Monday, December 14, 2009


Dodgy pics from my phone but pics none-the-less...


Work has started!....

The pergola is being installed as I type! The parts were delivered just after 7 this morning and the guys arrived shortly after and have started work shifting the bits inside and digging holes for the posts and the plumbing.

I must find my camera so that I can show pics of the progress...

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Good people...

You hear so many people talking about society today and how it's such a bad place to be... Today, within the space of an hour I had two expereinces that confirmed that there are 'good people' around.

The first were the guys who turned up to fix our windows which we reported on our 3-month maintenance report. We had one broken lock, one sticky lock and a loose window that we wanted fixed. When they arrived they told me what it was that their job-sheet showed and then asked me to check every window and let them know if there were any other problems at all because they wanted to make sure that everything was working properly - which I was impressed with to start with (most people come to do a job and that's it). Then as one of the guys was fixing the lock he mentioned something about changing it to a side lock instead of the centre lock and I asked if that was easy to do - side locks/catches would be much easier with the roman blinds than the centre locks (don't need to open the blind to open the window) - I asked if he could change the bedroom lock over and they ended up changing every lock in the house to the side opening ones!! They were great guys - really friendly - and even cleaned up after themselves... but the best thing... one of them commented on my roman blinds and how good they looked (he used to make them commercially so that made me feel pretty good!!)

Within half an hour of the window guys leaving, I had another knock at the door... it was the maintenance guy who had been watering the gardens at the displays up at the top of the estate. He said he had some water left in the tank and wanted to know if he could water our garden - ABSOLUTELY!!!!!!!!!! We got more than half of it watered before he ran out. Apparently he'd asked someone else and they'd said 'no' because they thought his water was contaminated - it might be dirty and not drinking quality but it's more than good enough for my very thirsty plants!

So you see - there are some good people around!

In other news in our estate... work has started on stage 2 (and maybe 3 as well) and we now have houses on both sides of us and yesterday there appeared a port-a-loo on the block across the road. We met the neighbour from across the road (behind the block with the loo) last week and they moved in over the weekend. Our little block is starting to feel a bit like a neighbourhood. We haven't met everybody, but there are now quite a few houses with people living in them.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Not long now....

I had a phone call yesterday telling me that the pergola is due to arrive from Adelaide on Wednesday of next week!! They're going to get back to me with the actual construction dates but it looks like it will be done in the next 2 weeks!

Friday, November 13, 2009

I Love it!!

The concretors arrived at 5.30 this morning as promised and have been working hard all morning making our patio look GREAT!!! I reckon it's worth the wait and I've already forgotten the hassles (as Uncle Don suggested - Thanks Don!). And even better is that it's all done in time for by the time Dad arrives next week.

Some pics...

First truck arrived just before 6.00am and the barrows were lined up in the garage at the ready (I didn't get a photo...)




Spraying back...



Finished product - still wet. I don't know what the mix is called - it's just #5 from Werribee Mini-Mix...

Back step at the laundry door...

...and look what has appeared over our fence...

Yesterday it was just walls, today the roof trusses have been put up and the roof tiles have just been delivered. The same has happened on the next block over as well (both the same builder).

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Concrete update...

I woke this morning to a text message from the concretor! It simply read "will b there 2morro at 5.30am"

I am rapt!!

...and he's just called again to confirm what type of aggregrate so sounds like it's definitely on for tomorrow.

My alarm is set (not going to be caught out again like the first time they came), the garage is clear - just need to move the car out, and the yard is cleared in readiness.

Monday, November 9, 2009

No concrete today...

...and probably no concrete this week!!!!!!!!!!!

I HATE being told by tradies "we'll be there on xxx" and then they don't turn up.

I was told over a week ago, that we'd get boxed on Friday and poured on Monday. I've just called this afternoon to find out what's happening only to be told (as though I was stupid!) that "it's too hot to pour now!".... Well I figured that!!!!!!!!! but what was wrong with this morning!!!!!!

So now I'm told "maybe Friday" with a "we'll call a few days before" - which I've been told before and haven't received a call yet! I highly doubt that they will be here Friday and I'm on the verge of telling them to shove their concrete, to take their boxing and I'll get someone else to do the job. As it is I've told them that I'm not impressed hanging around for 9 weeks waiting when we were told 3-4 weeks - to which I get told "but we've had rain" but only about a week of rain all up - not 4 WEEKS RAIN!!!!!


The front yard is planted!!

We planted the last of the plants in the front yard and have finished moving rocks (at last!!).


The before and after shot...
CIMG6720 CIMG6723

It's so great to have most of the plants that we have in the ground now. There are only couple left over which we will transplant into larger pots before their home in the backyard is found - means that we did a pretty good job planning how many plants we needed.


It's hard to photograph at the moment, as there's not a lot of contrast, but when the gravel is put in it should come up really nice.


We've also planted with growth in mind - we have been mindful of how high and how wide each plant gets and positioned accordingly. There is only one plant that I'm not sure of (as in not sure how high/wide) as it's one we've had in a decorative pot for 2-3 years - but we've put it in a place that it can be removed if it does get too big without affecting the rest of the garden too much.



We now have the paving (stepping stone style) and a couple more plants to put in along the south side fence (to the right) and maybe a couple of extra rivercascades along the two front windows.

This is where the paving will go...

We may get to these next weekend but there's no promises....

Next priority will be the back section outside the lounge-room window... This gap in the concrete under the piles of bricks and pavers
CIMG6731 CIMG6521 CIMG6522 Landscape plan


The concretors came on Friday and boxed up the areas for concreting. They're due to come back today to pour it and so we've been up early clearning out the garage so that they can get through - maybe we might be able to get two cars in soon....

Back step - from the laundry...

Looking from the rear of the garage...

From inside the garage down along the north side fence...

From the back fence...

Monday, November 2, 2009

A garden... (or part of one at least)

After a full on weekend of digging and shifiting rocks we now the proud owners of our very own rock garden....


It started out looking like this...

...and has become this...

It still needs pebble mulch but that will need to wait until the rest of the area is complete.



As you can see from the pictures, this is only a small part of our (very small) front yard and there is still quite a bit to go. However we did also get the rest of the yard prepped and ready to go as well. It's been weeded and de-grassed, cleared of builders rubble (lots of plaster, conrete, mortar, and brocken bricks), dug and shaped. So when our energy returns we'll dig more holes, shift more rocks and plant the remaining plants and hopefully have a finished front yard in the very near future.

As for the pergola, we have some progress there too... the concrete area is to be boxed on Friday this week and should be poured on the following Monday.

But the BEST NEWS... the council have now issued our building permit for the pergola!!!!

(it would be nice if we could get the car into the garage too... MUCH more sorting to do in there first though....)

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Our plumbing problem is now FIXED and we didn't have to do it ourselves!!

After countless calls to the SS he finally gave us the number of the plumber - I think because he was genuinely surprised that they hadn't called us after 3 days and decided that he'd rather I pestered them instead of him. Several more calls to the plumber (well his secretary) eventually resulted in a plumber turning up at 6.45am as promised (very punctual) where he fixed the broken pipe and also added a T intersection (and a riser for ease of access - pipe sticking out of the ground that shows the location) for the plumbing of the pergola/verandah at no extra cost. He was done and gone in less than 20 minutes!

And we also seem to be getting somewhere with the building permit for the pergola (I know - technically a verandah). The guy from the council has just called to ask a few questions regarding out permit (we had to resubmit) and gave me the impression that every was OK so fingers crossed we get the official go ahead soon.

As for the concrete... we are still waiting on that... I think that they were waiting to hear that we'd sorted the plumbing out - which they've now been advised of - and so now we're expecting them to come around and box it up ready for the pour. We've been told this will happen "sometime soon" but I don't know how to convert this from 'tradie-speak' into 'layperson-speak' and so am expecting it could be anything between now and the middle of next week.

In the meantime we have a long weekend coming up - in 'artstitches-speak' this means that Bryan has an RDO and so we actually get 2 days off together in a row - and so we're planning to get that front yard moving along. The plants are crying out to get into the ground SOON!

And just so I don't have another post devoid of pictures... this gives you an idea of the pergola we are getting put on. It won't look exactly like this - ours will have the pitched section to the right and the flat section to the left and will have a mixture of tinted sky-lights and solid panels in the roof.

Monday, October 26, 2009


We are waiting on the builder to sent over a plumber to look at the broken pipes. We're hoping that it's non-compliant and therefore the builders responsibility to fix, if not... then we will do it ourselves (it certainly isn't 4" below the existing ground level and not 4" from the top of where the concrete will be). We have made things easier for them by digging out all around the pipe so fingers crossed they'll do it.

By doing this however, we are back in the hands of the SS and this means waiting... I spent much of Friday calling the SS to find out - each time he resonded with "haven't they called you yet?..." so I'm not sure if it's because he hasn't arranged it or if he's getting stuffed around by the plumber (and the other tradies who are also supposed to be turning up).

In the meantime we did some more digging to get the termguard pipes underground so that the concrete won't be poured directly on top.

The front yard is still a work in progress... The right side (as you look at it) is almost ready for the rocks to put in place and so we're planning to get working on it this weekend... Might have to look at getting some dirt delivered.

We might even have concrete by the end of the week and I could get enough dirt (sorry... soil) to do the garden outside of the lounge room as well. ...oh but that would mean moving the bricks and pavers again.... it's like a puzzle.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


This was not part of the plan....

This morning, bright and early as promised, our concreting team arrived
Eeeek! we were still in bed as I hadn't set the alarm and had just yelled at the dog to shut up when I realised that there seemed to be quite a few voices coming from out the front (in addition to the usual yelling of the brickies in an unknown language) and realised that perhaps the dog was actually trying to tell me something *embarrased*

Armed with trucks, digger, tools and gravel they set to work.CIMG6689

At one stage we popped our heads out the door to discover that the downpipe near the kitchen didn't go straight down and the digger had broken the pipe... "no problem... we'll fix it" we were told and we went back inside to our breakfast as one of the guys set about measuring, cutting and gluing poly-pipe.

All fixed (note the number of bends...)CIMG6698

We then had a thought that the plans showed that the stormwater from the garage links diagnally across to this one, under the area where they were to dig next and so we dug up the plans to show them so we could avoid further damage... "no problem... it'll be deeper than we're digging" and so we went back to our breakfast a second time.

Then there was a tap at the door and we were beckoned outside to 'have a look' and were shown this.... "This is a problem... I can't fix this..." we were told...


Apparently our builder doesn't put pipes in a logical place, nor did they bother to bury the pipes below ground level (have I mentioned that I will NOT EVER EVER recommend them to anyone - not even my worst enemy!!). And so with breakfast officially off, a barrage of phone calls commenced... the plumbing commission to determine whether this pipe should have been lower (hard to say - it should be 4" below ground level but what is ground level?... there are so many different levels you could call ground level...) our SS to see what he had to say - not much it seems but apparently he's sending a plumber over to have a look a couple of plumbers to see what this could cost us - I really am in the wrong business... $85 just to come out, $22.50 per 15minutes and that's the same cost whether it's a quote or actually doing the work *ARGHHHH*

After all of this and whilst watching one of the workers fixing the first 'oops' we decided "no problem... WE will fix it!" and so guess what we will be doing this weekend... (I should be out there digging now!)

Anyway.... the road-base has been layed and so now we can get a feel for the finished area - I think it looks big and will be a great size! and it'll look even better when the verandah/roof is put up.

Looking from the rear of the garage...


Here's hoping that we CAN fix this and that things go smoother when they come back to do the concrete.... *fingers crossed!*

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

2 Months!!

Today marks 2 months since we took possession of our house... 2 months already!!... which means we've been here for just over 7 weeks.

Today is also the first day that the postie has been able to easily deliver our mail in our newly installed mail box. I put the post in over a week ago but only just got around to putting the box into it yesterday - our postie has been very good and used rubber-bands to secure our mail to the post on the days that we forgot to but the letterbox out (we were bringing it in because of the strong winds we've been getting). So finally our letterbox has it's permanent home...


This morning we had Jim's Antennas come and give us a qoute for the aerial installation. He tested the reception, showed us the options, gave us a price and then we gave the nod to go ahead and he installed it straight away. We now have perfect reception on both digital and analogue TV's.

I really am surprised at just how long we've lasted without it. Two weeks ago I did give in a bit and bought a cheap aerial ($9 rabbit ears) and so we have had some telly, but for the most part we've been listening to the radio and watching DVDs.

And finally work has started on the block next door (to our left)... It's a bit disappointing to see that they are building righ on our north-side fence and will probably block some of our much-loved light and views of the planes coimng in to land(we don't get the noise but we get a great view of the planes coming straight at our kitchen/dining room window and then they turn towards Melbourne). Ahh-well.... had to happen sometime...

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Seven weeks....

That's the estimated time before our verandah will be done!

The concreting should be started soon... I rang the guy this week and apparently if it weren't for the rain we had last week, would were in line for the diggers to come this Saturday. Unfortunately that won't be happening now and we're waiting on a call back to tell us just the new date...

We have finally made a decision on the verandah though which is good news! We were getting a friend to do it, however the costs were escalating and the council was asking for and engineers certificate of compliance which would have pushed the costs even higher and so Bryan had the very difficult conversation with our friend to tell him that we were going elsewhere (he took it better than expected so all is still good).

We'd got a couple of quotes from another company who we came across recently and their prices looked good and their product is what we were looking for and so they came by today and measured up. They're going to take over the council permit application and all going well, we'll be started in 7 weeks....

....wish it were sooner....

...guess it just gives us time to save some more!....

In the mean time this little angel (looks like butter wouldn't melt in her mouth)....
has bit-by-bit been destroying our laundry (we put her in there on the one day a week when we are both at work and when it is wet outside). She has eaten the architrave around the door, put scratches through the plaster mostly near the doors but no wall is untouched, eaten the plastic cover off the light switch and chewed the plastic bit that the rubber door stop sits on.... The only thing that she hasn't done is go to the toilet in there, even when we left her there while we were at work yesterday...

She also decided to take off last night when we were out walking her after we finally got home at 10pm. To cut a long story short, she smelled rabbit and was off, with her lead (one of those plastic reel-in types) crashing on the ground behind her. After about 20 minutes of panic and yelling excitedly like idiots (wanted her to come back - not run off again) she and I were re-united in the middle of a paddock in the dark. I have now discovered that Weimaraners are impossible to see in the dark (only found her by the crashing of the lead) and have vowed to buy a reflective collar and engraved tag as soon as we can....

Bring on the concrete yard and undercover area - she'll never have to leave the yard again!!:)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A work in progress...


I finished another of the blinds last week so now the two front windows (main bedroom and office) have 'proper' window coverings. It was great to be able to sleep in on the weekend as the blinds block out all light except for the two slivers on the sides between the blind and the frame. We (meaning I!) still have a long way to go but seeing a couple done is definitely spurring me on.

The front landscaping is slow going... we have now moved the pile of roadbase (leftover from the sideway) to the back and started turning over the soil and have started marking it out. The pile of rocks is growing and hopefully we'll be able to start positioning them soon.

And the letterbox nearly has it's forever home!! I have installed a post (that's almost deeper in ground that above - too lazy to cut it but in the end I had to!) and now need to get some screws to secure it.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Check out our water feature!....

We went to bed listening to the sound of rain on the roof last night. I love that sound but couldn't help thinking - I hope that all that water's going where it should and there's no leaks...

Now I was expecting to see mud in the morning but I didn't expect this...





It seems Mother Nature had decided to give us a hand with the landscaping overnight and in her infinite wisdom seems to think that a water feature... or perhaps a moat... is called for..

Apparently she forgot that DOG + CLAY + WATER = D-I-S-A-S-T-E-R !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So this morning we had to figure out how we would keep Tyler (our dog) contained and safe (and mud-free) while we were both at work for the day...

We ended up having to put her into the laundry and set about removing the 'temporary' forest, and dog-proofing it, including putting the child lock on the laundry cabinet (which I'd discovered taped to the inside of the cabinet door a couple of weekends ago)... but were faced with another problem... we suddenly realised that the stupid lever door handles that we had to have (they would have charged us extra for normal ones) would be very easy for Tyler to open - even though the door does open inwards, I'm sure that she would find a way... So eventually I came up with this...

Modern security... ;)

We might have to look into a lock of sorts...


You spend so long choosing the colour of your bricks and matching the roof colour... you plan the landscaping and carefully select the plants... but one thing that you have absolutely NO CONTROL OVER is who decides to live in your street...

One of our new neighbours (well they live what will eventually be 5 doors up the street - there's only 1 dorr currently, the others haven't been built yet) apparently really REALLY REALLY likes to listen to music in his car. So much so that I know he's coming home well before he's even hit the estate!

Here's a mud map...

I can hear this guy coming as soon as he turns off the main road!! You get this reverberatting buzz that gets louder and louder until he finally drives past...

Where I grew up there was (is??) such a person who used to drive the streets with windows wound down and music (can you call it that? (ooh that makes me feel old!)) or actually more like DOOF-DOOF blaring from the car warning of his presence within a 2 block radius.
When I first heard him I immediately thought of home... Now I just want to scream "Thanks for sharing but I'M NOT INTERESTED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" I guess I should be thankfull that he turns it off as soon as he gets home and doesn't choose to sit there with the music/doof-doof blaring :)

Monday, September 21, 2009

From this....

CIMG6484 this....
The pile of rocks on the left is growing... - we've been 'collecting' these from the development down the road. They have an ever-growing pile of rubbish and rubble and so we've been helping them shift it Still need more

It doesn't look like much but it meant moving all of those bricks (320 of them if you're interested) out to the back, along with the leftover roof tiles and 30 granite (or basalt - depending on where you grew up) tiles. The tiles are BIG at 80cm x 40cm and 3cm thick - not light I can promise you!





Of course with no brick pile, I now had no stand for the letterbox and so am making do with this for the time being...

I also got halfway through staining the bookshelf before I had to pack up because it was threatening to rain - after spending the morning filling all the gaps with wood filler and then sanding it all back. I don't have any photos - they will have to wait until it's finished (soon I hope!)

So my(our) ever-growing to-do-list includes:
* finish the bl**dy blinds - you'll all be glad when they're done
* finish the bookcase - finish the staining and then varnish
* dig out the front yard so that we can get some good soil in and start planting
* continue to collect rocks for the front landscaping
(that's enough for now )

I'm really hoping to be able to get some planting done next weekend - they've been in pots for long enough! And besides I'm tired of moving them all around - the dog has decided to 'taste' the trunks and leaves of some of the larger (more expensive) plants. Here's one batch... holed up in the laundry out of harms way