Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Almost packed for the next move...Not into the NEW house though... :-(

Today we packed 10 trailer loads of stuff (mostly crap) and shuttled it up to the house-sit house.

The owner will be taking all of his stuff out tomorrow and putting it into storage, so we should be able to put most of our stuff in and finalise the clean in the rental house by COB 1Jan09 (Happy New [OLD] House).

We have another couple of trailer loads of boxes and bags of clothes and stuff and a couple of loads of the BIG stuff (fridge, washer, plasma, TV unit, Lounges and the beds. Tomorrow will be a big day, dunno if I will see the new year in...really stuffed after today! Very sore too.

The house we are in now is a small 2 bedroom house with a small garden shed. The house-sit isn't much bigger, but is a different layout - it is amazing how much stuff we have accumulated since we arrived here in Yass in April (this year 2008). A lot of it really is crap, stuff that we are moving from house-to-house just to keep us busy. We also have a tonne of stuff at my parents house in Canberra, half of their garage has our stuff in it.

Will blog once we are in the house-sit - HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone, wishing you all good health and happiness.

John, Tarin, Kalinda, Kevan, Josh & Tommy.

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Packing to Move (into another temporary house)...

We originally thought that the next time we packed and moved would be the move into our great new Masterton Mansion.

We are in the process of packing up and moving to another old house here in Yass. This one we will be house-sitting in and just have to pay for our own expenses.

The house isn't any bigger, but we are doing it as a favour for a friend who doesn't want their house empty, plus we can have our caravan and box trailer with us (instead of storing at friends houses) and the kids can play around and ride their bikes on the 1/2 acre block. At the rental house we are in now the kids can't play much outside due to the main and very steep road out front.

We will lose internet access for a short while whilst Telstra does the relocation across to the new [Very OLD] place thus you may be relieved of blog updates for a while.

Hurry up Mark, build our house so we can get out of the old dumps we have occupied for so long already! ;-)

This is the house we will be house sitting at:

Front View:

Back View:

Happy New Year...

John & Tarin.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Plenty of Rain, and still no Excavator !

I am convinced, the excavator dude must have buried himself under the big pile of dirt at our block.

He was due back today, but has not shown up. Just as well, really, it has been bucketing down this morning. So today, he has a genuine reason for not doing his job.

I doubt we will see anyone at the site now until probably at least 5Jan09.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to all - if you are travelling, make sure you travel safely...

John, Tarin, Kalinda, Kevan, Josh & Tommy.

Monday, 22 December 2008

The Excavator Has Disappeared !...

...but when will he return.

Mark states he was due each day last week, then it was put off all weekend, with a continuation of site works planned for today. Still nothing. Mark said he would call, but he hasn't. I called him, left 3 messages.

Mark did say the excavator would be on-site "Monday or Tuesday", I doubt very much he will turn up tomorrow - can't get him to the site on normal days, let alone just prior to the Christmas break. Also, the excavator has gone...to who knows where?

This is the same excavator operator that said the ground was too wet to work, but worked the driveway earthworks on the block next door - may have only been raining on my block? It has been dry for a week now.

This will no doubt affect the schedule...

Will update later...

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Meeting With The Project Manager (Mark)

Yesterday morning we met with Mark to go through the plan and the design and to discuss particulars around the construction.

Mark said that the pouring of the slab has been delayed a bit. Here is the revised schedule:

- Mon 22 Dec 08: Continue/Complete site preparation. Level building platform.
- Tue 23 Dec 08: As above.
- Wed 24 Dec 08: START Christmas Closedown.
- Sun 4 Dec: END Christmas Closedown.
- Mon 5 Jan 08: Pouring of the Slab.
- Tue 6 Jan 08: As above.
- Wed 7 Jan 08: START - No Activity Planned.
- Tue 13 Jan 08: END - No Activity Planned.
- Wed 14 Jan 08: Delivery of Timber Frames and Windows & Doors.

Yesterday, we also went to the block to whipper-snipper the grass around the fence line (I like to keep the site tidy ;-)

We noticed that the site fencing has been fixed too, it has been extended and goes around the entire perimiter of our block.

The boys decided to play in a nearby huge dirt pile and decided to start throwing dirt at each other while I was whipper-snippering - look what happened to Tommy: NOT HAPPY with these boys!

That's it for now...

Thursday, 18 December 2008

It's Never Rained So Much!

We got a call from Mark our project manager yesterday and he said that the Excavator guy will be back on Monday to finish the job. As well that we should have the slab down on 5 Jan 09. The frames arrive on 14 Jan 09.

We are also in the middle of packing at the rental as we are moving to another rental house, we were really hoping we wouldn't be packing 'til we were moving into the new house.

So here's 'til Monday!

Monday, 15 December 2008

No Action Today :-(

The Excavator was supposed to continue today...no show.

The site is dry so the crew must be off somewhere else.

Maybe tomorrow...


Saturday, 13 December 2008

Then The Rains Came...('cause we are building)

Murphy's Law, the day after we commence the site excavation, the rains came.

Have never seen sooo much bloody rain.

Rain, rain go away, come back....in 7 months or so (or rain over the dams ONLY).

Even thought it rained heaps, the site looks OK and isn't the mud pit I expected. Here is a pic:

Oh, and here is the new peg I mentioned earlier...1.02m means that the slab is this distance from the boundary, the boundary peg is on the fenceline, which is the short one (below).

Surveyor Has Been Back (in the rain)...

Still some progress, the surveyor had to return to replace a peg that was removed by the neighbours construction clean-up.

Now we have a fresh, clean, white new peg to look at ;-)

Will take some pics of the estate later today...

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Site Preparation Has Commenced ! ! !

We got a phone call this morning from our Project Manager, Mark.

Mark said that the excavator had started and that the earthworks will take a few days.

Tomorrow the surveyors will be back to replace a peg that was accidently removed during next door's site clean-up. They also need to do some extra makings for the 3 x Garages as this part of the house is 800mm lower than the main house slab.

Mark also said that we should have the slab by Christmas (that doesn't leave much time) and our frames have been ordered and should arrive either 7 or12 January 2009.

Here are some site earthworks pictures taken this afternoon...

Left: This is of the rear section of the cut. Cut is approx. 1 metre deep.

Left: This is the cut looking towards the front of the block, now that is one huge pile of dirt !

More updates as things progress...

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Where's the Excavator?...

Unfortunately the excavator couldn't turn up today due to delays beyond Masterton's control thus no movement on the block :-(

The excavator is scheduled for Thursday...

Monday, 8 December 2008

Site Establishment

Last week we finally had some movement on our land Yipppeee.

We now have a port-a-loo, a fence around our block and the sediment control barrier (siltation). We can't believe we are about to start. We have been waiting for this day for sooooo long :-).
Mark (our Project Manager) said that the excavator is scheduled to start tomorrow (Tuesday) - we are so excited!!!
More pics tomorrow of the level building platform (if the excavator turns up...)

Friday, 28 November 2008

[almost] Construction Commencement

Today we checked Masterton's 'Pathway' online application. The 'milestone' called 'Construction Commencement' is now active. The previous 'milestone' was called 'Construction Planning' (now greyed-out), is where Masterton finalise the construction plans, order all of the items required for the house, send out copies of all the plans to the suppliers and send a construction pack to the Site Manager (Mark).

So, it's getting very exciting now. Tarin drove past the block after work and found that nothing has happened up there yet. So Mark must be still figuring stuff out.

We are all very excited that we are one step closer to seeing our home start - Yippppeeeeee

Hugs to all...

Friday, 7 November 2008

Goodbye, Farewell (To Wendy Our Pre-Construction Co-ordinator)

Yesterday we had an email and a call from Wendy who is/was our Pre-Construction Co-ordinator at Masterton Homes.

Wendy called to let us know that she had passed our file on to the Constructon Planning and Programming department. She said that it was a sad day for her as she had to pass our file on and that she had a tear in her eye. I must say we will really miss dealing with Wendy - she is the greatest and has a great sense of humour (well, she needs to when dealing with me)!

Wendy has been wonderful to us as she has been there for all of our ups and downs during the planning phase. Wendy never hessitated once when we called her with a problem or a question. She made this part of the building process such a breeze, which we thought was going to be very stressful. We have been through this part of the process a few times with other builders and it was not easy, with Masterton it was a snack!

So, now we are really moving, it's all so exciting and we just have to say again Masterton is doing a WONDERFUL job.

We are off to Sydney today to take the whole family up to see the display home in Kellyville. Everyone is so excited. They are all so excited about going to Sydney (but that is probably due to the fact that the place we are staying at (in Parklea) has a swimming pool ;-)

More updates later...

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

FINALLY - We Have Signed The Building Agreement

Yesterday we signed the long awaited contracts, they weren't even in our hot hands for 2 hours and they were back off to Masterton Homes in Sydney, signed, sealed and hopefully delivered today (Thursday, 6th November). We are waiting for Maddie (Contracts) to give us a yell to say they have arrived back to Masterton Homes.

John and I are so relieved that we are at this stage as it means in about a month our brand new 2 storey house should begin construction.

Last weekend we met Mark (who will be our project manager for the build). He's a really down to earth, cool bloke and we are really happy that he will be guiding us through it and building our dream home.

Yesterday we went and bought some sample pots of our paints that we will be using around the house. We were so pleased to find the colour choice for the kitchen doors is not purple (like we thought, but we knew we weren't that silly) :-D.

Here they are, see pic below:
Left is 'Chambray' (by Taubmans paints) - this will be painted on the render on the front of the house
Middle is 'Ocean Pebble' by (Taubmans Paints) - this will be for the walls (low sheen) and for the doors and door frames (high gloss)
Right is 'Echidna' (by Bristol paints) - this is the colour of our Kitchen Doors, and it will be in a high gloss.

We have also put together a document with all of the inclusions that will be included in our beautiful home so here it is click on this link to have a look at all the goodies:

The estate is starting to fill up with new houses (mainly Masterton Homes, of course). We love going up there now and seeing the new additions to the places being built. We often see our Project Manager Mark up there and stop to say Hi. Mark is amazing, he even hooks in and gets into the building himself, last weekend he was putting up frames and trusses with the rest of the team (I have never known a PM to do this, the ones I have had before don't like to get their hands dirty).
It's all so exciting! I think by time we are ready to move in it will be a busy time for the street 'cause we will all be moving in around the same time. The kids are looking foward to it as well as they will be able to play outside, ride their bikes and have a heap of kids to play with. This is something they didn't really have at the old house back in Canberra.

Keep an eye out for updates...things are really moving now...

Picture (above) is a two-storey Kingston (with Prestige facade).

Picture (right) is our neighbour (on left side) - the design is Doncaster (Classic facade).

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Masterton Homes Is Ready For A Pegout Survey

Masterton Homes have called up and asked me to have the land mowed so they can order the Pegout Survey.

This is where the Surveyor rocks up at the block and pegs out the location of the house so the digger can move on-site and start the earthworks. They cannot start the earthworks until we have signed the contract and building agreement, which will happen in around a month or so.

The light is at the end of the tunnel - very dim, but we can see it...

See ya...
John & Tarin

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Yass Valley Council Have APPROVED Our DA ! ! ! !

Yass Valley Council has Approved our Development Application.

John had to attend the Council Meeting last night and answer any questions the Councillors had. Then they had a vote and Approved the Development Application - Yeeehaaa.

Where to from here?
Next step is for Masterton Homes to get the ball rolling on the Contract Plans, Order the Pegout Survey, we sign the contract, then the building can start in approx. 6-8 weeks time.

So, it is all systems go now...

Take care,
John & Tarin

Tuesday, 29 July 2008


Good news...

Got a call today from Wendy from Masterton Homes to tell me that our plans have been sent off to Yass Valley Council - we are soooo excited!

Around 3 pm I took another call from Bob from Masterton in Goulburn telling me the same.

Masterton are soooo on-the-ball! It is amazing how quickly they move stuff through.

I suppose the next step is to make the trip to Sydney to make some selections, this should be fun.

Sunday, 27 July 2008

The Updated Plans Have Arrived...

We have received updated site plans and floor plans from Wendy (our Customer Service Manager).

The Drafting dudes have made a couple of changes and some updates to some of the site information, such as the land contours and the 'Cut and Fill' (where the site will be cut in and where the fill will be on the site) information.

All going well we should be in Council this week.

Also, the Commonwealth Bank got in touch with Wendy at the end of last week to get details of the house and the land to check whether they are happy to give us some $$$. We don't need all that much but we would like to borrow enough money for the landscaping, driveways, paths, etc.

That's it for now...

Friday, 18 July 2008

Two Things Arrived Today...

Tender C has arrived - total price has increased around $6000, which is not too bad, very good in fact! We are happy with the final price.

We got a personal letter from Jim Masterton today wishing us all the best with our new home and thanking us for the letter we sent to him.

Masterton Homes never fails to amaze us...

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Masterton Head Office Called With An Update...

Hi All...

Wendy (our Customer Relations Manager) called me today and gave the following update:
  • Revised Tender is now complete and will be emailed to Bob & Renaye (our new-found friends at Masterton in Goulburn) - hopefully we will get this emailed out tomorrow and we can see the updated price (nervous :-\ )
  • The Plans are in the Drafting area now and will be for 3 days or so. This is where the team do the full working drawings, the overshadowing diagrams (required for 2-storey homes), plus other stuff that I cannot remember.
  • Then the BASIX (Building Sustainability Index), which is energy rating stuff, followed by the ABSA (Association of Building Sustainability Assessors) assessment. These dudes ensure we are building an energy efficient home.
  • Then the Council Planning Team swings into action whereby they get the entire package ready for Yass Valley Council. Once this is done we will be in Council awaiting approval - which takes approx. 6-8 weeks.

That's it for now...will keep you posted...

John & Tarin

Sunday, 6 July 2008

Masterton Is Onto It - They Have Swung Into Action...

Today, I received a call from Wendy (Masterton Head Office). Wendy is now working with us and keeping us updated. I haven't met Wendy, but she sounds cool.

Wendy was ringing to give me an update on the plans and where we were up to.

They have received our plans from Goulburn, they are making some minor changes to the tender (at our request) and then in few weeks or so we should be off to council...

Can't wait until this happens, getting closer by the day.

We have logged onto Pathway as well (the Masteron package for customers to track the entire process of building a home) - it is an amazing tool, I have never seen anything like it. You can veiw it at http://www.mastertonhomes.com.au/ (take the Pathway demo link).

Take care all...
John n Taz

Monday, 30 June 2008

On Our Way To Yass Valley Council.


Last Friday we drove to see Bob and Renaye (Masterton Goulburn) and we signed the plans and all papers to be able to send our plans and paperwork off to Masterton's head office. So, now we are almost back to the point where Beechwood Homes shafted us.

Based on our calculations, in less than 3 months our beautiful new house should start - we are soooo excited :-). We also went looking at houses that built with the bricks we have chosen. Now that we have seen them we are really impressed and really love the colour of them.

John bought a new printer last week and we now have pics of the new house everywhere in our rental house, our lounge room wall has a wall full of pics of the display house - he cracks me up LOL...

Huggles to all...
The Browns

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

A New Chapter - with Masterton Homes...

Thanks to Jim Masterton (Masterton Homes) we are now going to build with them and Jim is really looking after us!!! Thanks Jim, and Bob, and Renaye...you see, when Beechwood Homes went bust, Jim Masterton put his hand out to us to help us and even refunded the money we had already lost through Beechwood Homes. Also, Masterton are waiving the Development Payment for us so we don't have to come up with another $4000.
AND an added bonus - this week we received our plans from Masterton Homes.
We are sooo in love with our new home to be :-) We think Masterton are pretty cool right now too LOL. They have taken us in with open arms and we are so grateful to them for being so quick and understanding with everything. What took Masterton to do in a month took Beechwood Homes around 6 mths - We are just so impressed with Bob & Renaye from Masterton Homes in Goulburn... So now on to the fun stuff - pics :-) hehehehe

(ABOVE) OK, this is a picture of what the front of our beautiful house is going to look like, except the rendering will be different. We will have bricks on the facade, and the areas that are sticking out (the downstairs lounge room window, the balcony area and the garage that is sticking out with the iron work) will all be rendered in a light coffee colour.

(BELOW) This is is the ground floor to our house.

...and here is a similar floorplan to the first floor of our house :-)

Now you have seen the house, we will move on to a few more visuals such as bricks and roof tiles :-)

(ABOVE) These are the tiles we have chosen, they are from CSR Roofing and the colour is Barramundi, its like a grey colour.

(ABOVE) This is our brick and its from PGH and it's called Poa from the Spinifex Range.

(BELOW) Photos taken on Sunday, 22nd June 2008. John went up to the land and they have done some stuff it looks like they have done a soil test (or it's a bloody deep snake hole or bush toilet (YUK ! !) hehehe :-D

Looks like we are well on our way again, we have to go and sign the papers this weekend in Goulburn and then it's off to council for around 8 weeks :-(

Keep an eye out for more updates and news!
BYE for now...
The Browns.

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Beechwood Homes Has Gone Bankrupt ! ! ! !

We are sooo ready to pack this whole adventure in!

We woke to the phone ringing at 6am this morning. It was John's Dad ringing to let us know that Beechwood had gone Bankrupt. John and I looked at each other in total disbelief and then I bursted into tears.

If there is any luck involved, we were due to pay our $17,000 deposit but hadn't...phew! Still upset though...

So we have Land....We have a drawing....We have no BUILDER.

I will be back later with more info, too depressed now...

Oh here is a web link to the story in the daily telly

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Its Gotta Be Close Now...

OK, we heard from Yass Valley Council 2 weeks ago.

They were after some information on the driveway gradient and the drainage diagrams. So hopefully it will come out some time this week or next. Once that happens we can sign the papers, John will probably be going down to do that on his own, we will just have to wait and see.
Last night we met our next door neighbours which was really nice as only last week I has said to John it's really wierd that we have never seen any one else who has bought the blocks of land, and low and behold, they drive up.

We have chosen our colours now and as soon as I get batteries in the camera I will take some pics of the stuff we have chosen.

Stay tuned...

Thursday, 24 April 2008

Today's The Day - SETTLEMENT DAY

Today we are scheduled to settle on the old house. Today is a milestone we have waited for for months...

Today is the START of the next phase of our life. After 2 pm we should have a call from our solictors telling us its all over. Yahhiess. Fingers crossed...

We have less than a week 'til our new house comes out of council as well so that is the next thing that needs to be done...

Saturday, 12 April 2008

MOVING Time, MOVING to the Country...

Weeeelll we have come to the end of our 8 week Settlement period. This weekend we are starting to really move. We have found a two bedroom house (I dont know how 6 of us will live there but we will be comfy LOL).

The kids are off on school on holidays now so I reckon that I will just stay at the old house for most of it as the kids have thier mates in the street to play with and their bikes and stuff. I also finished up at work, it still hasn't hit me that I don't have a job anymore yet i'm gonna miss the gals in my team, they have become such a HUGE part of my life and I dont think I will ever get anything close to that again.

Well the Beechwood house plans are now at Neighbour Consultation and will be finished on the 29th, once that's done we should be done with Council YAHHHIIESS then we can go to the Beechwood head office and start to choose our stuff OMG I cant wait :-)

Saturday, 8 March 2008

Holy Cow Council, Here We Come :-)

John came home last night to tell me that he spoke to Beechwood Homes. He said that Geoff said that all our stuff has been packaged and sent to council YIPPPPPEEEEEEEEEEEE. So we now have 8 weeks wait, BUT Geoff said that Yass Valley Council is taking a bit quicker than 8 weeks.

John was saying that with our luck it will take half of this time, then we will have to go and talk to the bank as our $$ are invested :-S. But thats OK...

I can't believe we are off and running after 6 mths of crap :-) it's all good now...

Saturday, 1 March 2008

CELEBRATING - We Sold The House.....

Well its over! We have sold our house Yippppeeee ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

Finally we have sold our house, the new owners had to go to Hong Kong to see the people at the bank about some letter or something who knows but it was a hell of a long 2 week wait. They have asked for a 8 week settlement which means we will be moving to yass by the 30th of april. John and i are sooooo relevied that its all over. we can now move on to building our new house.

Here is a picture of our house.. well the plans any how.
We have passed basiks wahhhhhhooooo we are so excited. we have to double glaze the windows in the study, rumpus and dining. and put saver light bulbs in. We also payed for it to go to council so we are off and running 8 weeks in there and then building can start.

well thats it for now :)

Monday, 7 January 2008

And Now Christmas Is Over.

We haven't written for a while as heaps of stuff has been happining. Christmas, New Year etc. We thought we had a buyer for the house just before Christmas but it seemed like Go Gecko just pulled that one out of a hat. Me and John are so pissed at that company that we have moved the house to Independant Real Estate and once again they have amazed us.

This weekend was the first open house for Independant and apprently we had 83 groups through the place 83 WOW we were getting excited over 9 or 10 with Go Gecko LOL and yes we have a buyer. Apprently she is over the moon with it and loves it. The feedback we got from the real estate agent was that that it was all positive and if this lot fall through its ok because we have others waiting on the list.

As for the new house, the drawings are going through now. John called Geoff our guy from Beechwood yesterday and asked him about it and he said they should be in by the 21st. we decided to go for a layout called the Ascot Sands and we have changed it. It will have 3 car garage as well as a cinema and an extra bedroom. The kitchen I have chosen is called a York style kitchen and its gonna look so groovie with the style of house :-D it also has 2 alfresco dining areas with sliding stacker doors out to them.

So if all goes well we should be out of the house in Canberra by the 2nd week of Feb and all the exciting stuff should start :-P