Two weeks away from work and the house seems to have given us a decent break. Although, the house was still on our minds while we were discovering the laneways of Hong Kong, gamblng in Macau and sipping Singapore Slings in Singapore...
We had arranged a meeting with our SS on the day we returned. It was great to finally meet him and get an idea of where he was coming from throughout this building project.
The house has come a long way while we were away. It has reached lock-up stage! That basically means that most of the work on the outside of the house has been completed, and the bigger jobs inside are being worked on - the kitchen, bathroom/ensuite/powder room vanities, flooring, wardrobes, staircase etc.
We were able to have a look at the progress made downstairs - see pics below. However, we couldn't get upstairs as the staircase was being built onsite while we were there. That was a shame because now that we've reached lock-up stage, it will be difficult to get up there and monitor the progress as things like the bathroom and bedroom fittings go in.
We noticed that the door that leads from the Garage into the hallway has been damaged even more since the last time we looked at it. We will definitely be asking for this to be fixed. We also noticed that the correct front door has been put in - hopefully there is no damage to this during the rest of the project.
Our SS said that we should be in by Christmas - which sounds great, but we foresee a couple of problems if handover is too close to Christmas. In order to get a certificate of occupancy and be able to move in, estate guidelines require us to have driveway, letterbox, and fencing to be completed. Given that a lot of the trades shut down over the Christmas period and don't start back until mid-late January, it will be difficult to get these things done. Also, Carlisle Homes allows a 90 day maintenance period from handover, during which we are required to identify any problems (structural or cosmetic) that arise during normal daily living in the house. If we take ownership of the house before Christmas but can't actually move in until mid-late January, then we'd be losing about a month of that 90 day period.
We raised this with our SS, and he was quite certain that many of the trades are still around during the Christmas break (higher hourly rate??). Anyway, he also said that, as a general guide, the house will be complete about a month after tiling begins, so once we get to that point we'll be able to judge whether or not it will be too close to Christmas.
Another point we noted and brought to our SS' attention was the amount of crushed rock and gravel that was strewn all over the front yard, rather than just to the area that covers the driveway. He was quick to point out that a landscaper would remove this when doing the front garden, but we responded by saying that they wouldn't just do it out of the kindness of their hearts. Plus, we might do the landscaping and gardens ourselves. He promised us that he'd get the extra rocks and gravel removed for us when the site is properly cleaned up, prior to handover.
We also asked for any spare bricks, tiles, and paint to be left for us in the Garage. Our SS said he'd do this for us as well.
Here are a few pics of the house at lock-upstage:
Side view of the house with brick, tiles, and rendered areas almost complete. The rendered areas still need to be painted, and the bricks still need to be cleaned up.
Rear view of the house with Hardiplank on and in need of paint. Dulux Snugglepie is the colour we chose and it should blend in nicely with the bricks. The Alfresco area also needs to be completed.
Door jambs lined up and ready to go in.
View of the Kitchen area. Underneath that window will be the double-bowl sink, and to the right of that will be the fridge. Above the sink will be some over-head cabinets that will go up to the bulkhead.
View of the Family Room from the Kitchen. The two windows will sit either side of the fireplace provision, and the stacker sliding door leads out onto the Alfresco.
Looking from the rear of the house towards the (correct) front door.
Staircase being made on-site.
Front facade of the house. Lots of painting still to be done. We couldn't check the progress of the Balcony because we couldn't get upstairs.
Master Bedroom windows above the flat-profile roof of the Garage. The window on the left hand corner is a 'corner window' so it's still taped up.
Side elevation of the house. The rendered part at the front of the house will be painted in Dulux Yarwood - a very dark grey. The sides will be painted in Dulux Pale Earth, which should blend in with the colour of the mortar used on the bricks. There is a lot of rubble all around the house that our SS has agreed to have removed prior to handover.