Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Creative lighting

Being that this is a new home, one of the first things I'm going to have to go out and buy before we can actually use the house in any way (well, after toilet paper) is light bulbs.
Long ago I had already decided that everything in the house was going to be LED lighting.  It's definitely more expensive, and it's difficult to find high-kelvin bulbs still - but it's getting there.  Ultimately the power usage, bulb life and colour reproduction far outweighs and negatives in the initial purchase cost - which can be around $20 per bulb, $30-35 if you plan on buying at Bunnings.

But being a tech geek, that's really not enough.  Why stop there?

Recently a Kickstarter project popped up that provides a wireless, controllable, dimmable and colour-changing bulb called LIFX.  It was fully funded (and sold out) before I found out about it, but they end up being about USD69 each - a bloody expensive bulb - but you can do some cool things with them.

Phillips have just launched their equivalent competitor - Hue.

Price on Hue is USD199 for the starter kit, and USD59 per bulb.  It's definitely something I'd consider at the very least installing in the master bedroom and living room. Downside of both if they're designed for iOS, and I'm looking at switching to Windows Phone.  Hmmm.

The other thing I had to check with the electrical contractor is what they actually install in new houses.  They've told me everything will come as a batten fitting, which is a tad annoying because all these bulbs these days are Edison (E27).  You can easily put an E27 fitting in to the terminal block, but it does mean switching them all over.  So that'll be something that needs doing early on.

Monday, October 29, 2012

And some awesome pots I found (read: want)

Oh yeah, I found these - I'm definitely considering a few.


Yes, they're LED-lit pots :D  They come in 28cm and 40cm height pots.

More plants

On Sunday I did a bit more plant shopping to get the remainder of what's to go in.  The stockpile is getting rather large now - so large in fact, that once all these trees and shrubs grow to full size, it's actually a real concern we might be leaving a few out due to lack of space and potential overcrowding - not something I'm keen on.

I'll have to get some actual photos of the collection later, but for now I'll just borrow :D

The complete list looks something like this:

Lipan Crepe Myrtle for the center of the yard
5x Westringia's across the front.  I can't find a good pic of these atm, as the ones I have are veriegated.
2x Dwarf English Lavender
2x Dwarf Pink English Lavender alternated behind the Westringias.

Across the back fence, left to right:
Meyer Dwarf Lemon
Little John Calistemon
Big Blue Dampiera
Skye Bells Correa
Lime Magic Acacia

Then there's a heap of others to figure out where they'll go, some might be down the side of the driveway etc:
3x Liriopes

8x Dionellas
Another Damperia
An Alyogylne

We have broadband!

A bit of getting sidetracked caused me to do some checking up on the technical rollout report for NBN in my area (and others), which yielded some really good news:  It was flagged 'Active' and available for access on October 19 - yay!

Hopefully this will mean there's no excuses or delays whatsoever to actually having internet access from day 1 when everything's completed.

This applies to everyone in our stages 143, 144 and  168; stages 136, 164 and 166 were connected on 12/10/12, and 127 and 145 will be finished this week.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

How fast things happen

Initially I'll just drop by once a week until the slab is down, as there's not a lot to really see - other than some earthmoving and a block of concrete.  The other houses in the area, however, show how quickly things happen.
You might recall that behind me I've said the following are bring build - east to west on the next street, a Metricon home, a Porter Davis home, a Henley home almost ready to be moved in to, and another large Metricon home on the end of that street.  Last weekend, all three had slabs down.  Here's what their progress now looks like, just one week on:

So for now, they're putting in electrical and sewerage... they've also given me a nice choice of pet rocks should I choose to keep any.

There isn't a great deal of progress that can be easily seen this week - you can see where the garage is going to go because it's been cut in slightly more, but when they do the box and frame for the slab next week, and the frame at the end of the week, it should be hard to miss the concrete base.

Looking forward to the call to provide updates on Thursday or Friday.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Electrical in

The second update from my site supervisor came this afternoon, which was nice - given that nothing was expected until Friday.  Happily I can report that they've run power down, and have started the pipes; sewage is to be installed on Friday.  That puts things basically on target, so they're ready to do boxing and framing on Monday and Tuesday, and then pour the slab on Thursday and/or Friday.

Then, it'll be time to draw a nice big payment :P

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Site Scrape

Maybe the 'normal' thing to be expected might be that the site supervisor calls you on the site start day, but that didn't happen until a day later.  Fortunately it did actually happen, and I've been told they'll be calling me at the end of each week to touch base.
Last thing in the day on Friday I got a call for a quick introduction saying that they had done the site scrape, and that early next week would be cutting the site and installing both sewerage and electrical.

On most of the other sites we've seen the taps go in  quite a bit before site start, so I'm not sure when mine went in, but at least they're there.

Dropping by on Saturday morning was the first thing to do, just to see what had been done so far - ultimately not a lot, though the site is looking a lot flatter.
It followed me home.  Can I keep it?

From here on I'll drop by at least once a week and take a few photos each time.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Final check-up before start

Since a site start date has been given, it was time to do a quick check that nothing's been dumped and everything is in order before they turn the place in to a construction site.
Nope, still nothing to report - it's an empty block of land.

But we can at least keep spying on the neighbours :P  Let's see...
Next door to the Burbank build is a Homebuyers Center house.  That ones' basically half across the road.  All that's happened there so far is a scrape.
Bricking's certainly going ahead on the Burbank place, and as I suspected the facade on it is a darker colour than the rest of the brickwork.  They've still got quite a way to go with the brickwork on the side of the house though.

Next door we're getting some decent brickwork being completed, and on the facade they look to be doing something a little different.  Rendered piers, with some timber across the top.  At this point their brickwork appears to pretty much be done, at least down the sides.

Over on the back corner Metricon have thrown a slab down on what's going to be a rather large house.  Next to that, our Henley neighbours now have their piers rendered, and a fully-landscaped front yard.

And finally, another two sites on the next street over have started - a Porter Davis site adjacent to the completed Henley one behind us, and a Metricon site next to that between the PD house and the existing houses.

Looks like there's a race on :D

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Site start date

It's been a long battle, with very little positive news in the previous few weeks, but today I got a call that was a little more positive - a site start date.
Assuming nothing goes catastrophically wrong, it looks like site start will be Thursday 18th October.  So if we go 20 weeks out from that - which might be a bit unrealistic as it covers Christmas/New Year - I'd be looking mid March to move in :(

Friday, October 5, 2012

Juggling contacts

Something tells me there's a bit of throwing customers around over at Metricon HQ, because on Friday I got a call to say I can ignore a letter I haven't received yet - that the person in the letter won't actually be my contact, and it's changed again.

Ermm... ... okay?

Guess I'll get a flood of letters next week ;P