Majestic 40 at Gardener's Ridge

building a Wisdom Majestic in North Kellyville


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One year on

Well it has been a while since I last posted but here is an update on what has been happening.

In February this year we had our last outstanding PCI and maintenance issue completed. We’ve now been in our home for fifteen months and love it. We’ve been busy bees in this time and completed the landscaping, planned the pool and installed solar power.

Landscaping and Rain Garden
Everything has taken well except for the small Kangeroo Paws. I was so worried about over watering them that I went the wrong way and under watered instead.

 

 

 

The grevillea seem happy and the birds are already visiting to feed on it. Next door’s bamboo seems even happier as it has spread to our side of the fence.

Grevillea:

Grevillea

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Check out the grass. As I’m at home all day I offered to take over grass cutting duties if we bought a petrol mower I could start. Faster than a speeding bullet my husband turned up with this Victa petrol mower with battery start ignition:

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He says it is the best money he’s ever spent! Funnily enough he didn’t criticize my wonkey donkey lines or the fact I managed to scalp one of the pipes on my first attempt. I’m pleased to report that I am getting better with practice. I also now use a Ryobi edger with a lethal looking  blade to get a sharp clean edge, each time I use it I wonder if this will be the time I sever the irrigation pipes.
Rain Garden
The rain garden gets the most interest out of any of my blog posts. As far as I can tell it seems to be functioning well and I managed to catch a photo of it in action during the last torrential downpour of which we’ve had a few recently:

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Pool
Next up is getting the pool. We chose a house design which is long and narrow in order to have the space to put a lap pool down the side at some future point. We’ve just signed a contract with Jade Pools for a 10.5m x 3.2m concrete lap pool and a 2 x 2m spa.
It has been harder than I thought to plan the pool and also to conform to BASIX (Building Sustainability Index) requirements.
NSW BASIX info
NSW BASIX pools and spas
Once we had a plan we pegged it out in situ to see if it worked.

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We even hauled chairs out to sit in the ‘spa’ and see if it felt the right size. I’m sure the neighbours thought we were mad if they saw us doing it.
Then back to the drawing board to tweak it yet again.
The pool company then hit us with all our BASIX requirements as we were > 40000 litres. So now we need to squeeze in another rain tank of approximately 3000 litres and a pool cover. Pool cover no problem but finding space for the tank was a challenge due to the size of our block.

In between all our planning the large property behind us has sold and so we are now considering putting some sort of privacy screening up, probably a pergola of some sort.

I took the opportunity to look at metal artwork for the pool area when I was on a trip to Melbourne recently.

I visited Entanglements:
http://www.entanglements.com.au/

entanglements

and Lump:
http://lump.com.au/

lump

[photo courtesy of Lump]

So my plan is to blog about our pool build over the next few months. I’ll also blog about our solar panels which miraculously survived the massive hail storm but that’s a story for another time…

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Colour Appointments

Full Steam ahead!

It’s been all go on the house front this week.
Monday             Sign contract
Wednesday      Landscape gardening, Interior & exterior colours, Timpelle Kitchen design
Friday                Air Con

Wednesday was very full on but productive. I had prepared for these meetings with lists of what we wanted, photos of examples and a ‘Look Book’ to give a good idea and feel for what we are aiming for. More importantly double checking the latest tender and plans to ensure it was all there.

A minor setback at the beginning when we realised that they were not using the latest plans. Unfortunately they have sent the wrong plans to all the other suppliers too (kitchen, electrical & air-con). In future I will check at the beginning of any meeting that we are all singing from the same song sheet! I had previously pointed out that they were not always updating the schedule when they were amending the plans but I will make sure they do now.

Landscape Gardening
I had done my homework and drawn out what we wanted and why by dividing the garden into zones and giving a spec for each one plus examples of native plants we like. Bit of the royal ‘we’ there but I did run it past my hubby for power of veto. The landscaper did say he had never had a client so well prepared before…..
Looking forward to receiving the plans but not the quote – probably best enjoyed with a stiff drink.

I did ask that they made sure any design complied with current thoughts on foundation maintenance to protect against potential slab heave. I better read the CSIRO leaflet BTF18 ‘Foundation Maintenance and Footing Performance: A Homeowner’s Guide’ again to make sure we are compliant.

Interior & Exterior Colours
We certainly covered some ground in this meeting. Luckily we had a really knowledgeable consultant who kept us on track.
This is where my stalking of the house I like down the road paid off ( see previous post: If at first you don’t succeed, June 23rd) and thanks to scotturner I had all the info I needed. Turns out a paint colour had been discontinued but our consultant recommended a good alternative. I’m always a bit leery with colours as I have made a few mistakes in my time… so I was very grateful for all her help in this area.
Once we had covered everything I took the opportunity to pick her brains re the Caesarstone benchtop colours. Turns out that she had a background in kitchen design so that was really helpful.

So without further ado

External colours
Bricks:
Main: PGH Cement                                                  Accent: PGH Chocoletto

PGH Cement                                         PGH Chocoletto

Colourbond Roof, garage door,                               Gutters
water tank, downpipes, utility boxes

colourbond paperbark                                              Colourbond Woodland Grey

Trend Windows

Trend window Anodic white

Have you picked up on the theme yet?

I am trying to make this house as solar passive as possible. Note I didn’t say as environmentally friendly as possible since as it’s a large double storey that would be a bit rich. However I have tried to think of BASIX as I go along.

The house orientation on the lot should make the most of the winter sun and hopefully reduce the summer heat. The light colour bricks and roof will help reduce heat build up as will the extra whirlybirds venting the roof. Tiled floors downstairs will be cooler in the summer and are supposed to warm up with the winter sun.
Windows and doors with fly screens and security doors will allow for cross currents of air to help cool down. Hopefully all windows will have pelmets and solar blinds or linings, budget permitting, to help cool down in the summer and keep the warmth in during the winter. We will have ceiling fans in the bedrooms and study, whilst not very elegant to look at, they come into their own on a hot summer’s night.

Our current rental is freezing in the winter so we have upgraded to a complete brick house, handy for the BAL rating too, which comes with good ceiling and wall insulation . Additionally we have added extra internal sound and ‘comfort’ insulation downstairs to warm the place up and stop the chance of echoing with the tiles. I do find it funny that I have bought more cold weather stuff since coming to Australia than I ever had in the UK. I definitely felt like a granny when I bought flannel sheets and an electric blanket but at least I’m warm now 🙂  Cats approved of my purchases too!

I will leave interior colours until my next post as I have rambled on for long enough!