14 July 2013

Home Sweet Home

Moving house is always a big day... and thank goodness we had the sense to hook up with our favourite removalist - big shout out to Pinder Tower for smooth moves.  Another blesssing is it happens to coincide with the school holidays, plus with MOTH and I on leave, it was great to have the week to unpack our 60+ boxes of goodies that have been stored for up to 4 years.  It was just like Christmas, re-discovering some old favourites and taking the opportunity to do a big toss out at the same time.

A week later, our end of the house (and probably AC's too) still looks like a bomb just hit.  Slowly but surely we're making our way through the mess.

Anyone in need of tea chest packing boxes, please let me know, plus we have enough bubble wrap to start a business!  Between us we also have sufficient gear to open an Opportunity Shop... I reckon a garage sale is in order.  

This is the spare bedroom... where we toss everything we can't find a home for yet and/or don't want anymore. The door way is now blocked!

L-l-l-love our aubergine carpet!!!

I have been busy purchasing items on eBay and jaunting around the countryside to collect everything.  K1 and I disassembled and reassembled 2 Ikea bookcases within 24 hours, both are now being used in wardrobes. Lucky K2 has acquired a massive desk and leather chair so he's set now.

The doorbells I ordered from the US arrived the other day so MOTH's next task is to create a plate for all 3 to sit on.  In the meantime, knock hard and/or text before arrival.  I can tell you for sure the thick walls and double glazed windows are doing a fine job. We can't hear a damn thing that's going on outside!!!

Today the final piece of house was put in place  -  the front door!  Jeez MOTH and Fuzzy work well together.

Our internet connection is finally available (phew... some of us were breaking out in a sweat... not mentioning any names) but we're struggling with the crap Optus service on our mobile phones.  Voice calls are impossible. Not happy Jan!

The early days of living in a new home take some patience.  It's a whole new environment, like getting used to different showers... the Methven rose feels like rain and there's no cold spots so it's quite nice, but will require some getting used to.  The house needs to warm up too, and mid winter is not the easiest to deal with at the best of times, so we're having to use oil column heaters to keep the chills away. Everyone is having fun with the Insinkerator too.  Anything that's edible can be sent to the worm farm (waste water treatment system) so all our food scraps, tea bags, egg shells all get munched up. yum yum

Well, some of us are returning to the real world of paid jobs tomorrow so I'll bid you adieu, guten nacht, farewell... for now.

30 June 2013


Rick has been doing a mighty fine job of shaping the driveway, with the added bonus of tidying up a good chunk of the overgrown and messy areas near the entrance and fenceline.

Wow... what a difference a few days with the excavator can make!!!

Despite the fact we have a huge amount of rocks scattered all over the place, and Rick has worked very hard to dig up each and every one of them, we needed more and took delivery of 2 truck loads, along with extra topsoil.

 We have hot water now which is really noice!  Carpet is being installed on Tuesday so we've been frantically working to finish all the painting jobs in time.  MOTH invested in a bewt 10ft ladder so that he could reach the highest points of the rendered walls in the loungeroom as they needed sealing before the carpet was laid.  The ladder also came in handy when a smoke detector started chirping today.
PS: Nama & Fuzzy got to move in yesterday. It's our turn next weekend. 
woo hoo... house packing this week

23 June 2013

Are we there yet?

The moving truck has been booked for 6th July... trusting that everything will be in order for us to physically access the property with a removals truck.  Rick and his excavator are due to start work tomorrow, and using the power of positive persuasion, the driveway will be ready in time!

It's all hands on deck every spare minute of the day until that time.  Floor coverings are booked to be laid a few days prior to moving day so the last of the painting is being done... and yes Dr Paul, your suggestion to use a roller with head specifically for oil based enamel paint was a brilliant one.  You could have mentioned it earlier tho as I've only got 5 doors to go (after today). 

Today I painted 3 doors in record time, with ease and much less paint and pain!  May I also say to anyone interested... that painting enamel in the middle of winter, especially when the temp was 6 degrees celcius when I arrived this morning, is not recommended.  The paint gets quite thick and gluggy, but oh that roller made is so much better.  I even bought a pack of 10 replacements to save me from having to clean them... ha ha

and BTW, having a door makes going to the lav so much more clandestine!

With Rick arriving, MOTH needed to finish digging the utilities trench (taking services from the shed to house) and hooking up some final connections, as it will be covered up this week.

Fuzzy also showed me the collector tank under the house.  This is where all stormwater will first be gathered, then initially, re-directed to the overflow.  Once our water tanks are in place, the contents will be pumped across to the storage tanks for general use at the property. Refer to post dated 17/03/13 for more info.

The tank is tucked up neat and tidy under the lower balcony.

09 June 2013

Here's the fancy steps along the side entry between garage and house and the closed off porch from two angles.

08 June 2013

Exciting News !!!

The best possible news of all is that we now have permission to live in the house.  A "Claytons" inspection was arranged for yesterday, primarily so we could find out exactly what was required to finish the house for satisfactory final inspection.  Although the inspector did point out a couple of items that require attention, alas a final inspection certificate was not issued (no surprises here), he did give permission for us to occupy which hit us all like a bolt out of the blue.  Naturally, we are over-the-moon happy with this news... a massive step in getting outta where we are currently residing!

Nama & Fuzzy are pretty much all ready to move in.  Once the hot water service and oven are delivered, no doubt we will bid them farewell.

The remaining sections of the house still have some painting to be completed, mainly architraves and skirting boards, then the carpet can be laid in readiness for our furniture to come.

Stay tuned folks cos we're hoping to move out of the rental in a month's time!  woo hoo...

Items to be attended to for the fair dinkum final inspection aren't major, but we have time and aren't too concerned about it.  What does need immediate attention is the driveway.  At the moment there's no way of reaching the garage on wheels from either direction so Rick and his excellent excavator will be starting work very soon to level out one side and finish with gravel topping so we can at least get a removals truck to the door.

Note to anyone visiting:  Unless the garage doors are open, you'll need to access the front door/porch via the side entry, between garage and house.  Due to the OH&S hazard (big hole in front of the porch), we have blocked off the access.

15 May 2013

Summer is over...

Apparently Melbourne has just had it's final days of warm sunny weather.  The weekend temps were around 25c which was just beautiful, alas now it seems we've hit cold times and are now putting up with wet, windy, 12 degree days.  yuk

It was fascinating to see the 3:00pm sun hit the kitchen wall through the celestory windows, exactly as it should.

The house was deliberately positioned so we benefited from the winter sun but avoid the direct sun in the summer months.

Painting continues but now it's doors.  To speed things along, MOTH has transferred some of our storage boxes from the shed to act as stands so right now, every available room is being used for the purpose.

The vanity purchased on eBay for the powder room has received shiny new taps and happily placed into it's proper position. The wall mirror also bought on eBay will go on the wall and that room will be complete.

02 May 2013

A wee bit of progress...

Dear EP,

Here wee are at the dirty end of business. The poo pipe is operatational and K2 had the pleasure of christening the loo.  Unfortunately he wouldn't let me take a pic of the momentus occasion, not that the particular experience is momentus, but the actual event of using the toilie IN DA HOUSE for the first time was quite special.  Anyways, we dressed it up for the occasion... a wee bit smashing hey?

On a more spectacular note, the internal balustrade was installed today.  We have been really impressed with Tarosa Stairs and are super happy with the final product.  During the week, the temporary treads were removed, the framework cleaned up and the runners painted with a flat black enamel paint, which happens to match perfectly with the finish of the powder coated steel bars of the baludstrade. The only job left to do is stain and varnish the handrails to match the new treads.  

24 April 2013

We've made a list & checked it thrice.  Thankfully it's only a one page list that is now almost half complete.  This list you ask ??? is everything we can think of that needs to be done to get an Occupancy Permit for the house.  Yes, there's the odd task that's gonna take some hard yakka (we're trying to put those ones off til later) and some that are out of our hands, but we're slowly working through it.

Most light fittings are installed.
K1's butterflys go nice with
her Cork flooring
Tasks completed are:
Slab for the Hot Water Services
(plural) has been laid

The delicate procedure of fitting
the kitchen extractor to the
strawbale wall
... now which color splashback ???

So much angst over the front door...
but it's now stained and
the varnishing is nearly finished

Trenching & pipework to
the Poo Pipe (Worm Farm)

Feeding the worms manually
until the wastewater system
is commissioned

K2's Blue Room

"Soldiers" - inspection points
along the pipework

AC's Penthouse is lookin' good.
All the cabinetry is finished

This pic reminds me of the Colorbond ad on TV, except in this case you can't actually see the roof.  When I look up, I see the walls I built and rendered, which I later physically climbed to the very top of the scary-high scaffold to paint the eaves, and I even cleaned those damn windows.  What a beautiful sight!

Thanks to AC for playing Photographer during my convalescence.

17 March 2013

For those who have nothing better to do...

Yes... we're constantly working on the house and sometimes overworked and overtired by our everyday lives to update the blog, so here's the latest news.

MOTH has been methodically filling the gaps around the window sills and making the wall joins nice and even, particularly where plaster meets a strawbale wall.  Some of the internal strawbale walls that we're keeping in their natural state have also had their two coats of Earth Binder.  This is an acrylic based non-toxic sealer used to dust-seal and strengthen, without changing the surface appearance and vapour permeability.  My experience with the supplier, Tech-Dry deserves 5 stars and I cannot recommend them more highly. 

Just for those interested, Tech-Dry have another product called Earth Shield for external use which is a combined water repellent and surface binder.  Both these products, once applied, will not affect surface breathability.  Nama & Fuzzy will be applying this to a section of their outside wall next to where the hot tub will sit.

The painting Queens have also finished the master bedroom and it looks much sunnier now with light colour on the walls. 

Meanwhile, AC has been helping Fuzzy dig and fill trenches to hold the water pipes and electrical cables... very physically demanding work involving shovels and spades!

Fuzzy has also been occupied building his "cave" (as K2 has named it).  I was very impressed by the water filtration system he has created, giving us options to use tank or mains water, both of which are filtered prior to entering the house.  Nice work Fuzzy!

09 February 2013

More achievements to celebrate!  Fuzzy put the last of the architraving on today... yay... which LOTH then had the thrill of bogging up... woo hoo

Skip #1 was taken away yesterday… finally and after much angst, and just in the nick of time for #2 to arrive (from a much more reputable company I might add) and fill itself... while the resident reclycling unit watched on in awe!  Only joshing… Rick happened to be on site with his excavator and filled it in a squillionth of the time it took UK and squash down the contents to fit more in.  Bonus!
Meanwhile, Nama was busy in the kitchen making lunches for all who turned up to labor (as she does every weekend)... yum... and UK exercised his muscles while hand digging the last of the trench work.

We're getting closer to the end folks!

07 February 2013

Rick hits rock...

Geez we really love having the locals around... our latest helper is Rick and his awesome excavator who rolled up today.  Primarily his purpose was to dig trenches so that we can get power and water to the house and beyond, but he's also cleaned up a little, shoved the odd tree trunk to the side and made some tidy tracks for us to move around the property a little easier.  Furthermore, we've finally given some thought to the driveway on one side of the garage and planned retaining walls, so quite a bit of dirt got moved around today.  All went swimmingly until Rick stumbled across a massive rock... 

On the good news front, the downstairs ballustrade was fitted yesterday and now the house looks complete from this angle (if you don't look to close that is).
Bit of an issue the otherside tho...

Still enjoying the warm weather!

03 February 2013

Fuzzy & MOTH have finished the last of the window sills and I had the pleasure of watching the handiwork in action.

To break up the monotony of bogging and sanding, today I set to staining the hardwood stair treads that will replace the treads in the kitchen/meals area.  MOTH had earlier built a custom stand for the treads to sit on during the staining & varnishing process.  noice!

General Cleanup...

Let's start with a big thank you to UK for donating his time last weekend to load up the 6m skip... that finally arrived... via Mont Albert. (donk)

Just a shame that we can't recommend the company that delivered the skip!  Despite our request for another skip this weekend and umpteen follow up phone calls, as I type, they still haven't picked up the full one from last weekend!  (nuf said)

Well done to Nama and UK!

26 January 2013

We're Floored...

I'll let the pics speak for themselves, but have to say... I LOVE THE BAMBOO FLOORING!!!