Umm did anyone else have a minor freak out when they realised we are at the end of March - the year is already flying by!!
We have come a long way from my last update about the house. You only realise when you start to look back on photos how far you have come in a relatively short space of time.
We have been working against the clock to try and get the house finished before our baby arrives (in one week) and needless to say, we have fallen slightly short. We aren't far away but still probably need about six weeks to ensure the house is at a point where we can safely move a baby into it.
This next phase has been a really taxing time on Callum as he has done all the electrical, air conditioning, solar and insullation himself with a little help from various superstar friends and family members. Although completing work yourself can save a huge amount in the budget, it also takes a lot more time! It also means I can't get mad at trades when it's taking too long because I know he is trying his hardest!
I should probably mention, if I haven't already, that Callum is a licensed electrician so he can capably complete the work required. I would not recommend doing electrical or plumbing work yourself, pay the money and get a qualified tradesmen to help you out.
Even though I'm not helping Callum on the tools, I was at the house regularly to do the electrical rough-in because there is so much detail required! If you're able to be there when your sparky is you will find you're able to make decisions about where power points should go, what height you want power points for your bedside tables, the exact position of pendant lights, how many down lights should be in a room etc. This will pay off when you start to move furniture in to the house and everything looks as it should.
Quick shout out for my wonderful partner's electrical company, CRE Electrical, if you're in Canberra and you require electrical services give these guys a call - they are the best in the business and will always look after you - tell them you read about them on here!
TIP - there are a couple of bedrooms in the house that could accommodate a queen size bed on a couple of different walls. We decided to set up power points on each wall so that the bed could go on either without needing to run extension cords for your bedside lamp and phone chargers.
HOT TIP - speak to your sparky about two way switching so you can do cool things like switch your lights off as you walk into the room but also as you're lying in bed. These are the simple finishing tricks that will really add value to your house because it shows you've put in a lot of thought.
We decided to insulate the house with really high quality wool insulation for a couple of reasons - firstly given it is a 'new dwelling' there are minimum standards you must adhere to in order to receive DA approval, and secondly, because it's super helpful when trying to cool/warm the house and generally better for the environment than over using your heating or cooling system and allowing the air to escape through your cladding.
We did the walls ourselves to save a little cash and then got the professionals to do the roof. Not because we couldn't, but because at that stage, we couldn't be fucked.
TIP - try soundproofing your bedroom walls - we did this in all bedrooms to try and reduce the amount of sound from TV's etc travelling throughout the house.
SHOUT OUT to the boys at Insulpro for helping us out with supplying products and the install - again if you're in Canberra or the surrounding regions give Insulpro a call - they are competitive on price and provided exceptional customer service.
It's an exciting time when you get to the gyprocking stage because it actually starts to feel like a home not a construction site. It's also amazing to watch how quickly it all gets installed, they literally did upstairs in a half day!
TIP - don't be afraid to go through with a pencil and mark defects on the walls. You are paying for a professional job which includes the finish, and even if you have to call your trades back to site multiple times (which we did) it will be worth it in the end when you get a perfect finish. Your painters won't be afraid to tell you if there are defects and generally they won't start until they have been fixed up.
We decided to do a polished concrete slab for the kitchen as it achieved the look we were going for downstairs and it was cheaper than tiles. I will do a separate post about polished concrete and some tips for achieving the look you want!
Although they hated us for it, we asked for the concrete to be poured by hand rather than pumping it in, this saved us about $1500 as it was cheaper to pay six boys labour than hire the pump.
I struggled to find a mix I was happy with at the home renovation stores, so our concreter told us we could just use a dark aggregate mix and throw in our own rocks - it looks amazing! You can do this with lots of different products like glass, stones and shells etc.
Quick preview of the polished concrete, although now dirty, it came up an absolute treat!! The frames are now up for the kitchen and we are ready for the final window and door install and for a roof - not far from lock up now!! So exciting.