Water Views

I can’t really say that I will have water views from my Home by the Sea, but I can say that I have water glimpses from our balcony.

A few weeks ago I also had glorious views over to the Glasshouse Mountains, volcanic remnants from eons ago that have significance to the Indigenous Peoples.

When they started building the houses across the road, the view was obscured. Oh well, a short walk to the lake’s edge fixes that.

On my way
The beautiful Glasshouse Mountains in the distance

The mountains I used to see from my property are the same mountains I see in the distance when I am on my way there.

Weekly Update

The rain finally stopped so that work could continue. The plumbers were busy but the electrician who was scheduled was nowhere in site. The tiler had to finish pointing the lower tiled roof.

MOTH and I had a debate about the location of the clothes line. He is concerned he will hit his head on it, and I would prefer it near the laundry door. This location, however won’t receive much sunlight. This won’t matter in summer, but in winter…..

This was a major complaint about our old residence which had no sun in winter due to the double storey house located next door. The external Clothes line there was located directly outside the laundry door, however, things just did not dry in a day, due to a lack of direct sunlight, and you were required to leave hanging outside overnight.

Perhaps the solution might be to string an extra line up in winter on the sunny side of the house. The whole external clothes line cannot go there as the space, whilst wider to the boundary fence, is limited due to location of other fixtures, such as the air conditioning unit, gas and meter box and windows.

There is always the back yard, but as it is on the smaller size, I don’t want to be looking at flapping washing when I could be viewing a nice garden.

The MOTH is also eyeing off garden sheds. This again will be limited in size due to the back yard. And he wasn’t going to paint the fence! What????

I would have though he would relish getting out there hands on, making the fence all pretty….he clearly had other ideas about our Home By the Sea.

More next week from


Another Step Closer

If you have been following our building journey, at A Home by the Sea, I can tell you that we are yet another step closer.

The weather Gods were not kind to us this week, but it is becoming more and more apparent that our building team are the very best. The forecast of rain so concerned us given that our upper floor would be open to the elements and the floor is not at all weatherproof!

So we were extremely relieved when our weekly visit revealed the builders had finished the complete guttering and roof (at least the roof that is over all upper floorboards) in just one day.

Timber Frame and Roof Trusses

Great team effort guys! (and girls?) *

*Note: No sexism on A Home by the Sea.

Perhaps they tried their very best given that a week of rain was on its way. I like that they are so conscientious and pro-active. They is very reassuring. We have come this far in four weeks!

And now the remaining roof, more plumbing/electrical on the lower floor comes next!

We decided to take some time out to support local business and mingle with the locals at the Boat Club. There is a great view of the Marina from there.

The large boat in the foreground of the next photo is a Marlin fishing boat, and the official weighing station is on the right of the photo.

I have to say that view was pretty hard to take!

More next week.

The Second Storey

Building a house

Our weekly visit, this week, brought us a quick reality check. The house now looks large, and we can now get a full idea of its double storey scale on the property with the second storey timber frame going up. The roof will be installed next week, given no issues from Mr. Weather Man.

We are pretty happy with the way it is turning out. Although I expected some more winter sun to be impacting the al fresco area.

But then I ask myself: am I going to be outside when it is cold, or snuggled inside?

Timber frame second storey

The front rooms of the house are drenched in winter sun – good for ageing folk who might ( I hope not ), develop arthritic knees and enjoy a good dose of morning sun, in winter.

Summertime will see most of the sunlight on the rear of the house, however this is the section of the house that will be airconditioned, and shaded by eaves, so I feel sure it will work out in terms of its comfort level.

Micro climate and Aspect

This is why we chose a north-facing property. Ideally, we would have purchased a property with the back yard with a north facing aspect, given that the garage limits half what is open to a northern face, as most garages face to the street in new estates.

However, you can’t control what type of structure is built on the parcel of land behind you in a new estate, and with smaller blocks requiring double storey houses to secure a family’s need in a residential house, the northern sunlight in a rear yard might be effectively blocked out by the neighbour’s build.

This is what happened in our previous home. It also equates to more energy use in keeping a home liveable, in winter, unless you are happy wearing thermals and coats, indoors.

Despite living in a sub-tropical climate, our former house was always so cold in winter; much colder than the northern facing townhouse, we are in at the moment. What’s more – because it is a townhouse, the garage can be located at the rear, so all the living areas and bedrooms can face north. Just glorious.

Days here in Queensland are so perfect during a winter day with cloudless skies, little breeze and low humidity; however, the nights can get down to single digit celsius temperatures. Not pleasant if you have a house style made to cope with sub tropical summers. Read: little insulation; lots of open plan rooms and large opening windows without double glazing.

So, a north facing block is for me, in my retirement.

Does aspect and micro-climate figure in your design for a new home?

Framing a Storey

We have began to visit the little block of land beside the sea each week, as development is beginning to move rather swiftly now that the concrete slab and foundations are down.

Once the concrete slab had cured, and with modern technology, cement cures within a few days, so the termite shield and waterproofing can then be installed. From then, the timber frame can be erected.

Construction methods have changed immensely since the day that my Builder Father-in-law used to knock up homes in six weeks with a team of three.

Houses are larger and timber frames comes in pre-fabricated pieces. A Nail gun secures everythin in place in one day. The bottom storey was completed in just one day.

It is an exciting time, seeing all the preparations and plans emerge from the soil and take shape in front of your eyes. It is kind of like a young child growing up all too fast.

The second storey is due for completion today and the roof will be installed next week.

Looking good.

Wilderness It Is

The builder informed us an error had been made and they had delivered the wrong brick to the Little Home By the Sea.

I thought it had to be wrong, but what do I know?

Tim checked into it and found they had delivered the wrong bricks. Austral will swap them over. That feels a lot better now. I can sleep again.

This is the Wilderness design – Blackbutt – with two shadows looming over.

It even looks black. Quite different from the grey with white flecks, seen below. They realized the bricks delivered on the palettes that had sat there for several weeks were completely wrong. Thank goodness we checked.

The waterproofing was complete and excess soil removed and spread out. So now we were starting to get an idea of the internal size of the rooms and yard.

More will become obvious when the frame begins at the end of this week. Then it will really look like a house.

Frame starts soon

Looking forward to that.

It was a gorgeous day in the bay with only a SW zephyr. Perfect beach weather, really. How lucky are we to have a piece of paradise to retire too.

The Slab is Down!

So this week things started moving on our new little Home by the Sea.

From this:-

To this: –

The Concreting team have been and gone. The Slab was laid last week, and by 3 pm that same day, we were walking on what would soon be our new floor. Woo hoo!

Amazing what quick dry concrete can do.

And this is what is underneath the concrete – Polystyrene Waffle pods.

Our block is all fill. The concrete needs to be able to shift a little when the fill settles, otherwise the slab and walls will crack. Hence we will be living on top of polystyrene.

Ah the wonders of modern engineering. Who would have thought polystyrene, something you can crush with your hands, would hold up a double storey house?

Then we noticed the bricks they had delivered! They looked wrong.

This is the sample we ordered: –

Austral Bricks – Wilderness Blackbutt.

A new range of coloured bricks.

This is what was delivered to our site. A bit different?

Should we question them about it?

We did.

Tim, our Site supervisor followed it up for us, and yes they delivered the wrong brick.

After all the time we took to decide on the right brick for our new home, even checking the sample colours in natural light and on demonstration websites, imagine if we hadn’t of asked for clarification.

We would have ended up with a house that looked very different from what we planned.

Austral bricks will remove the brick and deliver the correct one this week.

Phew! Another lucky break. We noticed it before they were installed!

Did I tell you it is my lucky year! I firmly believe so.

The frame goes up next week!

We have the Go Ahead

Approval is here

Something to Ponder About

We have been waiting for the local authorities to approve the building of our retirement home by the sea.

We didn’t want to have any issues with the approvals. So:-

We researched, we planned. We read. We asked Questions.

Plans were drawn. Colour selections made.

After changing my mind a hundred times adding and deleting – we had our final plans ready for submission to the local Authority.

And we waited.


Did we get approval to go -ahead?

No, Not at first.

  • The steel design had to be altered slightly. This resulted in one bedroom ( a spare one), being reduced by 15 mm.
  • The Developers wanted the fence posts to be thicker and heavier. After all, we have a secondary lane frontage and heaven forbid someone not have a matching fence post!
  • The worst part – we had to re-site the whole house – moving it towards one boundary…

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Still Waiting

We are still waiting for Council. They have already made us change our plans by moving the house over somewhat. We are now closer to the road and have to fence behind our garage. The change cost over $1000 more.

When Council rejected the relaxation application by the Builder and suggested a compromise, it had to go back to the Developer for their approval. Back and forward. It is painful waiting.

The builder is set to go. They await the green light and have already scraped the block in anticipation. Except the cut for the alfresco area now has to move over 350 mm.

In the meantime, the MOTH is stockpiling more gadgets and furniture.


January 2019

  • Settlement on Block of Land
  • House Design Selected, Sited on Block and Preliminary Tender signed
  • Visits to Design Studio to begin selecting lighting/fixtures/styles/tiles

February 2019

  • Colour Selections Day and Plan Meeting
  • Electrical Plan
  • Illegal dumping of excess turf on block

March 2019

  • Finalisation of Preliminary Plans
  • Changes to Doors and Locks in Laundry, Plasterboard cut out in Study
  • Deletion of separate Tower unit in Kitchen
  • Extension of Kitchen bench and Upgrade of Ceasarstone benchtops
  • Microwave space in Kitchen island bench and Pot Drawers Added
  • Cavity slider moved in Bathroom
  • Pendant light added to Lounge
  • Addition of extending laundry tap
  • Colour Presentation by Dulux

April 2019

  • Construction Plans, Specifications and HIA Contract signed
  • Submitted to Developer Certifiers for Covenant approval
  • Submitted to Council for Approval
  • Shopping for Furniture
  • Neighbours house begins construction

May 2019

  • Contract Variation due to Balustrade Aqua Vista Glass (Subcontractor) pulling out of Contractual Obligation and Agreed Quote
  • 9th May – Contract Variation Signed off to conform to Adjusted Steel Design, Builder supplied Balustrade and Covenant Fencing Requirements (150 x150 posts)
Site Scrape
  • 9th May – Site Scrape and Level to Block and damage to Fence noted
  • 14th May – Council refused Relaxation but suggested compromise. House siting plans must be redrawn and moved eastwards 350mm. Result – cost blowout of another $1000. It must also be approved of by the developer.
  • 17th May – Re-submission to Council and Developer
  • Lounge suite purchased
  • Bedside cabinets and Recliner purchased as Furniture shop closing down after orders submitted.
  • 21st May – Final Council Approvals Received from Suncoast Building Approval. Clearly Council has outsourced this process.
  • 22nd May – Base stage payment effected.
  • 24th May Breakfast bar stools snapped up by the MOTH.
  • Bricks arrive on block. Temporary fencing erected.

June 2019

July 2019

August 2019

September 2019

October 2019