Thursday, March 31, 2011

Bins for the new home

I had thought council won't release garbage bin and recycle bin to the new house until you have a final Occupancy Certificate, or at least an Interim Occupancy Certificate, which means you are legally allowed to live in there.

It turned out Blacktown Council is happy to deliver bins to your new house if you ring them and tell them house has been completed and handed over to you. I have to say that's quite a considerable approach, because sometimes it takes a while to organise the final inspection and if there are some outstanding items to address, the Occupancy Certificate may take a while to complete.

But then again you would have started paying rates once you have purchased the land so after all you are getting the services you have already been paying for!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Welcome to the Ponds

Michele, the Community Program Coordinator, dropped by this morning with a bag of useful pamphlets about local area, such as local library, shopping centers, sports facilities, medical centers, bus information etc. There is also some nice small gifts, a picnic rug, free pass to local sports center etc.

She also said another sports center, near the current display villages, will also open within 6 months time. There will be basketball courts, tennis courts etc. All look pretty good!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

ADSL2 Speed

Pretty good result .. it's on Telstra network by the way, although I am getting it through a reseller!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Fences done

Timber fences were done today! The rest of landscape hopefully will finish in another week!

Al fresco

Backyard - Before Landscape

Fences - East side

Fences - West side

Monday, March 21, 2011

Day 11 & 12 - Moving

Saturday & Sunday were busying moving, cleaning old place and unpacking and organising new place. More photos to come .. too busying unpacking etc .. hopefully will have a few photos by the end of the week.

Main Bathroom

Main Bathroom - Two


Family - 1

Family - 4

Living - TV not fitted yet

Fencing also started on Saturday! More photos later.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Day 9 & 10 after handover - driveway, cleaning, furniture, antenna & ADSL

Day 9:
  • Concrete poured for driveway and Al Fresco area.
  • More cleaning done, this time it's the general cleaning for the whole house, including the dusts from cutting timber inside the house when they were being installed, 
  • and also a few more furniture assembled.

Day 10:
  • TV antenna installed
  • outstanding wardrobe shelves installed
  • ADSL connected, in 2 days!!! Very very impressive (applied on 16th and connected on 18th!)
Photos to follow later!

    Wednesday, March 16, 2011

    Day 7 & 8 after handover - Floors and blinds done

    Floors were done yesterday. Spent whole day today doing the cleaning - they were cutting the timber inside the house and that really made a big mass!

    Also today all blinds are fitted. Photos taken by the phone camera so the quality may not be as good.

    Monday, March 14, 2011

    Day 4 - 6 after handover

    Day 4: Not much going on in terms of construction. But I've started moving some minor stuff.
    Day 5: Finally tiles cleaned. Also got some furniture assembled - some by myself and some by professionals.
    Day 6: Timer floor should start and should complete to a great extend, more excavation done for landscaping.

    Excavation done - Backyard
    Side of the house, after Excavation
    The other side of the house, after excavation
    A corner of the bedroom
    A corner of the living room

    Friday, March 11, 2011

    Day 3 after handover

    I've bought a corner desk from IKEA and two storage shelves from Bunnings. Did some minor internal cleaning myself.

    Although it's still a weekday no contractor was working today. As previous post said the reason was that they all need to be re-booked and the earliest is next week:

    • Sunday: Tile cleaning. I said I would cancel the order if it couldn't be done before Monday. You can see why it has to be before Monday below.
    • Monday: Timber floors, fences go up.
    • Tuesday: Timber floors continues, Driveway concrete pouring
    • Wednesday: Blinds, Carpenters (for balance of Walk-In-Robe shelves), overall cleaning
    • Thursday: A/C and alarms
    • Friday: Antenna, external lights, termite treatment
    • Saturday & Sunday: moving
    As you can see that's another full week schedule!

    Day 2 after handover

    Tiling was finally done by the end of today! Thank God!

    However the site was excavated yesterday for landscape but the tilers today again had some wastes dumped on the soon-to-be lawn areas. Don't know if the landscape people are going to be happy or not when they find out.

    Also since tiling was meant to be done last week we had to turn away followings today because they didn't have access. They all need to be re-scheduled and they will affect other things too, such as cleaning, which will need to be re scheduled too.
    • Carpenters for the wardrobe shelves fit out
    • Blinds installation, and
    • most importantly, the timber floors!

    Quite a bit of knock-on effects! It looks like sometimes you need to be on someone's back all the time to make sure they did what they were meant to do! Tilers actually did all right (in terms of progress). It's just that someone forgot to tell them to start until I actually found out myself a few days before handover!

    Wednesday, March 9, 2011

    Day 1 after hand over

    A lot was done today:

    • Tiles fitting finished, they will do grouting tomorrow
    • John Cootes and Fantastics did some delivery
    • Telstra connected phone line
    • Excavation started for landscaping construction
    The pictures show them hard working with the bob cat. Gee that machine was really noisy!
    They've dug out 5 or 6 trucks of dirts for today's excavation.

    The noisy Bob-cat

    Tuesday, March 8, 2011

    Handover today - 8th March, Week 59

    So this is it .. 401 days after putting down land deposit,and exactly 150 days after they started construction, handover was set at 9am this morning!

    I arrived 15 minutes earlier and the site supervisor also just arrived! Good timing. And this is in fact the first I've met him. All previous correspondence was done via phone, email or text. Apparently he's being promoted to an office manager position looking after some 8 site supervisors. Congratulations to him for his promotion, and congratulations to me for getting my new home!

    I've also asked an independent inspector (Howard Ryan) to come along since I am no expert on this anyway. Other people have given him quite good feedback. I am keen to see what he'll find out and he's promised to send me his report tonight.

    There are only a few minor issues found:
    • An extra GPO in family room is still missing. There was already an electrician coming this morning to do final electrical check. So he added the GPO too in a few minutes.
    • The flyscreen for master bedroom missing too.
    • Privacy lock missing.
    • Wardrobe sliding doors will be fitted on Thursday.
    • And Howard found a few spots that need to be touched up here and there
    All in all nothing seems to be of great concern. Apparently my site supervisor is leaving for holiday for a week tomorrow. In order to give the house to me he set the handover to be today and the traides can still finish the rest of minor items throughout the rest of the week. That works for me because I can start doing my part straightaway.

    The important things in the next few days are to get the floors done, blinds fitted, furniture delivered and phone connected. Landscape will also start tomorrow but that is going to take up to 2 weeks.

    Added: What was also done today:

    • Mattress delivered
    • tiles in living area started

    Saturday, March 5, 2011

    Week 58 - Almost there, but not quite ...

    Went to site around lunch time, fences were gone and the construction debris were  cleaned too!

    Peeking through windows, the kitchen sink was installed, so was cooking top and hot water system. However other than that everything else in last week's to do list are still missing. On top of that I noticed flyscreens were not fitted too.

    I actually rang SS on Friday asking him if the handover was still on track and he said 'yup'. So either he thought he was talking to someone else (I hope not) or there is going to be a super Monday to get all rest done.

    Already know the tiling will NOT be done until after handover because it was not part of the contract with builder, although I was once promised otherwise. I might change my mind and have timber in living areas too .. let's see what happens on Monday!