Sunday, 14 December 2014

The Main Bathroom

The main bathroom is my fav room, its only small so didn't take much to decorate. 

Id like to find a new plant and pot for in there, perhaps a succulent as the one i have now doesn't like it too much, and id like a vase to sit on the bath hob. Just waiting until i come across the perfect one for the space.

The venetians were installed by Nepean Blinds  Theyre the poly  Venetians, so hopefully no problems with the steam and moisture in the room.

The towels, Laundry Hamper and wall art are all from Adairs.

The soap Dispenser is a plastic one, perfect for the little kids so they wont break it, but i love the colour. That was from howards Storage

You can see further pics on the bathroom IN THIS POST and  also IN THIS POST TOO 

Monday, 8 December 2014

Plantation Shutters - YAY!

From the very first day i knew i was building i had decided that i wanted plantation shutters in the front windows. I was so excited about it, they look so clean, modern and keep a room looking spacious and neat. Yes - they will probably go out of fashion! but you cant always steer to the safe side of trends and neutral tones, if and when they become a daggy accessory for a window i will think about options then - that could be a decade away! so for now, im sticking to what i have always wanted and what i have saved up for.

I wasn't always certain what i wanted in the rest of the house, it was a toss up between the Block out rollers or the shutters.

I spent countless amounts of hours asking people what they preferred, those that had both and what they liked and didn't like about each option. I visited display centre's, people's homes, show rooms, i met with 4 different shutter companies to see what information i could get out of them that might sway my decision to one way or another.

The general consensus was 50% rollers and 50% shutters, so after all my research there was no clear winner. Those that had shutters LOVED them, and those that had Rollers LOVED them too.

I then had to weigh up my own options, take all on board that i had heard and draw my own conclusions.



1. Clean, Sleek and modern - They are defiantly on-trend
2. Greater flexibility for light filtering
3. Can leave the windows open, shutters wont bang in the breeze
4. No cords for kids to play with
5. If little hands grab hold of them they cant crease like a roller would
6. Can angle the louvers to allow more or less light in
7. They look nice from the outside too

1. May not let as much light in on a highlight window - room stays darker, especcially on the south side.
2. Might be difficult to clean each panel
3. More expensive and harder to replace as trends change
4. Cover more of the window, so they make a smaller 600 deep highlight window even smaller
5. The gaps between each louver may let more light in, and you have to fiddle with them to close them properly


1. Can roll the full way up to let in max light and air flow
2. No cleaning
3. Cheaper - although if you liked the nice fabric like i did the price difference was minimal per window

1. Gap in the sides of 20mm each end do let the light in
2. Less options for light filtering - its either up or down
3. They bang around in the wind if he window is open
4. Dont dress a window as nicely as a shutter will
5. Risk of damage if the kids touch them and crease them, or dirty hands

If i had of wrote this post at the time i was doing my research im sure thre would be a lot more.

I decided that due to the fact that it gets quite breezey here, i wanted the option that would allow me to leave a window open at night without it banging, my previous home had rollers in the bedrooms and on a hot summer night we could never have the window open as the roller would bang around.

During the day i swing open the doors on the shutters to open them out completely and let as much light in as possible. Because theyre highlight windows i dont have to worry about them hitting furniture or our heads!

I still dont know if i would of been just as happy with rollers in the other bedrooms, but i can say im really happy with the shutter sin the bedrooms, so far they have lived upto my expectations.

In the end i have ended up with shutters to the home theatre, and all the bedrooms. I chose a block out blind for the stacker doors and living room windows so that they could be up all day to let as much light in as possible. Even though we dont have much of a view the living room windows face north and its important  that we allow maximum sunshine in during the day to warm the house through winter.

I also wanted to have a consistent look and if i had of had shutters on the windows and rollers on the stacker door i don't think i could have coped with the different window coverings in the one space.

I have gone with a BASSWOOD Shutter. It has better thermal properties, and is less likely to warp over time like a PVC would.  The wood is also lighter than the PVC which puts less strain on the hinges.

The colour i chose was called SNOW. This is where the love for my shutters ends! Unfortunately the colour i chose was not what i had intended. I chose a colour from a swatch about the size of a credit card. And for those that have had experience choosing colours you know how much they change in certain light. During the building process i would take weeks to choose a colour, id carry swatches with me every where in different lights until i had decided which one i liked best.

For the shutters i had about 12 different shades of white, first i removed all the yellow/cream ones and i was left with about 6 to choose from. I didn't want stark white so removed those and i was left with 3. I then went around to a few of my windows in different rooms and held the swatch up. I didn't think of the fact that the light was behind me so it did change the tone of it - just wasn't realising this at the time.

I settled on what was named "SNOW" and the consultant was on their way. I then had second thoughts and was questioning the tone of it, there is no way i anted something that appeared yellow in any circumstances. This was one thing i am dead against as my house is grey and white tones. I could view the colour in  large format, and there were no photos to go by, so i just had to trust my little swatch that i saw.

8 weeks past and the shutters went in. They looked fantastic when they were going up. The installers took about 1.5 hours to do the rooms, and i was given a quick run through on how to care for them.

Once they left i walked outside and was shocked that i was starring at this weird yellowy/greeny - maybe slightly white shutter in the window. I was so disappointed  It wasn't the look i was going for, and for those that know me well, colours MUST blend nicely with each other. The tone of the curtains didn't match the off-white mortar and it looks like i have purposely introduced another colour to the front facade.

Almost a month down the track and im still not used to it. Dont think ill ever be. I just have to live with it now. I guess ive made it this far - 18 months in from paying deposit on the house and htis is my first regret! Pretty good effort to get this far with no errors when so many colours are from so many different trades and retailers.

Moral of the story is - White isn't always white, and white isnt always what it seems. Its such a tricky colour. Ive learnt the hard way, and ill never try and mess with the tones of white again. Next time ill be so careful.

When choosing your shutters put swatches on a white piece of paper, carry them to different rooms under different light. And if you can keep a swatch then ask for it so you can take it around with you. Its worth the extra effort because then when your shutters go in you can love them for life.

Sorry for such a long post! there is so much to say about window coverings. It took me 6 months to decide what i wanted. And many nights of reading. I hope i have given some worthy feedback for those of you reading and trying to decide what to get. It really is a difficult decision, and an expensive one. We all have so many windows, and the costs add up quickly. You have to be happy with your choices.

I ended up choosing Nepean Blinds for the Shutters. The rollers were done privately.

Here are the pics! thank you for reading :)

SNOW shutters on white Window Frames
From the Outside
I probably need to show some with them open too.

Monday, 1 December 2014

Feature Post for the front hedge

Hubby purchased some hardwood posts from Hudsons, had them cut to size and stained to match the front door. The idea is to get the hedge to grow level with the top of the post and act as a feature in between the green hedge. I love that the wooden elements match the front door and break up the greenery a bit.

We still have a space in front of the first bedroom window, id love to add some more wooden feature posts here with something to act as a feature of the garden, whether its an oversized pot, or a grass tree, ill think about it for a while before we finish it off. Watch the current plants grow for a year.

Friday, 7 November 2014

Mail Box

Next on the list Hubby wanted to get sorted was the mail box.  Not much else to say about something that only stores our mail! This one was from Bunnings

On the same weekend he also cleaned out the council garden and added Mulch and some liriopes to it. We still have to re-turf the council nature strip, its been left to the end in case anyone drives over it while we are still having trades coming through to do things to the yard.

Native Trees & Shrubs - Front Garden

Next on the list to research was the plants! We knew we wanted natives, needed to be something that wouldn't grow to big, easy maintenance  and also look semi formal - or at least neat! We have a small family and the last thing we want to be doing every weekend is spending hours in the garden! 

I had narrowed my search down to a few of the Lilly Pilly / Acmena varieties and after ringing some local nurseries i discovered that none of them sold the plants i wanted. Thinking this meant they weren't popular for the area i was back researching some more varieties.

Our final selections were both available at flower power, although normally an expensive place to shop for plants they had a sale on so the pricing was as competitive as the local nursery and they had the qty we needed in stock so we could buy all the plants at once.

Plants chosen

Lilly Pilly BackYard Bliss - to screen out the 2 neighbouring properties, these prune well to shape, and can be easily maintained at fence height with a width of 1m. so in a small space they seem like a good choice.

Acmena Smithii - Allyns Magic
This Acmena variety has a natural dense growing habit, and only reaches about 70-90cm. More commonly the smaller side of the heights. It doesn't need much pruning, is psylid free and im hoping will form a nice natural front hedge with hopefully not too much maintenance as far as pruning goes.

Allyns Magic Fully Established

And here is the front garden after hubby had finished working on it! We both had a vision of how we wanted it to look and i think he has made it come to life perfectly.

The mulch we chose was a Cypress Mulch, Its pretty fine, so might end up getting something a little chunky next time, will just wait to see how long it takes to break down. we dont want to be replacing it every year.

Next on the list was the mail box........... Will post when i get the chance! And that will complete our front garden.

Front Yard.......Turf

Now that the kids were happily playing in the back yard and enjoying the grass it was time to focus on the front yard.  

To Begin with we purchased the Link Edge Aluminium edging from masters. Its designed to almost look like an invisible edging once the landscaping is complete. It looks nice and neat and "minimal" just the way i like it.

Hubby found it pretty easy to install too, which was a bonus!

Link Edge in place ready to finish the Turf and pathway

Its a small space and didn't require too much turf so i had decided to order the grass and the underlay from the soil place to save on the delivery fees. They offered the Sapphire too so it seemed like the best plan. 

Only thing is the first weekend we ordered it, time was ticking away and we get a phone call at midday to say that the turf hadn't been ordered so they couldn't deliver the grass today. This leads to a very annoyed husband who had planned his weekend and we were so keen to see grass.

As he wasn't able to lay the turf, that's when he got stuck into doing the pathway instead.

Worked out well in the end as a guy down the road was also doing sapphire that same weekend had some spare rolls that he was able to give to us. So we laid down half the turf. This meant we could change our order, reduce the soil required and they threw in free delivery for the stuff around. Saved myself $100 - Winning!

The next weekend rolls around and they had promised to deliver the soil by 7am.........7:15 i joke to hubby and we both laugh wondering if they have forgotten us again. Hubby decides to call - guess what they FORGOT to place the order again! So by now both of us are annoyed. Were both on the phone to the soil place making sure they can find a turf farm that can cut some grass for us, we only needed 15 rolls to complete the front. Thank god they were able too, and later that morning the turf and the soil arrived with another gift cert for our troubles. All worked out well in the end. But it was so frustrating at the time. We plan our weekends so carefully so we can make sure we get things done so when things don't arrive when they should its easy to become frustrated.

Hubby spent the first couple of weeks giving it a good water, and we had some beautiful warm pre-summer weather which helped it too.

It was down about 5 weeks i think and he was able to give it a mow, its growing so well, and really starting to thicken up now.

Eden Brae 13 Week Maintenance - REVIEW

So i guess this is better late than never, but this post is for all the EBH builders out there who would like to know how the 13 week maintenance review is handled.

This was months ago now, but at exactly 13 weeks our CSA contacted us to make the appointment for the maintenance review. The appointment was scheduled for about 1  - 1.5 hours but from memory i think the guy was here about 3 hours. 

I had a pretty list list to go through, although most things were minor.

We have previously had a leaking pipe in the main bathroom fixed, some down-pipes fixed externally and our down-lights replaced in our kitchen overheads as they had blown only 2 weeks after settlement. If we had an issue that i wanted fixed straight away our SS Steve was always right on top of it, i didn't have to wait for anything to be fixed which was great to receive that level of service - as i always did from our SS.

Our 13 Week Check list looked something like this:-

Main Bedroom
1 window sill roughly painted
Bedroom door swings open by itself if its not fully closed
Patchy paint above bedroom door

Toilet Seat clip broken
Chipped floor tile (we didn't have spare tiles so i decided to leave this as is, due to the pattern in our tiles im lucky it doesn't stand out. I was told that different batches of tiles may produce slightly different colours and this would stand out more)
chipped skirting tile under vanity
Air bubbles in paint near the CSD
Ceiling paint rough above WIR door
Ceiling paint peeling above towel rail
WIR door doesn't always lock closed
Scratch on window frame
Crack to plaster above ensuite window

Home Theatre
Window frame roughly painted in one spot

Foyer | Study 
Patchy paint under GPO near front door
Movement cracking on internal garage door
1 wall patchy under certain light in diff spots
Paint chipped when dead bolt installed
Groove in plaster on the RHS study wall
Skirting damaged near study/living room wall

Living & Dining Room
Bad peeling paint near our stacker Alfresco door 
1st Window frame rough on the bottom

Door frame near games room really rough
Door frame has dull patches (should be smooth and shiny as the paint is semi gloss)
Cornice near square set peeling
Lefthand side CSD to WIP roughly painted
Crack in raised ceiling

Games Room
Skiritng under TV point rough
Sliding door frame is also peeling
Patch on the top of the door frame dull not covered properly
Small Dent on one of the walls

Parts of the robs not painted smoothly
Rough skirting boards
Window sill in bed 2 rough and patchy

Toilet & Bathroom
Toilet window frame bottom roughly painted
Patchy wall paint on one of the toilet walls
Missing grout on the first feature tile in shower

Scratched Tub
Top of the laundry door not sealed - after a repair from another trade who had to plane some of the door during PCI - it was never repainted.
Crack in our external door - where the wood joins

EB agreed to fix everything on my list. I thought it was pretty small but was told that i had a fair bit to fix.

Within a couple of days we were given the schedule for the trades to come and fix everything. It was all done  very quickly. I was happy, and felt like now i could finally get settled as it was the final stage of the building process.

I am pretty happy with the wall paint though out the house, the maintenance on these was very minimal. There are patchy lines in the ceiling but it doesn't  bother me too much. The window frames weren't the best.  Nearly all of them weren't perfect but i got the worst ones fixed.

The most disappointing was the skirtings. through out the house the painter has hit nearly every single skirting with the roller when doing the wall paint, and then painted the skirtings straight over the top and its left them looking like orange peel. The painter has tried to fix the main ones during the maintenance visit but its still not 100%.  I think its worth mentioning it as i don't think this is very good practice to paint a house this way, the skirtings are really nice and they're ruined by the carelessness of the painter.

The peeling of the paint near our stacker doors has started to peel again, its frustrating i don't know why its peeling, I'm keeping an eye on it and if it gets worse ill call EB to see what can be done, its looks like the paint just doesn't want to stick to the certain section of the wood and i think the "no more gaps" stuff they use has something to do with it.

At the time of maintenance we only had the few movement cracks i detailed in the above list. But now there are even more appearing, and some are quite large. Perhaps this is due to the change in weather and continual movement of the land. Not to happy about it. When i built i was under the impression my house would look fresh and new for a few years. But with the cracks in most corners of the skirtings and cornices its not looking very fresh at the moment. Lucky they can only be seen on close inspection. No one would know they're there, but i know they are and it annoys me a bit.

I love our beautiful glossy down-pipes, but they chip so easily. while we have been doing the landscaping etc and wheel barrows hit them as we get down the tight boundary spaces. We will need to do a touch up, but it will ruin how smooth they look.

So here we are! All maintenance free and still working on the landscaping and nothing has been done internally as yet! 

6 months in, im so in love with our house! Id love to write a full review for anyone out there thinking of building with EBH. Hopefully one day i will get around to it! (only took me 3 months to update you on the maintenance check)

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Railway Sleeper Paver path

Hubby was always keen on the railway sleeper look pavers that he had seen at Amber a while back when we were looking at retaining wall blocks. Now that the grass was going in and the link edge was complete he wanted to get his path done at the same time.

Not really much else to say the pictures speak for themselves, and for a couple of hours on  a sunday morning he was able to achieve this look and were all very happy with the outcome. We get lots of nice comments on it too. Cant wait to get some nice plants along the front and the entrance way will be complete.

Setting out the link edge for the path

Link Edge for front hedged garden

Pavers made to look like wood

All Done!!!

"Vinyl Planks are Not Lino" says Blogger Lime&Mortar - So True!

When my friend in WA had built 2 homes and used vinyl planks it made me start researching them to find out what they were all about. She swore by them and would never consider anything else. Then another friend in the building game stumbled across them a couple of years ago and laid them in his house and has never regretted. Both have small kids, and with a young family of my own i didn't want to spend the money on real wood and be paranoid that it would get damaged. The more i looked into it the more i felt it was the right flooring solution for us.

And for those that have followed my blog you would have read my posts on the vinyl install - HERE

And check out Lime & Mortar post Lime&Mortar - Check this vinyl Out she further explains what vinyl actually is, and also shows some pretty amazing photos of how good her vinyl planks look.

No regrets here! and so glad she put me onto it.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Backyard Grass - Sapphire

Finally a bit of  green action happening in the backyard. I was well and truly over the dirt in the yard and ready for turf. We hadn't had any rain for SOOOOO long and right before we want to turf it rains for 2 weeks and we couldnt get anything seemed even the gods above didn't want me to see a yard with grass. But alas the ground tried up, we got our turf underlay down and purchased a beautiful stack of Buffalo "Sapphire"  from All year Round Turf in Wilberforce. Cost us $6.50sqm plus delivery

When i look back at the old photos i have quickly forgotten what we had when we first moved in and 5 months on we have the beginnings of a proper backyard.

Lets take a moment to remember those good ol' days of dirt.............

From This
Photo Taken 4th April - 5 Months Ago
Photo Taken 18th May 2014
Keep Going.....
Photo Taken 3rd August 2014
Now This.......
Photo Taken 6th September - Turf Underlay Down

6th September - Almost done
 All Done.....

We were originally going to pave the top section near the alfresco, but decided to turf it for now, softens the edges, gives the kids some grass to play on and i can see them playing from the living room. Im sure the dog will love sitting up there in the sun too

Its been just on a month since the turf has been laid in the back yard. Hubby was keeping the water upto it a fair bit over the first couple of weeks, and now it has firmly established itself int he ground and is growing happily. Time to pull out the mower soon!

Next Job....The Front Yard

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Finally a fence on all 3 sides of our block

We now finally have a fence all around our yard! Its literally taken a couple of months to track down fencers and get quotes organised and then decide who to go with. Most fencers were too busy, or didn't seem interested in the job because it was only one side. In the end i could only get 2 companies out of the 10 or more that i rung that gave me quotes! I guess when your trade is in high demand you can pick and choose your work! Half their luck, as a business its a great position to be in, but lots of businesses out there certainly aren't earning any brownie points with me due to their lack of interest to want my job!

The chosen company was Bill Gibson Fencing. Michael was great. Really friendly and offered some great advice and feedback. Was willing to listen to what we wanted and didn't just want to do it "his way" there was a wait of approx 2 weeks from the time we accepted the quote. The fence took 2 days to put up. The boys dug the holes and set out the frames on the first day and then did the panels the following day.

So happy! I feel more secure now, dont have everyone looking in. and we are just that little bit closer to getting our dog back into our yard.

The boundaries are tight thats for sure! I remember when the house was first sited on the block and the boundary was 900mm on the RHS. The clever person at EBH decided to atleast go 950mm to make the boundary that litlte bit bigger for our bins. At the time i didn't think much of it, I knew that it would be tight down that side, but we didn't want the house to be any closer to the boundary on the LHS, so agreed with the 950mm.

Now that we are in and ordering the gate im realising just how lucky we are that we did have the 950mm.
Once the fence went up that gap between house and fence closed into 900mm, and once we add the 2 posts for the gate the gate closes in too approx 780mm - a large garbage bin is 600mm and a lawnmower pretty close to that as well! Not much else will fit through their due to downpipes, and electrical boxes make the squeeze even tighter!

It will do! And once all the yard is done we wont have a need to bring anything wide through there! and if we do maybe we could bring it through our 1200mm wide front door and out the back that way.

Fence is Gramline Branded the colour is Slate Grey - Same as Woodland Grey colorbond.