For those that are interested I'm going to post updates of my double storey build to this thread. I've already started other threads about specific things (and will continue to do that) however this one is purely for regular updates. You can also follow our progress on Instagram @building.up.254 and @ProjectPete.diy.
Would be great to hear what people think along the way and I'm happy to answer any questions you have. This is my second build and I'm also project managing a mate's build - so I'm no expert but I've learned a few things along the way that I'm happy to share
Looking forward to your regular updates @ProjectPete.
You're a good friend to be managing your mate's project as well! It's going to be a busy time for you, but I'm sure all the hard work will be worth it.
Many thanks for sharing.
Just to bring things up-to-speed...
Slab poured April 4 the day we flew out to Bali so it was an exciting time and the provisioning for upstairs plumbing was done April 12.
While we waited for the slab to cure and brickies to start work, we did a bit of planning ourselves for our new pool area and sunken firepit. The large rectangle is the entire pool area which is 11x4.5m and the rectangle inside that is the pool which is 7x3m. The sunken firepit is the two smaller squares taking up 2.5x2.5m.
And before we knew it, bricks were delivered and we thought we'd be seeing them laid in the coming days. Unfortunately we experienced some delays because we upgraded to white mortar for the rear of the house (front is rendered) and only some brickies are skilled/experienced in white mortar. Whilst it's frustrating to have delays, what really frustrated us was the lack of communication from our builder. But after a pretty stern conversation we agreed the importance of regular updates and things have improved since.
Over the past week or so I've been negotiating with our builder to change/upgrade our tapware for our ensuite, guest bathroom and powder room. Learning: Never take "No" for an answer. Always challenge outcomes that don't meet your needs/expectations. Remember that you're the one paying hundreds of thousands of dollars so you should not have to settle for somethign you're not completely happy with. Story below.
We originally upgraded from standard chrome inclusions to the black Vito Bertoni tapware which cost us a few hundred dollars extra per set (6 sets) and we were happy to pay.
However #wifey came across the set shown below and we both love them so I contacted the builder and their initial response was they're "virtually impossible" to install on a brick house - they're apparently designed for timber frame houses. This didn't sound right to me so instead of taking their word for it I did some research and confirmed they're perfectly fine for brick houses but can be challenging to install perfectly level. So our builder didn't want to take on the change request and a more difficult job (even though they'd make more money from it), but reminding them that they work for us, they agreed to make the change. Then came pricing. Even after crediting back the cost of our already upgraded tapware they were to charge us a further $518 per set (there are 6 sets to change) based on their chosen Reece supplier with RRP$759.99 per set. They stated the supplier we asked for (with RRP$206 per set) couldn't be done. Again, I challenged this and when they couldn't produce a satisfactory reason for why they needed to used a $760 per set option rather than our $206 per set selection, they agreed to use ours.
Met with our engineer yesterday morning to talk through our custom pool design which we're making from precast concrete - the slabs are fabricated at the factory, then delivered to site and put together like Lego
We're pretty set on our plan now, just pending drawings and certification for our engineer.
Would be keen to hear your thoughts and get any ideas/inspo from you on our front elevation. We're pretty set on the design and have secured suppliers for both the cladding and the stone for the garage.
After about 3 weeks of delays, today we finally got our brickies on site and they made some solid progress in a day - especially considering they have to bucket mix our white mortar. Slab poured April 4, brickwork started 21 May.
After being very disappointed with the beginning of our build due to poor planning, delays and lack of communication I requested we have a new site manager assigned to us and that happened. Met him this morning and can tell he's on the ball. Great focus on planning, quality and honesty, so, as long as he meets the deadlines he's put in place, I'm confident it'll begin to restore my faith in our builder.
This shows the cavity wall insulation which is a minimum requirement to build in the estate and contributes to a 7 star energy rating for the home (along with under-roof insulation, solar, air heater for hot water, etc).
This is the window for my special little coffeespot in the kitchen (refer to snippets of the plan for further context). Can you tell I have an addiction? This is where my machine and a cold drip tower will sit.
Next update when they finish the ground floor brickwork which is expected to be Wed 30/5.
Turns out #wifey isn't finished with her changes...certainly complicates things but I love her styling so happy to do the ground work with the builder.
Our current Laminex colour selection for overhead cabinetry in Kitchen (the bottom cabinetry is white) and the cabinetry in Ensuite, Guest Bath, Powder Room, Laundry is Sublime Teak. We found it a nice contrast for our other colour selections and it looks more realistic than other options. It matches our French Oak floorboards fairly nicely.
However, since signing our contract, Laminex have released a new option called New Classic Oak and we've fallen for it So I've just emailed our construction consultant to get a quote to upgrade to the Textured option of New Classic Oak.
We find this to have an even more realistic look to it and compliments our woodens accents around the house better. And given we're installing French Oak floorboards, the colour matches better and they have more similar grains/knots.