The benefits of going away

The windows have been installed, now just waiting for the doors to arrive.

The windows have been installed, now just waiting for the doors to arrive.

There is definitely a benefit in going away for six weeks while a major renovation is being handled by your builder. Now I know most people want to be around so they can answer any questions about where the power points should be placed or have input into the many minor adjustments that need to be made when something just isn’t where it should be according to the plans. I’ve decided though that I’m not one of those people. We went away with the house sitting like a bloated spider on spindly legs and have come back to a house that is almost at lock up stage.

This week I have had to go through the house and look over those minor decisions that the builder has had to make and every one of them has made sense so I don’t see that me being here would have made much difference to the outcome, perhaps just slowed down the process while they waited for me to make a decision. Of course you do need to have a good builder that you can put your confidence in and that’s definitely been the case here.

That being said there have still been a couple of minor adjustments to be made. We made the decision to make the lower floor, which includes the kitchen, lounge and dining as well as the master bedroom, wheelchair accessible. This will bring the house, as much as possible, into line with Adaptable Housing guidelines. We couldn’t increase the size of the main bedroom that much as we were constrained by the size of the existing house footprint however we have a reasonable circulation space in the lower rooms, 920mm wide doors, hobless shower area and correctly sited toilet in the ensuite and a flat entrance into the house from the rear deck (we will add a ramp at the rear of the house to access the lower deck). What we hadn’t done was discussed this with the electrician. Whoops, he had roughed in the light switches at the standard Queenslander house height. Thankfully he was able to make the change easily and dropped the switches down approximately 6 inches so they are now at an accessible level for someone in a wheelchair. We also needed to move a couple of the power points around as the plans hadn’t included the built in robes we would be installing  once the renovation is completed.

Plaster sheeting has been installed. Here we are looking at the kitchen area.

Plaster sheeting has been installed. Here we are looking at the kitchen area.

The plasterers arrived on-site on Tuesday to start putting up the gyprock. It is amazing how different the inside looks with some proper internal walls. They move fast and all the plaster sheeting fixed to the walls by Thursday.

I had to do a full day of shopping for the house yesterday, oh joy, oh rapture! Actually, although it beats going to the supermarket, shopping and I aren’t really in a friendly relationship. However my builder requested the tiles, tapware and all other PC items, as well as the lights and fans. I was able to source some things on-line, such as the front door handle and I was able to drag the long suffering husband along for door selection earlier in the week but Thursday there was nothing for it but to head off the the tile shop to match the tile colours selected by the colour consultant and eyeball actual light fittings to find some that were suitable.

I have also had the kitchen designer out this week. We decided to reuse the existing kitchen as it was only about five years old, however it needed some modifications to fit into the new space. Mark was able to sort through the jumble of cupboards and doors and has come up with a workable plan. By reusing as much as possible we are saving around $10,000 on a brand new kitchen of the same standard. The vanities for both bathrooms and the laundry cupboard have also been measured up and will be constructed and fitted by Mark’s team.

This coming week I’m back on the road for work. By the time I get back on Friday I am hoping the doors will have arrived and the house will be at lock up stage.

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