hasn’t happened so I have no idea how much this thing is going to cost....fingers crossed it’s not exorbitant! The dustpan thing is basically a flap in the floor/wall that you can sweep straight into and the ducted vacuum sucks it up, it’s for lazy people like me who can’t be bothered getting the dustpan and brush out. 

I'll come back and post some more brick pics when I get them :-)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Week ending 11/03/2012

Another week, some more rain, and nothing much happening visually at all!

The highlight of the week was Friday morning, literally as we were leaving to go up north to Bundaberg the SS called and said he was with the brickies at the block and they were wanting to confirm our choice of joint Flush mortar and a couple of other things, so the timing worked out well and we stopped in and saw them. They had done up 4 bricks one with ironed joint and the other flush, and I have to say the ironed did look better, Rick agreed so we have decided to change it and go with ironed. The other change is we are now having white mortar for the whole house, we originally had decided to go with white for the facade and outdoor room which was $1200 or it would have $2400 for the whole house, due to budget constraints we just went with the $1200, but the brickies have been kind enough and suggested we go with white the whole way around and just pay them $600 direct, so I am super excited about that!! So glad that we won't have half and half, I was hoping the sides of the house would be out of view and tucked between the neighbours, but it hasn't really worked out that way.

So after what feels like another week of not much happening...we will have bricks next week!! woohoo! only downside is we are on a working holiday up north and don't get back til Thursday evening. (Rick is working, I'm tagging along for the ride). The brickie has also kindly offered (without me even asking) to mms me some pics of the bricks while we are away, yippee!

I did get to speak to the sparky this week and he is happy to put our Non Metricon lights in when they do the fit out at the end which is awesome, can't wait to see our beautiful lights installed! 

The Friday meet at the block was good, we actually spent 15 mins with our SS for the first time and had a convo longer than 3 sentences so feeling a lot better about things at the moment, and he is happy for us to run some speaker wire from the lounge to the outdoor room, so that is nice. They are going to put some road base down the side of the block this week as the constant clay/mud/moat is just too hard to work with.

My sister who was house sitting over the weekend stopped in today and our bi fold door is finally in! It is the only photo I have for you this week. I should have lots next week when the bricks are done :-D

Hope everyone has a good week, I'll be hitting up the shopping mecca that is Bundaberg, Hervey bay, Gympie & Maryborough lol

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Week ending 04/03/2012

Well not much happening this week at all!!!! Quite frustrating really.

We went today to grab a few piccies and found we have our first house guest...

 I think this might be what the boys have been doing this week!

Unfortunately I couldn't pat it, we have a cat (baby) of our own so didn't want to encourage one of the neighbours cats to get too compfy.

Nothing changed here, just figured I'd add a photo of the windows, I wished they opened                               more, there is a fantastic breeze through there.

One thing they did do this week (that the Construction manager picked up) was that the window frame on your right  had been put together wrong when the frame was built. So the boys had to take it out and fix the frame and put it back again.


The third window in the main bed is in....well sort of, another build design fault with the frame apparently. Only one side of the window is in, the other side is still leaning against the wall* so I don't know what is wrong there...Ensuite window still not in 3 weeks since it was delivered, obviously another frame problem or window itself is the wrong size.

The Air Con guys (who we sourced external to M) came out on Friday and did the "rough in" so we will see what complaints our SS can come up with on Monday...

I took these pics lying on the ground looking up :-)

Third window in...sort of..

Side view

I will give it to Metricon they do a complete sweep (as in clean & tidy up) every week, where as next doors place has mud through it all the time (not that I have been sticky beaking ;-)....but it would be nice if things could be done a bit quicker over at our place! I keep telling myself they are fixing all the imperfections which will be better in the long run....

Next door have bricks right around the bottom floor and cladding or whatever it is around the top floor and plasterboard in the internals....I am jealous!!!! just when I thought we were jumping ahead, never mind.