Think twice about building on a ridge. That is my wise advice to everyone today. If you build on a ridge, expect to build retaining walls if you want flat areas.
I probably walk (ok, drive) passed fifty retaining wall type structures a day and, thanks to our experience, now notice every single one of them. If you need retaining walls, factor in about $150 – $250 a metre for a 1m high wall if you plan to build it yourself. If you are rich and can pay someone, allow about $500-1000. Seriously, I had no idea how much you can blow on these things.
We’ve now built two and I am hoping the second one will back-fill itself because I am buggered. The build coincided with very hot days, high humidity, kids not sleeping properly and a tummy bug.
The internal painting is almost complete! So much attention goes into taping everything up before the spraying begins (as you’d hope!).
As you can see, we’ve gone for all white. White on white to be precise. When you go to pick colours, you are encouraged to go without children. I blame our colour choice on this. We forgot about the six grubby hands and feet and eight paws that belong to our offspring. Fingers crossed it’s the wash and wear paint stuff!!!
It’s all about layers. I’ve been posting plenty of inside photos but here are a few snaps of what’s been going on outside.
We are also trying to decide on a laundry door colour. Do we go ultra bright, which is so “on trend”? Or stick with something regular?
Tiles are like the worlds most practical jigsaw puzzle. We had our site meeting early Monday morning, which had me majorly doubting our tiles choices! We only picked two, a wall tile and a floor tile, so if it looked shit it was going to be very, VERY obvious.
The tilers talked me down like skilful hostage negotiators, reassuring us that it would be fine, grout gaps are different for wall and floor tiles, so they would never match up perfectly. I had started toying with the idea that our wall tiles should be the same width as the floor tiles, but apparently this doesn’t make any difference when it comes to lining then up.
That night, I couldn’t sleep. I’d canned the idea of stainless steel tiles on the end of the kitchen bench, so that wasn’t it. It was the bath (oh that bath, it’s been a niggling pain in the proverbial all along). The shelf is 150mm high. Our wall tiles are only 100mm high. One and a half wall tiles was going to look weird.
I was on the phone to the tiler at 7am to explain my concerns and could we use floor tiles on the bath shelf and front wall thingy (my technical knowledge is impressive). “Sure, we just need two more boxes of tiles.” Ohhhhh…. Why can’t it just be easy? Several panicky hours later waiting to hear if the tiles were available and could we get them overnight, I couldn’t stand the suspense any longer and rang the tiler to check if there was going to be a problem. “It’s all good. We’ve got enough”.
Must. Learn. Not. To. Panic!!!!
We’ve gone with dark grey grout for the floor and light grey for the walls. Subway tiles, as seen on the walls, are typically done in a brick pattern, but for a modern look, we’ve gone with stacking them.
What do think?
I think it was becoming a bit of a joke amongst the chippies with how often I’ve been dropping in to see progress. Builders love you watching over their shoulder, right? I wasn’t really checking up on them (much), there was lots of exciting progress to check out and turf to water.
We’ve started making progress on the embankments to try and prevent erosion. It’s an expensive and therefore slow process!
We’ll get there!
So we have never picked colour scheme stuff before, or anything else to do with building a house for that matter, but seeing all the cabinets go in this week has been quite a relief that we didn’t screw it up.
A couple of months ago, armed with a pintrest board and a mobile phone with a cracked screen, we trotted off the meet with Kerrie at Zente Kitchens to finalise layout and materials. What a gal she is, because I would hate to have a customer like myself…” Kind of like this, but more like this, sorry the screen is cracked.”
I sourced the basins and sink from Reece Plumbing in Caloundra (another example of fabulous customer service) and think the squareness of them all suits perfectly. The cabinets are black and the benchtops are laminate “Carrara Stone”. Who has $35k laying around for real Carrara??!! Not us, but they’ve turned out way better than I expected. I honestly had nightmares about it. There was 70’s lino on my benchtops. It was scary.
The overheads and pantry are white and the handles are funky square upside-down L’s. As with most things we’ve picked, our choices were a bit different to the majority of new homes on the Sunshine Coast (lots of neutrals) so we had a few follow up phone calls and emails about handle positions and the endless fingerprints I’ll be cleaning off black cabinets. Glad we committed, it’s all coming together and looking mighty fine!
Even with a super tight budget, we’ve managed to get a lot of cool finishes, the most notable is polished concrete floors throughout. Like, everywhere throughout, except for wet areas, as they will be tiles. But bedrooms, kitchen, living areas…yep, all pc!
We contracted Honed + Polished Concrete and their arrival coincided with some bloody hot weather. The boys worked their butts off regardless and we are, overall, really impressed with the finished product.
This is definitely not a cheap option for floor finishing but when you see how labour intense the whole process is and the equipment that is required you quickly realise why there’s such a hefty price tag attached. Long term, the cost is worth it when you weigh up the benefits of having easy to clean and maintain floors (not to mention how shit hot they look) that are perfect for heavy traffic (party proof) so we gave the nod and resigned to eating baked beans and not holidaying for a while.
I am disturbingly fussy with carpet and crap at cleaning so it’s really a win-win situation!