Friday, 7 November 2014

Mail Box

Next on the list Hubby wanted to get sorted was the mail box.  Not much else to say about something that only stores our mail! This one was from Bunnings

On the same weekend he also cleaned out the council garden and added Mulch and some liriopes to it. We still have to re-turf the council nature strip, its been left to the end in case anyone drives over it while we are still having trades coming through to do things to the yard.

Native Trees & Shrubs - Front Garden

Next on the list to research was the plants! We knew we wanted natives, needed to be something that wouldn't grow to big, easy maintenance  and also look semi formal - or at least neat! We have a small family and the last thing we want to be doing every weekend is spending hours in the garden! 

I had narrowed my search down to a few of the Lilly Pilly / Acmena varieties and after ringing some local nurseries i discovered that none of them sold the plants i wanted. Thinking this meant they weren't popular for the area i was back researching some more varieties.

Our final selections were both available at flower power, although normally an expensive place to shop for plants they had a sale on so the pricing was as competitive as the local nursery and they had the qty we needed in stock so we could buy all the plants at once.

Plants chosen

Lilly Pilly BackYard Bliss - to screen out the 2 neighbouring properties, these prune well to shape, and can be easily maintained at fence height with a width of 1m. so in a small space they seem like a good choice.

Acmena Smithii - Allyns Magic
This Acmena variety has a natural dense growing habit, and only reaches about 70-90cm. More commonly the smaller side of the heights. It doesn't need much pruning, is psylid free and im hoping will form a nice natural front hedge with hopefully not too much maintenance as far as pruning goes.

Allyns Magic Fully Established

And here is the front garden after hubby had finished working on it! We both had a vision of how we wanted it to look and i think he has made it come to life perfectly.

The mulch we chose was a Cypress Mulch, Its pretty fine, so might end up getting something a little chunky next time, will just wait to see how long it takes to break down. we dont want to be replacing it every year.

Next on the list was the mail box........... Will post when i get the chance! And that will complete our front garden.

Front Yard.......Turf

Now that the kids were happily playing in the back yard and enjoying the grass it was time to focus on the front yard.  

To Begin with we purchased the Link Edge Aluminium edging from masters. Its designed to almost look like an invisible edging once the landscaping is complete. It looks nice and neat and "minimal" just the way i like it.

Hubby found it pretty easy to install too, which was a bonus!

Link Edge in place ready to finish the Turf and pathway

Its a small space and didn't require too much turf so i had decided to order the grass and the underlay from the soil place to save on the delivery fees. They offered the Sapphire too so it seemed like the best plan. 

Only thing is the first weekend we ordered it, time was ticking away and we get a phone call at midday to say that the turf hadn't been ordered so they couldn't deliver the grass today. This leads to a very annoyed husband who had planned his weekend and we were so keen to see grass.

As he wasn't able to lay the turf, that's when he got stuck into doing the pathway instead.

Worked out well in the end as a guy down the road was also doing sapphire that same weekend had some spare rolls that he was able to give to us. So we laid down half the turf. This meant we could change our order, reduce the soil required and they threw in free delivery for the stuff around. Saved myself $100 - Winning!

The next weekend rolls around and they had promised to deliver the soil by 7am.........7:15 i joke to hubby and we both laugh wondering if they have forgotten us again. Hubby decides to call - guess what they FORGOT to place the order again! So by now both of us are annoyed. Were both on the phone to the soil place making sure they can find a turf farm that can cut some grass for us, we only needed 15 rolls to complete the front. Thank god they were able too, and later that morning the turf and the soil arrived with another gift cert for our troubles. All worked out well in the end. But it was so frustrating at the time. We plan our weekends so carefully so we can make sure we get things done so when things don't arrive when they should its easy to become frustrated.

Hubby spent the first couple of weeks giving it a good water, and we had some beautiful warm pre-summer weather which helped it too.

It was down about 5 weeks i think and he was able to give it a mow, its growing so well, and really starting to thicken up now.

Eden Brae 13 Week Maintenance - REVIEW

So i guess this is better late than never, but this post is for all the EBH builders out there who would like to know how the 13 week maintenance review is handled.

This was months ago now, but at exactly 13 weeks our CSA contacted us to make the appointment for the maintenance review. The appointment was scheduled for about 1  - 1.5 hours but from memory i think the guy was here about 3 hours. 

I had a pretty list list to go through, although most things were minor.

We have previously had a leaking pipe in the main bathroom fixed, some down-pipes fixed externally and our down-lights replaced in our kitchen overheads as they had blown only 2 weeks after settlement. If we had an issue that i wanted fixed straight away our SS Steve was always right on top of it, i didn't have to wait for anything to be fixed which was great to receive that level of service - as i always did from our SS.

Our 13 Week Check list looked something like this:-

Main Bedroom
1 window sill roughly painted
Bedroom door swings open by itself if its not fully closed
Patchy paint above bedroom door

Toilet Seat clip broken
Chipped floor tile (we didn't have spare tiles so i decided to leave this as is, due to the pattern in our tiles im lucky it doesn't stand out. I was told that different batches of tiles may produce slightly different colours and this would stand out more)
chipped skirting tile under vanity
Air bubbles in paint near the CSD
Ceiling paint rough above WIR door
Ceiling paint peeling above towel rail
WIR door doesn't always lock closed
Scratch on window frame
Crack to plaster above ensuite window

Home Theatre
Window frame roughly painted in one spot

Foyer | Study 
Patchy paint under GPO near front door
Movement cracking on internal garage door
1 wall patchy under certain light in diff spots
Paint chipped when dead bolt installed
Groove in plaster on the RHS study wall
Skirting damaged near study/living room wall

Living & Dining Room
Bad peeling paint near our stacker Alfresco door 
1st Window frame rough on the bottom

Door frame near games room really rough
Door frame has dull patches (should be smooth and shiny as the paint is semi gloss)
Cornice near square set peeling
Lefthand side CSD to WIP roughly painted
Crack in raised ceiling

Games Room
Skiritng under TV point rough
Sliding door frame is also peeling
Patch on the top of the door frame dull not covered properly
Small Dent on one of the walls

Parts of the robs not painted smoothly
Rough skirting boards
Window sill in bed 2 rough and patchy

Toilet & Bathroom
Toilet window frame bottom roughly painted
Patchy wall paint on one of the toilet walls
Missing grout on the first feature tile in shower

Scratched Tub
Top of the laundry door not sealed - after a repair from another trade who had to plane some of the door during PCI - it was never repainted.
Crack in our external door - where the wood joins

EB agreed to fix everything on my list. I thought it was pretty small but was told that i had a fair bit to fix.

Within a couple of days we were given the schedule for the trades to come and fix everything. It was all done  very quickly. I was happy, and felt like now i could finally get settled as it was the final stage of the building process.

I am pretty happy with the wall paint though out the house, the maintenance on these was very minimal. There are patchy lines in the ceiling but it doesn't  bother me too much. The window frames weren't the best.  Nearly all of them weren't perfect but i got the worst ones fixed.

The most disappointing was the skirtings. through out the house the painter has hit nearly every single skirting with the roller when doing the wall paint, and then painted the skirtings straight over the top and its left them looking like orange peel. The painter has tried to fix the main ones during the maintenance visit but its still not 100%.  I think its worth mentioning it as i don't think this is very good practice to paint a house this way, the skirtings are really nice and they're ruined by the carelessness of the painter.

The peeling of the paint near our stacker doors has started to peel again, its frustrating i don't know why its peeling, I'm keeping an eye on it and if it gets worse ill call EB to see what can be done, its looks like the paint just doesn't want to stick to the certain section of the wood and i think the "no more gaps" stuff they use has something to do with it.

At the time of maintenance we only had the few movement cracks i detailed in the above list. But now there are even more appearing, and some are quite large. Perhaps this is due to the change in weather and continual movement of the land. Not to happy about it. When i built i was under the impression my house would look fresh and new for a few years. But with the cracks in most corners of the skirtings and cornices its not looking very fresh at the moment. Lucky they can only be seen on close inspection. No one would know they're there, but i know they are and it annoys me a bit.

I love our beautiful glossy down-pipes, but they chip so easily. while we have been doing the landscaping etc and wheel barrows hit them as we get down the tight boundary spaces. We will need to do a touch up, but it will ruin how smooth they look.

So here we are! All maintenance free and still working on the landscaping and nothing has been done internally as yet! 

6 months in, im so in love with our house! Id love to write a full review for anyone out there thinking of building with EBH. Hopefully one day i will get around to it! (only took me 3 months to update you on the maintenance check)