Tuesday, 9 December 2014


I thought we were inundated with so much when moving in but I now know what it feels like to be completely overwhelmed. During our build process I loved following others journey's. I also found it really frustrating when people got their keys that the updates stopped!! I now totally see why!! I will get back on top of it, in fact I felt like I was almost there and two days ago the most devastating thing happened; for people who have built a dream home and agonised over every part and detail....

Our house flooded and all our new timber flooring has been destroyed (all due to a defective, brand new dishwasher)

On Monday morning my daughter walked into the study and said the carpet was wet. Considering there were no liquids in the room, nor had their been, it sounded a little strange. I went in to find the carpet completely sodden and wet. It was against the internal wall and was about 2m in length and about 50cm out from the wall. It wasn't damp; it was puddled wet. I quickly grabbed towels to get as much up as I could. It took in liquid from about 7 towels then I phoned the builder in a complete panic. Over the weekend we had had really heavy rain and it hadn't stopped for the two days. Our yard was a boggy mess and water externally was everywhere. It just seemed to be obvious that it had to come from that. However, there were no drips on the roof or down the walls and there is a bedroom directly upstairs and there was nothing anywhere else. It made no sense at all. I told him there is no water anywhere other that there. The only thing we had done different was for the first time last night we had run the dishwasher. We had also deliberately done it before we went to bed, all good. Our SS phoned a plumber and calls started to be made. He asked if I was sure it wasn't the dishwasher. I said, no as there was no water anywhere near it. The wait was killing me so I decided we should eliminate the dishwasher so we could get to the bigger problem. I disconnected the water and unhooked all the taps etc. I then moved the dishwasher forward. As soon as it moved half way out, water began pouring from all sides and corners. I grabbed all the towels and absorbent material I could including a doona to protect the floors and I heaved it up and outside. I'm still not exactly sure how that happened but  have never had more adrenaline running through my body.  As soon as I got it out it hit my like a tonne of bricks; the realisation that the water in the study had come from the dishwasher; which is two rooms away. I was in a mad panic of mopping up any excess but the damage had been done. Very slowly over the past two weeks the dishwasher had been leaking water inside the dishwasher out the back and under the floor. The damage was done and was significant.

In hindsight, there were signs that we didn't pick up on, having never had timber flooring. Last Thursday I sent an email to the floorers saying that some of the caulking was squeezing up and was tacky. Is this normal? What should I do? We assumed it was quite normal for floors to have that bit of movement. They were going to come and check it out and clean it up a bit. There was some ridging in-between the island bench and the ovens (right out from the dishwasher). It's so damn obvious now but we didn't know any better and again just thought it was normal. On Sunday I said to my husband there was a bit of a smell near the study, it wasn't too bad, just different. No doubt another sign. Also over the weekend we noticed a strange dust appearing on all the light switches and chairs etc. The weather on Saturday was really humid and it made sense it was just that - with all the dust laying around outside. Again, another sign - possibly the timber releasing the water which was condensing in the air with the dust. There was also one part of the floor that had a sound when you stepped on it, very small - but it was obviously the glue lifting off. I feel really silly now but nothing was ever obvious and we just didn't know or realise. Once we realised what had happened and we looked at the floors the more we noticed. There is ridging and movement across most of the floor and it is getting worse by the hour. You can feel it as you walk on it now with every step you take, you can also hear the squelching of water under some areas. There is a lot of water sitting under there.

Anyway I will try to stick to the point as this could go on forever and it only just occurred on Monday - we still don't have answers or are unsure of outcomes. Thank goodness we have insurance. We have fans and de-humidifiers on the carpet already and have been told by one assessor it cannot be salvaged - the timber (rather obvious). We will have another out in the coming days to detail everything.

The dishwasher was brand new and installed by a plumber. We phoned the supplier and they put us through to Fischer and Paykel. I was desperate to get answers because if it wasn't the dishwasher there was a serious issue with the plumbing which we would need to get onto urgently. They couldn't send anyone out Monday as it would need to be someone higher up, due to the extent of the damage. They came out yesterday and initially couldn't find anything. They then unscrewed the bottom of it and found internally a broken hose..... Its flood protection also didn't activate. Although he didn't say it was their fault, he did elude to that and also said that their insurance would be in consolation with our insurance company regarding it. He said he would write his report which wouldn't please the company. He said the machine would also need to be repaired - which I kindly told him, there is no way that dishwasher is coming back in this house and that we would also need to recover the costs for that.

So our journey begins... We will need to have the flooring ripped up (I'm so scared of our windows and kitchen cabinetry) and the concrete will need to be dried out for 1-2 months before our floorers will even look at doing it all over again (there cannot be any moisture left in the floor). Skirting boards will all need to be removed, new ones bought, painted and put on after flooring (again). We were so careful with the timing of things too. We made sure our blinds, furniture delivery etc were done last (these will all need protecting) our windows that were scratched have all just been replaced. All the things from out Completion of Works List were all just being finished and now it will be months till be can actually live in there again with everything all set out. It's a nightmare.

Queensland Spotted Gum Hardwood Floor, Poly Gloss Finsih

I wish I was writing this post under different circumstances. We must have done something to insult the universe because we are being seriously punished at the moment. I will write a longer post next regarding this but it is with utter dismay and with the heaviest of hearts that I say that our stunning Spotted Gum flooring has been destroyed. It has all happened in the last 2 days and we are still in the process of going through it all but a brand new, yet defective dishwasher has slowly leaked water under our flooring for the past 2 weeks (unbeknownst to us). It has completely destroyed the floor, which will all need to be ripped up. It flooded through 2 rooms into the study and saturated the carpet there. Fischer and Paykel had their head guy come out and they found a broken pipe inside. We are completely devastated and its going to be a long journey to get back to where we are now. Our painter just finished filling and painting the skirting boards last week and we were finally ready to set all our furniture out. Instead we will soon need to begin packing again. 

Here is the flooring prior to this week (we only had 1 week of them). It turned out better than we had imagined and we could not have been happier with the final result. It was stunning.

Harwood timber flooring - QLD Spotted Gum 80 x 14mm select/standard mix
We deleted flooring in our Carlisle contract (to entry, hall, meals, kitchen and lounge) and then had our own company install the floors.

Flooring Timeline
  • 31st October - Handover - got keys
  • 3rd November - Flooring laid - took 1 week to lay
  • We moved into the house (partly) on 7th November - floors were not sanded or polished
  • Flooring then sat to allow them to acclimatise to the temperature and ensure minimal movement (as they came from Queensland) - nearly 2 weeks
  • 19th November - we moved out and floors were sanded and polished. After polishing we couldn't move back for an extra 3 days to allow time for it to dry and set (also highly toxic)
  • We moved back into the house on the 24th November
  • (See now why I haven't had many posts!!!)
  • We have been in the house just over 2 weeks....
Flooring Process
  • Concrete scraped and cleaned
  • Protective plastic laid
  • 12mm layer of ply - screwed to the slab (what appeared to be 1000 screws!)
  • QLD Spotted Gum timber glued and secret nailed
  • Sanded and polished with 3 coats of solvent poly gloss finish
Protective Plastic Goes Down
Ply is Laid
Timber Gets Delivered!! It was soooo exciting seeing the timber. It gave us a good idea of the colour and what the end result would look like (this photo is in the garage under fluorescent lights).We were so excited by the colour variation and the feature to the timber. Timber really is an absolutely beautiful product.
More Natural Light
Here we Go!!! Goose bumps when we saw the first parts down!
The Next Night
So much completed in a day! These photos are under light at night time
While the floorers laid the floors during the night. I went back to the house at night and painted all the skirting boards! Enamel paint fumes in a garage send you a little crazy after a while!!
*Because our flooring was laid after hand-over and did not want quad on the floor under any circumstances, we had Carlisle leave the skirting boards off to all of the ground floor. They left us all the skirting boards in the packets and the paint to paint them. It was a bit painful at the time to try and get them done but the end result was worth it all. To avoid quad around the kitchen the floorer used caulking. Its a timber matched silicone that fills in the small gap needed to allow for movement.
Finished laying in the kitchen and lounge
*This is not yet sanded or polished
Close Up
It has those beautiful browns, reds, and ash colours
More Photos - not yet sanded or polished
Variation of Colour is Amazing!!
Looking down the hall
So happy with the colour match of the timber staircase; Walnut
Entry to Study and Theatre carpets - Cat3 Takarra Ridge


Tuesday, 25 November 2014

This Blog is Not Finished!!!

I'm here and alive and well! So is the house!! We moved in, then we moved out again while the floor was being sanded and polished and we moved back in again this week!! This is a very short update of the things that have been happening so far. Over the weekend, I plan to go crazy with the camera and update properly with photos and more information. THERE IS SO MUCH TO DO WHEN YOU GET THE KEYS!!!! We have barely been able to draw breath let alone sit down and type a post!!

Exciting things that have happened since we got the keys!
  • Our amazing Queensland Spotted Gum hardwood floors were laid (they remained unsanded/polished for 2 weeks to adjust to humidity levels etc.)
  • Floors were sanded and polished!!!!
  • We built all our retaining walls (this had to be done before our boundary fences could be put up) and when I say we built, I actually mean my husband and his band of 'brothers'!!
  • Boundary fences are finished (just finished yesterday)
  • I've sealed the grout on the porcelain tiles (has an impressive 15 year protection from stains etc). I wouldn't actually call this exciting more painful!!
  • We painted all our ground floor skirting boards (whilst we were camping.....) and these have all now been put on. They were left off due to flooring being done post-handover
  • Half of the double roller blinds have been installed (upstairs) - we had to wait till the floor was finished for downstairs, these are being done today - including our black fabric pelmets
  • Victory came yesterday and installed sheer curtains to master and study and plantation shutters to both bathrooms and theatre. These are absolutely stunning! LOVE, love, love them!
  • NBN is connected
  • Half of our scratched doors and frames have been replaced - yes half, see below......
  • Appliances were installed (eeek see below) 
  • We had the Theatre painted - Dulux Raku, feature wall in bedroom - Dulux Stepney and the fire hob and bulkhead - Dulux Raku
  • Drive way and other areas in the backyard were excavated yesterday ready for concrete! Good bye muddy mess! When I left today they were not there so not sure when it is being poured. The weather has not been very kind again
  • Our side wing fence is up - looks great and after spending over a month at friends, our beautiful dog can finally come home (finished yesterday)
  • Holes have been dug ready for the decking to begin in the backyard - sometime this century!
  • Our reverse-cycle air conditioners were installed - post-handover (not through Carlisle Homes)
  • It's been all about deliveries, deliveries, deliveries and workman everywhere!! Glad the blinds are on now!!
  • Front door tinting is happening in the coming days (light tint from Tint Master) 

Frustrations and ongoing dilemmas!
  • Telephone is not working - going round in circles with Telstra, NBN and Argus Technologies - should get a better answer by the end of today... Should....
  • Half of our windows and doors were replaced. Absolute incompetence by our SS. This has been a big issue through the build and it somewhat escalated last week when A & L showed up with half of the works - they were completely unaware of the other half - even though it was on our completion of works list to be done post-handover our SS only fulfilled some of it. A lot of angry calls were made as well as emails, discussions with managers of all.. It will all be done and has been ordered but now our floors are done we are not happy with it!! Lots more detail to come about this.....
  • Of the 6 appliances we had installed (fire place, ovens x2, cooktop, range, hot water service) only 2 were correct, not damaged, not defective..... The ovens were perfect. More to come on this - most of this has been rectified but still some issues!
  • 2 areas of the kitchen vinyl wrap was damaged by the installers of the range and the window people post-handover - this is going to be fixed
  • Still waiting for our one and only timber infill to be painted the correct colour. It was painted white, instead of Woodland Grey as it should have been. Such a minor thing in the scheme of things now but frustrating all the same
  • When we collected our keys our SS put wrong door handles in two rooms (doors and WIR) - still waiting for this to be done
Looking forward to doing some major updating of things in detail in the coming days. First to come has to be the floors - stay tuned!

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

One More Day to Go!!

I've been offline this week as we moved last Thursday out of our rental property.... We had gone with the information we were receiving from our SS regarding a predicted finish date and then over- estimated this time for any unforeseen issues (by nearly 8 weeks mind you!!). However, we still missed the date by over two weeks... So we have been living in a caravan in the caravan park since last Thursday! We love camping, but I am completely over it!! Camping is very different when you still have to get up for work and get the kids to kinder etc. Anyway, we have handover tomorrow! I'm a little disappointed to say I'm not doing a heap of fist pumps or happy dances yet as there is still quite  bit of uncompleted work. Our SS has assured us, that other than the windows, everything else will be done by tomorrow. He has ordered all our double glazed windows that need to be replaced (there are a lot of them) but they will not be completed for handover. This makes me incredibly nervous, but apparently it is signed by approx 100 people to say it will all be done by a set date. We have our flooring booked for Monday and if this wasn't the case then there is no way I would be going through with handover. We have had to change and delay the flooring so many times due to delays that we cannot do it again - our company has been so flexible but I doubt we will have flooring by Christmas if there were to be any more changes. So we will need to sign off, but I will be making sure that the documents are black and white as to what is going to be done and when!!  I know we will be really excited tomorrow when that time comes, but it's slightly tarnished that it's not all done. Although, I don't feel like it will ever really feel and look complete until the flooring is laid (obviously). Spending the next week in the caravan while the flooring is done is also a little of a dampener!!

Home, Sweet, Home..... For the time being!

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Facade Tiles!!!! Eco Alabster Grigio Lappato Porcelain

I have definitely been in love with a lot of things in this build but this one has really got my heart racing. You know how a cat (I'm not a cat person at all, in-fact I kind of detest them...!! sorry cat lovers) anyway, you know how a cat rubs up against something and it's tail lifts up and it gets all warm and fuzzy, well that is how I feel when I see our facade tile!! I just want to run up to them and touch them and purr!!! I'm so happy with our facade and our colour choices. When you choose your colour selections, it's so hard to envisage it all. We didn't want anything over the top or something that would date. We decided that warm neutral colours would be the best. We feel like the render colours have come up really well. They are light but with enough contrast and variation and I love that the tiles almost match the Hog Bristle Half render colour. They don't stand out but because of their colour variation and look/feel are a sutble feature without being in your face! That is what we were hoping for anyway - everyone obviously has a different taste, but we are super happy with it all!

Facade - Hardwick
Render - Dulux Hog Bristle Half (sandy)
 - Dulux BedBox (brown)
Tiles - Eco Alabaster Grigio Lappato Porcelain
Grout - Travertine
Front Doors - Corinthian Win21 - stained in Rich Walnut
Garage Door - Decowood Bush Cherry
Roof/fascia/downpipes - Colourbond Woodland Grey

Tile Beginning!

Slowly Growing

Loving the Tile Variation
The tiler has done a great job at making sure the tiles are layed with the greatest of variation. We opened a box of tiles to see what they looked like and a lot looked to have a similar pattern, but on the pier they all look so varied and different. LOVE THEM!

Finished Tiles!

Up Close and Personal
Tiles also have metal trim

Oh so Close

Monday, 20 October 2014

Window Infills

I was a little snowed under last week so this is an update that actually occurred last Thursday, the day before our PCI. I was really happy to drive past and see two A & L Window trucks there working away at the windows and doors. They put all (3 missing) infills in, which have been a fairly big part of our journey and I'm so happy to say that I love them!! Of course, I would prefer they weren't there but they actually suit the boutique windows and really finish it all off. We were able to insulate these so we hope this maximises the double glazing. There were also other parts of the windows and doors that were cleaned and replaced, including foot plates, brushes to doors and cleaning out (most) of the mud and dirt from the tracks. 

Here they are;
Window Infills 
Above Dining Room Doors

Above Laundry Door - this is probably the largest

Study Window

Fixed Lounge Window

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Overview of PCI

Sorry for the delayed post from our PCI, we move out of our rental house this week and we've been busy moving and packing - fun times!!

We had our PCI - New Home Inspection- on Friday. I was so nervous about it to be honest. We are just hoping that we picked up all the important things and haven't missed something non-cosmetic. Noting and marking up paint touch ups was one of the biggest aspects. I think our SS almost used a whole roll of tape! There were blue marks covering effectively all walls. 'We really don't need that footprint on the roof cornice, or that spray of mud on that wall!'. Our SS was great at marking out these - they are obviously easy to fix up as well. He was a little more reserved on others and we could definitely feel his tension at times - some things that may have an impact or reflection on his work and possibly his 'bonus' if there is such a thing.

Our next walk through and handover/settlement is booked (tentatively) for October 30th - 2 weeks from now!!!! He thinks this date should be enough time to get everything done. 

There was some unfinished work (due to weather - outside tiles - and other things yet to be finished) so we will need to check over those as-well, but here is our list of the Completion of Works Certificate (the 1001 internal paint work is not included in this!)

  • seal spa bath
  • adjust centre draw in ensuite (stiff and tight)
  • adjust WIR drawers (all stiff - one didn't close)
  • scuff marks to ensuite tile (praying these come out of the porcelain)
  • re-coat to front of stairs (going to be very particualar with these as the paint is very scrappy)
  • dint in laminate in laundry (they replaced the side panel - not the top...)
  • paint the chipboard under the island bench white (this is red and when the sun comes in makes the back look pinkish)
  • handle to overhead cupboard in kitchen
  • refit beading to kitchen window
  • check colour and shelf height to pantry in butlers
  • chip to balcony tile
  • caulk to balcony edge
  • light switch in power room
  • door handle to WIR bed 4
  • trim and seal to bathroom shower/bath
  • Hog Bristle Half render to side of porch (wrong colour)
  • rubber to ensuite window
  • infill to side of bathroom window
  • dent to theatre window
  • compression flashing to roof x3
  • woodland grey to bathroom window infill
  • re-coat alfresco beam
  • re-coat garage door
  • flashing to alfresco pier
  • seal to garage door
  • infill to bedroom 3
  • infill to bedroom 4 highlight
  • steam clean carpets
  • seals to front door
  • add door jam to linen
  • paint and add privacy lock to upstairs powder
  • caulking underside of island bench
  • There are way too many scratches to the window frames and glass to list. This has always been a big thing for us and the way the doors were initially treated. There are scratches to almost all frames and panels. This is where our site supervisors attitude seemed to become more subdued. He couldn't believe how damaged they were, even though we have made this clear from the get go. The scratches on the glass were also a really big one. They are everywhere and the more we looked, the more we all found. He basically said that all windows will be thoroughly checked over and either repaired, buffed out or replaced. This has to affect his budget. For example 4 (out of 6) panels of the large double glazed were seriously scratched. It's been heartbreaking for us now I thinks it's heartbreaking for him too. They will all be fixed though
We were really happy with how everything went! The majority of things picked up were things our SS told us about or have always been on the list to do. The countdown is now well and truly on now!!! Another exciting thing is that handover will happen at the house and we won't have to drive over 2 hours to collect the keys from Carlisle's Head office in Mulgrave!! 

A  Few Pictures
Powder Room Light Needs Tightening 

Incorrect Render Colour - The part setback next to the garage should be Hog Bristle Half - not BedBox

A Few Paint Touch-ups!

A Few More!!

Our SS wasn't overly happy with this one. There are two issues here for us
1) the bottom shelf that was recently added (had been left off the first time but is on drawings) is clearly a different colour. He told us black and blue that he thought it was the same colour as the other shelves....
2) It has been built way too high and has made the bottom shelf really small
I know it's not a huge issue but to me it just all looks wrong. He said he will have to check on this one..
Keep you updated!

Quad has been added to roof line (still to be painted)

A little gutted to see scratch marks to the newly installed fire place trim (the photo doesn't really show it). Our SS told us there was a note left on the fire from the installers to say that they have ordered a new one as it was delivered with these scratches. Phew!

Missing Handle for Overhead Kitchen Cupboard

 Trim to Shower