Blog #29:

More paint, more lawn, a septic tank, a portico ceiling, some stone and wood, 2 down pipes, and a partridge in a pear tree. Sorry no partridges and no ornamental pear trees (yet), but we do have a commissioned garage door!

Paint was the big player over the fortnight, and Andre Brown has finished our half of the house (master wing/ main living). The reveal of this was stunning with finished walls and ceilings a welcome relief from the raw unfinished materials and construction mess we had grown used to looking at. The crisp cool whites make the black windows pop, and we cannot wait to see the affect once a splash of colour and texture arrives with the joinery, furniture, and styling.

Andre has now moved onto to the kids end and will repeat the process there. This frees up our end and will allow the kitchen and pantry to go in next week.

Kerang custom joinery had been waiting on some vinyl door fronts which have now arrived and been used to finish our kitchen joinery. We have been lucky with materials, as supply starts to struggle to keep up with demand in the building industry.

Once the kitchen and pantry cabinets are in CR Stone Swan Hill can measure and install the bench tops, so then builder can tile splash backs, and then the plumbers and electricians can install the fixtures and appliances.

CR stone have measured and delivered our powder room vanity top, and Kristian clad the black cabinet below with timber slats that will match our kitchen bench and portico ceiling.

As usual, the carpentry on a custom build does not happen without careful consideration, and I was onsite Thursday to verify Kristian’s precise set-out. This followed lengthy discussion surrounding our timber portico ceiling. Debate was held about the spacing and direction of the slats, and to be sure a small section was done and approved before the green light was given to complete the rest. There was also the finish to select, and we went with a clear water-based finish after reviewing a sample Andre had prepared. Earlier in process there was the type and size of timber to select (Vic Ash 30mm x 20mm) and this followed extensive research and thought about the look we were after. This is just one example of the time and thought that goes into to each element.

More lawn from Advance Turf (https://instantlawns.com.au) went down last Thursday and we assembled a crack team of 70-year-olds to assist (thanks Mum, Dad, and Dennis). Jess was busy running over dogs (RIP Lucy😞) so was late to the working bee. 100m2 this time, which was quite manageable, all laid and top dressed in an afternoon. I missed the memo that there was still a storm water trench to dig, so we worked side by side with Matt Wilkinson Plumbing who came at short notice to dig and connect the alfresco storm water (sorry Matt!). The lawn has gone gangbusters and has converted the back from a building site to a house.

Matt has also installed our septic tank, an Ozzi-Kleen Wastewater Treatment System from Gary Napier Plumbing. Septic Tank Approval from the council is required at building permit stage so this was revisited it check the requirements for the effluent disposal. Because our block was less than 5000m2,

with no reticulated sewer available, we needed a Land Capability Assessment which was provided by Price Merrett Consulting. Once the wastewater is treated it will be disposed via 4 x 25m long absorption trenches, which are underground slotted drains. We found that we could not comply with the required setbacks so Mark Carter from Price Merrett as able to work out a reduced setback to out dam.

The plumbers also have the Downpipes sorted and the custom Vestis Aluminum pipes should arrive next week. They installed 2 straight down pipes we already had on the garage, along with the rain head for the box gutter. The rain head is quite large, making the Downpipe look too small in proportion, so I have requested to replace this with a larger pipe.

There was some excitement last Friday when Quicklift Garage Doors commissioned the front door. We were eager to see the door operate that night and were impressed with how smooth the door moved. Power is not on, so this needs to be plugged in with a lead to work. The builder was almost as excited as us, as he was sick of operating the 180kg door manually.

Fridays seem to be a busy day at the site, not sure if the tradies read the blog, but perhaps they scramble late in the week to give me something to report? Writing this may just be keeping everyone on their toes? Anyhow Kerang custom joinery were onsite Friday and installed our WIR, some of our study, and the drawer fronts for our daybed.

I am sitting on our deck as I write this, in peace and dreaming of our new life here. I am about to tackle possibly the best chore in the world – mowing our new lawn, on our new mower, in front of our new house. 3.5 minutes of absolute joy. It is my happy place, and the countdown is on until we are here permanently. We have given up on Easter, but have the following weekend pencilled in. I will report back Easter Sunday to let you know where we are at.

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