the huntered housewife

our family life, our way

A house is a never ending project

on January 6, 2015

We’re in, as you know. We’ve unpacked a lot of boxes, the novelty has worn off. There are still some more boxes to unpack. I know there are candles and platters and other buffet stuff (much culled in the move) to be unpacked but I’ll wait for our new buffet to arrive before doing that. I don’t want to move it more than I need to.

If you have ever built a house, you will know that all you get is a house on a block of land. No driveway, lawn, clothesline, letterbox, entertaining area, or that kind of stuff. Unless you stumble across a really good promotion with the building company. Usually though, you are told the cost of the house and you realistically need to add on $60,000 plus, because your house price doesn’t include the BASIX requirements, construction fencing, hot water system, floor coverings, and lots of other things. We increased our ceiling height (thanks to the free air conditioning promotion we scored), enclosed our eaves (no exposed beams to entice spiders), chose the facade with a front porch (which meant a bigger slab), built on what’s called black soil (which involved extra cost in reinforcing the slab against movement), added upper kitchen cupboards, chose particular cupboard door handles (because being able to hand a tea towel through our kitchen cupboard handle is important to us). Anyway, all these bits and pieces add up to a lot of money on top of the advertised house price. We I had a figure in mind that I wanted the cost of construction to come in at and we came in around $500 over, which is nothing when you’re building a house. So we were pretty spot on in terms of our budget.

Now, that’s all lovely to say but like I said, when you build a house, all you get is the house. After that it’s a never ending project, with always something to be done. We have the inside taken care of in terms of blinds (saga), a couple of pieces of new furniture (ordered, awaiting delivery), unpacking, all that kind of stuff. Today I was able to ring a couple of companies to come and quote on sliding screen doors and a screen for the front door. Living in the horse capital of the country also means living with lots of flies. We love to be able to open windows and doors and let the fresh air in and the breeze to flow through but are limited without the sliding doors. Flyscreens on the windows are another extra we paid for in the construction process.

Now that companies are reopening after the Christmas/New Year break, our focus has turned to the outside. There’s been soil to move, soil to be delivered, fencing to be quoted, retaining walls to be decided on (I think I’ve told you before that the quote was laughable – we, meaning Ray, can build one that will do the job quite well for 4% of what we were quoted) and Ray has been busily project managing all of this and been outside in the heat working on it.

Of course I have some pics to share, which may or may not be of interest. But they are important to us.

Working through the leftover pile of dirt:

working through the dirt pile

Thanks to the help of a guy and his digger:

digger day

Front yard before:

front yard before shot

During:

dirt arriving for front yard

Still during – we’ll need another couple of loads of soil delivered before we get our turf:

dirt all spread out front yard

Prepping for side access:

prep for side access

Fence and retaining wall to go between us and patient neighbour & a bit of retaining across the back & a concrete slab near the sliding door:

retaining wall to come

Concrete slab to be laid across some of this for outdoor / entertaining area:

concrete to come

After the dirt was spread by the guy & his digger. Looking good:

back yard - dirt pile spread

Ray put a clothesline in for me today, which means we won’t have clothes hanging on racks inside the house for much longer – yay!

And that’s where we are up to. Back with more when I’ve more to talk about.

Karen.

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