Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Sprint to the Finish

We are sprinting to the finish now.  We are all systems go.  We have had the cleaners through for the first clean and the bathrooms and kitchen look amazing.  We have had another brick cleaning company to finish off the outside of the house.  Our fly screens are on and look fabulous.  Our back to base alarm has been installed and is now active - which certainly gives us peace of mind.  Our big news is that the timber flooring started going down today.  It looks amazing.  I love it.  What's left? Timber flooring to be finished off tomorrow morning, carpets going down tomorrow, skirting boards to be put on, cleaner to come back through, driveway to be done (hope for good weather for us) and then obviously stove and hot water system along with air conditioner to be delivered and set up once Phil is staying there.  We are good to go.  We are moving in as a family on the weekend of the 10th December.  We are so thrilled.  We are madly packing and all can't wait to move in.  

There have been some minor hiccups, however Dean is onto them as soon as we bring them to his attention and he gets them rectified asap.  Unbelievably he is even fussier than Phil and picks up most of the things that we mention, before we tell him.  Modernview Homes don't necessarily have a PCI as such, just a handover date.  Handover is expected for Monday 5th December.   

Onto the photos.  Enjoy :)
Looking from the balcony (on a rainy day)

The door to our bedroom from the balcony.  On the left hand side, you can see the aluminium sliding door to the 'quiet lounge room'.

Our ensuite - cleaned and finished.  Looking fabulous too :)

Our shower for the ensuite and our separate toilet.

My dream linen cupboard.  Can't wait to fill this baby up :)

Our kitchen looking from the family room, with all the down lights on.  

Looking through our front door  from the front porch.

Another view of our kitchen and hall way.

Our powder room shower, the edge of the toilet and the edge of the vanity.

Another shot of our powder room.  We are so happy with it.  

Timber floors being laid.  They look fabulous.  This is looking from the front door to the back of the house.  

From the back of the house, looking forward to the front of the house.  

The timber floor in the kitchen in the space where our oven will go.  

Our family room before skirting boards. 

Main bathroom upstairs finished.

Alfresco with the fan and the grass in the foreground, growing like crazy.  Phil will have to mow it again this weekend.

Standing from our pantry door looking out over the kitchen bench and the dining room.  

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

All lit up

We have been 'turned on'.  Our dream home just keeps getting better and better.  We have lights (and power points and power bills). The lights look fantastic.  Phil and I spent hours trying to decide on the light fixture for our stairs.  Do we go with WOW or do we go with WOW that's practical for what we want.  We went Wow with practical.  The painters have finished inside and out.  The grass is growing so well that Phil had to mow it yesterday.  Painters only finished outside painting today including the staining of our timber finishes.

And now to the photo feast: (some of them were taken on the iphone last night - so are a bit grainy)

The front of our house all lit up for the first time.  This was taken last night before the outdoor painting was completed.  We are so thrilled with how it looks.

This is part of our kitchen splashback before the tiles and bench are cleaned.  The bench isn't really that white.  It's a Caeserstone Shimmer.  We are so stoked with how good it looks.

Our pillar lights.  Phil spent long hours agonising over which lights to put and how to light up the front of the house.  He did an amazing job and his choices look spectacular.

Our front door stained, with our porch lights coming in when they sensed someone was there.  How exciting.

From the edge of the porch.  This porch will eventually be decked with timber.  

Our downlights in our family room.

Looking from our dining room into the alfresco and beyond to the back yard.  Two sides are fenced... one more to go.  We are just waiting for the ok from our builder. You can clearly see our beautiful fence as installed by Michael Jones from Ezy clip fencing.  

Our backyard from our southern neighbours side.  The bare sections along the fence are for the future gardens.  The lawn is Matilda soft leaf buffalo.  We are really pleased with how well it has turned out.

The back of our house from our back yard.  We love the size of our alfresco.  This too will be timber decked... hopefully in time for Christmas ...... 2012. :)

Our entry way from the inside.  One thing we noticed after we started framing was that we didn't have a bulkhead in the  foyer and that our lounge doors were a standard size, yet our front door was 2.4m high.  We changed it so that the doors going into the lounge room are also 2.4m high and we think it looks fantastic.  

Our powder room before the shower screen is installed.  This is the only bathroom that we have tiled to the ceiling.  All other bathrooms have tiling to 1350mm.  (3 x 450mm).  One reason for this - boys.  Need I say more?  Both other showers went to the ceiling.  

Our Wow but practical light.  This has LED lights, so we can leave the LED on overnight and let it give a soft glow in case anyone gets up to go to the bathroom or needs a drink.  This was actually the light that we picked at Sunnyholt Lighting Warehouse months ago and the one we decided to go with.  We found Naomi to be fantastic there.  

A view from the top of the landing of the same light.  These pictures have only got the LED on and not the halogen globes as well. 

Boys' bathroom with their feature tile.  Their niche matches the bath tile.
Boy's Bathroom with feature tile.

Our balcony all tiled and our stainless steel balustrade.  This was another last minute upgrade.  It looks fantastic.

The timber door (before staining) leads to our bedroom whilst the sliding door goes to the communal area.  These are the two entrances onto the balcony.  I can't wait to spend a lazy Sunday morning up here reading the paper and having a beautiful breakfast.  

Our ensuite with all tiles grouted.  This is just waiting for the mirror now for the whole length of that wall.  We are so pleased with our feature tiles.

Our shower.

These are our upgraded drains to all wet areas.  This is the waste drain.  It was about $40 extra per drain, but looks fantastic.  

Our bedroom painted with power points and tv points ready to go.

Our Ezy Clip Fence and gate beautifully installed.  Phil has put down the recycled road base here ready for the weed mat and then pebbles on top.  Phil has worked like a Trojan over at the house recently.  If you're in the area while he is there watering, stop by and say hello.
What's next?
Glad you asked.
This week our wardrobes, pantry and linen cupboard are all getting fitted out.  Hopefully the mirrors and shower screens will be installed either later this week or early next week.  HUGE site clean next week both inside and out.  Fly screens will go on after the windows are cleaned.  Driveway and path to be started late this week to next week.  Flooring going in later this month.  Hopefully shortly after that PCI at the end of this month or very early December.  We are then hoping that the Bank comes to the party fairly quickly and we can get the cheque to Modernview Homes as soon as possible so we can get the keys and move in.  We can't wait to move in and start to live The Ponds lifestyle.

A big Thank you to our amazing builders - the team at Modernview Homes who have pushed for us to get our house finished so quickly.  A special thanks to Dean (our Site Supervisor) who is so patient and considerate allowing us to get the turf down and taken prior to our dogs moving in.

It will be Christmas at our home at The Ponds this year.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

I'm in love

In other news,  our painters will hopefully be there to start tomorrow.  We have finally made our final selections with the paint.  We were indecisive about the stain and quite unsure which way to go.  Phil spoke to Ricky, the painter, who gave great advice and recommended that we stain all indoor (or out of the sun) timber in a clear stain to bring out the natural characteristics of the timber in a gloss finish.  Our bottom step will be in a semi gloss finish.  The timber feature posts on the balcony will be done in a UV resistant clear stain to bring out its timber features.  We have opted to upgrade to Taubman's Endure and Modernview Homes were very accommodating with this late change.

Hopefully, our tiler will be back this week to complete the job.  There was a small hiccup with tiles going missing.  DiLorenzo have rectified this promptly and the tilers are expected back this week to complete all tiling.

Our balcony balustrade went in today and looks fantastic.  We will upload a photo tomorrow.

We are still rapt with Modernview Homes and are so pleased with the job they are doing.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Tiling and other updates

Our build has been progressing quickly now.  We have been so blessed.  Each week there has been progress at our house.  We are thrilled with the results and the tradies that our builder uses.  

Over the last three weeks we have been busy, along with our builders.  Phil organised the antenna installation - gotta have the tv up and ready for summer sport you know.  He organised this through AM.AV Integrated Installations. Andrew Mortimer (the owner) (0404412628) offered fantastic advice and helped with organising our tv and foxtel requirements throughout the house including out to our alfresco area.  He also advised us on possible home theatre options, as this is one of his specialties too.  We were really happy with his service and his price.  
Our antenna ready to go.
Another job that has been done is the turf in our back yard.  We wanted to get the turf down so that it would have time to 'bed in' before we move in with the boys and the dogs.  We have used Matilda soft leaf buffalo.  It feels like you are walking on a carpet of grass.  We have been 'babying' it all week and it is already starting to grow.  Phil will have to move it before we move in.  
Phil and Nathan laying the turf. 
Our turf down (Hi Matt and Caz)
 Our tiles have been going down this week with some unfortunate delays that were out of our tiler's hands.  Unfortunately, he decided to leave most of the tiles at their warehouse, but the tiles were stolen out of their warehouse, and so now we are waiting for more tiles to get ordered in.  This is disappointing, however I'm sure that the tiler's will be doing everything they can to be able to finish our job in good time.  We have been very happy with the workmanship from the DiLorenzo's tilers.  They have been very professional.  Luckily, this isn't going to slow the schedule down as the painters can still start next week as planned.  Hopefully the tilers will be back next Wednesday to finish the feature tiles and the powder room.
Our balcony - not grouted but glued down

Our ensuite bath.  Our mirror will run the whole length of the wall above the feature tile.

A view of our ensuite from the door.  This gives a better view of my wonderful, beautiful, amazing feature tile.  This will also be in the shower niche.  the mirror runs the whole length of this wall - almost to the ceiling. 

The boys bathrrom.  Their bath hob isn't tiled yet due to it being a feature tile.  Next week.  This is the room with their shower and bath only.  The mirror is above the vanity.

This is the doorway to the boys bathroom area.  Toilet straight ahead, vanity to the left, bathroom to the right.  

Our kitchen complete with Caesarstone benchtops in White Shimmer with free plastic covering.  Our beautiful splashback tiles - which really have a metallic look to them.  They are a 600 x 600mm rectified porcelain tile.  We also have our beautiful pantry door hung.  

Another view of the splashback in more natural light.  The downlights under the cupboard will make this area look amazing.  It's hard to find a photo that will do this area justice.  
Next to happen on the build within the next week are:
* Next week painting starts
* Tiling should be finished
* Shower screens and mirrors measured up and ordered

Motoring along now.  Still looking good to move in during December.  It's good to see all of our neighbours have started building now.  We will have a wonderful community there by this time next year.

Hope all your builds are going well.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Family Home Inspection

 On Friday 7th October, we had our first ever 'family' inspection where the children were allowed to actually enter the house with us.  We were so excited.  The house is looking amazing.  Just a few more cosmetic things to be done at the front now, like the balcony balustrade, balcony tiling and some paint touch ups.  In the last few weeks we have had:
* the front door hung
* the garage door installed
* the kitchen and vanities installed
* laundry fitout installed including our laundry chute
* cornices completed
* gyprock mostly finished
* most of the waterproofing finished
* all downpipes installed and connected
and we're not slowing down yet.
The house from the front with garage door, front door and cladding complete.
Our door has been installed and is looking amazing.  We are still waiting for the lock and the staining to be done here.  However we are all so impressed with how it looks.  Brilliant!!!!!!

 First stop was the laundry (we came in through the garage).  WOW!!!! I was totally blown away by how fantastic the laundry looks.  The shelf that you can see in the first photo will have a hanging rail so that I can hang up shirts etc that can't go in the dryer but still take advantage of the warm air.  That is also the reason that we have a small window in there, so that we can still have the window open, yet the door closed when the dryer is going.

The other amazing thing in my laundry in this cupboard (next to the sliding door).  This is my amazing laundry chute.  Inside this cupboard is a shelf about waist height that the clothes fall down to.  Underneath this shelf are two more shelves that I can use for storage.  I so LOVE it.  So much easier for clothes to get to the laundry.  The boys can't wait to put their 'dirty' clothes down there.

 Next stop was the powder room.  The waterproofing has already been done ready for the tiling.  Our shower niches are also in and look a fantastic size.  Vanities are in as well.  We are tiling to the ceiling in this room as there are no windows in here.
 The view of where the toilet will go - next to the shower.

The view of the front door from inside along with the bulkhead and display niche.  We are really happy with how our entrance looks.  You can see the entrance to the kids loungeroom which will have double doors installed.

This is a photo from within the boys' lounge room.  They have already decided where the tv is going and the lounge.  Most of the rooms downstairs have square set cornices as our ceilings are 9 feet (or 2.8m) high.  We felt that the square set cornices really make the ceilings look even higher and set off the high ceilings.

My beautiful staircase.  Wow.  I love it.  I love the look of the stainless steel.  The handrail is spotted gum as is the bottom step.  We are still yet to decide on the stain for it.  We are having spotted gum floating timber floor.

We will have a storage area under this side of the stairs.  Opposite the stairs is a built in cupboard for our coats, bags, shoes and other items that are frequently used outside.  We think that our architect was brilliant for including this.  We would never have thought about it on our own.  

Then we next went to the kitchen.  WOW.  (There were lots of Wow moments :) ).  We decided to do graphite on the outside of the island bench and white everywhere else.  Our kitchen is Createc Ultra White Gloss and we are thrilled with how it looks.  The sides on the island bench are 35mm polyurethane to give the look of a waterfall effect (without the cost of the Caesarstone).  We are putting in 40mm Caesarstone White Shimmer benchtops which will be measured up this week.  This first photo with Phil and 2 of the boys is looking toward the pantry and the oven.  Whilst we were there they were starting to instal the ducted rangehood.  You might need to ask for this to be done if you want it.  This was a standard inclusion with Modernview Homes yet other builders don't include this.
This next photo is looking towards the tv niche in the family room with the other 2 boys.  We have lots of drawers in the kitchen along with some cupboards.  Although most of the cupboards are overhead.  All of our drawers have soft close on them with stainless steel handles.  Our overhead cupboards don't have handles on them to give a more streamlined / contemporary look. The tall drawer you can see (next to the cutlery drawers) has our two bins - recycling and rubbish bins in there.  This was not a great cost and something that we would highly recommend.  (under $400)
 This is the view from the corner of the island bench.  You can see the microwave space along with the 4 drawers underneath this.  The bench space that will be next to this, we are planning to use as coffee making / toast etc area.  All of the overhead cupboards have downlights in them to light up the bench space.  This was much cheaper than we had anticipated and with our tiled splashback will give us maximum wow for minimum bucks.  The door is the doorway to Bel's massive pantry.  We have a sliding door going in here with the translucent glass.

 Next out to the alfresco.  Phil was blown away by the way that Modernview did the bulkheads.  It looks fantastic and highlights the height of the alfresco area.

Next stop was up my beautiful stairs and our room.  I love it.  This is standing at our double doors looking into our bedroom.  The white cupboard in the walk in wardrobe is the top half of the laundry chute.  The boys were fascinated by it.  Our walk in wardrobe runs the whole length behind the bed.  Our ensuite is to the right of this photo.  

This is our shower with the niche in and the waterproofing done.  It looks really generous.  The wall on the left borders the separate toilet in our ensuite.  

This is our separate toilet.  We did think about it and debated it, however decided it was beneficial especially for the matrimonial harmony it would provide.  This toilet has an extra strong exhaust fan lol. (It really does have an exhaust fan... just not extra strong).  
 Our vanity and the space for the bath.  The mirror that we are having will run the whole length of this wall.  We were quite surprised at how cheap this option was (especially compared to tiles).  We are having our beautiful, exquisite (read expensive) tile in a strip between the benchtop and the mirror.  Another reason that we wanted the mirror for the whole length as the benchtop goes the whole length.    You can see in the corner on the right the shower and the door for the toilet.  The ensuite vanity is graphite in a gloss finish.  Our Caesarstone benchtop will be White Shimmer (the same as the kitchen) but in 20mm.
 A closer view of the laundry chute.  I think I'll be chasing boys out of my bedroom frequently, especially in the first week or so when the curiosity and novelty will be at its peak.

The balcony primed for waterproofing and looking fabulous.  It had rained overnight, yet the balcony hadn't gotten wet at all.

The boys bedrooms all look brilliant.  They were all trying to decide where their beds were going along with their TV's (which they don't have) and other furniture in their rooms.  This photo is a view from Ryan's room looking over to the bridge on Riverbank Drive.

This is another brilliant idea from our architect.  This is the kid's bathroom area.  It is a three way bathroom in that there are three areas - not three ways of entering.  So this will be the toilet that you can see with a vanity along on the left hand side.  This way someone can be in the toilet and other people can still be brushing their teeth or washing their hands.
 This is the rest of their bathroom area with their shower and the bath will be to the left of the vanity.  This gives them the option of someone in the shower / bath and other people can still use the toilet without compromising privacy.  We have 4 drawers between both vanity units, so each boy will be able to have their own drawer.  All of the vanities (except for the ensuite) have white vanities with Night Sky Caesarstone benchtops.
 Another view of their shower with their niche.  They will also have a feature tile in here to tie in with their tile over the bath hob.

 This is the door that we are installing for the pantry.  Love it.  This was not a cheap upgrade but we are positive it will look a million dollars... well not quite.  :) (Cost to upgrade was around $500)
 Just as we were leaving, my laundry sink was getting installed.
Wow.  We can't believe how fantastic it is looking.  It is getting so close now.  Modernview Homes aren't slacking off now though.  They are still powering on.  Over the next two weeks we have tradies lined up to:
* hang all the doors and finish the carpentry inside (architraves and skirting)
* carpet and flooring getting measured up
* electrical rough in
* tv antenna installed
* benches to be installed
* tilers booked within the next two weeks
* and the painter has been booked for the end of October.

We are so impressed and happy with our builders and especially Dean who is so helpful.  We have already started packing over the school holidays with things that the boys won't need over the next few months.  We are hoping to be moving in around the first week of December.