Friday, December 24, 2010

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

First Planting

Yes I have cut the grass but with all the rain it's growing like a centimeter overnight!
We have started planting out the front yard rock wall. It's been slow going working in between showers and scrapping together the plants at the right price. I'll post more detail and some close-ups before the weekend all going well.

Lack Of Posting

It's been an emotional roller coaster ride of late. We've had some massive let downs by a few tradies. The biggest was the flooring installer, had him booked in for weeks and on the day he was a no show and he won't answer his phone since. I really don't get it...if he's running behind a simple phone call would have kept us in the too hard it seems!

Anyway he's fired and another contractor has been engaged to lay the timber flooring...on my birthday of all days.

The weather has been a complete s**t in South East Queensland lately and with Christmas coming I've thrown in the towel on getting anything major done until the new year.

Alarm Update 2

Alarm went well for a while and I was hoping changing the code panel had fixed the false alarms. It seems not so as I had another false alarm on Sunday and the alarm triggered as soon as I worked in the door. Zone 3 is still the culprit....looks like I'll have to call the alarm people again.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Alarm Update

After having had our neighbour call me at midnight to say the alarm was going off I decided it was time complain about the alarm. It has been randomly going off for weeks and I was sick of the keypad stalling on code entry.

The alarm tech came out and I explained the problems we had been having, he decided the best option was to replace the VoiceNav (Keypad). Apparently they have been having some firmware issues. So far so good.

Something to note is the VoiceNav is very customisable, the tech changed the way the zones display and showed me how to change the sensitivity on the keypad. Lots going on in this unit if the user manual was clearer.

Epic Fail

This is how not to do a bath spout, photo taken at Metricon's new Underwood display. The display is worth a look because Metricon have gone all out on these display houses to the point they have reproduced an almost exact copy of one of their best Melbourne displays. When we selected our bath spout I double checked everything and as a result the layout was perfect.

The Colour Of Green

After a few weeks the grass has taken well and is looking very lush and green. Getting lots of comments from the neighbours and tradies. Hoping it stays this way. Will have to drag the mower up to the new house soon and give it's first cut.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Air Conditioning Fixed

Fairly happy with the response to the air conditioning problem. Reported the problem yesterday morning and received a call from the service manager this morning. They were on-site by lunch time and looking into the problem.

It seems the main issue was the drain getting an air lock, they installed a breather into the drain line and the problem was fixed with water flowing from the head unit out the drain.

A little more care at installation would have avoided this but a fast response and fix to the problem goes a long way to making up for it.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Air Conditioning Malfunction

After having had the air conditioning installers back to sort out the bodgy install of the 3.5kw bedroom unit, today I decided to give the main lounge unit a run. I set it to 22 degrees cooling and went down the road for half an hour. After returning back to the house it was lovely and cool but I could hear running water.....I turned around to see water cascading out of the head unit and down the It appears there is something wrong with the drainage. There will be a stern phone call first thing in the morning.
For the record the air conditioning was done out of contract after handover but by the same installers as Metricon use for their ducted installs. The rough-ins were perfect but something went very wrong with the installs. I suspect they unleashed a new and untested installer on me....not happy.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Progress Report

The first picture is a progress shot of the lounge area taken looking back from the dining room area. The wall behind the "tiny" TV (Which is the bedroom TV) will be painted out in a dark grey to break up the all white look. Still looking for a side table for the lamp so it can moved to other end of the lounge to make way for our M&K sub woofer.
Air conditioning is up and running in the living area and master bedroom. The install of the bedroom unit was rough as and after I lodged a complaint the service manager himself came out and sorted it straight away. Very happy with quietness of the Panasonic inverter's, second picture is of the lounge 8.0kw outside unit.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Shutters Installed

Sorry for the lack of posts but just so flat out with life, work and the house recently. The long awaited shutters have arrived and been installed in the bathrooms. Finally some privacy!!
Thinking a timber finish would have been nice but the white serves the purpose of bouncing and reflecting light very well which is why we went that way in the first place.
I've been chipping away at the lighting and preparing the slab for the wooden flooring which is sitting at the suppliers warehouse waiting for the installer to give a date that it can be done.....before Christmas was mentioned which in tradie terms could be Christmas

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Off Topic Supercharged Ford GT Test Drive

Thinking of upgrading the Holden Calais later this year or early next year so I've started test driving the most likely suspects. I got to drive one of the first of the new supercharged Coyote V8 powered GT Falcon's in Queensland yesterday. I can leave the 6 speed manual behind but the power in this thing is brutal and supercharger whine totally electrifying....It's on the short

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Bedroom & Study Flooring Ordered

Recently ordered the flooring...then put a hold on it after deciding to buy another bedroom suite. Poor salesman from Andersen's must have rolled his eyes but he never missed a beat and rolled with it. After holding the samples against the new bedroom suite we assured ourselves all was still good and proceeded with the order.
Actually the reason we picked Spotted Gum was it tends to match must timber products except really light timbers like Beech. The flooring we ordered is produced by Readyflor and seems to have a better reputation then Boral Silkwood. If you live on the Gold Coast and want some good pricing on flooring talk to Grant at Andersen's Burleigh Heads on 07 55767699.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


The lighting setup has proved to be both interesting and frustrating. I'm trying to integrate new technology (LED lighting) with current CFL lighting. For the record I hate CFL type GU10 down lights designed to replace halogen down lights as they are so sloooooooww to come to full brightness.
In the above picture the lights above the vanities are 9W Warm white LED MR16 fitting LED bulbs and other two lights are 20W CFL bulbs in down light fittings. Together they give an excellent light. The 2 CFL's by themselves are left wanting.
A few points I've found so far. The average 9W LED is only equal to a 35W Halogen...don't be told otherwise. Philips CFL bulbs have the best light output in lumen's and a nice warm colour temperature. For outside lights 9W GU10 LED's are the perfect replacement for halogens except for being slightly whiter than the halogens. I'll post more information as I work through it.

Price Sticker Shock !!!!

I discovered this wall paper while shopping in Brisbane and thought it would make a great feature in the hallway. Actually wasn't that hard to find the source but I did get lucky and managed to speak to people in the know who pointed me in the right direction. The gotcha in all this is the price. When you walk in somewhere and they tell you "you have good taste" watch out because a big price tag is coming. Try $700 per roll......Ouch! I can import for $400 plus freight. Hmm thinking how much do I like this and who will I get to hang this paper

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Picture/Mirror Hanging Tips Part 3

Final step is to hang your picture by placing the picture above the wall bracket and letting it slide down gently. I'd strongly suggest two people for this step and make 100% sure the two halves have engaged before letting go.
If you doubt your ability to do the job...don't do it, there are professionals who do this sort of thing for a living and they can be found in the Yellow Pages.
Best of luck and happy hanging.
BTW: I hate bloggers posting tools, if anyone can suggest a better way please leave a comment...thanks.

Picture/Mirror Hanging Tips Part 2

The first picture shows one half of the wall bracket mounted. I managed to pickup two of the metal frame wall studs with the stud finder. Be careful of false positives with a metal frame. Use the side of your fist to lightly bang against the wall to confirm stud placement. Tip: Drill a small pilot hole, if you get it wrong it's easier to fill and repair.

Second picture shows the wall anchor I prefer to use. Get the large size and practice on some spare plasterboard if you can as there is a knack to getting them to start expanding. A slow firm turn of the screwdriver helps...don't jerk the screwdriver or they'll spin in your plasterboard. Tip: Don't use the small level that comes with the bracket kit...use a real level as the one supplied isn't accurate.

Moving along to the third picture this shows the second half of the bracket kit attached to the back of the mirror frame in this case. I drilled extra holes as seen in the picture as the frame was made of resin and only had wood inserts in two places. You shouldn't need to do this with a good solid frame.

Picture/Mirror Hanging Tips Part 1

As I promised a while ago here is some information and tips for installing large mirrors and pictures. Before I proceed I should warn you this worked for me but if you choose to do it yourself it's at your own risk.
Now that's out of the way let's get started. The bracket is the key to the whole exercise and the one I have used is made by Hangman Products, barcode 6-81391-20603-7.

I purchased mine from a framing store for $29.90AU but you maybe able to purchase them online for cheaper. You will also need a stud finder, I use the Stanley FATMAX which was purchased from Bunnings. It's also useful for finding power cables in the wall and has been a great help in mounting towel rails etc.

Friday, October 22, 2010

And I Thought The Mirror Was A Challenge !

Finally our entertainment unit arrived which also means our Zebra print has been delivered. I'll be using the same bracket setup and mounting technique as the mirror and at least this has a more solid frame. Have to see how bad the reflections will be when it's on the wall.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Internet Up & Running

Connected with Telstra BigPond as it's the only choice when you are in what they call a Telstra Smart Community. It just means you are connected via fibre optic like the NBN if it ever gets off the ground. Phone, free to air TV and internet all come through the same fibre optic cable. I'm so glad that there has been 2 price drops for BigPond internet since we bought the block. It's now not a bad deal and with the $1500 rebate we won't have to pay any money for phone and internet for over a year.
Speed is amazing, I've loaded it up to 75Mbps which is crazy fast....files download faster than the anti-virus can scan them. I'm thinking I might drop the speed back to "Elite" speeds and go for more download quota.


A few things we have picked up over the last week. The table lamp was a bargain made up of a imported Spanish base and lamp shade from Andrews Light-up....Total cost about $110. Actually there is a bit of a price war going on between the lighting retailers in Queensland at the moment so a good to buy if you shop around.

Bar Stools

It was almost hand to hand combat to get these at Aldi last week. All the white ones were gone in 3 minutes of the doors opening. I got the very one last one to make the set. Quality is not 100% but for $40 each I suppose what can you expect.

Another Front Yard Picture

Another photo this time taken in the morning when the light is less contrasty. This was taken on our last fine sunny day. Once again the grey sky's and rain are back, good for the lawn I suppose but not good for the spirit.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

First Turf Laid

Now it feels like we are getting somewhere. Picked a variety of buffalo turf called Sapphire. You can read more about it here

Landscaping Underway

It's been a while since my last posting but there has been plenty happening in the background which is the main reason for the lack of posts. I've been pulling 12 hour days and trying to keep up with the I'm worn
Still not getting any closer to getting a driveway due to many reasons but mainly the weather which has thrown the concreting into chaos.
As you can see I bit the bullet and kicked off the final landscaping phase. Many thanks again goes out to the team from Eden Earthworks for being fast and reliable.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Mirror Success

After much thought and searching for ideas and products to mount this 30kg mirror we have success. It took about 4 hours of careful measuring and attaching of the brackets but well worth it as we hauled it up on it's mounting. I'll add a short how to in the coming days showing the products used.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Bathroom Mirror Installed

Bit of saga but we got there after 2 failed attempts at getting the size right, one Metricon's fault and one mine. Very happy with the result and the bathroom starting to look 100% complete except for the shutters and towel rail.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Pendant Lights Finally Arrive

Everything we pick seems to be out of stock and takes 6-8 weeks to arrive. But the good news is the pendants have arrived and I've had one installed this afternoon so we can get a feel for the length of the drop and spacing before we install the other two.

Blinds Installed

Decided on a sheer fabric in light grey for the lounge (Looks white in the right light) and a pearl finish block out in gunmetal colour for the bedrooms and study. We have ordered white shutters for the bathroom and ensuite but there is about a 6 week waiting time. The roller blinds were completed and installed in exactly 7 days.
A hint for those still building, see if you can get your SS to allow for a measure and quote on blinds, curtains etc before handover to save some waiting time which can be as long as 8 weeks on some shutters.

Mirror Mirror On The Wall

Well soon to be...when I figure how to mount it safely. Lucky there is a stud in the centre of where it is going and I figure if I use hollow wall anchors either side so it is sitting on 3 hooks all should be OK. Well that's the

Friday, September 10, 2010

Taps & Wastes Changed

After a lot of fiddling around I managed to change the ensuite taps without them leaking. The original supplied hoses leaked badly (Chinese made...say no more) so off to Bunnings and $14 later no more leaking and swear
The pop-up wastes proved much easier...Metricon wanted $50 each which to be fair isn't too bad but I was able to do them for $17 a bit more money to spend on something else now.
Noticed an interesting reflection of the flash bouncing off the splash back tiles onto the taps.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Phone Installed

It's so hard to find good fixed line phones these days. If you want wall mounted hands free you have about 2 to 3 choices. I'd tried a few different phones but either they were garbage or didn't attach to wall well. I was disappointed I couldn't still buy this GE phone but I managed to track down a couple of ex-display ones new in their boxes for bargain price off a new online auction site. So all is good now and we have a phone that we'll hardly ever, needed to connect the land line to get the Telstra Smart community rebate.

More Furniture & Additions

We already had these hanging chilli's and decided they would be perfect for the extended niche. Discovered the paintwork in the niche is a bit off so I've started to rub it down and correcting the faults as I go.

Coffee table finished in high gloss white...very cheap at 50% off. It ended up being about $250 quality was OK but there is no way I'd pay full price for it.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Some Progress

Found this funky clock in our travels. The exposed gears move and the size was perfect for the area above the fridge.

Mounted the toilet roll holders and towel rail in bathroom. Going to try and get the sparkie in next week to start adding some downlights and still not sure the 9W LEDs I've bought are going to cut it. They appear to be as powerful as 35W halogens but the LEDs seem to output a different type of light...can't put my finger on the difference yet.