building, home

Wait there’s more to come

Our little estate by the sea is set to grow and thrive. The developers have not just built houses. They want to build a community.

The development will also include a shopping and dining precinct.

I am looking forward to it. No fixed date yet, but it will include cafes, a fresh food and small market and a ancillary health suites. Good for those wanting to retire by the sea.

Some people are concerned about the high density that more development may bring. To me, it is part of living in an attractive part of the world. Near services, close to a major capital hub, or at least within commuting distance, and a waterfront lifestyle.

For many that is paradise. And of course, it represents profits for the developer, who commenced the original part of this peninsular development about fifty years ago.

Any development always represents a tussle between losing the natural environment and the needs of a growing population, and an economy that pushes and supports progress and profits. How to balance the two?

Not easy.

There is a community group that is opposing the increase in height from 5 stories to 7 stories for mid to high density townhomes and apartments.

Am I concerned? Normally I would be, and if it was right on my doorstep, yes I would absolutely be against it? But really they are arguing about air space. The air between five and seven stories!

In New York, air space about floor level has a price, and can be transferred, bought and sold, just like any real estate lot! Can you believe that?

As far as environmental concerns go, the debate between five and seven stories is not so relevant, but it does set a worrying precedent.

What are your thoughts on development? Pros? Cons?

building

It’s All Happening at the Home by the Sea

The workers have really ramped up the action a notch.

This is happening just outside our backyard, right now.

Perhaps the tradies are getting a bonus to finish before Christmas? the MotH asks.

Tradies or Tradesmen?

I’m not sure if other countries call workmen on construction sites:-‘tradesmen.’

We don’t either.

In Australia we always like to shorten things, especially names, so tradesmen and not called tradesmen, but “Tradies.”

If someone says they will, “See ya in the arvo,” or “See you thissarvy”– they don’t mean they will meet you in some seedy bar in town, they mean they will see you after lunch, in the afternoon. If I was to say to a friend, see you in the afternoon, I would almost sound British!

But I digress.

Tradies might be Electricians, Carpenters, affectionately also called ‘Chippies,’ Plumbers, Crane drivers, Tiler’s, Glaziers, Concreters or anyone that performs a trade and often this is related to construction.

These guys and girls, do a certain amount of study at a vocational college but most of their training is practical, on the job. It is usually an apprenticeship of three or four years. They are often very fit, strong and heavily tanned young men and their language is often colourful.

So whatever you do, when you visit Australia and the Home by the Sea, don’t ask for few ‘chippies’ with your meal! See you later on thisarvy!

P.S. There goes on view to the East!

animals, building

A Natural Visitor

There is a new visitor to the Little Home by the Sea. And his name is Billy!

We have decided. And he can’t disagree too vocally.

Isn’t he cute?

This little green tree frog has made our yard his home and is eating the annoying moths that we seem to have in our patio area. (Not the MOTH, of course).

Frogs are indicative of the health of the environment, so I feel this is a good indicator for our new estate, where wildlife would be greatly disturbed by the earthworks.

This is a good sign for our nearby wildlife corridor.

Did you know that you should always have wet hands if you try to touch or pick up a frog?

Otherwise, your touch can burn their skin.

Last night I swear I even saw a Joey in our street but it ran like a cat and no hopping was evident, so perhaps it was just a feral cat.

I will be watching for it, tonight!

building

Sea change Completed

The wind in your hair, the smell of salt water in one’s nostrils, and the laid back lifestyle. That is what we think of we most of us think of living at the beach.

Four weeks ago, we moved to a home by the sea, after more than 35 years living in the suburbs but that wasn’t the original plan.

The key to the Door

After selling the house my husband had built with his own hands, we went looking for a minimalist low maintenance lifestyle close to family and friends. We were, for quite some time, set on re-locating to a townhouse in the inner city and having a weekend flat at the beach. The Minimalist Inner city lifestyle. Close to restaurants, all kinds of services and facilities and unfortunately, the sort of place, workers and commuters all love to live. So it is busy, too busy for us now that we are nearing retirement and the quieter lifestyle that provides.

Sometimes, the universe intervenes. We searched and searched to find the right townhouse for us. It wasn’t there. Or, if it was, someone else got there first and outbid us. I must admit we had a contract on another, but it didn’t feel right and there were problems so the contract was terminated. We decided the townhouse hipster lifestyle wasn’t for us. All the time, the universe was sending us here, to the sea, where we wanted to be.

The city life Millenials love

The adult kids moved out, as there was no way that they were going to live up near the beach, some 20 kms away from the trappings of work, friends and the inner city lifestyle.

So it is quite a change – a sea change to move in to the house we have been designing and building for the last year.

There have been frustrating times, and some problems along the way, but overall the building process was a lot of fun. And we made it. Yay!

The Moving process, of course, is not at all fun. Most of our old furniture didn’t fit into a townhouse – so we disposed of it. We had so many boxes packed away in storage, and a lot of new boxes for the new furniture. They all had to be unpacked and removed.

But that is all behind us now. The boxes have been recycled, the packing materials dumped and we settling into our new routine.

The Universe was right, and we were lucky to find the right piece of land, negotiated with a builder at the right time and voila, now our house is our home.

Now we are ensconced in our new house and we are happy. We’ve met many new neighbours, many in the same stage of life as us, and travelling to work hasn’t even taken near as long as I thought.

The MOTH is busy with little tasks around the house, and happy again, and the Schnauzer is thrilled she has a yard to play in once more.

Would I build a house again from scratch? Yes, most definitely.

Would I move again? No, definitely not.

So here we stay! We are putting down roots.

Us
blogging, building

Nearly There

Welcome Home

Set for ‘Practical Completion’

We have a Practical Completion Date for the Home by the Sea, and it is very close.

Moving date will actually be a further couple of weeks after that. That gives the builder a chance to fix up all the defects, (hopefully none or not too many), prior to handing over the house keys to us and us handing him the big fat final cheque!!

It is getting exciting, but also somewhat daunting knowing what I have yet to do, before I can lay my head down on the bed in my new home by the sea.

The Carpenter returned to re-do the beautiful Western Red cedar roof on the alfresco area, and on the front panel above the famed and maligned cornerless window.

Just awaiting a ceiling fan and lights

You can see him there hard at work, cursing and teasing me a little good heartedly for making him re-do the section at the front. He is a lovely guy, despite all his intimidating skeletal tattoos!

And for all his tattoos, I asked him if he would let his young daughter get a tattoo when she grew up.

“No way,” he said shaking his head emphatically!

“Good luck with that,” I thought, under my breath.

Further progress included the installation of the Energy Efficient Air Conditioner (an absolute must in northern Australia). Yay!

I won’t have solar power again for a little while, so the less we use it, the better for the planet, right? Mind you, the breeze that persists at the water’s edge might mean we can save a little of the planet’s ecosystems and shut it off for most of the year.

We see that the house has had a QA check and they have found some, well many spots to touch up with the paint. So there are blue dots of tape sprinkled throughout to identify the spots that need fixing with paint.

The bathroom mirrors and shower screens were installed. And I now have somewhere to hang my towel and toilet roll! Yay for that!

The stairs also were dressed with timber grade handrails this week.

All the timber work is to be stained in a teak colour.

The Lows

We discovered that the lovely oak bedside tables we purchased for a reduced price, during a closing down sale won’t fit in our master bedroom with the existing bed frame. Darn it all.

They can go with the two lamps I purchased that were also a mistake. The MOTH took the opportunity to remind me that I had purchased seven lamps this year! Surely not.

**Lesson learnt here. Don’t buy furniture or lamps, without measuring accurately and before your house is complete.

The Highs

We have a resident Mamma Kanga and Baby Joey in our park and sporting fields. Eager to find some freshly watered green grass, I spotted them safely tucked away behind the fencing this morning.

I think we need a name for them.

Do you have any suggestions?

building

We’re Cooking

Why we are Moving to the Home by the Sea

I am anxious to receive a Practical Completion date for the Home by the Sea, particularly after a rather intrusive incident at our rental townhouse which was detailed over at Something to Ponder About – [StPA]. Should you be interested in how to save a ton of money in real estate advertising fees and piss off a rental tenant at the same time, for no extra cost, you can read about ‘Mrs The World is My Oyster,’ on my other blog.

Despite not knowing exactly when we might be moving in to the Home by the Sea – we do know that the painting is complete and most plumbing and electrical fittings are installed.

Today, I met with the Electrician to position the pendant lights in the lounge area. He was such a very young man, to be in charge, but obviously highly competent at his job. It is a shame he had a long time girlfriend, as I do keep an eye out for a good quality future son-in-law. [lol]

The taps have been installed and we could have indulged in a shower or bath, if we needed to do so. We passed on that opportunity today as I forgot my towel….

The pendant lights were installed over the Island bench and the Oven and Cooktop are in!

Yay! Hot Christmas dinner – here we come!

The stove is an Induction model, and I am a complete novice in that realm, having only used electric ceramic cooktops for the past 25 years! I had to go out and buy some new utensils and pans. It is wide so I am hoping there will be no more juggling trays to fit in all the roast vegetables my tribe loves to eat on Roast nights.

Still to come at the Home by the Sea: Carpets, minor fixes, hand rails, cupboard shelving for walk in pantry and linen cupboard, mirrors and shower screens, as well as Landscaping and Fencing. And then perhaps, we are done! [excluding the re-do of the Cedar ceiling].

Surely not long now till we move to the Home by the Sea.

blogging, building, home

A Seachange

How does one handle change?

Change might be disruptive and jolting, a shock to the system but it also heralds new possibilities and opportunities.

I will soon be moving to a new location. A new house, new area, new neighbours. It is exciting but a little daunting.

Some of you know that we have been prepping for this move for over a year and soon it will become reality. Add to that, I will be semi-retired- whatever that means?

Have you some moving tips for me? Last year when I moved to my current townhouse, I become stressed out and exhausted. I used to be an ace at moving house, when I was in my twenties and moving flats every year or so.

Thirty years on, I am older and need some tips on making it less stressful.

I would love to hear your suggestions.

building, home

Lakes Entrance

Can you imagine two billion litres of sea water? Well it is about 1000 Olympic sized swimming pools. That is size and volume of the lake created near our soon to be Home By the Sea.

The man-made lake which is about 14 metres deep, abutts another Quay development (still under construction), behind which is the sea, itself.

The seaside housing estate sits on 143 hectares of excavated soil that has been removed and re-distributed through the estate. On a typical day there are around 160 personnel on site and 60 earthmoving machines in operation. Mind-boggling statistics.

Meanwhile, at the Home by the sea, the tilers have been hard at work, and this coming week the painting and rendering will commence!

The painting will take about ten days, apparently. Three coats of Dulux Snowy Mountains Half. It will take a bit of paint to cover those walls.

selections

I chose a neutral colour to go with the Coastal Scandinavian colour scheme. Most of the colour and tones will come from the furnishings and fittings.

More to come next week.

Cheers from Amanda

building

Cladding and Cedar Installation

The outside of the house is almost complete!

building a house

Second Storey Scyon Cladding

In the past week or two, the exterior Scyon cladding to the upper storey was installed and painted, almost as soon as it was up. It makes sense, I guess, to make use of the scaffolding, while it was still there. And naturally the soffit was also painted. ‘Soffit’ – such a strange word. I wonder what its derivation is?

Soffit painted in Dulux Surf Mist

I can now get an impression of the final look of the house – less the rendering on the front outside corner, of course, which will be a lighter colour, to lift the darker wall shades.

Roof

Meanwhile the Roofer has also returned to complete the flashing around the vents on the roof. That means the roof is finally finished and with Spring around the corner, (if not here already), we will have no worries with the oncoming storms, that are prevalent here, in Springtime.

Not that Queensland really has much of a Spring. Usually it jumps straight to a mild summer around mid September!

Inspection of House

Last week we met with our Site Supervisor to have a walk through the house so far, checking layouts and seeing what has been done. We are not supposed to enter the property unauthorized due to insurance and legality issues. Until the stairway is installed the only access to the second floor is via a ladder! A bit of a risk for those without WH& S training.

Previously peering in from outside…..

No one seemed to worry so much about that in days gone by, did they?

Outdoor Alfresco Ceiling Installation

When we came to inspect the ceiling in the outdoor patio area, we noticed the wooden feature ceiling that cost me SOOO much money, to include in the design, had been installed – the wrong way!!!!! What????

house design

It was an error as they had not seen it with a “castellation” or routed profile facing out before! It WAS them that drew our attention to it, so we couldn’t complain they were not totally upfront in the matter.

building materials
Comparison of Sides of Panels

To be fair to the carpenters, cedar lining is often laid flat, but with a beveled intersecting edge and a flat profile in high-end homes and boats. However, there wasn’t any beveled edge to the way they laid this profile, so I was pretty disappointed.

What the ceiling should look like

The Site Supervisor has been brilliant, though. He and the Company don’t want their clients to be stressed, so they reassured us that the installation could be reversed, if we wanted that. Although I am worried about any obvious nail holes……

I decided that I couldn’t leave it as it was, given that it was the routed, “KIT KAT look, that says ‘COASTAL Scandinavian’ style, that I wanted in the original design.

What Castellation looks like installed.

What do you think? Would you leave it or get the builder to reverse it?

These things happen at the Home by the Sea.

To be continued….