Monday, April 27, 2009

The underground water tanks...

Contacted "D" @ Underground Water Storage today who we met out at the HIA Home Show.

He's meeting me out at the block on Friday to talk about their system, and so I can show him where we want our underground storage set up. At the moment we're thinking the front yard. I'm sure he'll give me the best advice on where it will suit. Aaron will be working, so I hope I'll be able to answer all the man questions he may ask me!!

He'll then give us a quote so we can give to the bank with our building contract etc.

Friday, April 24, 2009

The road (update)...

We have progress... a bit of a storm water drain, and some unenthused looking men working in the cold! May not register on some people's excitement levels... but for us it's pretty up there!!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The site costs...

Called S @ Henley today to check on the progress of our contract.

She has requested the contracts by 7th May so she has a week to review them before we go in to sign them on the 14th May.

I queried the fixed price site costs, as we have no idea what they are. She said our sales consultant R should have given these to us. She reviewed our file and said she'd have to look into it for me and advise in the next few days.

After visiting our block and seeing piles and piles of rock dug up from near where the road will be built, we were a bit concerned about being hit up for huge rock removal costs. S assured that we have a fix priced site costs - she'll contact us in the next few days to confirm what it is.

Where's the "Dummies guide to building a house"??

The FHOG (end of)...

From today's AGE:

First home-owner deadline looms: Rudd

April 23, 2009 - 1:06PM

The boost to the first home owners grant will not be extended beyond June 30, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has suggested.

"The first home owner's boost, as you know, we have indicated that will conclude within a very fixed and finite time frame," he told reporters in Perth.

"It's had strong useful results so far, but I have got to say all good things must come to an end."

The grant was raised from $7000 to $14,000 for existing dwellings and from $14,000 to $21,000 for new homes as part of the government's $10.4 billion stimulus package last year.

Mr Rudd said the Government was still measuring the full effects of the boost but it was important the community understood deadlines were imposed for a particular purpose.
Withdrawing the grant could hit some families hard.

Today, Treasurer Wayne Swan said he could not guarantee that the jobless rate won't hit double digits after a ''bleak'' report form the International Monetary Fund on the global economy.

Releasing its latest World Economic Outlook late overnight, the IMF forecast Australian growth would contract by 1.4% in 2009, before growing by 0.6% in 2010.

The IMF now expects world growth to decline by 1.3% in 2009, a hefty 1.8% reduction from what it predicted at the start of the year, while developed economies are expected to contract by 3.8%.

''It's the worst set of global forecasts the IMF has yet bought down because it now believes that the recession will be deeper and longer than previously forecast,'' Mr Swan said.

''And of course this has made an Australian recession inevitable.''

The IMF expects Australian jobless rate to be 7.8% in 2010, compared to its current level of 5.7%.

In February the Government had forecast a jobless rate of 7% by mid-2010, although Mr Swan has already indicated that unemployment will be higher than that because declining growth, and new forecasts will be included in the May 12 budget.

Mr Swan was asked if he could guarantee that the jobless rate wouldn't hit the double digit levels seen in the early 1990s.

''There are no guarantees when you are amidst the most savage global recession since the Great Depression,'' Mr Swan said.

''The Government will do everything we possibly can by way of economic stimulus to support jobs now ... and to put in place the building blocks for recovery so that we can maximise the employment opportunities that will flow from the global recovery when it comes.''

He said the pace of economic recovery will depend on the rest of the world.

''I myself personally am a little bit optimistic about China, and that's a good thing,'' Mr Swan said.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The road...

Aaron did a drive by of the block today. There were guys working on the storm water and the road... should be finished in approx 3 weeks! So we may be able to park our cars on road soon and not dirt! Very exciting!!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The HIA Home Ideas Show...

Today we headed into the city for the Home Ideas Show. We had a list of items we wanted to check out... decking, plantation shutters, water tanks, and pergolas/outdoor blinds.

1. Modwood Decking.

We dont want to do any paving at all, rather we'll use decking around the front entry, and our large entertaining area along the north side of the house off the dining room. We assumed we would use timber, but after today are considering the Modwood Decking alternative. Modwood is manufactured from recycled plastic milk bottles and reclaimed pine waste. It is designed not to warp, crack or splinter, and requires a lot less maintenance than timber. Check out the site Below is an image of the timber look (on the left is the smooth finish, on the right is the brushed finish).

2. Plantation Shutters

We decided previously that we would use plantation shutters throughout the whole house, even bi-fold plantation shutters over our sliding door off the dining room. There wasn't a great amount of info available at the show, but we picked up a few brochures.

3. Underground Water Storage

Aaron previously got prices from Reece for underground water tanks. Today we found a system that can be taylor made to suit the shape or size of the area we want to put it. It is even strong enough to be installed underneath our driveway. The system is basically made up of modules made from recycled materials. They arrive flat packed, and are assembled on site. I could ramble on about it, but you could just visit the site below is an image of the modules used to create the storage system.

4. Pergolas/Outdoor blinds

We plan to construct a pergola off the north side of the house, directly outside the dining room, and stretching almost the entire length of the house, from the garage to the family room. Fielders had the look we're after, a pitched, or dutch gable pergola, with room for ceiling fans for when it's hot in summer (we've learnt this lesson from 5 1/2 years on a rental property with a north facing pergola with a low roof - it's sometimes way too hot to sit underneath). Check out their info at Stratco also had a good range of the style of pergola we're after. You can check out Below are some pics of what we're after, including some outdoor blinds.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The contract signing - DELAYED!!!...

Received an email today from S, she had been reviewing our file, and found that our contract paperwork will not be ready by our contract signing date next week!

We had already re-arranged work committments so were incredibly annoyed.

We exchanged a few emails, and she was very apologetic, but has organised a new contract signing date which will be May 14. She has requested the contracts for her review by May 7, so hopefully we'll be on track then, and have no more delays.

This post has been edited (quotes removed): April 26

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Ikea trip...

Yesterday we spent a few hours in Ikea. We've made a short list of items we'd like when we move into the new house (although maybe 12 months away - however I'm good at planning ahead!).

Ikea is crazy, it's best to go only after you've browsed the online catalogue and made a short list of items you'd like to see. The amount of people in there is just nuts, and kids, my god there's kids everywhere!

We spent a few hours at home first browsing the 300+ page online catalogue, and made a list of things we wanted to look at.

The wish list:

- Grundtal ceiling mounted utensil rack $69.00
- Grundtal magnetic knife rack $14.95
- Grundtal Rail size 53cm $9.95, 80cm $14.95, 120cm $19.95
- Grundtal S-hooks 7cm 5-pk $4.95

Our bedroom wardrobe (all in white):

- PAX wardrobe 100x58x236 $209.00 x 1

- PAX wardrobe 75x58x236 $199.00 x 1

- PAX wardrobe 50x58x236 $179.00 x 3

- PAX wardrobe add-on 52x236 $149.00 x 1

- Komplement clothes rail 100cm $10.00 x 2

- Komplement clothes rail 75cm $5.00 x 1

- Komplement clothes rail 50cm $5.00 x 2

- Komplement wire baskets 75x58x16xm $20.00 x 6

- Komplement wire baskets 50x58x16xm $15.00 x 22

- PAX shelves 75x58cm 2pk $35.00 x 1

- PAX shelves 50x58cm 2pk $30.00 x 2

- Stave 70x160cm oak mirror $85.00


Below are the fittings, should be able to finally store all my shoes and bags properly!!
Below is our wardrobe, picture generated by using the Ikea Home Generator program that is downloadable from the Ikea website. You can add in what you need, and then it gives you the shopping list and the total price at the end.Spare Bedroom:

- Mandal queen bed including storage boxes $449.00

Below is the Mandal Queensize bed, complete with 4 storage boxes. We also checked out the Aneboda bed series, it was cheaper, but the quality was incredibly cheap too! Looked like it would fall apart if someone put their weight on it.
Living rooms:

- Tarnby rug 200x300cm $199.00
- Egeby rug 200x300cm dark brown/nuetral $199.00

Below is the Egeby rug;
Below is the Tarnby rug;

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The light fittings...

We've been looking at lights for a while now, and keep coming back to the same designs.

Our family room, dining room, and living (pool table) room will have three lights in a row.

Below is a design by Lighting Leaders in Mornington;

Below are from Beacon Lighting's Barbados range.

Below are some choices for the kitchen. The first one is from Select Lighting in the Alex series, and the second one is from Beacon Lighting in the Vision series. Leaning towards the Beacon one at this stage.

The window furnishings...

Both of us are not curtain people, (plus having cats doesn't help when you have to clean the fur off them every day in our current rental property!)

Initially we thought of timber venetian blinds, but this weekend we've settled on timber plantation shutters! Most display homes these days seem to have them, and they look fantastic.

We will fit the plantation shutters throughout the whole house, excluding the bathroom window, as it has obscure glazing.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The landscape front garden (1st Draft)...

Here it is...
my first draft of the front yard;
including driveway details, decking, and plant varieties etc etc...

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The landscaping plant selection...

We've chosen a handful of natives for our front yard.

Below is the "Little John" Callistemon

Below is the Fine Leaf Dwarf Lomandra grass
Below are some Anigozanthus "Bush Gem" varieties (kangaroo paw)

Below is River Bottlebrush

The landscaping guidelines...

Another one of the Mitchell's Run estate guildlines is that we must submit a landscape and plant selection plan with our building plan submission.

- Layout and materials for paved areas.
- Layout of lawn and garden beds, including types of mulches to be used.
- Layout of planting, including species and quantities.
- Details of locations, elevations, heights and proposed materials of any external structures including garden sheds and pergolas.
- Details of locations of pool. While the Committee must approve the location of your pool, the actual construction of pools must meet a separate set of safety and construction guidelines.
- Details of any existing native vegetation including branch canopy. These must be integrated into the landscape design.

They have supplied us with an extensive list of plants we are NOT allowed to use, and an even bigger list of plants which are recommended. Our plan was always to have a low maintenence native garden, so we're quite happy to do as they say (on this occassion!).

Tonight I'm drawing up a first draft of the front garden, and if I'm motivated enough, will extend through to the back yard. Need to have google on hand to check out some plants!

The procedures of purchase...

Thought we'd put a bit of info in for friends and family to see the process... we have completed Stage 1, and parts of Stage 2, however we are not having the Tender Appointment, we go straight to the building contract signing on April 24th, as a part of Henley "fast-tracking" our project.

These are Henley's procedures of purchase...

Stage 1. The Owners are required to:
- Supply a clear copy of Section 32 (where available) and a Title plan (with plan subdivision) for the block of land.
- Supply a list of requested variations, including facade choice.
- Supply details of finance provider.
- Supply a proposed site plan - a diagram of where you want your house sited on your block (this is prepared during discussions with your sales consultant).

Stage 2. The Owners and Builder are required to:
- The Cosham Interiors colour selection appointment is booked and completed. Weekend appointments are offered, subject to availability.
- Complete the Preliminary Tender for presentation at the relevant Office. This Tender includes facade details, catalogue options, colour selection items, estate requirements and electrical changes.
- Wait for completion of land development work and release of land titles.

Stage 3. Land Title now released:
The Builder is required to:
- Order soils report, site survery, Council and other information.
The Owners and Builder are required to:
- Presentation of final Tender at the relevant office, on a weekday, including facade, catalogue options, colour selection ites, estate requirements, electrical changes, site costs, and items resulting from receipt of Council or other information.
- A further deposit of $1650 is required at this point to prepare contract drawings and progress to Building Contract stage.
A Builder is required to:
- Apply to land developer for assessment of plans and/or colours (where applicable)

Stage 4. The Owners are required to:
- Sign the building contract.
- Pay balance of 3% deposit on contract signing.
- Supply proof of ownership of land. Land ownership and finance approval must be supplied before construction will start.
- Supply a finance letter of offer.

Stage 5. The Builder is required to
- Apply for the building permit.
- Complete a check of the file.
- Prepare final drawings.
- Order materials required for construction.
- Issue final drawings for confirmation by owners.
- Allocate your job to a building supervisor.
The Owners are required to:
- Provide written confirmation from the finance provider that funds are ready to be released for construction.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The approval...

Received an email from our broker, finally the unconditional approval on the land portion of our loan has come through! It's taken now almost 6 weeks!

We have pre-approval on our construction portion of the loan, however at this stage it is still conditional, until we have our building contract.

We're slowly getting there!

Tonight may be the first time we celebrate with a bottle of bubbly (unless of course it's an April Fools joke, and we're still waiting!).