Landscaping Progress

Happy New Year everyone, hope you all had some quality time off with your families. We tried mostly to forget about our build during the Christmas/New Year period and just enjoy the time off.

Our SS pushed hard towards the end of last year to hand over by end of 2016 but in the end it was all too rushed and we’d prefer to take our time with PCI and handover in a few weeks from now when Wisdom is back from holidays.

We got W Landscapes to do a big package including the:

  1. Concreting around the house
  2. Replace the footpath
  3. Driveway
  4. Switch the layback
  5. Front fence in the same brick as the house
  6. Side fence in colorbond to match the opposite side

Here’s some progress shots from when I had a bit of a snoop around during the break, hopefully this is the last ‘progress’ post before I post the ‘final’ post. 🙂

Footpath and driveway. Driveway is waiting for the fleck finish.img_3039

Concrete down the sides and around the back, got a pine landing with some steps made for outside the laundry and alfresco. Topsoil has been spread waiting for turf, they were quite generous with the topsoil.img_3042

More side more dirt and clay, just concrete waiting to be coloured.


Getting some fully finished interior pics through the windows, it’s waiting there for us to move-in….so close but the devil is in the details at the end.



Interior Progress

Met up with Dave from betterview blinds onsite today and didn’t waste any opportunities with my camera! Very sorry, I’m too lazy to write words on a Saturday night so I just did a picture vomit

Kitchen with island benchPowder room vanity

Front living area

Master bedroom

Upper hallway

Kids bedroom

TV Area with niche

Powder room and pantry room doors

Dave going for a bit of free advertising

Pantry door, splashback, kitchen cabinets and bench contrast


Main bathroom bathtub

Looks like the tradies have been testing out the sewerage plumbing, I don’t blame them, the portaloo absolutely reeks in this heat.

Linen cupboard doors

Courtyard, soon to be concreted and when I can afford it, properly timber decked.

Look Ma! No scaffolds!

Haven’t disappeared, just super busy so a quick update…

I am officially over Christmas, I build ECommerce systems to pay the bills and the mortgage. All my customers want their Christmas campaigns up and going so November is always my busiest month hence the lack of updates even though a bunch of stuff has happened on our site. Here’s a pic to keep it all going in case anybody is still following 🙂

I’m locked out so no interior pics unfortunately but just from the outside you can see our Rosewood stained doors, interiors had its first coat, tiling is 100% complete, balcony glass balustrade is done, down-pipes all connected to the water tank now, too much to list. The end is nigh! We’re getting a lot of landscaping done through Wisdom so there will be more interesting pics to post soon (hopefully). A bit less than 5 weeks to Christmas shutdown, go go go!


Staircase, Skirting, Architraves, Internal Doors Done!

Met up with Dave from Betterview Blinds today on site because he came out to take some measurements for our blinds. BetterView are Wisdom’s recommended supplier for blinds and shutters. Dave’s the owner although he dresses like your average tradie, a top bloke, had a bit of a chat with him and I think we made the right decision to get shutters through them as well as blinds. While I was chatting with him I got to go for a grand tour of the house to check out all the internal work. Here’s a pictorial tour for you all:

Spot the difference: they’ve put the upstairs balcony door on, now waiting for a stain!


Walking in through the front door through the living area:

New Staircase is a thing of beauty:

Dining/Leisure Area looking out the back, kitchen cupboards in, laundry cupboards in. So glad we paid the extra for the laundry fit out upgrade.

Going upstairs to the master bedroom with the media nook, green doors are solicore doors that need painting:

Kids bedrooms still needs wardrobe doors:

Linen cupboard doors, Bathrooms all waterproofed

Kids will love this one, the Abode has a special feature which is a under stair storage ‘room’ accessible from garage, I can imagine hours of Hide and Seek with this.

Can’t wait to hear what plans the SS has this week!

Steaming along this week

Couldn’t help myself today, went for a quick gander after work to look through the windows of our locked up home and was surprised to see that our kitchen cabinets had been installed, love the fact there’s protective covering all over! Floor tiles delivered outside ready to be laid. SS is on a roll.


Our site looking glorious in the twilight, it’s now getting to the point where we’ve gotta pinch ourselves and say “this is real, this will be our new home soon, it’s bl%&dy amazing!”IMG_2720.jpg

Locked Up

Drove past our site today and breathed a huge sigh of relief as construction was on the move again this week. They’ve installed our beautiful front door now and locked up the house. It’s raw and needs to be stained but I love it already.


For our laundry we’re using a LIN1 door, also needs to be stained.


I got a snap of the inside through the back door, looks like the carpenters have been hard at work installing all the architraves and skirting, it’s looking like a house on the inside now. The gyprock has been sanded down and is ready for painting. You can see the pantry door and the fridge space from this pic.


Got a pic of the powder room too, can see the waterproofing has been done.


Independent Building Inspection + Gyprock

Preface: A few fellow Wisdom builders on the homeone forums have asked for this so here goes to the best of my knowledge and what I think is reasonable to publish with respect to confidentiality agreements with Wisdom. All opinions offered are my own, I’ve kept a close eye on my build as you can see in my blog. If you have any concerns at all about your own build you should engage the services of an independent building inspector.

We got Stephen Ryan from H&K Ryan to do our independent inspection last week just before the gyprock went up, it was $595 including GST. Wisdom’s standard policy regarding independent inspections is for 2 inspections, one at pre-gyprock and one at PCI. SS (the old one) actually discussed this with me on our first phone call because I brought it up.

Originally, back in February, I was planning to do a 5 stage package (slab, frame, pre-plaster, waterproofing, PCI) from Houspect for $2k+ but after doing more research it seemed it was overkill – both Howard Ryan and the SS talked me out of it independently. The SS’s advice I took with a grain of salt at first but when Howard had the same things to say it made a lot of sense.

The reason I didn’t go with Houspect was that they did the slab inspection after the pour. If you want to fix anything it’s gotta be inspected beforehand and by a structural engineer which SBAC (Wisdom’s PCA) are already required to do by NSW law.

Inspecting a frame straight after it’s gone up was also fairly pointless because work was being done to it all the way till gyprock. A frame warps in the weather, needs to be straightened agained, needs to be tied to bricks. The roofing guys do quite a bit to mangle the frame too along the way to get the gutters, fascia and steel battens to fit, the plumbing guys take studs and noggins out to fit pipes, add more in to replace what they took out. The electrical rough-in does the same, The A/C rough-in the same again  All the way through the process the carpenter has to come back at various times to fix stuff. The frame isn’t in its ‘finished state’ till it’s literally ready for gyprock.

The one caveat here is that I personally did walk around the house once with a laser tape measure to check the windows, doors were all in the correct places and that the joists were the right height from the floor before bricks started in May. I’m really into all this building stuff whereas others might not be.

So this brings me to Stephen’s inspection – I organised it with the SS about a month ago. After the roof was on, I brought it up with SS to ask him when he thought we could have our pre-gyprock inspection. This was beginning of September. He said a few weeks so I got in touch with Stephen and passed him SS’s details while at the same time telling SS that he should expect a call soon and they should organise this together.

It gave the SS a push along because there was a flurry of activity as he had to get the building ready for inspection including lower brick clean, lower roof, lower eaves, A/C rough-in done in the last few weeks.

Stephen’s report came back with photos and explanations and I forwarded by email to the SS, Stephen had picked up the following minor issues (nothing that was classed as ‘defective’ or :

  1. 1 Window sill had mortar instead of an expansion joint
  2. Some excess loose mortar on the inside of the bricks in the damp proof course cavity to be removed by hand
  3. 2 missing noggins where light switches were placed and 1 missing stud next to garage door
  4. Copper Hot water pipes touching galvanised aluminium recess box for water heater

SS said he would address issues 2,3 before gyprock started. I will follow up on 1,4 again at PCI. I’m not entirely sure I will get another independent inspection at PCI, it’s good assurance for $595 but at PCI most things can be picked up by a laypersons eye since all the hard structural stuff has already been completed. Again this is only because we’re building with Wisdom who have a reputation as a builder of competence (Howard’s words not mine) and I’ve kept a close eye on things all the way along.

So moral of the story, get a pre-plaster inspection, everyone including the builder recommends it – it’s kinda like a report card even if there isn’t much wrong.

By the time I did a drive-by again yesterday, gyprock was already on so our build keeps moving along. 🙂







Big Update – almost ready for gyprock!

Had an onsite meeting today to meet with Wisdom Landscapes today to talk about exact positioning of driveway + crossover, concrete and drainage around the house. Gave me a good excuse to have a gander around the interior of the house. We’ve had a lot of progress since the last update, insulation has been installed, A/C rough-in was completed and most of the lower bricks were cleaned. The finish line is in sight.

Insulation pics first. I was always of the mind that the only upgrades that really mattered was the internal insulation and the ceiling heights, if I was starting out today on a tight budget I’d get a base house and upgrade those 2 things + some electricals and that would be it :). Still kicking myself for not raising the upper storey to 2.7m but it is what it is now. We have 2.7m lower floor ceilings and 2.55m upper floor ceilings.

I specced Soundscreen on all the bedroom walls and in the floors between the joists. They’ve installed it now so I can get a really good sense of the sizes of the rooms throughout the house. Walking through the front door we can see the standard insulation in the living area and next to the garage wall.


Moving towards the back we have living/dining. The grey stuff is the soundscreen. It’s much heavier than the yellow stuff, hoping it gives a bit of mass to the walls.

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Upstairs we have a lot more of the good grey stuff, here’s a bedroom decked out in Soundscreen. You can catch a glimpse of the A/C ducting.


This is the roof insulation, it’s much thicker than the wall insulation. I think I upgraded to R5 for a few hundred dollars extra. This is the A/C return vent.


Loving the lower brick clean too.

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Gyprock is in the garage ready to go for next week!


The building inspection is scheduled for Monday just before the gyprock starts, stay tuned cos that will be my next post.

Forward momentum

I am actually really pleased with the level of communications that happens during construction with Wisdom. The SS has been in touch with my every Friday without fail. 

Sometimes there’s not much going on because of weather or trades who are behind. Sometimes, we’re moving forward. This is one of those weeks where stuff happened. There was forward momentum and that’s all that matters.

We got our alfresco roof done and there was a nice touch with the site cleanup at the front to clear away all the construction waste and keep things tidy. 

I was worried that the alfresco was too small before but now that the roof is on it feels about right size. I’m going to extend it further out with a deck after handover (if I have cash)