Share our trials and tribulations as we build our new home - a custom Dominico by Fairmont Homes NSW

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Laundry Plans and Inspiration

Fairmont needed to know by the end of last week all the plumbing details for the laundry, as we’re doing the cabinetry (including sink installation) ourselves after hand-over. Luckily I had a rough plan ready that Mick and I just needed to finalise. With relatively little laundry experience behind me, I used information gleaned from others (including interior designer Sarah Richardson!) as to what would be most practical in the little space we have.

The debate for washing machine type and placement was a discussion that was had quite a while ago and really was dictated by two things: what we already have and what would be best for re-sale.

Mick already has a top-loader washing machine that is very easy to use and works very well and so I was reluctant to get rid of it simply to have a front-loader that we could place a bench over. Mick also already owns a perfectly good dryer with capability for wall-mounting. So, in the interest of saving money, we decided to keep our top-loader and wall-mount the dryer above it. Having dedicated space for such a configuration, with no bench over the top of the washing machine, also means that almost any machine can be installed without changing cabinetry (a plus for re-sale), and wall-mounting the dryer means that we can maximise under-bench space.

Next we decided that we would like to put the washing machine on the opposite side to the internal door and that we didn’t want the sink right next to the machine. This usually happens because people use the one waste, but this can look messy (depending on your washing machine’s drainage needs) and means that you have to place your laundry basket on the floor. I really like the idea of minimising our bending requirements (Mick has a crook back and I have a chronic pain condition) so I want to be able to place the basket or fold clothes right next to the machines. This led us to find something called a drainage box, which are commonplace in North America, but are not common here. It also means that the taps aren’t hidden under the bench (no bending if you want to turn them off/on!) which further maximises the flexibility of the space.

OK, not the prettiest thing in the world but it's a good compromise (we hope) between form and function.
Click here for image source.

Next we wanted a deep sink that won't take up too much bench space. We decided on this one:

Belle Bowl Laundry Trough 36L.
Click here for Sink Warehouse Listing.

It's deep and not too wide. I like that it's "bucket-shaped."
High on our priority list was a tap that could be wall-mounted and swivel against the wall to maximise space (click here for laundry tap selections), a hanging rod to air-dry clothes inside if we need and a bracket to wall-mount our ironing board. We’re still yet to finalise all the details including how tall our upper cabinets will be (will also depend on the height of our dryer which is in storage and unavailable for measuring).  Here are our current plans and some pics that inspire the feel I’d like to achieve (the links provided are a great source of laundry/organisation inspiration too!):

Floor Plan

Cupboard Plan

We Have Been Framed!

Upon visiting the block this weekend we discovered that we have frames! 

The ground floor is not yet complete but it’s great to see the rooms start to come to life.

View out our front door (though we will have obscured glass)

View from the front of the house through to our backyard

Looking out through our formal living room window. We hope to improve the view  with a Japanese Maple...and less metal beams!
Looking through the open doorway to our formal living area. I love our two huge windows!

View into the Kitchen/Meals from our Alfresco Area

Our laundry (photo taken from the backyard)

 We’re not without our issues however. The windows in the Media Room are too low, especially when you add in the raised floor at the rear of the room. Our lounges will cover them!

Our Media Room with it's woefully low windows

We’re also unsure of the pipes in the Powder Room…There are four, and we’re not sure any of them are in the right spot for the vanity:

Our Powder Room which has (from left to right) a shower, vanity and toilet .

So, Monday morning will see some emails/call to Fairmont to see if we can sort things before they become a bigger issue.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Slab Party!!!

Mick and I guessed our slab was done yesterday as we received a rather large invoice for the first progress payment...woohoo..?

So, we drove past the block and, rather enthusiastically, took a million terrible photos in the dark :) Here are a few: 

Luckily, in an unlucky sort of way, Mick was off to have his car looked at after we were the victims of a car-park hit-&-run the other weekend, so he was able to take some daytime pics this morning. Introducing our new slab:

I know a lot of people have been looking forward to this day, especially Mick. But I'm most looking forward to being able to walk on it! Surprisingly it looks small at the moment, but I have it on good authority that it looks larger when you're on it (thanks SandS). But it does look rather thick, which we think is because it is a H-Class slab.

Here's to progress!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

All Set For The Pour

Last week Fairmont were busy laying our waffle pods and rebar ready for the slab pour this week.

Here are some photos taken on Saturday:


Monday, July 9, 2012

Progress Report – Edging Closer to a Slab

When we stopped by the block on Saturday we were greeted with plumbing and the prep work for a slab-pour:

Apologies for the iPhone-quality photo, we were on our motorbikes and forgot to pack the camera!

It’s funny to see how crooked our house sits on the block. Hopefully some good landscaping will disguise this…

So, here’s hoping we may actually have a slab this week!

*does anti-rain dance*

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Piers, Piers and More Piers

We stopped by the block last night to check out our new piers. They're almost all done (there were more than I thought!).

Just a note to anyone about to build on a small block: soil removal is usually an extra charge (check your tender carefully. It will probably be under 'site costs') because, usually, it is avoidable - they can either build up some of the block or spread it over the yard. But, when you have a small block-to-house ratio (like us), the soil will likely need to be removed as there isn't much "yard." At the moment we're looking at about $900, but we'll let you know.

Also, our relations with our neighbours have hit an all-time low. I won't go into any further detail at this time, but it never ceases to amaze me the level of drama people seem to like to create in their lives.

Anyhoo, we'll update with photos as soon as we can get to the block while the sun's out!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Some Newly Acquired Treasures

We chose our Ensuite vanity a while ago and were advised by our builder that we can probably get it cheaper than they can. So, with that in mind, we agreed to supply it ourselves and have been stalking it ever since.

The other night while visiting Harvey Norman, we discovered that their display of the vanity we like was on sale, along with the matching tallboy and mirror. They were asking for less than the cost of a new vanity for the WHOLE set so...we bought them! Harvey Norman will replace one of the wonky hinges (on the tallboy) and store the set in their warehouse for us for 10 weeks, which gives us time to find somewhere to store them. They aren't perfect, but they're not far off it, and for the price, we couldn't resist. Besides, it'll just mean that at least there will be one element in our home we won't have to be precious about!

Whilst on the subject of shopping, I thought I might as well share with you some of our other recent purchases including a new kettle and some cast-iron enamelware. They were all on sale and are in line with our current strategy of slowly acquiring things for the house when the price is right. Whilst waiting for a new home to be built is agonising, it does allow for some savvy purchasing as there is no rush to buy. It also allows time for us to really think about the look and feel we want to achieve for our home.

Here are some pics of our treasures:

We're thinking of putting the tallboy and mirror in the Study as the tallboy won't fit in the Ensuite and we already have a large mirror ordered. You can never have too much storage in a Study and I think I have the perfect spot for them...

We bought the 30cm shallow casserole, 27cm oval casserole, two oven mits and the spoon. We also already own a 20cm matt black round casserole.
Donna Hay has this kettle! It's beautiful and feels nice to hold.

Oh and did I mention that we won a heater? Well...WE WON A HEATER! I can't believe that it's the second thing we've won within the space of a few weeks (to see the other click here) and it was also through Winning Appliances. Here is our new Dyson AM04 Fan heater:

*Sigh* I can't wait to have a house to put all these things in.

Final Plans

Our builder has booked in our piering, so while we wait I thought I would upload our final, final plans. I call them that because they are largely the same plans we submitted to Council, with some subtle differences, namely the air-con zoning, bathroom and kitchen layouts and small things like adding a pony wall in the main bathroom and opening the staircase up further.

Anyway, here they are:

You can see our Council/Developer Submission here, which includes the original landscaping plan, the final landscaping plan here and the kitchen plans here.

I will be asking Mick a little later to write something on our final electrical and data plans.