Saturday, 28 May 2011

A pink blankie for the house

Ok so this week ends on a warm and fuzzy note after a frustrating start with electricians who can't think outside the square and delayed the Gyprocking. If you want something done, easiest to do it yourself. Anyway, I am too tired to go into that. Moving swiftly along. Not much has changed outside - some more wiring and the insulation is almost all up with the Gyprock now all onsite and ready to go. S by next week, it should look like a proper house inside. Even though the ceiling insulation is not in yet - just the walls being insulated made the house warmer. Hopefully look forward to leaps and bounds in internal changes next week. Goodnite!

The garage with its pink blanket - it only comes in one colour I believe...

Down the main hallway - the insulation on the right is because this part of the hallway backs onto the garage sidewall.

Gyprock stacked and ready to go.

Looking through the ensuite wires and pipes everywhere!

The pink all around makes you feel like you are the inside of a slipper.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Housewife stuff

As the time comes closer for when they start fitting out the interior of the house, I am getting a little nervous - Carmen has raised her eyebrows but has let me have a go at being a little daring to try out a few things that could backfire. One of them is the sink we -(or I) have chosen - it is a black quartz sink by Schock (Model 200B) and I thought it was so beautiful I would've built my kitchen around it- ignore the tapwork - we have another type. But the thing is, we saw it after the kitchen was designed so I kind of threw it in and hope it will work with the colour scheme - I even changed our hob and oven etc. to black to complement it -see below, but there is no guarantee that that will help. If it does flop - I offer you this shot so that you may understand why I simply had to. If it doesn't work, well, we'll just have to change the cupboards! :-)

Wiring and ducting

So no major external changes this week except for the pillar out front that was put in to support the portico. The electrical wiring and data cabling as been done and the solar panels fitted on the roof for our solar boosted gas hot water cylinder - very tree hugger stuff that we had to do as per the rules of the golf estate. This week should see the insulation and gyproc commencing and I think doors as well.

Pillar supporting Portico is the change -we are now debating leaving as is instead of plastering it.

They also sealed under the eaves - not a dramatic week but a lot of detail done.
And the pillar finally gone!

An inside shot. Part of aircon ducting visible top left.

How the actual pillarless roof stays up - may not look it on photo but quite a serious metal brace.

Electrical cabling through to garage

Part of the data cabling - although we will run wi-fi network in house we still have 6 hard data points in bedrooms, studies and for the TVs - no aerials or dishes allowed here - all TV will be via Fibre Optic.

Extraction point for aircon. In summer, Wilton gets really hot. Even with the reflective sarking and maximum thickness insulation in walls and ceiling, aircon is a must. Sydney's humidity while it may be less here further from the city is still for us as ex-Capetonians unbearable without it. Durbanites wouldn't find it as bad I guess. Brisbane and really the whole of Queensland would be more to what they are used to. Melbourne by all reports is more akin to Cape Town weather as it shares the same Mediterranean climate whereas Sydney's is Oceanic. On the plus side - and it really is a plus - we very rarely have any strong wind here which is heaven! C u next week.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Roof on bricks cleaned

Ok so they cleaned the bricks and the colour scheme doesn't look as bad as I thought - well maybe somebody on the other side of this internet may disagree - maybe my taste has become Aussiefied! Anyway, I don't know if we should have gone with darker window frames but it is done now so too bad! With the roof on, it is beginning to feel like a house inside and we are starting to get excited. This coming week, all the aircon ducting goes in, the electrical wiring and data cabling gets done (we will have a 100MB Telstra Fibre optic line to the house -the fastest in Australia) and the gas fireplace is to be installed. Just had a question: the 'antennae looking' things on the roof are safety rails so the roofing guys don't fall off when tiling. Yes safety is ridiculous here!
From front right
From front left
From rear left
From rear right

Doors closed to Alfresco

Doors open to Alfresco - still waiting for them to move that temporary pillar! :-)


I had to take a trip to Tumbarumba (about 6 hours from Sydney) for business this week and on the way back I took a couple of shots from the car. Beautiful part of the world - near Tumut which I blogged about before. Yes that is snow. :-)

For those of you who may or may not be curious about the type of Tennant gear I sell, this last pic is of one of our units. Though I get to see large scenic parts of New South Wales, my journey always ends up on some large industrial site - not the prettiest places to be. This particular site is the largest timber mill in the Southern Hemisphere.This Tennant Sentinel sweeper boasts a Turbo charged 4.41Litre Caterpillar Engine and can pickup about 2.6 cubic metres of dirt. It has 2 x 11.2kW vacuum fans that make sure no dust escapes. The vacuum hose mounted on the back of the machine is so strong it can suck up a brick easily. Tennant. Don't buy toys.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Brickwork done. Gutters on.

The brickwork is done but the major thing that happened this week was that the gutters and facia boards went on in preparation for the roof which will happen this week. I will be glad when that is done since we won't be at the mercy of the weather so much anymore - not that it has been bad so far, thankfully. I will be the first to admit that I may have gotten the colour scheme not 100% right outside - we'll see once the roof is on so before anybody squints a bit if it comes out looking a little dodge, I am aware of that! I believe that we have got the inside decor right if nothing else - but we can poll on both once it is finished - everybody's taste is different so we'll see. Why face brick and aluminium? Well firstly maintenance-free but more importantly rendering (plastering) is hugely expensive here because labour for anything is high. I guesstimate it may have added 20-30 000 dollars to the house at the end of the day if we had plastered and then you still have to paint it. If you think South African houses are better built - yes they are more solid but less well insulated. South Africans do tend to have better colour co-ordination - most houses in Aus look like the old railway houses in South Africa from the 70's with red or cream brick and cream aluminium window frames. Melbourne is, I hear, slightly more modern in their taste. You still get a lot of oak finish here in NSW in kitchens and 'Biggie Best'and 'lace' steel decor on stoeps and patios. Anyway to each their own I guess. The thing is if you go too far away from the norm, you will never be able to resell, so you have to be aware of that. And yes the stacka doors etc. were left over a few days and weekend onsite with no security and the fence wide open as in the pics! See you next week!

From right front

From front left
From the rear left of the house into the Alfresco

A view from the rear right of the house.

Looking out onto the Alfresco. The gaps in the wall will have decorative timber slats in them initially but will be replaced with aluminium louvres to allow for variable light in summer and protection from the weather in winter when we do the Alfresco aluminium weather shutters - expected to be in total around$10k so we decided to hold off for a while on those. The supporting timber pillar in the middle will be removed once the roof is on and should open the room up a bit. The built in barbecue will go below those slats. The type of effect we are aiming at is something similar to this below which we got from a brochure we saw once - apologies for the poor quality:

The 6 stacka doors waiting in the garage ready for installation on the Alfresco. If they look short, it may be because our celings are 2750 high and the garage ceiling with the stepdown from the house will probably end up being around 3 metres.

The kitchen window is finally in! At last! (The gap was bugging me.)

All the roof tiles stacked at the back ready to go on. They will be on by next week.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Brickwork nears completion

Posting this late as I was watching online the awesome liturgy of the Beatification of Blessed John Paul II - what a great event that was! Well, as expected, the Easter break delayed building somewhat, but still some progress has been made and the brickwork is almost done. See you next week!