Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Frustrating my poor wife

It has been a little while.  As appears to be becoming the norm, we’ve been busy but progress feels very slow.
I discovered a pretty active Australian home building forum, HomeOne.  Like this blogging stuff, participating in a forum is all new to me but it has been reassuring to discover that other people are obsessing over the details of their dream homes as well.  It has also reinforced how different building is in the major markets and how much the big project builders dominate on the big island!
On the subject of blogging, I was surprised to see that I’ve hit 1000 page views.  Pretty insignificant in the grand scheme of things but surprising that my boring ramblings have found any audience!  Perhaps many of you have discovered that elusive cure for insomnia!  It would be great if a few of you made some comments now and again, I have even enabled anonymous ones to make it easy for you!  Maybe then I wouldn’t feel so strange talking to myself!  SI, I still owe you a drink for making the only comment!
And while I’m rambling … here is the obligatory picture for this post.  We all know that blog posts with pictures are heaps more interesting (just like 21st speeches with presentations hey BE?).

This one is here for two reasons; firstly you can do a quick eye test.  If you can read the bottom line you are doing bloody well!  Secondly, the light fitting grabbed me.  You can pick one up for about $180 from Beacon lighting if you are keen (I think it is called “the Habitat”).
I’ve had some really encouraging talks with a potential builder and have made some progress on quotes for joinery, flooring and tiles.  In the process we’ve learnt a fair bit about options and firmed up our thoughts on lots of things.  Maybe progress hasn’t been as slow as it often feels!
I can’t say I didn’t expect to be shocked at how expensive things are but some of the joinery prices were really scary!  Custom vanities are starting to look a lot less likely!
Flooring wise, we are still struggling to find the shade of wood that we are comfortable with.  We’re looking for something in a greyish shade.  My better half isn’t keen on brown and how it will integrate with the colour pallet in the kitchen.
On the design front, I think I’ve probably been the client from hell and rather than stress my designer further I decided to part ways and firm up my plans. 
I have been starting to get more serious about looking at different construction methods and have been getting more excited about the potential of Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs).  From the little I know, they appear to be used pretty extensively in Europe and the Americas but are still considered radical in the Australian marketplace. 
A SIP is used to build the external (and often internal) walls of the building.  They include an outer panel (cladding), insulation and an inner lining (e.g. Plasterboard).  In effect SIP wall panels are Lego block walls which replace the frame, outer cladding and inner plasterboard.  SIP roof panels are similar, replacing the ceiling lining, insulation and roof cladding.  As one integrated unit, they are fast to construct and have superior sealing and insulation properties.
I have also started getting more serious about home automation research.  That’s a topic for another post, or possibly a whole separate blog!  I’m keen to at least automate the basic stuff that contributes to efficient energy usage.  Ideally that will include living room blinds, zone to zone heat exchange, external venting in the entry (central “cooling chimney”), heating / cooling.  All being well I’ll also include lighting but that might have to wait.  I love the idea of never having to tell the kids to turn their light off again, turning off everything as the garage door closes and all the rest!  It’s in the home automation space that I’ll really get geeky so I better stop!  ….
Oh I can’t stop …. Speaking of geek, I’ve managed to squeeze in the server cabinet and with an aligned a cable closet (study/family room).  I’m hoping that one of the wireless home automation standards will be good enough (Z-Wave, ZigBee anyone?) but I’ll still be putting at least two Cat 6 points into every room and more in key locations.  In our current place I pipe 720p video/audio/infrared from upstairs to downstairs via Cat 5.  It seems moving high def video around is still in its infancy so I’ll probably just end up with more of the same boxes in the new place.  I’m yet to decide if I’ll centrally locate things like PVR’s and Austar (will we bother … probably not) in the server cupboard or not but I’m leaning that way.  Ok ... I’m way over on the geek quotient, are you still with me JANET, I bet you aren’t unless someone gave you a heads up!  If any of you want more geek details you’ll have to comment or wait for a future geek post!
So, we are off to look at a few examples of the potential builders work on Thursday.  I have to call council tomorrow and clarify exactly how planning submissions work these days under PD4 to make sure my assumptions are right!  There, I said it.  I’ll have to do it now!
Oh, if you are left wondering what the relevance of the title of this post, "frustrating my poor wife", is .... you obviously have not pursued building.  I'm frustrating her at the moment through indecision and the constant changes.  To be honest, I frustrate myself regularly!  


  1. ill post a comment for ya....

    those stairs look good with the ball. have you decided on open or closed stairs yet? if closed..those ones look good.
    although I guess you wouldnt have a wall on the right..as yours is in a wider entranceway..
    but I do like them. they kind of want to
    hug you and draw you up them!
    nicola (kiwi on homeone)

  2. Thanks Nicola,
    We are leaning heavily towards closed in under the stairs, probably with a glass ballustrade on the entry side. Ours will be a little backward, as in they will rise towards you when you walk in the front door.

  3. I love your plans and the "geek" stuff (this will be a post I share with my boyfriend, Mick, appreciates the tech stuff too). It took Mick and I a long time to ponder over plans also and I feel it will be worth the effort later. Even now I have forgotten about some decisions we've made (agonised over) and when I am reminded of them I am so thankful for the research we did early. Having said that, I am fit to burst with impatience at having our house, and I can imagine your wife's frustration when you dangle the carrot of that amazing scullery and WIR! So jealous! Anyway, make sure you are 100% (or at least 98.5%) happy with the plans, inclusions, budget (pft!), and most importantly, the builder before you start. I can't wait to follow your journey. Ash.

    P.S. I love the light choice. Mick and I are putting two into our new home.

  4. Thanks Ash,
    You have made me feel much better I am feeling a little reassured that the time put into planning and agonising over stuff will be worth it in the end.

    We've actually had a really productive weekend nailing down the plans and working on the external look so I'm feeling a real sense of achievement today, maybe it is my day for delusions but I feel like we have the plans nailed at long last.

    Hopefully we end up happy with everything excepting the budget of course! Beacon have a 50% off sale at the moment, not sure that light is included but it might be worth a phone call!

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