Post-handover

The 2 weeks post-handover was unbelievably intense. It’s unbelievable because I simply just cannot believe I made the choices and end up doing what I did in those 2 weeks.

Our lease was ending 2 weeks after handover. Here’s the list of things we had to achieve in 2 weeks:

1. Install floorboards in all the bedrooms first so that we can move in
2. Complete aircon installation
3. Fencing installation
4. The actual moving
5. Cleaning of rental property

To be reaaaaally clear, those were all done in 2 week-nights, because, well, we work during the day.

What we did in the 1st week after handover

So, the day after handover, I went to pick up my floorboards with the help of a couple of friends. We spent pretty much every single night for over a week, just to try and lay the floorboards in BR 1, 2, 3, Entry and Living.

Just to refresh your memory (again), this is what the floor plan looks like:

Floor plan

Floor plan

We tried to make the floorboards continuous throughout the top level of the house because it looks nicer that way, that’s why we had to lay the boards in the Entry too. For the before and after effect, have a look at the empty house first with the bare concrete floor. Here’re a few pictures coming up:

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Coco oak

This is the floorboard I picked from Power Dekor. I am really happy that I had finally found the colour and grain that is closest to what I was looking for, without that hefty price tag.

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The guys laying boards in BR 2. 

It’s a really messy business laying floorboards, trying to get the measurements right, doing the right cuts on the boards, covering ourselves in sawdust. Thankful to have the 3 of them helping me out. 1 is most utilised for his incredible strength, 1 is remarkably good at the Math, and 1 is the mastermind of it all with his amazing tools. I mostly look on and sweep sawdust off the floor lol.

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BR 2 completed, and used to put the equipment in.

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Living room, where my bro is living in right now.

The living room is in fact, the first room we worked on because it is the smallest “bedroom” in the house, and we thought we should “experiment” with laying floorboards in there first. Haha.

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Entry

We laid lots of cardboard down because it was still winter then and lots of mud around the house. There were lots of tradies coming into the house to complete the aircon installation and fixing the skylight into BR 3.

At that time, I was told that the range hood and stove cannot be delivered until we were living in the house, for fear of those items being stolen. It was quite a bit of a drama, because I was trying to put the fencing in as quickly as possible, so that the house will be more secure. However, the fencing couldn’t happen because the installer needed to weld the fence to a post on the retaining wall, which so happened to be the wrecked post that I was waiting for the builder to fix. To add to stress, we realised that we need to have the flooring done in the kitchen area so that the stove could sit on it. So we had to start working on the kitchen quickly.

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I’m glad they knew how to have fun amidst the stresses lol

My friend is an engineer, and he’s got 2 sets of hi-vis outfits that we had on when we were laying the boards. What’s with the hi-vis outfit, you say? Pick an answer from below:

1. We were trying to protect our clothes from sawdust.
2. We secretly wanted to be minions.

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Kitchen done just enough to put the stove in.

It all worked out in the end, and I was so excited the day the stove was delivered.

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I panicked when I saw that it was a white stove! Then I realised it was only a protective covering for delivery haha. I have been spoilt, spending the past 4 years in a rental property using a stove with 5 burners, so I can’t go back to 4 burners now!

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Pantry

I probably could have hired someone to do the laying and not agonise over it every day about finishing it quickly, but every cent I save could go to my brother’s education, a new Breville BES920BS coffee machine, furniture in the house, curtains, blahblahblah. The conclusion is, one can never have enough money. Be cheapo frugal where you can.

More #throwback updates next post! I’m sorry the info is so backdated… You guys will understand as you read on. xx

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“Sneak peak” Part 2

Moving on from the kitchen, today’s tour will be on the areas surrounding the kitchen. Hope you guys aren’t still reeling from my drawing, because you need to brace yourself for the next one now! Before I start, here’s the floor plan to refresh your memory.

Let me present to you – The Butler’s Pantry & The Coffee Bar

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View from Elevation 3 on the floor plan (looking at Meals, WIP, Kitchen from Family).
Click on images to enlarge.

In the previous post, you’ve seen the kitchen with my illustrations on mostly the cabinetry to be installed. Now, not forgetting that, turning just to the left of the kitchen, in that enclosed area, is the butler’s pantry. I know I don’t have a butler, but I don’t careeee I’m gonna call it a butler’s pantry anyway! It isn’t going to be fully enclosed because the entry to the pantry (oooh it rhymes) will not have a door to it, just so that I can dash straight for the fridge when I get hungry lol. Yes, if you are wondering what that is, that is a fridge in the pantry. Along the same wall where the fridge sits, I will be putting in shelves along the entire length of that wall for food storage. It is a pantry after all, of course it’s gotta store food! Across that wall in the same room, I will be having more bench tops and cabinets, as well as a single sink for washing and dirty dishes to hide in when I have guests over. 🙂 I think I’m going to have a lot more storage space than I would ever need! And, at the end of the pantry, is a door that leads to the outside. For what, you say. Well, when I was designing the house, I thought – I’m going to have a veggie patch and it would be quite troublesome walking a long way around the house just to get to the veggie patch to harvest a few veggies for cooking. Why not put a door in the pantry? I gave myself a pat on the back, and drew it into the plan.

You guys may not know this, but my original design was a single storey house, not a split level. Due to the slope of the land, if I had stuck to the original design, my retaining walls would have to be about 2 metres in height at one corner of the house. The view would be stunning I’m sure, peeking above the other houses, but I would have also burnt quite a huge hole in my pocket just to build a retaining wall that high. I did submit that plan to the council. They disagreed and decided that the fencing, as a result of the height, would look absolutely awful. They suggested that I split the house, and I did. With a split level, therefore the need for stairs in the house, and I think it looks absolutely awesome! It has created this little nook just between the pantry and the stairs, and (no points for guessing it right because I wrote it in the picture) that’s where my coffee machine is going to go 🙂 Right in the middle of the house, where the smell can waft through the entire place. I haven’t quite thought about the design, but that’s where the drinks (ahem you know what they are) will be housed too.

In the midst of all that awesome-ness, I will have a dining table that looks like this:

(after some modifications on one of the tables I’ve scored 😀 )

Guess what sneak peak part 3 is going to be?

“Sneak peak” Part 1

Pictures galore, everybody! But I will probably only put up just one for now. :p

I apologise in advance for what seemed more like an attempt to mutilate the photos than annotating them. In order for your reading to be a bit more enjoyable, you have to have a little bit of creativity and visualise something grander than my pre-school drawings. You can refer to the floor plan if that helps you understand what you are looking at.

Let’s start with The Kitchen

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I know people have said that a picture says a thousand words, but mine is probably one of those few that doesn’t say anything. Sorry! Anyway, my favourite bit about the kitchen – the window! I have a thing for big windows, and this is the one window I’m going to depend a lot on to warm up my kitchen / meals / living area on the cold winter days. For those of you wondering, this is the view from Elevation 4 on the floor plan (looking at the Kitchen from the Meals).

What my drawing is supposed to illustrate – Built in cabinetry in an L shape, spanning from the bottom left corner of picture to the back, then turning right and following along the wall where the window is, till it reaches the timber beam where my drawn line ends. I’ve got a freestanding Westinghouse 900mm stove / oven, unlike what I’ve drawn in the picture haha. That squiggly sickle-shaped thing in front of the window is supposed to be the tap, which indicates where the sink is, and where the dishwasher will be too. Of course then there is the kitchen island right in the middle of it all. 🙂

So, picture all that, along with white walls all around, black window frames, black bench tops with white cabinet doors, stainless steel freestanding stove / oven and rangehood, black glossy splashback across the wall where the stove is. And hopefully, some beautiful pendant lights above the kitchen island

Looking out of that gorgeous window, is where I’m going to have my terraced veggie patch. I’ve also designed the butler’s pantry with a door, so that I can go out to the veggie patch to harvest some crop for cooking. Genius idea, no? 😀

Questions are welcomed, and keep your eyes peeled for sneak peak part 2!

 

Stage 1 complete, what’s next?

So, concrete’s in! I was pretty excited, because I actually saw them in action, doing the bottom half of the split level! Wish I knew the dates they were planning on doing it, so that I could see the whole process. Here’re a couple pictures of how it looked like with the trenching before the slab went in.

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Impressed with how the land holds it shape when cut!

I went over to check things out after the whole slab was in, it looked quite good! However, on a closer look, I did spot a couple of issues too.

You probably don’t recall how the floor plan looks like, so here’s the picture again:

Floorplan

As you can see, in the middle of the house there is a butler’s pantry, and there is actually a sink in it. So apparently, all the drainage pipes are put in just before the concrete goes in. Therefore, I expected to see all the pipes in the relevant areas.

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Picture of where pantry is going to be

In the background of the picture, it shows where the stairs are supposed to come down from. Somewhere in the middle of the picture towards the foreground, is where we should see a pipe. And it’s not there. So, I’ve found issue number 1.

Issue number 2 is this:

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The smallest bit of the issue – chip in concrete

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More severely damaged concrete sleeper

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Worst bit of the issue – damaged steel post holding the concrete sleepers. In fact, the end of the sleepers had been damaged in the process, the post is not really holding the sleeper well any more.

The retaining wall was brand new!!! T_T Sigh. I know that sometimes it’s difficult maneuvering massive machinery, but I wish they could have been a lot more cautious than to wreck the retaining wall. Not even sure if that bent post still serves its function. 😦 I have contacted the builder to get them to rectify the problems. They have given me their promise that they will solve the problems, so I’m praying hard that they would.

Overall, apart from the few hiccups that have happened, I’m pretty happy that things have started to take shape. I can actually SEE where I’m going to sleep, where I will be making my morning coffees, and where I’m going to soak in my lovely tub! 🙂

There are more updates, but I will have to leave that for the next post! 😉

That special but un-named space in my house

Not everyone around me knows this, but I do have quite a big obsession for beverages. Coffee, tea, alcohol, taiwanese bubble tea, smoothies, etc. Here’s a bit of proof:

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That’s not even including those memberships on the rewards app on my phone!

I wouldn’t call myself a coffee addict, but I must say I do enjoy my coffee to quite a great extent. So, just over a year ago, as all coffee lovers do (I can’t be the only one right??), I saw this one sale, and I HAD TO buy it:

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Now, it would be preposterous if my new home didn’t have a special spot for possibly the most important appliance in the house, so thank God that by accident (you don’t believe me do you? It wasn’t deliberate!), there is a special but un-named space in my house just for my beverages.

Here’s the most updated floor plan, where the split between levels is increased, and I have left the names of the rooms on the map.

Floorplan
That special spot is nestled between the stairs and the pantry, right in the middle of the house where the brewed coffee can waft into every corner of the house and do its wonders. 😀

It is going to sound a bit too over the top, but this is by far the closest to what I had imagined for that special corner:

Not sure having a blackboard wall is all that practical for a home, but I do know that I am definitely having a coffee corner!