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Showing posts from June, 2010

Warranty Insurance and Building Permit

Our builder, Matt from Makay Constructions, has obtained the required warranty insurance, and notified us that we will receive a building permit once we've paid our deposit.  So tonight we paid our first contract payment to Matt, which should enable construction to commence within a few weeks.  Our building permit has been assessed and approved by a private provider, Red Textas.

Warranty insurance has been a potential issue because commercial providers are withdrawing from the market. The whole home warranty insurance scheme has been criticised because it is rarely paid out by the insurance companies, but without it residential projects can't commence. We're glad to have it so that construction can commence once the permit is finalised.

Optus and Foxtel connections

We had Foxtel and Optus Cable and home phones connected this morning.  Both companies gave us the usual half-day window, and Optus called us 30 mins before they arrived, and Foxtel 15 minutes before.

Optus has done away with the Motorola Surfboard cable modems (and let us keep our old one) and now installs an 'EMTA' - a box that combines the broadband modem with the home phone connection, which uses VOIP technology across their network.  A side effect is that a power outage now affects both, although a battery is included.  I'm not certain if this maintains the internet or phone connection, or just preserves the settings in the EMTA - the battery seems to be rather large so hopefully it maintains the connection.

The Optus technician plugged the Ethernet cable into my laptop to ensure it was working, before he left.  During the afternoon I disconnected the cable and plugged in our wireless router.  However I couldn't get the router to connect to the Intern…

Moving Day

Today we moved to our new place, in the north of Cheltenham.  The removalists, Minimovers, arrived at 6:45am and by about 8:15am had packed the truck and by 9:45am had finished unpacking and left for the next job.  They were good, with no marks or breakages.  There were only two guys, Dave and Daniel.  Their rate was $159 per hour, including travel time.

Last time we moved within Cheltenham, the removalist we'd booked never turned up.  We had to call around and luckily found another prepared to do it that afternoon.

We booked Minimovers online, receiving confirming and reminder emails, and then they turned up at 7.15am as promised. A very different experience to last time.

We are well into unpacking, but it will probably be a few days before we finish.  We still have some tidying up to do at our 'reno' place too.

New sheds

Our new sheds from Garden Sheds Galore arrived this morning.  I was still in my PJ's when four guys knocked on our door at about 7.15am.  By 7.30am the first shed was finished and by 9.45am so was the second.  The first shed, a garden tool shed, is a second-hand shed and was already assembled, so the four guys carried it from their ute and dropped it into place.  The second shed was assembled from scratch.

I'm about to start transferring items from our existing 'old' shed to the new sheds.  The old shed will be knocked down as soon as our extension starts.

The concreting for the sheds was by Andrew, a local concretor.

Clean out

This long weekend we've spent clearing out our shed and playroom.  We've filled a six cubic metre skip with old furniture, broken toys, old books, bills, university notes and shed-type clutter (timber offcuts, old bags of cement, etc).  It took two days to clear out the rooms.

On Saturday I also ordered our two new sheds - one is a storage locker for garden implements and tools, and the other a 3m x 3m shed.

Yesterday we also cleaned our new place, and spent an hour going through the Agent's condition report, adding additional notes.  A sliding door pelmet, noted as loose by the agent, fell on me when I inspected the door.  I'll be e-mailing a complaint to them today.

We now feel that we're making substantial progress.

Old listings

If you are looking to buy or rent (as an owner or buyer/tenant), this website lists past advertised rental and sale prices for Melbourne.  You get historical data for many properties, so you can see changes over time.

The site FAQ's explain that if a suburb isn't listed, you may be the first person to have searched for  it and your search initiates the collection of data for that suburb.  The results should be updated within a few days.

Door shopping

This afternoon we went to The Door Store.  We're going to put locks on our bedroom doors, so that we can leave some large and non-essential items in the house during the renovation.  While there we had a look around at a pretty big range of doors as part of our research.  We'll have to choose bi-folds, double doors and new front and back doors soon. I am interested in a Lockwood external door that comes with a remote control.  Imagine no more key hassles when you're carrying an arm load of shopping or jackets and school bags!  One press of the button as you get out of the car and the front door unlocks. We finished with some time in the adjoining Bathroom Store, getting ideas for showers, toilets, taps and sinks.