Building to schedule.

Construction schedule

Screen shot of our construction schedule.

I’m taking our construction schedule with a grain of salt.  Obviously it’s a standard schedule.  10 days have been allocated to paving, and we are not having any paving by the builder.  We are 2-3 weeks off schedule already, but that’s nothing that can’t be explained away by “the non-availability of trades, inclement weather, shortage of materials or the like.” In any case, I’m using it to plan the timing of purchase of “owner supplied items”.  Since we aren’t living locally during the build we really tried to minimise owner-supplied items, but some items such as our fireplace, air conditioning and the integrated dishwasher weren’t offered by Webb and Brown Neaves.  In the case of our feature pendant lights, I didn’t like any we saw at our builder’s supplier. Between a variable construction schedule, variable lead times on items we need to supply and nowhere to store purchased items, the whole situation is a bit tricky.  I already made the mistake of purchasing the fireplace early to avoid 2015 price rises, and then was tripped up by a $250 delivery fee to a friend’s garage because the supplier wouldn’t hold it.  I’ve been creating lists and charts over the past week, trying to get better organised for costs, supplying items and the post-handover activities.

Owner-supplied items.

Owner-supplied items.

You can see I’m having some commitment problems with a couple of items.  For the kitchen pendants, my taste is expensive, but I can’t be sure that what I want is the right thing.  So I’m leaning towards buying cheaper alternatives, until I’m in the house and able to weigh all the other factors up.


Sources:  1.  Beacon.  2.  Weylandts.  3.  Dunlin.  4.  Cocoflip.

For the alfresco area, I have grand plans for an oversized cray pot pendant, DIY.  So all I need is a bare bulb hanging on a cord at least 2 metres long, but I am struggling to find something that won’t quickly rust in our outdoor environment.  Outdoor lighting options are rather lacking!  The only item I’ve seen that fits the bill so far is $600.  No!  Not when it’s going to be covered up anyway.

Build update

The brickies have made a start on the second storey of House By The Water.  Imagine my excitement to receive this picture on Sunday, the first news of any brick laying activities:

Extra brownie points for our building inspector who took this unsolicited photo on his long weekend!

Extra brownie points for our independent building inspector who took this photo on his long weekend!

And special thanks to house-building blogger, Trixee, who popped by our house on the weekend and took the photos shown below.  Trixee is building a glamorous solar-passive house in Perth.  Trixee’s slab has just been poured so the excitement is mounting over on her blog:  The SP Chronicles.

All set up for second storey bricks.

All set up for second storey bricks.

Scaffolding jungle for the alfresco void area.

Scaffolding jungle for the alfresco void area.


Garage with concrete beams and pipes that will be invisible before long.

Stairs.  And the terrible realisation that I should have had that changed to include a storage area.

Stairs. And the terrible realisation that I should have had that changed to include a storage area.

As they say,  it’s coming along!


21 thoughts on “Building to schedule.

  1. joan55555 says:

    Who would have thought words like roof cover, plaster fix, remove scaffold could be so exciting. Is it worth an email to your house consultant re stair well space?

    • Thanks so much Naomi for passing on that link. I’m going to have a good look at that source. Their price for the “nordic” pendant is better than Beacon’s “husk”, assuming that they are the same thing. I’m so suspicious now after discovering that “oak finish” is actually tin painted to look like oak. I think that is also the case for the first link. Did you shop online with this company? I haven’t heard of them before. I’d love to know what you bought!

      • Naomi says:

        I haven’t bought anything yet. I too don’t have anywhere to store things while we tear our house apart! Have been doing way too much online window shopping. I have bought lights previously from online just not this site yet. I am looking at the DC fans.

    • I don’t want to outlay too much unless I know it’s going to be perfect. I think I’ll be putting a cheap option first, then upgrading if I don’t like it. If I was onsite, I’d take some home to hold up in the room to get a feel for them, and return if necessary, but I don’t have this luxury.

  2. Schedule – it’s a soft spot for me… we were told 9 months and it’s going on a year – so, well, yeah…
    Kitchen pendants – I am definitely a fan of the Cocoflip, but with the price tag I think I would pick the Weylandts.
    House progress – things are looking great…. you sure are going to have a killer view!

  3. Karen Laguerta says:

    What a location! Hope you find what you like. 🙂 We only chose items from the builder and if we didn’t like any, we stick with the standard and decided to do the upgrades after handover. Also look out for the schedule, so you can ask for compensation if they went over the agreed time frame.

    • That’s smart to install now and upgrade later. Unfortunately some of the items on my list, our builder did not give any options but to owner-supply.

  4. trixee says:

    Thanks for the shout-out Jo 🙂 I’m glad you labelled those pics because I didn’t know what I was looking at half the time! Nice of your building inspector to do the drive-by (float-by?) photo from the canal, it was a beautiful day for it.

  5. May says:

    The excitement of building continues…..looking good. Estimates for dates are a joke, never believe a given date….add on a couple of months…..the wait will be more than worth it!!!

    • No, no, no May. Not possible. I’ve not allowed myself to count down the days, but I am counting down the months. I’ll be looking for spare rooms in October if it’s not finished!

  6. Miranda says:

    I can’t tell you how jealous I am that you got a schedule! We were so desperate for any little scrap of information about timing, and this is the entirety of the information we were given when we asked for a schedule:
    “It takes approx 6 months to build a single storey from slab down.
    Slab down 19/8 + 8 weeks
    Plate height + 4 weeks
    Roof Cover + 6 weeks
    Lock up + 7 weeks
    Practical Completion + 2 weeks = Key handover – approx early March”

    All we were told about timing for supplying our owner-supplied items (and only because we asked) was: they won’t be needed until finals. We had to ask: what are “finals” and when should we expect that to be?

    It sounds like they might be better organised now. I’m glad to see it.

    The progress is all looking good. It’s going to look like a real house soon!

    • Yes, you’d think that for a company that has been doing this for so many years – producing a schedule should be very easy. I think I’ve been lucky with my allocation to their staff. Both our SS (Brian) and CLO (Emma) are very responsive and helpful.

  7. What a great post Johanne! I love your whole blog actually 🙂 On pendants, I absolutely love the Coco Flip. I love that it is Australian made too. I know you would have already factored this in, but choice of pendants depends on other textures and finishes in the scheme. If it’s for an island area I also like to choose pendants and kitchen stools together – not to match necessarily but to complement each other. I have some good combos that work together if you were interested, although you seem to be handling the process and selections very well so far. Look forward to your next post Jane @ledgelovespace

    • Thank you Jane. That’s a great tip about considering stools and pendants together. I am definitely having a large black coco pendant in our dining room beside the kitchen and I already have (Bassett replica) tractor stools. Metal based pendants would add an extra material to the scheme which may look out of sync. The coco mini pendants will be in keeping with the overall style but may be overkill, not to mention expensive. I shall delay the decision as long as possible, in the hope that it all becomes clear in the mean time!

      • Oh ok, didn’t realise the black Coco Flip was for the dining. In that case, yes, having them also in the kitchen could be overkill. I love the Tractor stools. They work well in a number of schemes and bring warmth to the kitchen area. Things will definitely become clearer the closer you get 🙂

  8. Simon Mason says:

    Hi there, out of interest, what was your lock up date and hand over date? We’re building with WBN right now, and seem to be at a very similar point of construction as you, but looking at the screenshot of your schedule ours is months longer to get to the same point down the track!

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