Thursday, 30 August 2007

Maybe sooner than we thought

Our builder is planning to run our plans through a private certifier* to speed up the whole council thing, so we might be starting pretty soon...

* We're not in Nth Sydney, but that site explains what a private certifier is.

Update via email from my wife:
builder has asked that we take down the fence this weekend - he will start clearing next week. Has Home warranty now - will give me an invoice tomorrow morning when I drop off the other stuff and he will get the plans into the certifier person on Mon - should take 10 working days, scary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That front fence is a dodgy little wire thing that kept a horse in for the previous owners. We just have to undo the tie wire etc.

Tuesday, 28 August 2007


We ended up signing the contract last night after a long discussion on what was going to happen etc. So now the builder is organising the certificate of insurance, while we get a deposit cheque together and then, hopefully next week, everything's submitted to council.

Time to get serious picking exterior colours!

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Contractions have started

We meet with the builder again this afternoon to pick up the contract and I plan to go through the plan a room at a time to discuss all the fine details. I want to make sure his plan matches our imagination so there's no discrepancy later on.
The contract is just a standard MBA one, but I'll still be going through it carefully...

Friday, 17 August 2007


The bank told us over and over, when we called them (they've never once called us), that they were still waiting for the valuers and would just let us know. It's fortunate for us that the valuers hadn't been given a few details they needed and had called us very early on, so we knew who they were and could call them. The valuers gave the bank the valuation on the 6th, which was a bank holiday and the bank just never knew they had it. They were just going to wait for ever it seems.
Anyway, then there was a bunch of confusion about the amount we needed to borrow (simple addition and subtract sums are a little difficult for them) but finally, we've been assured that all is set to proceed.
All quite scary given the current economic climate...

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Waiting, waiting, waiting...

The bank say the valuer still hasn't given them the info they need, so we continue to wait...

Went to look at some flooring options yesterday and were quite impressed by the Karndean range of wood look vinyl. It really does look like real wood and is softer and warmer under foot than tiles and doesn't expand/contract like a floating floor. It's also very thin (3mm) which eliminates some issues with differing levels of flooring around the house.
It comes in 'planks' that are glued down in a similar fashion to laying timber boards and costs roughly the same as a tiled floor for the commercial grade one.

3 concerns with it
  • the commercial grade one has a .5mm thick wear layer, which is fine for normal wear, but not for cuts/scratches.
  • the vinyl will leech chemical vapour (so too will the wall paint, and kitchen cupboards) for quite some time after installation which compounds the new house health risks.
  • there is the potential for fading in the highly sun exposed living area that we intend to install them in.
I like the idea of tiles in general, but they are very hard and cold, will crack if the slab changes size in wet/dry times or if someone drops something on them. The grout also tends to discolour and look yuck over time.

Apparently, this alternative is better again, and has a lot less toxins, but I have no idea of the price yet.

After all that, I'm not sure if our tiled floor was specified and therefore has an influence on our BASIX certificate. Will need to check that I suppose. Though from memory it didn't matter if we had no floor coverings to all but the wet areas.

Maybe that's a good idea - carpet all the carpet areas, but leave the whole living until we're in and can see what the lighting etc is like and choose something that will not be too dark in that area, but still dark enough to absorb the north winter sun warmth.