Merry Christmas!

Our first Christmas in our new home has been fantastic! Even with the continuous rain (which thankfully let up for Christmas Day and most of Boxing Day) nothing could dampen our spirits when we woke on Christmas morning. Santa may have left lots of gifts under the tree for the kids, but the best gift of all was our new home!

The house is now looking slightly more organised, too. Most boxes are now unpacked (with the exception of toys, which I’m just too scared to do!). The garage is still a work in progress, as is the office, but once we get furniture and storage options in then we’ll tackle them.

We have decided to put in a pool! That, I guess, is the biggest news! Oh, and that the media room is now fully set up with the projector and screen, and surround sound. It’s like being at the movies – talk about sensory overload! We had the family here yesterday for Boxing Day and the boys were in cricket heaven (so much so that most of them fell asleep on the lounge, but that’s another story).

We’ve had visits from a few Wisdom Tradies last week, to finish off a few things that needed doing. All was good – a small hiccup with some careless plumbers, but they were sorted out very quickly by The Amazing Joe, as well as their boss!

So now we have a week off before we have to go back to work, time to squeeze as much work into that week as possible! We’d love to start on the front yard, not sure how much we’ll achieve as they are forecasting rain all week (again), but we’ll see how we go.

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas, and wishing everyone the best for the New Year.

It had to happen eventually…

Things have been going too smoothly with our build, so eventually SOMETHING had to go wrong. And this week, we had our first problem. But before I go into detail, I need to say that, like our whole experience to date with Wisdom, it was handled quickly, efficiently and with absolutely no drama, which is a credit to this amazing company.

So, before the build commenced, we opted to include pre-wiring for speakers in our media room & alfresco area, as well as HDMI cabling for a ceiling mounted projector. This was at a significant cost, and involved the services of an external contractor who Wisdom use on all their jobs for this kind of work.

Last week we were looking at the house, and commenting that the painting was almost finished, the holes for the downlights, power points, etc, were all cut, and that we were getting close to handover, and it dawned on us that we’d seen no provision for the speaker wiring, other than a hole in the media room ceiling for a powerpoint (for the projector).

So I called The Amazing Joe late that afternoon and asked him if it had been done. He told me he actually wasn’t sure, and he’d get back to me. Alarm bells!! Obviously now we’re starting to panic, and imaging ceilings being ripped apart, seeing handover delays, and of course thinking the worst.

Next morning, I called the contractor who was responsible for installing the cables, and I asked him if he remembered doing our house. And guess what? He was on site while I was speaking to him. He was doing the work because it actually HAD been forgotten. But in true Wisdom fashion, they were just getting on and fixing it, and yes, it was a bigger job to have to do it at this stage of the build, he had to run much longer cables to the alfresco, but it wasn’t a problem. Then I got a call from The Amazing Joe to tell me that it was all under control.

I haven’t met Joe yet, but I am so grateful that he is our building supervisor. He is old school – he just makes things happen. And he’s exactly the kind of person you want overseeing your job!

So to The Amazing Joe, thank you! Yes, there are some things that aren’t right, but I know that they’ll be addressed and resolved because Joe’s on the job!

Locked up & fitting out

On Thursday 22nd September, we officially got to lock up. It was quite evident by the beautiful big door that was installed! The day before lock up, our staircase was installed, which just looks amazing! And now all of the cabinetry is being installed. I went through the house the other day with the builders, and they were working on installing the vanity units in all the bathrooms, the kitchen cabinets, and the laundry cabinets. All the plasterboard is completed, and the carpenters are finishing off the architraves. Such great progress! According to The Amazing Joe, we are looking at a mid-November handover. That’s only 6 weeks away! OMG!

 

 

 

 

Lock up is approaching

It’s been a while since I’ve updated and so much has happened with the house!

We are now almost at lock up. The bricks are finished and have been cleaned. The cladding has started to be installed. The rendering on the balcony is finished. The roof is almost finished – they are working on the ground floor eaves & fascias today, and should install the balance of the roofing sheets today or tomorrow.

The aircon ducting has been installed and is being boxed in. And the electricals have been roughed in.

Last week we had HowardRyan from H&K Ryan come and do a mid-build inspection for us, and his report showed a few things that needed to be done, but nothing really significant. Glad we spent the money to get the report done though – with this kind of investment, it’s worth making sure things are right!

So hopefully we’re only about 12-14 weeks away from handover. We are still aiming for the end of November, and The Amazing Joe has confirmed this. For me, it can’t come soon enough! I’m tired of renting… tired of living on top of each other, tired of having to move my 2yr old into our bedroom every time my 16ry old step son stays over (every weekend), tired of not having a dishwasher, tired of living on top of my neighbours. You get the picture. We’ve been here for 12 months longer than we’d originally hoped, and while renting for us was a necessity, and simply a means to an end, it’s definitely now past its used-by date, and we’re ready to get out of here.

Bricks

Windows and doors have now been installed, and our first lot of bricks were delivered a little over a week ago, and thankfully they didn’t float away with all the rain we’ve had! The weather has been pretty awful – it rained all last week, and this week has been lovely, but freezing, and it’s actually been snowing in Katoomba today. It is meant to stay fine through to the end of the weekend though, which is good news, as I spoke to The Amazing Joe yesterday, who told me that as soon as the brickies finish their current job, they’ll be starting on ours. Hopefully on Friday!

I took Dad out to the block last week, and helped him to squeeze through the fence and have a wander around. He was very impressed by how much work had been done in such a short space of time. And for the first time, he even seemed excited for us. Progress!

Roof Trusses…

The roof trusses have now been put up, and essentially our frame is complete. We can’t believe how quickly all this has happened. We went out to the site on the weekend, and it was so easy to now visualise how things are going to look, seeing the frame in place. It’s so gratifying to finally see our dream taking shape, after living and breathing nothing but plans and paperwork for almost a year.

I spoke today to Joe, our site supervisor, who from now on I think I shall refer to as The Amazing Joe. The Amazing Joe told me that the frame is now complete, our windows have been delivered, and he’s just waiting to find out when he can get the bricks delivered, so that the brickwork can commence. I’m loving this whole trend of things happening ahead of schedule, and really hope that they continue to forge ahead, taking advantage of the dry weather while they can.

So here’s the house so far, taken today from the other side of the park.

We’ve been framed…

I spoke to our Site Supervisor, Joe, yesterday, who sounds like a very nice man. He originally left a message on hubs phone the day before, saying that they were cutting out on Thursday, and that the piering would be done on Monday. So I was pleasantly surprised when, upon returning his call yesterday morning, he advised that the guys were onsite again to do the piering, earlier than planned. I hope this trend continues for the next 6 months!

So today, we took a drive out to check out the progress of our build. It’s the first time we’ve been onsite since they started work, and we were thrilled and amazed at how much had been done! Not only has the site been cut out, but the piering has been completed, and the framing has been put up in preparation for the slab to be poured on (hopefully) Friday.

It was such a reality hit, walking around the site, standing in each place and saying “this is the garage”, or “this is the kitchen”.

We were also pleasantly surprised by how much back yard we are going to have. We were worried that, once the cutting out was done, we’d discover that the size of our yard would be considerably smaller than we’d hoped, as it’s always hard to visualise these things on plans and drawings. But we’re happy with how it’s going to work out. We are, though, probably going to have to tier the front yard, and also dig out the back and put a raised retaining wall / garden bed along the back fenceline. The slope of the land, which was only slight, has now become more significant due to the amount that’s been cut out. But that’s OK, it will give us something to do over Christmas!

The one really nice thing is that our daughter, who is almost 6, is now starting to get excited, as she’s starting to be able to visualise things now that it’s started. It’s great that she’s excited too! Although, I don’t think she’s quite as excited as me…

We really are about to build a house!

It’s official! Work has started on our new house.

I got a phone call from The Lovely Sandi last week to let me know that our file would be handed over to a site supervisor on Tuesday this week, and that we would start to see some progress soon thereafter. Whilst I’m still yet to hear from the site supervisor (who I understand is a very nice man called Joe) I was delighted to discover this morning that our block was in the process of being scraped! The smell of fresh dirt filled my nostrils as I sat in the car watching the work that was taking place.

I should apologise to the men driving the machinery though – I’m sure they probably started feeling a little uncomfortable that a strange lady was just sitting in her car, staring at them, with a funny smile on her face, and her phone snapping away lots of pics! But then again, they’re probably used to that reaction – I’m sure I’m not the first person to have done this!

So today, reality hit. Our build has officially started. Our block will never again be an untouched, grassy patch, but instead for the next 6 months will be a hive of building activity, and after that, for many years, will become our family home.