At a nice stage of our build now. It seems that the big decisions have been made, the finer details sorted, and major problems solved, and we are on cruise control, able to sit back and watch the house reveal itself one element at a time. We are not out of the woods yet, but for the time being we are thoroughly enjoying the process and falling head over heels in Love with our house.
We are still not at lockup stage due to some delays with the cladding; however, the build is well advanced with some aspects complete ahead of schedule. We have an alfresco area, and the house is sheeted with plaster, and these items are not required for lockup. The delayed lockup stage is not ideal for the builder, as 35% of the contract price is due at the completion of this stage and the bank will not release the funds until the site is inspected to verify. Therefore, it has been a long time between drinks with the last payment being after the frame stage… building is not all beer and skittles.
Two weeks ago, when you were sipping your coffee and reading the blog, we were busy collecting foam that was scattered all over block. A stack of foam was not secured enough to resist the strong winds overnight, so it was all hands-on deck to clean it up. Luckily, the foam was leftovers and not required for panel backing. Apologies to anyone else in the Neighbourhood that inherited some foam, but no need to return it.
Sunday morning we also met with our new cabinet maker Dale, and he has been very proactive, providing samples, measuring, and ordering materials. We are grateful that he has been able to come onboard at short notice and help us out.
We just about ran out of cladding panels the previous week and were waiting on the second order, so the builders turned their attention to the alfresco area, or what I like to call the ‘Entertainment Mecca’. There were enough panels to clad the parapet wall, and they also laid the decking on the lower deck and lined the ceiling with Hardies Versilux. These were all great developments and gave us plenty to look at each night, and this area is now almost complete.
Hovenden’s plasterworks have been busy finished hanging the plasterboard by the end of the first week, and this week working on stopping. Plastering has two major steps: Hanging which is screwing the sheets to the walls and ceiling and Stopping, which is applying a compound and joining tape along all the joints and screw holes. They will then sand it all for a perfectly smooth and level finish. The plasterboard installed so far has transformed the inside and gives a much better feel for the interior.
We have gone for square set cornice in the living areas and standard coved cornice down the kids end. Square set, or no cornice, suits our minimalist style, however, is more expensive so we elected not to have it everywhere.
The plasterers were particularly impressed with the straightness of the frame, which is a great endorsement of the builder and the red LVL timber used.
The plastic wrapping on the cladding panels had been annoying me so after discussions with the builder we decided to take it off. I started this on Saturday and revealed the Vestis nebula midnight Snaplock panels on the back of our outdoor area. This was rewarding work, and I felt guilty that I had robbed the installer the pleasure of peeling it off and seeing the fruits of their labour. Installing the panels without peeling the plastic is like mowing the lawns without lowering the blades. I felt proud like I had built the wall. I love these panels by the way, but I could write a book on the elements I love in this house. I would have moved on the front of the house, however life got in the way and I did not get back onto it until Monday.
I could not resist calling in on my morning walk to peel more plastic off the garage. This revealed the door and I felt justified for pushing for the non-standard flush mount tilt door. I have had some moments of doubt with it, however, now could not be happier. Well, I could be I suppose – one panel bulges when heated by the sun, but hopefully this can be rectified. Whilst there I also cleaned off the plaster footprints we had left on the deck over the weekend, ready for the builder to cover it up again for the weeks work.
Mila (daughter)and I returned Monday night to remove more plastic. We left some around the front door for protection when they build the portico deck, however peeled the rest. Also loving the pure white panels on the front and east end and love the contrast with the black windows. The contrast is even more striking on the north elevation with the white panels installed between the black of the day bed and alfresco area. This was done later in the week, and I am uplifted as I write this, fresh from a site visit to inspect. Of course, the builders are peeling the plastic as they go how, giving instant gratification to all.
The second order arrived at 10am on Thursday morning, just in time as the builders competed the last of the flashings. Another delay was avoided when Stephen from Dahlsens in Swan Hill delivered the flashings on Sunday after visiting Melbourne with his family. This really did save the day as the builders had run out of things to do and would have had to leave the site for the week. That would not have been good, so Stephen’s gesture was much appreciated by both owner and builder alike. The builder talked of buying him a slab, hope he came through…
Not long to Christmas, and it looks like Santa will deliver a house to lock up stage. Possibly the best present ever and certainly the most expensive. The build is exceeding expectations. I thought my plans and 3D modelling were ok, but they simply did not do it justice. Form & proportions are important, however colour and material selection seal the deal….