Wednesday, December 22, 2010

leaps and bounds

Well! I have been away for the last 5 weeks, out in the South Australian bush trying to have a break and calm things down before moving into the newly completed house...except they hadn't finished the works before I left, and they haven't finished the works now that I'm back either. No bother. There has been a lot of work done and now we are down to a few quality control issues and some problem solving. Christmas plans blown out of the water, but as I tell my clients, the only thing that can be guaranteed with a custom house build is that it will take longer than you think. Every time.

I'm not going to write too much because it is the 23rd and I haven't even begun to prepare for Christmas celebrations, but here are some photos of the house as it stands today, including the beautiful and happy little garden planted by Zac in my absence. The Flame Tree is my Christmas present. Beautiful.

Have a Happy Christmas and a safe New Year.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Balustrades are on, concrete steps are in!

Things are grinding to a halt at the Apartment House...too bad the place isn't finished yet!

The last weeks have been slow and full of canceled tradesmen. It is a strange thing indeed to experience; I can't think of another industry where the participants find it acceptable to book in a day, not turn up at the allotted time, then wait to be called by the supervisor at which time they advise that "sorry, I can't make it today...maybe tomorrow"... If anyone else did business in such a manner they would be out of business within a month, but with trades for some reason it is acceptable. Our supervisor is working himself grey trying to keep them all in line and on time!

Anyway, the trades that have turned up have done a chunk of work - the balustrades, roof screens and stair treads are all in (the screens and balustrades require their mesh still, but the frames are up) and the 'verandah' deck and the concrete steps have been poured and acid-washed. And it looks aces.

Plus, the scaffold is finally down! The grey box is revealed in all its grey, boxy glory!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Door detail

A not-especially-good photograph of the sliding door from the Bathroom into the Bedroom, through the wardrobe. I am glad we finally got all the lines to ...line up.

I am working on the assumption that my photographer, with his knowledge of cameras and what-not, will be able to get better shots of this house when it comes time, but the spaces are such that it is hard to get the distance to take a full photo of an object, hence the mash-up...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Bench-tops & blue boxes

The Kitchen bench-tops went in yesterday...and they are awesome. There is something very special indeed about having work surfaces made up of fossilised prehistoric sea creatures. I imagine it to be not unlike the feeling Vader would have experienced encasing Han Solo in carbonite...

Apparently the stone masons all grappled to do our job in the factory as it was the first time in over a year that they had worked in anything but man-made stone - I don't care if it is harder-wearing or easier to clean; stone made out of the entombed skeletal structures of tiny, tiny animals is waaaay cooler.

You can also see in the photo that our very limited ceiling has been installed - just enough to deal with exhaust fans and what-not.

Most exciting of all, though, is the Bathroom skylight. Its a And its bad-ass! The light inside the Bathroom is amazing and the presence of the box on the roof deck is just downright good fun. Plus you can see it from the street, which is cool. I was somewhat worried that this house would come off as far too serious and wouldn't have enough joy in it, but the box puts that to bed.

Plumbers next, then electricians, stairs and cleaning up...

Monday, October 11, 2010

Tradie Explosion!!!

Yesterday was probably the biggest day on site for the last 6 months! Painters, carpenters, cabinet-makers, sparkies, stone-masons and plumbers! The most of the cabinets have been installed, save for the doors and a damaged piece in the bathroom (doors don't go on until the end due to the high risk of damage). So the kitchen looks mostly complete, the retina-damaging yellow of the bedroom is now apparent (hopefully it will be a happy start to every morning) and the boys' blue bathroom is taking shape.

Fitting the Kitchen shelves

Kitchen taking shape

The 'Study' end of the Kitchen cabinets, complete with filing drawers

The door to the Bedroom slides back to reveal a storage cupboard for brooms etc

The view of the Bathroom/Laundry pod from the Bedroom

The other side of the Bathroom/Laundry pod

The carpenters fixed on our door furniture, which means we can finally lock up the place, and can take to site all our lights, plumbing and what-not that have been cluttering up the boot of my car for weeks and weeks.

The place is starting to feel like it can be lived in, and I can finally see if some of the little interesting details worked out the way they were seems right now that they do.

3 and a half weeks to go.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Cabs are in!

The interior of the house is starting to take shape! Today the carcass of both the bedroom wardrobe and storage AND the kitchen arrived, and by early afternoon were fitted into place! Scarily this building site is starting to feel like a future home, and that means I have to move in...and I hate moving.

The bedroom cabs are the most vibrant canary yellow (see the floor kickers) and will make the room absolutely explode!

The kitchen is the deep grey-green you can see on the panel leaning against the wall, and will tie into the marble benchtop. Overheads shelves are yet to come, but from right to left is the (not yet completed) fridge hole, the little pantry, the oven with microwave nook over, then dishwasher, sink and oven, with filing cab drawers for the 'study' cantilevering out at the end of the row. In the background you can see the storage cupboard which will be hidden behind the huge sliding door.

The bathroom/laundry pod isn't yet painted so has not arrived on site. Next is ceiling, paint and electricians.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

3weeks and counting

The builder tells me we are on target for and October 29th Practical Completion ...notwithstanding the landscaping, which we are doing ourselves, I think it may be a slight case of wishful thinking. Still, good luck to him!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Doors, doors, doors!

The last of our doors is hung (hanged?), and the north doors have been glazed (mostly)! On Friday 4 of us lifted the 170kg bedroom door into place and the glaziers came by to fit the enormous panes of 10mm thick glass into the external sliders...of course, in true glazier fashion they managed to mess up 2 of the 6 panes, so the house isn't water tight just yet. Still, it almost looks like a house and a lot less like a building site.

Also, the ceiling has finally been cleaned and we have achieved close tot he desired finish. It's not perfect, but it still feels right.

Date for practical completion is 5 weeks away...we are going to miss it...but by how much?!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Post at Last! Post at Laaast!

Well, I thought it was about time for an update, but can't believe it has been 1 month since the last! Lazy blogger. Well, a bunch of goings-on have gone on - external frames are in, internal doors are mostly hung and the external stair has been fixed to the side of the house. In addition to all this, my office has shifted to a newer, cooler, far bigger and far more disjointed space than the last (hence the month long hiatus). Still, here's some pics...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Movement on Site

There has been a heap of movement off site over the past few weeks, and today there was a bit of movement on site too. Zac and I ducked out to the cabinet makers today and saw the carcasses for the kitchen and the bedroom wardrobe, presented here today for your viewing pleasure.

Also, sliding door tracks have gone in today...not reeeal exciting, I know, but it's something.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

august update

Someone asked me the other day whether the project had stalled. No it has not; we are just busy in workshops and factories preparing all manner of bits and pieces. The big job of perfecting and building the cabinets is underway, the north wall of sliding glass doors is being built and the staircase and screens for the roof are measured up and in fabrication.

Hopefully this means that in the next couple of weeks there will be an explosion on site of all the bits and pieces that will take the project from a grey concrete box to an interesting house...

Thursday, July 1, 2010

roof formwork is down

Formwork for the roof slab came down yesterday, and despite to fact that it is covered in rust, despite the form being cleaned twice, it looks great! The space and the openness of the house is now apparent, and the light into the bathroom through the skylight is magnificent.

My grandmother is very pleased that we have a 'verandah', as you just don't see them often enough any more.

Next is electrical and plumbing work, then doors and privacy screens on the roof.

roof finish

The roof is complete and the aggregate has been exposed for what it is! We had a celebratory drink on the roof to celebrate.

Below is a lovely, artistic shot taken by Phil.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

fine weather and roof slabs

After last week's on-again, off-again wet weather, we have finally had a couple of days of clear sun and a chance to pour the roof slab! With a vast bevvy of grano workers tramping all over the very carefully laid structural reinforcing and electrical conduits, the day began at 7.30am and lasted for 6 mini-trucks worth of concrete.

The neighbours all stuck their heads in to have an inspection whilst enjoying their (disrupted) morning coffee, but no complaints, and one of the tradies asked if this was actually a house: "I thought it was going to be a club-house or something"...everyone's a critic.

Tomorrow they wash it to expose the aggregate and by the weekend we should be up there enjoying a glass of something and a sunset.

Monday, June 14, 2010

rainy days...

Work has slowed somewhat on site with the onset of winter in Perth. Rain, rain, rain. However, the reo is in for the roof slab, and the electricians are on site today laying conduit and chasing walls.

There have been a couple of your standard construction 'bumps' over the last week, but that's par for the course, and our builder is doing his utmost to rectify everything to a high standard.

With any luck the slab can be poured first thing next week...

Friday, June 4, 2010

city views!

Zac & Phil survey the work.

Notwithstanding the fact that I don't necessarily believe in the idea of houses as merely economic currency, those that do always subscribe to the 'location & views' mantra. Well, listen up, real estate agents - we just discovered we have city views! Two, to be exact.

One occurs if you stand in the very north-east corner of the roof deck and look down our laneway: in the distance like a beacon of real estate gold stands the Bankwest Tower. And the second, somewhat less neighbour-friendly view comes when we look straight through the first floor windows of our southern neighbour. In respect of retaining at least some of their privacy, I will not post any photos of that view.

And of course the formwork is now all but complete. Concrete pour expected in about ten days...

Thursday, June 3, 2010

photo shoot for the bird

In a side note, last night I went into The Bird with Matt Biocich, this great photographer I spotted at an exhibition last year. He took some photos of the bar for the office portfolio and some great shots of the owners Mike & Brenton. Keep an eye out on the PrevostWeir website for the results.

formwork for roof slab

Formwork supports for the roof slab went up yesterday, so we can now see the finished extents of the box that is the apartment house. We have decided (for the time being) to leave the internal ceiling as exposed soffit to see how we go with concrete floor and concrete the office kids designed up a layout for the form-boards and lighting conduits...hopefully the boys on site follow the plan first go, or I will be on site with a crow-bar!

Zac also managed to clamber on top of the building in the early evening to snap some pics of the view and the sunset - turns out we have an even better view than we hoped. Good progress.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

bricks to plate height

The handy thing about building a house so small is that things happened very, very quickly. Within 3 days of brick-laying (including one day off for bad weather) the external walls of the apartment house area all but complete, and the bathroom is all but bricked-up. The steel columns to support the roof and the north facade are also in place.

The space is really starting to take shape, though the roof will make a major difference to the feel and the light when it goes on in the following weeks. But for now we have distinguishable rooms and some sense of accomplishment ...