My First Home

My First Home
Santorini 26 by Metricon

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Another Big Adventure

I probably shouldn't have gone into town after work last night but there were a few things I wanted to do. When I decided to leave to come home I had a little bit of difficulty. The city had been hit by flash flooding and every road I tried to get onto to get out of the city was flooded and police were there turning people around. When the radio said that the Monash freeway was closed at Toorak Road and that it was down to one lane at Jacksons Rd I decided to take the Eastern Freeway and join the Monash at East link.

Things seemed to be working out well for me until I got to Thompson's road which is the road my estate is on. The corner was flooded so I turned back, drove through a bit of water and then onto Glasscocks Rd. All seemed well until I got to the roundabout at William Thwaites Blvd and Mountain View Blvd. Water across one side of the road and running fast and deep.

I was anxious to get home so did one of a number of illegal turns I did last night and drove down the opposite side of the Road.

This morning I took a bit of a drive around the estate to see how things were looking and below is what I found. It seems that there is a dam at the Market Gardeners and it burst last night. That is what I was told by my SS who was out taking photos of his builds.

Just a heads up for anyone going down to the estate today to check your house. I picked a number of pieces of wood up off the road that were full of nails. Watch yourself when driving through the water as you don't know what has swept up of the building sites. Also take note of the large rocks on Mountain View Blvd, who knows how many may be in the water.

If walking by foot try to walk on the road or the footpath. The ground is like quick sand in some places and you may sink to your calves like I did.

Above: Driving along Chantenay, the debris across the road are vegetables washed down from the market garden. Very little flooding along this street. May have been different last night. The roundabout it the end is under a little water on the other side.

Below: Water running out from the market garden on to William Thwaites Blvd. Some of the houses along here had silt and vegetables washed up their driveways.

Below: Mountain View Blvd, this is down near Burford Way.

Below: Mountainview Blvd near Evesham corner. Both sides of the boulevard are flooded here. This is what I drove through last night.

Left: Mountainview again

Above: Again this is Mountainview Blvd near Burford again.

Above: William Thwaites Blvd

Below: William Thwaites Blvd. Look at the fencing and you will see where the water came up to last night.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

8 Weeks In - Progress Report

Well it's now been 8 weeks since I took possession of the house. I would like to say that I am all unpacked and nicely settled but due to illness I have not done as much as I would have liked and still have quite a few boxes left to sort through.

It's not until you move into your new home and start cleaning and looking closer that you find the little things that are wrong. I think I mentioned in an earlier post that there were a few spots of glue on the floor boards which the SS said was no biggie and would just scrape off. Well the few spots of glue ended up being an enormous amount of glue and while I was crawling around on my hands and knees scraping it off I noticed the little splatters of paint also on the floor boards and the odd scratch here and there. I have managed to get most of it off but am still finding more every time I clean. Of course when it comes to the 90 day report these things will be cosmetic and not covered.

My beautiful bi-part doors are also not that beautiful. It seems they have not been kiln dried properly and there is sap seeping out of one of the doors, this will be something for the 90 day report as it is not cosmetic as far as I am concerned. A little word of advice for those about to take possession of their house is to go around and check all the light switches, I have one that is really difficult to switch on. None of these things are huge and when I hear about the traumas others are having I think I got off quite lightly.

There are so many positives about the house however and these will always out weigh the little things I have found wrong. Having the Colourbond roofing meant that the pitch of the house is quite high. This allows the heat to rise high into the roof and the house remains cool even on the hottest of days. I still will be getting a split system but at this time there is no rush.

I've also found with the design of the house I get both great natural light and also wonderful cross breezes. I had been worried about the light as I found each of the display homes I visited a little dark. I now believe it is because they all seem to choose brown, brown brown and more brown for their interiors and this is why the rooms seem dark even on the brightest of days.

My blinds were finally installed a couple of weeks ago. As they were a gift to me by a very good friend I didn't want to go over board and spend too much money so I just kept it simple. I got the Blind Factory to quote and brought the guy down about $1400.00 on what he originally quoted as I had shopped around. I have learnt from working in sales that you should never pay the price you were first quoted and by shopping around I knew what blinds were worth. My advice is that it pays to get several quotes. When I first started shopping I was looking at $14,500. I can tell you that in the end I didn't even pay a quarter of this.

Above are the roller blinds I have in the living room. I also installed the same blinds in the rumpus room, the laundry and over the bi-part doors to the alfresco room. They are block out blinds and supposedly dust, mould and rot proof, we shall wait and see.

I chose White 61mm Shutter Venetians for all the bedrooms, study and bathrooms. Plantation shutters were over my budget so I chose the 61mm as that was the next best thing. I'm not going to compromise on the voids in my family and dining room and will wait until I can afford the shutters for these spots. I have been quoted by another company who's quality and style I really like and will go with them when the time comes.

As for furniture I am yet to buy any new furniture. I was ready to go out and buy a new lounge but have decided that I want to live in the house for a while and get the a feel for it before I decide on a what type I want and where I want to put it. I'm the type of person that doesn't like to rush into things so my old couch and chairs will do for a while.

Sunrise from my alfresco room, just beautiful!
Will be a lovely spot for breakfast when I finally get my outdoor setting.

There are so many projects I need to get started on however my first has been the garden. Last weekend with the help of my Brother-in-law, my sister and another friend we top soiled, weed matted and planted out my front garden. I'm really happy with the result and no longer feel like I have the worst front yard on the street.



Its a garden full of Gardenias, succulents, a few cordylines and as per the estate covenant one tree. I had to put two of the Gardenias in pots as there is a mix of concrete and gravel in front of the windows and I was afraid that there may have been other poisons in the soil. There are 9 Gardenias in total so my next summer my garden should smell heavenly. I chose one of the Japanese Maple varieties and was assured by the guy at the nursery that if I pruned it every so often I would be able to keep it at 2 metres in height. I had a Japanese Maple at my old house which was around 60 years old. It had not grown any more than 2 metres so I am hoping this one will be the same.

Plants for the Garden

I still have my back yard to do. I have a lovely lawn growing but need to get out and poison some of the weeds that are coming up. At the moment I'm not putting an outdoor setting in the alfresco room as I am still having problems with one of the neighbours with regards to erecting the fence so am hesitant about putting anything outside that could grow legs and walk away.

Will keep you updated as things progress. The kitchen should be finished shortly so I will upload some photos soon.