How cabinets made my day.

Fearing another slow week, I decided to trial a new strategy to keep work progressing rapidly at House By The Water.  Bribery.

Our builders, Webb and Brown-Neaves asked me to meet the tiler on site on Monday, so first thing in the morning I left the tiler a box of chocolates hoping it would make him work at his best.  I know that the tiling is a big job and a critical one in the pathway to the builders handing over the keys on December 18th.  Well I’m not sure that it had the desired effect, (any tilers reading, please send in your suggestions,) but we do at least now have the bathroom and ensuite screed.

Bathroom screed.

Kids bathroom. Note: hole in floor for laundry shute.

Ensuite screed


The renderers have started to add the final textured layer to the house exterior:

Grey pebble render.

Dulux Grey pebble render.

I collected some render that had fallen to the ground to take to the tile shop.  I need to select a tile to cover the top face of the patio awning.  I want it to be inconspicuous.

The concreter poured the garage floor and a concrete plinth beside the house for the air conditioning unit to sit on:

Grano garage floor.

Grano garage floor.

A couple of broken windows have been replaced and some interior scaffolding is in place.  I hope it means that the painter will start soon.

But the highlight of the week is definitely the arrival of the cabinets.  My mum sent me a text message during the day…”There’s a large furniture truck outside your house.”   Oooooh!   Cabinets!  Cabinets for the kitchen, scullery, laundry, bathroom and ensuite.  Lots and lots of beautiful storage.

What a giant puzzle it must be now to put it all together.

For those of you who are missing my little chats about interiors, I promise a short break from building talk next week.  I’ve been making a few exciting purchases and plans for our interior but I can’t reveal them just yet.


12 thoughts on “How cabinets made my day.

  1. Sarah says:

    Yay! Cabinets! Certainly taken some massive steps forward this week. We too had a garage floor poured on Monday and the guys were there today framing up for all the outside honed aggregate around the pool and alfresco. Our kitchen arrives on Wednesday and I’m told today that we should be able to swim in the pool over xmas despite handover still aiming for late Jan / early Feb. Exciting times.

  2. trixee says:

    So happy to see this post! The cabinets are a huge deal, they’ll have them set up in no time. Here’s hoping they didn’t get anything wrong! 😉 And tiling, that’s fantastic. I just want it to hurry up so you can show me more photos of your gorgeous house.

    • Thanks Trixee. So far I can’t see any weird stuff going on with our cabinets, unlike your strange drawer arrangement. I’m surprised how big it all looks. I think it’s elevated at the moment.

  3. Excellent to see Jo. We have been selecting cabinet colours and materials this week. Can I ask what material you have chosen to clad your doors in? Also what stone you have chosen?

    • Thanks Tom. I presume you mean the kitchen cabinet doors…they are Polytec Classic White Sheen. They are all assembled today and look good. I did a quick finger print test and seems OK. We are getting Alpine Mist Caesarstone for the kitchen benches. I look forward to your next update and reading what you chose.

  4. Pen says:

    Hi Jo, progress looks good. Not wishing to pour cold water on anything but you have to extend your accommodation booking. We’ve built 8 times and the shortest ever period from lock-up to handover has been 12 weeks. The average has been 18 weeks. I know it seems impossible that it would take soooo long from where you are, but from now on time will just evaporate. The more you try and push the higher the stress level will become. You’ll be playing into your builders hands. It’s just what they want in order for you to accept average workmanship. sure anything you see that’s not finished correctly can be corrected…..but with a sharp intake of breath and the immortal words….yes we can do it but the time will blow out to weeks maybe months. At this point most people fold and accept shoddy work. My advice is to just let it roll along chill out and enjoy the journey to the finish line. I’m guessing March at the earliest from where you are now to handover. Wether you turn up every day or once a month it won’t make a jot of difference to the overall time it’ll just mean that if you go every day you can keep a check on the quality of finish. All the best.

    • Thanks for the advice Pen. Don’t worry. I’m chilled. I’ll leave the huffing and puffing to The Big Bad Wolf, a.k.a. my husband. I’m interested to know in all your builds if the builders every went over contract, and if so, were you compensated?

      • Pen says:

        Hi Jo, We’ve read through that HIA LSBC so many times thinking how we could turn the tide back on the builder but to no avail. You’d need to have a mathematics PhD just to work out when the completion date should be, oh and then there’s all the get out clauses. Does your contract even have a start date? Let alone a completion date and have you agreed a liquidated damages daily rate? The contract is drawn up by builders for builders. Hubby and I once met a lawyer when walking round the display of a home we were building at the time. He obviously overheard us moaning and groaning and took pity on us and waited outside for us to leave. He was also building the same home at the time and invited us back to his build and then went on to explain why it was completely fruitless for us to even consider for one second any sort of challenge of the builder. In all the builds the only thing we’ve ever been able to change has been the payment profile, but that’s at the outset.
        Unfortunately anything you say or do to try and speed things up at this stage is pointless. You’ve just got to keep on to them about the quality of finish. If the tiling or any other finishing trade is not up to scratch ask them to pull it off and start again. It won’t cost you anything except time and rental/mortgage expenses. Your builder knows that only too well which is why they get away with it time and again.
        You’ve got this far and you’re going to be in the house for a long time so you just have to relax and think in 12-16 weeks it’ll all be over and quickly forgotten. The extra cost of rental/mortgage etc.etc. will be forgotten about, this time next year, but if you’ve accepted average because of time /cost constraints that’ll live with you for as long as you’re in the house.

  5. Pen says:

    Hi Jo
    A quick tip I forgot to mention. Call along to your local carpet shop and ask to go out the back and rummage through their skip bin for some underlay and carpet. Enough to line all your baths. Off to Bunnings for the blue masking tape and then head to site. Clean out the rubble that’s already in the bottom of the bath (leaving as much of the protective plastic film in place as possible and then line the baths with underlay first then the carpet. Any taping in place should be on to the protective plastic and not the bath itself. The builder will not protect the baths and the tradies will stand in the bath with their boots on, on top of all the brick ends/tiles etc. and your brand new baths will resemble a skating rink and look positively second hand. Sure the builder will send out their bath repair people to fix it up but then you’ll have little patches of off white colour all over. It’s better to get ahead of them.

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