Thursday, October 30, 2008


Well, following on from my observations this morning, we returned this evening to see that the plastering had been almost entirely done in one day. It really was quite astounding. The last time we looked, there was a frame, some tiles, windows and a bit of plastic. Now we have rooms, wardrobes and even the feature bedhead in our bedroom. The only things missing are the back of the wardrobe in our room and a bit of plastering in the bathroom. Adding to the excitement, when I got back in the car after taking the photos, what should be on the radio, but "Our House, in the Middle of Our Street"..... Perfect!

The view from the front, plaster in the garage:

Standing at the end of the kitchen bench, View of family, meals and rumpus areas:

Standing in the lounge, looking into the theatre and through the door to the laundry:

The view from inside the front door:

The view from the back of the living area, looking towards the front door. The wall is the back of the kitchen. You can see the al fresco to the left and the big gap where the bifolds will go. You can also see the front doors: 

In our bedroom:

The Bi-Polar Blog Entry. I'm Happy, I'm Annoyed, I'm Happy, I'm Annoyed!

Everyone said we would lose sleep over building a house, and they weren't wrong! I can only begin to imagine how hard it would be doing it all ourselves. Carlisle really have been very efficient at organising things and sorting out our problems. I received a phone call on Monday from our site supervisor introducing himself and saying that he'd been out to look at our watery mess. He concurred that it was unlikely vandalism and reassured me that the water damage was minimal. What a relief! He also said that he was available anytime should anything like that happen again, and gave me his mobile number. He also said we could ring and arrange an inspection with him whenever we wanted. That's what I call customer service. Very impressive!
On Tuesday I noticed that our 3rd brick selection hadn't been delivered. I was told last Thursday that there would be a 48 hour period before the bricks were released... therefore they should have been there. After all the pressure to reselect in a hurry to avoid any more delays (our second choice wasn't available until mid Nov), this is really frustrating. I rang Carlisle and was told that they are due to be released on the 4th Nov (which is a public holiday I pointed out) and therefore we should have them there by the end of next week. GRRRR, that's nearly mid Nov anyway! So now we will have a brick that probably won't look as good, for the saving of perhaps 1 week? 
I know it is just a week, but I'm stressing about becoming homeless when our lease expires. I asked for an estimate of completion time, and was told sometime in April.... what the....???? Only a few weeks ago we discussed the very slight possibility that it would be finished before the end of the year... talk about one extreme to the other!! 
I know the rental house selling and the completion of our new house are totally out of our control.....and being a self-confessed control freak, I am finding it all a tad stressful!
And finally to end, some more good news. I drove past today as we were a bit early for school, and to my surprise there were about half a dozen workmen there busily doing something with the plaster! 

Sunday, October 26, 2008


We've been away for about a week and a half and quite a lot has happened in that time Firstly, we have had to choose yet another brick... not an easy task when one is away from a computer and the brick display centres. Anyway, we have now decided to go with Austral Chocolate. I'm not so sure its the best choice, given its dark colour will absorb heat in summer and make the house hotter than it might otherwise be. I'm so over it all though, and just want to get the house built. If its really unsuitable, we can always render later on. 
From the airport, we went straight away to the house to have a look at the progress. I wasn't expecting a lot, due to the brick delay. I was pleasantly surprised (yet again) to see that some insulation has gone in, the heating and cooling ducts are in, the plaster has been delivered, the electrical wiring is mostly done and all of the windows and sliding doors are in!

Today we got a rude shock. We went past the house again so that our daughter could have a look and what we saw prompted us to call the police! It seemed that our house had been vandalised. The water mains were on and there was a punctured (drilled) hole in the plumbing of the bathroom. There was water absolutely everywhere. We turned it off at the mains and called the police. It also looked like the temporary fencing had been knocked over too. I was shattered. The pooling water made me think that the wooden frame would be ruined, the roof would have to be pulled off and we'd basically have to start from scratch. This in turn let to thoughts of us ending up homeless, as we have a fairly firm deadline to  be out of here.... not nice thoughts at all really.
When the police turned up, they seemed to think that it wasn't vandalism, but poor workmanship. It appears that a builder has drilled a hole through the wood, but not stopped before drilling partly into the piping. Today was very hot, and we think it may have expanded and split, and whoosh... water everywhere.
The good thing, I guess, is that it happened before we'd moved in. I can only dread to think of the mess that would have resulted if it happened down the track. The bad news is that we don't know if there is damage that needs to be fixed, and if it will result in any delays. I will be ringing Carlisle first thing tomorrow, and hopefully a supervisor will go and inspect. 

Monday, October 13, 2008

There's a House With A Roof, With A Roof, With A Roof........

We decided to have a quick drive past today, expecting to see no change whatsoever. We had a good look on Saturday, so there had only been today to get anything done.... I joked that there would be no change at all, or the whole roof would be done. The later proved to be the case. 
It really looks fantastic. We are absolutely delighted with the colour and the shape. I will go past tomorrow and take a picture to post, but I still haven't been able to get the last picture to load up, so it may take some time.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Never A Dull Moment

The house is looking fantastic. We are so excited! Yesterday the front door went in. The guttering is done and they have almost finished wrapping the house up like Laura Palmer. 

We got a phone call last Friday afternoon saying that our brick was unavailable. Apparently they have been having problems with it cracking.... So we spent last weekend trying to look at bricks. I emphasise the 'trying' bit. It's almost impossible. One would think that most people building houses would need to look at bricks and tiles etc on the weekends, and that would be a sensible time to be open. They obviously don't concur. Boral were completely closed for renovations (as was another brick place when we first looked). They are either closed, renovating or in the process of moving. It's extremely difficult to look at bricks without driving all over Melbourne. We did manage to inspect Austral Bricks on Saturday and found a brick there that was satisfactory. My eyes kept going back to the original choice though. It would have looked great, but it was no longer an option. Anyway, we've finally settled on Austral Maize with Natural (grey) mortar. I really hope it looks OK, but it won't be seen from the street due to the facade, or from the al fresco as it will be rendered. All in all, its going to cost us ANOTHER $1000. What's another $1000 really, apart from the fact that it's happening a little too often for my liking, and they're adding up into something monstrous!

Another concern is that the house that we are renting while the building occurs has been put on the market. I am terrified that our place won't be finished and we will have to  move somewhere for a few weeks in the interim. Not only will that be a lot more work, it will be extremely disruptive for the children, who have already had a couple of moves in their short lives. At least once we have our own home, we will be able to stay put indefinitely and offer them some stability. 

As I said in the last post, the rate of progress has been exceptional to date, and if it continues in this way, we may have a house by the end of the year!!

Thursday, October 2, 2008


If it looks like we have gone from having a bare slab to the full frame for our house in next to no time at all, that's because we have. The walls went up in about 2 days and the roof took another day. It's quite remarkable. Having said this, we now are due to make another payment, and I only made the payment for the slab this morning. I have a feeling we won't be due for another for a while after these two though. A month ago, all we had was a paddock of nice red dirt, and now we have a skeleton of a house.
Back to my pregnancy analogy, viewing at this stage is like having an ultrasound. You can see all the fingers and toes, but still have a bit of waiting before you can see the fine details. 

There are still 12 weeks left in the  year. I don't want to get my hopes up, but is there a possibility?