Sunday, 22 January 2012

We're in and settled

It seems like a blink of an eye since the last update but it's almost two months.  Wow!  Where did that time go???????

So to backtrack - We moved in on the 10th December.  Phil had also hired a box trailer for the week prior to that and moved most of the small boxes prior to the move.  Even only leaving the furniture it still took the removalists 7 hours.  We were worried they were going to get it all finished in under 3 hours.  Those boys certainly earnt their money that day.  Thanks also to our friend and family members who helped with the move.  By 8.30 pm that night, all furniture and all boxes were in the house.  The two big boys had their early Christmas presents of double beds already set up.  Phil started putting the kids beds together and got Ryan's all set up.  He had just started putting Tristan's bunks back together... when disaster struck (well maybe not quite disaster..... but it certainly seemed like it at the time.)  One of the boys went to the toilet and it didn't flush.  Phil took a look outside and discovered the sewer was overflowing.  All of this at 9.30 pm on a Saturday night.  OH NO!

Luckily the overflow was outside so exceptionally quick showers were the order of the day.  We sent our SS a text that night.  The next morning when we got up (Tristan, Phil and I slept on our mattresses on the floor) we phoned the SS.  He was straight onto it.  He came over immediately (on a Sunday!!!!) and had a look at the situation.  He went home, organised a plumber to come with an electric eel and dropped the money back around to us to pay for it.  The plumber arrived within an hour of Dean dropping the money over and the problem was fixed shortly after that.  This is indicative of Modernview Home's customer service and willingness to go the extra mile for their clients.  We were so impressed by their service.  The blockage seemed to be near where the sewer met the main sewer out the front and it appears as though a bit of brick or tile has gone in the uncovered inspection hole during the build.  This is what caused the blockage.

We continued unpacking (and Phil did get the other beds set up on the Sunday).  We were plowing through the unpacking at a great pace.  We had to.  We were having all of our family at our house for Christmas Day so the pressure was on.

After a lot of hard work, we were totally unpacked and ready to host Christmas at The Ponds.  We had even unpacked the garage and were able to put my car away.  Phil discovered (thanks Lynley) about our local tip that lets you tip cardboard and paper for free.  We were able to get rid of our rubbish along with our recyclables too.

We had a small delay with our shutters, which was no fault of the Blind and Shutter Centre.  They kept us informed at all times and compensated us for the delay.  Due to the delay they even bought over roller blinds temporarily for the bedrooms.  Two of the bedrooms face west and were getting really hot in the afternoon and evening.  The shutters were installed last week and look amazing.  I so love them.  Their installer was very professional and he did an outstanding job.  (Thanks Ross).

One of the problems that we have encountered is with our home phone and internet connection.  Apparently, in our area, there is a problem with Telstra connecting our whole neighbourhood to the local exchange.  The Telstra box that services our area is full (this is the old grey post kind of thing).  They are almost finished the new rim service, which was due to finish two months ago, however this has been delayed.  Consequently, our internet provider - Internode which is merging with iinet - have been very helpful.  We have, on loan, a 3G wireless modem so we can connect to the Internet.  Through this we have a temporary phone through the internet - VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) until we can get our proper home phone number and internet.  The kids can't wait as they haven't been able to access You Tube due to trying to reduce our downloads.  A whole school holidays without You Tube although luckily they could still use Facebook.

We are so thrilled with our house and wouldn't change a thing about it.

During this time (and in between ferrying kids to their friends houses) we have also been thinking about our landscaping.  We are thinking now of putting bamboo in our back yard.  This will provide us with a screen from our back neighbours and their neighbours.  This will give all of us some privacy even though they are lovely people (who have also moved in.  Hi Matt, Kaz and the girls).  We may even be able to save money on putting blinds on the alfresco.  After hours of research (cause we all have heard the horror stories of bamboo running for miles) this bamboo is clumping bamboo so it will stay within its clump.  We are thinking we might be able to cultivate it down the track and make a fortune.  We are getting Gracilis bamboo.  Phil had researched online and discovered some places in Queensland that would freight it down to Sydney.  We also discussed it with the nursery that we discovered at Annangrove, recommended by another of our friends.  Sydney's Plant Market's staff have been phenomenal.  Mark (at the nursery) recommended we wait to plant the bamboo until March due to the extreme weather conditions that are typical of a Sydney summer (not that we've had a real Sydney summer this year).

Partially due to this reason, we have decided to continue the Asian theme into the front garden as well.  We have decided to go with a purple Japanese maple as our centre tree, with two green weeping Japanese maples either side of it.  We have a sewer manhole on our property next to our driveway on the other side.  We have decided to get a half wine barrel and put a cherry blossom tree in there.  We are also hedging our garden with the Japanese Buxus hedge and having camellia shrubs down the side boundaries.  Dallas (another staff member) even came to our house to have a look and advise us of plants for a small fee.  This gave us the confidence that we weren't putting plants in the wrong position.  He also suggested some of the ideas that we are going with.

The landscaping will be the main project over the next couple of months as we prepare the front garden.  We have decided not to have any lawn on our front garden due to the space issues and are looking at putting in a dry creek bed feature.  We will, of course, have turf for our council strip.  However, all of this requires money.  So now we just keep working hard so we can get this done.

The photos are pictures of the rooms complete (at this stage and for the foreseeable future).  There are a few things that I would like as in the way of cushions and some kind of Asian decorative feature for the dining room.  These will come, in time.

Thank you for following us on our home build blog.  We will continue to update this as we turn our block / building site / house into our home.

Our study.  The bookcase on the right has Bel's scrapbooking and work resources.

Phil and Bel's desk.  Bel's is the clean one. :)

Bel's bookcase

The beautiful laundry looking from the door.  

The laundry from the door.  The laundry chute is to the left and Jackie the dog is outside.  She's cute, but she's noisy.  

Washing machine and dryer - obvious I know :)

Our downstairs toilet and shower.

Feature tile in downstairs toilet and shower.

Kitchen and family room.

Dining Room with timber spotted gum floor.  ( I so love that floor.)

Our kitchen (with our lounge in the foreground.  That is on the list to update - down the track)

Looking from the back corner of our family room all the way through to the front door.  We have 9 foot ceilings and have 90mm skirting boards all throughout the bottom storey.  The skirting continues upstairs, although the ceilings are standard height.  

From the other corner of the family room looking through the kitchen and the dining room.  

From the edge of the kitchen looking towards the dining room and alfresco area. 

View from the pantry door.  

Boys loungeroom.  This is their room complete with PS3, DVD player, Foxtel and big screen TV.

The other side with their fussball table, drums and Bel's additional books.

The view of our house prior to front garden landscaping.  

Our back yard.  The dogs are on 'their' side of the backyard and the other side, where the alfresco is  located, is dog free except by invitation.  

The back view of our house which is west facing.  The shutters from the Blind and Shutter Centre look amazing in our opinion and help keep the house cooler.  

The view down the side of the house.  This is the south side and the 'dog zone'.  This is also the laundry side of the house.  

Our backyard from the clothes line.  The garden edging that you can see behind the dog fence is where the bamboo will be planted.  

Our bedroom.

View of the bedroom from the ensuite.  You can see our door to the balcony so we have direct access to it and the children can access it as well.  

This is our walk in wardrobe (although not very much of it is Phil's).  My chest of drawers fits in there like it was bought for it.  
Our ensuite.
Our ensuite and bath. 
Feature tile in shower niche.
Our toilet that is separate.

View from the balcony - looking north.  The only change to this view in future, will the be the trees as they grow.  This is all part of the designated bush corridor.  

The 'quiet zone' and the main entry out to the balcony.  It is very peaceful here. 

Chris' bedroom.  

Another view of Chris' bedroom.  

Ryan's bedrrom (a mad keen Chelsea supporter).  This is a north facing window and the shutter helps to keep this room so cool.  

Ryan's room. 

Tristan's room.  (Clearly a Man U supporter).  This room faces west and so the shutters have made a significant difference in both Tristan and Dallas' rooms.  

Tristans room. 

Dallas' room.

Dallas' room. 

Boys vanity outside their toilet and bathroom.

Boy's bathroom.

Boys feature tile in shower niche.

Boys toilet.  All toilets are soft close and back to the wall for ease of cleaning.  

The linen closet - completely full.  I could easily have a cupboard double this size.  

Our stairs looking fabulous.
Looking to do some night shots shortly, (now that we've found the tripod).  We will update the blog with these photos when available.  Our rain garden opposite will start to have water drain into it next week as all landscaping has now been finished in the garden.  This will give us a 'little lake' ? out the front.  


  1. Congrats on the move in! We had exactly the same happen with our sewer...must be a common new build problem. We have also planted that bamboo - it is growing really well.

  2. Congratulations Phil and Bel, the house is looking great.

  3. Your home looks like it has come together beautifully - you must be so happy to be all moved in. I'm sure the bamboo is going to look stunning!