Thursday, June 4, 2009

Final update

After an attempted break in which left me with a broken kitchen window and a nice big rock in the sink I am now living in the house and won't be udating this blog anymore.

Thankyou to everyone who sent positive e-mails and comments. It's been a fun process updating the blog and keeping you all informed and I hope your building process goes as smoothly as mine has.

Allworth have been fantastic and I can highly recommend them.

All the best


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

I have a house :-)

Handover occurred at 9:00AM today. It was very exciting and I am now the proud owner of a new house. The whole thing went very smoothly.

Allworth have done a fantastic job in less time than stated in the contract. I have based start time on when the block was cut which happened on Tuesday the 27/01/09 until handover today, Tuesday the 2/06/09. That's a total of 126 days or exactly 18 weeks. The contract was for 19 weeks and there had been two one week extensions because of rain yet they still managed to finish ahead of schedule and the quality of the finish is excellent. I had a pretty good look and couldn't even find a single paint run anywhere. I will try to post some pictures later in the week after I have had a more thorough inspection.

Now if only the rain would go away for a few weeks so the ground can dry out enough for the concreter to put in my paths and driveway.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Nearly there.....

It's midweek and most things seem to have been completed so it's looking good for hand over next Tuesday.

The rain has held off long enough for the painters to finish off the outside bits, the gas has been connected, a concrete pad has been laid for the hot water tank and the electrician and plumbers were there today doing their bits.

I think all that's left is the fly screens, rehang the internal doors, house clean and site cleanup.

I'm not sure about the colour of the downpipes matching the guttering now that I have seen them painted. I had looked at lots of houses with similar colouring and they either had the downpipes the same as the guttering or the same as the fascia board. I thought the same as the guttering looked better but now..... maybe it will look better once the landscaping is done.

The water tank is a bit of an eyesore isn't it. Good thing it's hidden behing the garage. I should be able to screen it with something. This side of the house is where all the ugly stuff goes as the air conditioning outside unit will sit against the side of the garage.

I may have to repaint the front pillars as they look a bit too light. Like the downpipes, maybe they will look better once the landscaping is done. I can't blame Allworth for the colours as they were my choices ;-)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I have a hand over date

I received a call from Allworth today advising the hand over is scheduled for 9:00AM on the 2/06/09. How exciting :-)

There still seems so much to complete. The painting looks finished on the inside but the wet weather has prevented the outside from being completed. All the plumbing fittings need to be installed, lights and power points, fly screens and doors, gas connected, door handles fitted, site cleanup and house clean. Seems like a tall order for a week and a bit so will be interesting to see if they can pull it off. Here's hoping they do!

I now have to organise a driveway and paths, retaining walls, fences, tiles in the living area, carpet, tv antenna, clothes line, window coverings....... the list keeps getting longer the more I think about it. I need a strong drink and a lie down, my head's spinning.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tile update

I called Allworth Monday morning to discuss the problem with the tiling and the lady I spoke to said she would get on it right away. It turns out Beaumont Tiles provided the tiles and the labour so my assumption was wrong about Allworth providing the labour.

About two hours after my call I received a call from the the tiling company. I discussed with them what was wrong and he said he would get back to me. He also apologised and said he had not been told by Beaumont about the extra tiling.

He called me back again this afternoon to advise they would be back tomorrow to complete the additional tiling and to replace the soap holders. He can't do anything about the bathtub trim and since it was only a $20 upgrade anyway I said it's fine the way it is. It doesn't look too bad anyway.

So all up a quick and professional response from both Allworth and the tiler.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Tiling all finished..... but.....

There is a problem but I'll get to that in a minute.

I met a landscaper onsite this morning to discuss retaining walls and to my surprise I was able to have a look inside again.

The good news is the tilers have finished but the bad news is there are some problems.

Some background info first. Tile selection was through Beaumont Tiles and they sold me on upgrades to the bath tub trim, soap holders, upgraded feature tiles and inceased tile height in the ensuite along one wall. All up it came to a grand total of $759.68 and the invoice clearly states it included labour for the upgrades. Not a great deal in the overall scheme of things but a lot when you don't actually get the things you paid for.

The problem is the only thing that has been done was the upgraded feature tiles in both showers. The trim on the bathtub is white not silver, the soap holders are the standard ones instead of the ones I picked which had a shelf to hold shampoo bottles and the biggie.... they didn't increase the tile height in the ensuite.

Now I don't know who is to blame here but I am thinking it is partly Beaumont Tiles and partly Allworth. Beaumont tiles have clearly supplied the wrong soap holders and bathtub trim but there are stacks of tiles left over in the lounge room so I think Beaumont supplied enough to tile the ensuite to the correct height.

From what I can gather, Beaumont only supplied the stuff and Allworth provided the labour. If this is the case it clearly doesn't work very well since I paid Beaumont for the labour. It could explain why they have changed suppliers to one who supplies and installs, pity that change happened shortly after I had already done the tile selection!!!

I called Allworth last week about something else and they were supposed to call me back but didn't. Looks like I will be on the phone to them first thing Monday morning.

It's a shame as things have been going quite smoothly up until now. Still I suppose there are bound to be some hiccups on such a big project. Let's hope Allworth will be able to sort this mess out. Stay tuned.

The front verandah has now been grouted

Ensuite shower screen has been installed

Ensuite mirror has been installed

Main bathroom mirror is also in

Spa bath all nicely tiled. The top edge should be silver like the shower screen

The huge shower in the main bathroom

Inside the appliance cupboard. There will be a power point on the bottom so you can plug your toaster and kettle in then simple close to cupboard to hide them away when not in use

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Saturday update

There was nobody working at the house today so I couldn't take a sneek peek inside. Despite this, there are still signs of things happening.

The water tank has been delivered, the front verandah has been tiled but not grouted, the kitchen splashback has been done and I can see tiles around the top of the vanity in the ensuite so assume the bathroom and ensuite tiling has been done.

The broken roof tiles I mentioned a couple of weeks ago have also been fixed this week and look as good as new.

The water tank hides nicely behind the garage up against the laundry wall. It hasn't been plumbed in yet but hopefully it soon will be so it has a chance to fill up with all this rain we have been getting and also stop it getting so boggy on this side of the house.

The tiles are not as dark as I thought they would be and are a bit too close to the brick colour for my liking. Hopefully the grout will give them a bit of contrast.

This shot was on full zoom through the loungeroom window. You can see the splashback has been completed.

Roof all fixed and just like a bought one!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Inside pics

I went by the house on Tuesday after work but by the time I got there at 5:30PM it was too dark to see anything through the windows so I will now only go on weekends. Fortunately when I called by this morning there was a tradesman there. The last time I spoke to the Allworth lady she said I could go in and have a look around if there was somebody working there so I did!

The laundry floor has been tiled and the bench with drop in tub installed.

The broom/linen cupboard is also in place. This is in addition to two linen cupboards in the main hallway. You can never have enough storage space.

An inside view of the kitchen. this is where the rangehood will go above the 900mm wide five burner gas cooktop. Notice at the top left of the photo there is no cornice. That's what the guy was installing today.

From left to right this is the pantry, fridge space, appliance cupboard and finally space for the microwave, wall oven and pot drawers at the bottom.

Somebody's wheelbarrow, shovel, broom, bucket and tools!

Ensuite floor tiles laid and double vanity. I was originally going to have dark floor tiles but when I revisited some display homes that had dark brown tiles decided it made it look too dark. Like the laundry, they still have the grout slurry all over them which makes them look lighter than they actually are.

Ensuite shower recess. No, they didn't forget one of the shower taps. I opted for flick mixers everywhere including in the showers.

Shelving has been put in the walk in robe (and all other robes and cupboards). This is a really huge walk in, the photo doesn't do it justice.

Main bathroom vanity. The ensuite one is bigger! I was so over picking the colour of everything at the colour selection appointment I made everything in the bathroom and ensuite the same. So if it works..... great, but if it doesn't..... well lets not go there. Colour selection was last October and it's quite a daunting experience having to pick the colours for everything in a two hour appointment (that lasted for three).

The spa bath is in main bathroom as it wouldn't fit in the ensuite.

Kitchen now with cornice fitted above cupboards. The plasterer did this whilst I was wandering around the rest of the house. I left him in peace after this as he was just about to put the other one up.

Tiles around the edge of the front verandah.

Top has had a layer of cement put down but no tiles yet. Maybe by next weekend.

This is a sample peice of the CaesarStone I have had the kitchen benchtops made from. It's bloody expensive but looks really nice. You can request samples from

Well that's it for this week.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Saturday picture update

The pillars on the front verandah have been installed and the tilers have moved the tiles, sand and cement to where they need them. They will probably start the laying on Monday. The CaesarStone kitchen bench has also been installed but it is covered with cardboard so you can't see it. If you look closely, you can see the edge of it in the bottom of the appliance cupboard (next to the oven hole) and it looks like there is an offcut in the microwave hole.

Here are some photos I took around lunch time today. Again, they are all through the windows but are clearer since it was quite sunny.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Wednseday Update

The kitchen cupboards, vanities and laundry cabinets were delivered on Monday and then installed on Tuesday.

From what I can see through the windows, it also looks like all the architraves have been completed.

I received a call from Allworth today requesting payment of progress payments three and four which is fair as progress payment three stage was completed weeks ago. Can't remember if I explained how the progress payments work but this is what happens.

Allworth issue the first four progress invoices all at once for the fixed amounts listed in the contract with the fifth and final payment being issued once all variations have been taken into account. They then phone at the completion of each stage requesting payment. It all seems to work quite well as all payment requests so far have been made well after the stage has been completed. I just hope there are no nasty surprises in that final invoice.

Anyway, the lady mentioned that the tilers were due in later this week and when they are finished the painters will follow. Depending on the size of the house, painting can take up to ten days to complete. Once painting is completed it is usually around three weeks until completion so I had better pull my finger out and make up my mind on which tiles and carpets I want for the rest of the house!

The photos were taken through the windows after work on overcast days (it's a real bugger now daylight savings has finished). There wasn't much light and I had to turn the flash off otherwise it lit up the window and you couldn't see anything so that explains why they are quite dark. The ensuite vanity shot was takes on full zoom which made it look even worse.

I will try to get some better pics on the weekend.

The Tasmanian Oak cupboards look darker than expected but I'm sure once the light floor tiles, bench and splashback are installed won't look so dark. The kitchen faces west so will also get the afternoon sun.

I'm not so sure I like the handles I chose now that I see them on the cupboards but I can live with them and just like an ugly baby, they will still look good to the owner ;-)

Anyway, anything is better that the horrible 70's colour scheme of the house I am currently in!!!

On the down side, the roof has received some minor damage. Since it was completed I haven't really look up there much but I did notice this the other day. The last time I took a photo of this section was on the 3/04/09 and it was fine then. I'm sure it will be fixed by the time completion comes around though.

Friday, April 17, 2009

All locked up

It's only been two days since I last visited the house (have now stopped calling it "the block") and I was stunned to find it has reached lock up stage already.

Most of the internal doors have been fitted and the architraves also partly completed. All photos will now be through the windows.

The spa bath is also in the main bathroom but you can't see it because of the obscure glass (damn, wish I had put clear glass in now!).

A new "stink pipe" has also gone in outside the back door.

Below you can see the old washing machine somebody has dumped into the rubbish pile. I'm still waiting for them to drop around a nice shiny new one :-)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I'm plastered!!!

The plasterers have been in since last weeks update and put up the cornices and finished off the walls ready for painting.

The electricity and telephone cables have also been run to their respective boxes out on the street and somebody has dumped a washing machine in the rubbish pile out the front. Thanks for that but I'd prefer new appliances :-)