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Checking the final plans.

Justine Hugh-Jones did not forget to design in some leg room.

Justine Hugh-Jones did not forget the leg room.

With the finish line in sight, it’s tempting to sprint.  Our final plans, variations and addenda arrived last week.  Signing off on these is our last task before our house construction begins.  We are so close to moving from paperwork to real-live tradespeople, concrete and bricks on our block.

I spent a couple of hours reviewing the 56 pages of plans and addenda and found a few minor errors.  An incorrectly located outdoor shower was the most significant mistake.  Nothing major, but still enough to need a fresh copy of most of the paperwork.  The corrected documents were back the next day.  I was just about ready to return the signed forms when I happened upon a photo of the Rubix kitchen, prompting a small voice in my head:  “Check the kitchen bench again.”  We altered the original kitchen island design to accommodate 5 pairs of legs sitting on stools.  As a result, we ended up with a waterfall-edged bench and lost a couple of small cabinets.  Somehow along the way the cabinets snuck back in and our bench top overhang disappeared.  Note to self: Check and check again.  I am the Chief in Charge of Checking in our family, which is all very well, but you know who’s going to be blamed if something is not right.  It is an understatement to say that I would kick myself if we were to have a huge, stunning kitchen island and 5 beautiful wooden tractor stools, and were unable to sit at the bench.

On other matters this week, the outdoor tiles we had selected to surround our pool have been discontinued.  We’ve had to pick a comparable replacement.  How do you like these porcelain beauties?

"Block" porcelain tiles by Marazzi.

“Block” porcelain tiles by Marazzi.

Before you start to worry, the slip rating is suitable for outside.

I’ve also been thinking about the front yard again.  We wanted to lock in the cobblestone driveway by paying a deposit, but as usual that triggered a chain of connected questions.  The cobblestone driveway guy might need to know that we want a motorised gate across the driveway.  Does a motorised gate need a track?  What kind of gate do we want? And what about doing the front fence, driveway and gate altogether?  Blah!  I guess that will be next week’s research.

Not wood.  Plain and simple, for showing off the garden.  Photo from: Factory Direct Fencing.

Can’t see any “track” here.  Source: Factory Direct Fencing.

Does anyone have a motorised gate?  Did you retrofit it?  Can I forget about this until later?  Please?

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32 thoughts on “Checking the final plans.

  1. Africadayz says:

    Motorised gates (or electric gates, as we call them in South Africa) are very common here. We have had a few. As far as I know, the sliding variety always need a track. Since we have to think a lot about crime here, they are usually also secured in a way that makes lifting them off the track very difficult. Many of us also have a battery back-up system which keeps the gates operating for a period of approximately 24 hours should there be a power outage.

  2. mariashumptydoo says:

    What an amazing planning, Jo!
    I am glad that I do not intend to ever have to build a house…
    But may I book your help if / when I purchase one already built.
    Can’t wait to relax with you guys in ‘the house by the water’.
    Anne-Marie

  3. Sliding gates need a track to keep them running in a straight line. They can be fitted after the driveway has been laid but it might be worth speaking to your contractor to see if he can incorporate it when the cobblestones are being laid, that way he may be able to recess the track slightly so it is a bit more hidden. Good luck with everything!!

  4. trixee says:

    I’m expecting a lot of changes when we get to the checking stage (some of those corrections may be due to change of mind!). The tiles look great, are you importing them?

      • trixee says:

        OK I just got back. The tiles arrived yesterday which means that they won’t be in the store for about a week. There are some other interesting tiles though – they also have a range which is quite thin, as in maybe 3mm thick, but they come in sizes up to 3×1 metres! Looks promising, great for walls. Their pricing is weird – everything seems really expensive but then they have a bunch of stuff that’s over 50% off so I dunno, they might be within budget if we bargain hard enough. Got some samples anyway – as always, the samples don’t look very nice compared with the large actual tile.

  5. Harry says:

    Hi Jo, getting to the really exciting part now 🙂 as for the gate track, as long as you have concrete between the gate posts i think you will be ok, you “can” have the track recessed but ! if at any time in the future you need to replace it (and you will due to corrosion) you will have to dig it out of the concrete, they also fill with sand and you will be forever trying to clean it out so the gate works. If you place it on top of the concrete it’s only a minor speed hump if you are on a scate board and be easily maintained.
    regards
    Harry

  6. Harry says:

    Jo,
    while cruising around i found this little gem http://www.sheriff-fencing.com.au/ I spoke to the guy about selling the bottom track into the concrete or fixing it on top, he basically confirmed what i had already mentioned in my last reply, fix it on top.
    Check the link and you will get an email for them, they do all sorts of stuff so any side gates, fences etc they can help you.

  7. Congrats on almost getting there! 56 pages!? Wow! The outdoor tile looks nice – sleek. Sorry I can’t give any advice on the motorized gate, they may be common in areas like LA, California over here in the states but not where I’m at {Dayton, Ohio}.

  8. Wow…it’s getting so close…so exciting. I love the tile. Great choice. Our gates will be hinged and open into the property. Is that not something that is done there? They will be on a hydraulic arm. So you have nothing to drive over.

    • Hi Happy Laughs, Our front yard is a smidgeon smaller than yours! We need to use the space carefully, so we are hoping to install a sliding gate that will retract along the front fence line when opened. However, you are making me think twice about this now. It is a possibility….

      • Hahaha! The swing of the gate should just be in your driveway so it really shouldn’t take up much more space. I guess tho if you were leaving it open for a party or something it could potentially be in the way? Hmmmm I guess it’s all about placement. If it open up against a side fence it would be ok. Like opening the other way. I am just brain storming here :). Or you could have two smaller gates that when open wouldn’t take up near as much space?…..

      • Oh…..I am going to feel so much better when I get the lighting figured out in that room. I am going to post the interior plans later so you can see exactly how the room lays. I am so enjoying following these few homes scattered around the globe. And getting and giving input…..I think all perspectives help….even if it just sparks some ideas and makes me think along a different path. :).

  9. Good save with the kitchen island! It’s very easy to miss things when faced with reams of paperwork like that. Know what you mean about all the errors coming back to you… I’m sure I’ll be in trouble for all sorts of annoyances after we move in, because I was the one that scrutinised everything along the way. No experience with motorised gates I’m afraid but sounds like you’ve got some good leads there 🙂

  10. Miranda says:

    I love your new pool tiles. Our tiles came from the Tile Boutique as well, so even though they’re not on WBN’s list of usual suppliers, I know they can work with them and can vouch for the fact that it all worked out – although we did spot a mistake in the initial tile selection sheet, so make sure you check it carefully! (You’ll be used to checking everything very thoroughly by now though, from the sounds of things.)

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