Hello 2015!


I hope 2014 had been a great year for all of you, but I also wish for an even better year this year for you!

Apologies for the lack of presence on my blog, I haven’t abandoned my old resolution of keeping a journal of my home-building process. It’s been a long festive season, and I’m sure everyone else too has been busy celebrating or just keeping up with containing the mess from the aftermath of celebrations.

I spent my Christmas week in Victoria, and went to Great Ocean Road, where we stayed at Warnambool and Torquay before getting to Melbourne. We said our “MERRY CHRISTMAS!” at midnight while in the midst of fighting off a Pandemic:

We saved the world from a pandemic in the nick of time! #throwback #Christmas

A post shared by Teresa Tin (@aserett) on


Well-rested on Christmas day, we were all geared up for the Boxing Day sales in Essendon’s DFO. Let’s just say I wasn’t proud of the damage I did to my wallet there. And I ate so much that not a single moment of the trip was I feeling hungry. Don’t worry, won’t be bombarding the post with all my instagram pictures of food!

We finished up our trip with a visit to the Grampians National Park, and it was amazing!

Now, on to the REAL STUFF that you guys really came to my blog for.

The week before Christmas, I went to visit the block:


The site works had begun! It’s quite incredible seeing land taking shape, and how on earth the big machines knew what not to run over and destroy is quite amazing! At the same time, I was quite worried about that huge mound of soil. I had no updates from the builder or the site supervisor on whether the site works were actually completed or not, or what to do about the soil. So I just assumed that I can proceed on with getting the 2nd part of my retaining wall done.

I rang up Craig (the person doing my retaining walls) to inform him that the site works have happened, and he went down to have a look. He reckoned the site works weren’t completed, and I ended up spending a lot of my Christmas and New Year’s week ringing the builder and site supervisor, hoping somebody would pick up and fill me in on what’s happening.

Yesterday, I finally got a call from the site supervisor, and was told that they have removed the soil, and that the site works are completed. This is how it looks like now:

20150105_180701View from top of the block.
There are still a few piles of soil/gravel looking things, I suspect they are possibly dolomite or something similar for compacting the ground prior to putting the slab down.

Boundary near where the 2nd part of retaining wall is supposed to go in.

20150105_180904View from bottom of the block.
They have done a bit more cutting where the level splits, looks quite like what’s on the block plan now 🙂

The cut where the retaining wall is supposed to go in did not fit in with what was drawn on the plan. Turns out, they don’t do the cuts for the driveway bit. -_- I rang up Craig again, and I’m probably going to have to pay him to dig up the area to the right level so that he can put the wall in. I did offer to help him dig with my shovel 😛 but he kindly declined saying that he’s got the proper tools to do it quickly haha. Either way, it is going to happen this Thursday, and I’m really glad to finally get this bit out of the way!

Can’t wait for the slab to finally go down, I think I’m gonna bring a box of tissues with me when I see it go in! Hope all is well with all of you building your homes out there, and may this year be a year of great progress! And to those not building homes, may you have a great year ahead of you too! xx

 2015-01-06 16.51.23



I think I’m going to have the busiest month of the year ever! I’m going to start building a house, my workplace is planning the layout of its new building, planning the Melbourne trip that’s happening over Christmas, my lease is running out in a few months’ time and struggling to decide what to do about temporary accommodation for my Brother (who’s arriving in February next year) and myself when the lease is up while waiting for the house to be built. Phew. Don’t think I could ever verbally say that whole chunk in a breath.

On Monday, I was anxious to find out when the site works are going to happen, because I had this impression that the land had to settle for a few weeks after site works before they could do the footings and the concrete slab. As we all know, things don’t happen for a couple of weeks before and after Christmas, I was hoping that the site works can happen BEFORE the closure so that the land can settle over the holidays.

Good news from the builder a couple of days ago – the site works will be done on this side of Christmas! 😀 Awesome or what!

At the same time, I heard back from the guy doing the retaining wall, and this was his email to me:

Just a thought based on worst case, if your builder has not started site works before xmas I am prepared to excavate the area alongside the remaining retaining wall allowing me to construct prior to site works. (at no extra cost).
Our schedule is rather busy when we return to work in January and it would be good to finish your project without causing any delays from us.
We could commence on Monday the 15th December, are you happy for us to proceed with these dates.

You know what? I reckon he is the sweetest guy in the construction industry ever! I am just hoping the builder gets the site works done before he rocks up so he doesn’t have to waste his time doing something that he doesn’t have to do. That man and his crew deserves some beer!

So I guess the slab wouldn’t be in by the end of this year, but at least a couple of things will be happening before Christmas hits.


First day of the next season!



-looks out of the window and sees grey clouds- Oops.

Well at least it’s not a scorching summer’s day! Regardless of the gloomy weather today, I actually had a pretty significant morning:


TADAAAAA! I signed the construction bank loan papers this morning! Finally got to do the real deal after all the signature practices at home! Nah just kidding. Anyway, the signing didn’t take long nor did it feel all that important, instead I think it was the 25 mins walk there and 25 mins walk back to work that made the whole event feel significant haha. Afterthought: That’s a lot of words to go through in order to borrow a few hundred thousand from the bank. Must be pretty serious stuff to warrant so much paper isn’t it? So, I guess I can officially say I’ve put myself into a bigger debt now lol.

What’s next: Find out when the builder has scheduled for the siteworks to begin (so I can have an excuse to take a day off work and really, just to pop by to have a 5 min look, be nice to the construction supervisor, but the real purpose is to spend the rest of the day having a nice break sipping some coffee and maybe working on the rendering software again muahahahaha). Of course, not forgetting that I need to schedule retaining wall part 2 to happen before any slabs go down! Oh I can’t wait!


CONFESSION: Ok to be honest….. Apart from being quite busy and tired from work, I spent the week moping away and feeling very unmotivated. All those months of battling with designs and council approval, just to be stumped by a silly finance approval. I was told awhile ago that the numbers have to be re-jigged, blahblahblah, and in my head I was just thinking, it’s going to take forever, and it’s probably never going to happen. So unmotivated I was, that I didn’t want to go on Pinterest, I didn’t want to think about anything related to the house at all, I guess, for fear of bringing my hopes up for more rejection. I think some of you would know by now, that waiting isn’t a game I love playing. So I have stayed offline and buried myself in work, just so I don’t douse everyone’s excitement with their own life. At least not until I have something decently positive to say.

THE DECENTLY POSITIVE THING TO SAY: I got the finance approval on Tuesday! Lol sorry for being such an ass with all that mopey stuff above. But hey it’s a blog and let’s be realistic, if life hasn’t got its ups and downs then you must be in a fairytale (wait, even fairytales have got their downs!) It was nice hearing from Sheilzy about the Liebster award and Aylin about the 3D rendering program, and text messages from my bestie in Singapore who’s thinking about migrating to possibly Adelaide. SQUEALS!!! That all brought some life back into me 🙂

Anyways, about the finance approval, I was only excited for a couple of seconds, and then I totally forgot about it with all those happening haha. Also, I was in the midst of acquiring a pet rabbit, and that’s enough to excite me more than a finance approval!

That’s the picture I got off gumtree haha. Gonna pick it up tonight, I can’t wait! Gotta decide on a name quickly!

1st attempt at 3D sketching (master bedroom and ensuite)

What I’ve learnt about myself during this house-building process so far: I’m impatient and I hate waiting.

Waiting for the quotes to come back is really killing me and I have been desperately trying to distract myself. And that whole issue with the curtains and trying to visualise my home bugged me so much, that I have resorted to Google Sketchup to try and create a 3D model of my house (and kill time of course).

Yes, I know what all of you are thinking – this girl needs to go to the mental hospital!

I probably spent about 8-10 hours just to draw up the master bedroom and the ensuite, and in the end product annoyed me because it didn’t look a single bit attractive like those 3D interior designs that I see on facebook. Lol.

Since I’ve put in so much effort into it, I think I ought to at least attempt to freak people out with my horrible piece of “art”. So, here goes:

1. Master bedroom

Master bedroom
What it is supposed to look like: A hammerhead-shaped room with dark timber laminate flooring, black aluminium framed windows (I was too exhausted to attempt the creation of curtains). For those of you who are wondering, yes I would be having ceilings in my actual house. There is supposed to be a door on that wall that is facing south that leads into the walk-in-robe, that also leads to the ensuite. Mostly drawn to scale, and even the design of the bed and colour of the sheets are exactly the same as what I have now haha (just missing the bed head). Other pieces of furniture will be put in eventually, but I couldn’t wait to draw up other bits of the house.

2. Ensuite

Ensuite bathroom

What it is supposed to look like: Rectangular bathroom with rectified charcoal floor tiles, gloss white wall tiles. Eventually I would like to install a rain shower (who wouldn’t???), while in the nearer future (like right after the house is built), I am going to install the glass panel for the walk-in shower concept. 🙂 Going to have to put in the freestanding bath myself too, but at least I get to pick what I want at a better price. The wall to the right of the picture is the same wall where the door from the bedroom leading into the walk-in robe will be. And of course there will be a wall between the walk-in robe and the bathroom, and a door in it as well. Anyway I’m really hoping the real deal turns out looking better than my crappy drawings. Here’s what the real bathroom bench top and cabinet doors are supposed to look like:

2014-10-28 21.51.50

I’m almost tempted to put a black chandelier in the middle of the bathroom just for the effect heehee.


If you happen to wonder what sort of window frames I am getting for my house, here’s the swatch for it:

2014-10-28 22.02.45-1

I apologise if anybody’s getting nightmares from this post, I promise I will watch more Sketchup tutorials and level up my drawing skills. 😛 Aaaaaaand sorry for the lengthy post!