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Showing posts from November, 2010

Handles for new kitchen

Today our handles arrived. Last week the cabinet maker was told that there was a two week wait for them - and they arrived today.

We had considered a much thicker handle, but were convinced that the thinner one would look better in a long kitchen like ours. It was a good decision.

A correction too, to my earlier post about the kitchen. The MDF top will remain beneath the Caesarstone bench tops when they arrive. The template was produced separately and has been delivered to the factory.

End of Week 20

This week included the biggest item we've organised ourselves - the kitchen cabinetry, which followed from last weeks pantry shelving.

During the week we selected the handles for the kitchen drawers and cupboard - and of course, liked the ones that aren't in stock. We're expecting them in about two weeks.

The photos show MDF sheets cut to the shape of our bench tops. They're used by the cabinet makers to make a template for the stone bench tops to ensure that they are a good fit.

The Caesarstone bench tops are due to be installed in about two weeks. We've chosen Ice Snow.

Pantry shelving

This morning the shelving for our walk-in pantry was installed in about five hours. We're very happy with the final product.

The pantry has a 'swing door' that opens both ways. It was removed so that there was more room for the cabinet makers today.

We're fitting a fluorescent light within the pantry, and making provision for LED strip lights above the benches to light them should the fluorescent light be inadequate or cast shadows. Our electrician thinks a bright electronic fluorescent light will be sufficient (electronic ones are, apparently, 'instant on' without the annoying flicker of old-style fluorescent lights).

Our intent is that the microwave, food processor, toaster, milkshake maker and similar can be left set up on the bench within the pantry. Whether this is practical remains to be seen. We haven't allowed for an exhaust fan - we may regret that. However, a wall-mounted one is possible.

End of Week 19

Today the shelves and benchtop within our walk-in-pantry will be fitted. I'll post some photos later in the weekend.

During the week the ensuite was tiled, and laundry floor tiles laid. The plasterers finished sanding back the plaster to prep the joins the painting, and the carpenters have nearly finished the skirting boards. The door hardware is ready to be installed.

Yesterday I fitted the last of the cooling vents, with one in to the front room of the 'old' part of the house (the former lounge room) and another into the wall of the new upstairs bedroom. Unfortunately I bought the wrong adapter to fit the circular ducts to the square vents, so I wasn't able to finish connecting the ducting. The people at Duo Duct in Highett continue to be extremely helpful, and tolerant given that they are a trade outlet, and I'm clearly not in the trade.


Today the tiler started work, tiling our ensuite and the laundry floor, and our vanity was put in place. Tomorrow the laundry wall should be finished, then the whole lot grouted.

Our kitchen splashback will be tiled following the installation of the cabinets and benchtop.


Last week our builder noted that the plasterers couldn't match our cornicing where the new construction met the old, and there were sections of damaged cornice. However Matt said he'd look around himself.

This week I noticed two short sections of matching cornice appear, and a day or so later they were installed and matched in.

They are a little difficult to see in the photos - shades of white and I was using my mobile phone camera.

End of Week 18

Week 18 resulted in confirmation of details of our upstairs carpet and kitchen, as well as more plastering, painting, sanding and carpentry inside the house, and the first rendering of the ground floor.

Today, in the ground floor of the extension, I installed the outlets for our ducted heating and cooling. I have to install one more, upstairs, and one in our front room, the former living room. The outlet that used to cool this space was located in the former adjoining dining area which has been since been converted to our pantry.

Installing the cooling and heating outlets is relatively easy. I'd marked out on the floor where I'd left the ducting in the roof space before it was sealed in. Fortunately our carpenters saw some of those marks when they laid the floor boards, and remarked a few of them. The others I could remember.

I then used a small plasterboard handsaw to punch a hole in the ceiling, and using an outlet as a template, mark out the hole to be cut. The circul…

Kitchen update

During the week we finalised dates for the installation of our kitchen cabinets. The benchtops will be installed about two weeks later.

The pantry, which is almost a small kitchen in its own right because of the shelves and benchtop, will be installed first, then a week later the main kitchen will be fitted. The cabinetry will be finished by the end of November and the benchtops by mid December.

IQ150 (Smartstrand) ready to go

During the week we had a few calls from Harvey Norman Flooring (see my earlier posts about IQ150/Smartstrand and carpets). Our chosen IQ150 colour, Rocky Ridge, will be available on our preferred installation date in the third week of January 2011. We've locked in a day for it to be laid, a few days before we are scheduled to move back into the house. The downstairs floors will be sanded and sealed about a week before the carpet is laid upstairs.

We're obtaining the carpets from Harvey Norman Flooring at Moorabbin, and Harvey Norman at Chadstone has helped resolve our difficulties with delivery and installation.


Rendering of our ground floor commenced this morning, while I was on site for a meeting with our builder. The preparation work and start of the first coat happened by 9.30am. At 6.30pm this evening I took the following photos with my phone's camera.

I'm grateful for a little detail that our renderers and builder took care of today - covering a wooden infill panel below the window of our existing bathroom. When it was renovated before we first moved into the house (see how it looked inside in August 2006), a smaller window was installed and the gap was filled with a wooden panel. I've been meaning to paint it ever since. Today the gap was filled and rendered over, which will look much better.

From the results of today's work, our ageing front door and screen door really stand out. A new door and screen has just leapt up the priority list!

A new front door step will be constructed soon.

End of Week 17

The last week's work has been internal, although there is some external work remaining such as the downpipes/stormwater, rendering, light fittings, gas outlet and verandah paving.

The plasterers have been undertaking some of the detailed finishing work, such as boxing in around the bookshelves (the microwave in the photo below belongs to the builders, for their smoko breaks).

Most of the architraves and cornices in the ground floor are finished.  Today we measured up for blinds and curtains.

The doors are being fitted.  We chose basic flat panel doors for all but the double doors from the entrance hall into the extension. In the photo they've been stored in the kitchen, until they're fitted.

Our wall of doors has had us concerned for some time - will it look strange having four doorways across one wall, with one being a double-door?  With the panelled double doors, and the cupboard under the stairs being shorter, we decided that it wouldn't be too bad.  We considered t…

14 weeks for Harvey Norman IQ150 (Smartstrand) carpets to arrive

Harvey Norman's salesperson left a message on our home phone yesterday saying that our carpets will take 14 weeks to arrive.  That includes two additional weeks for Christmas/New Year.  It appears another week has passed and the order hasn't been placed, so delivery will be in February some time.  Unbelievable.

My earlier post on the topic included an update from a salesperson from a different Harvey Norman store.  His advice was that it should take less than 3 months if the one we ordered was from their 'in stock' range.  With yesterday's phone message saying 14 weeks, my secret optimism for a better result has fizzled away!

I did see that Harvey Norman is promoting the same carpet range on TV tonight.  Will more customers be caught out like us?


Our cabinet makers have started cutting the cabinets for our kitchen and walk-in-pantry.  Today they're ordering the glossy vinyl finish doors.  Last night we confirmed the dimensions of our existing and proposed appliances and new sink.

The builders have started hanging the doors too, and have progressed with the skirting and architraves.


Our builders have started framing the internal doors and fitting the architraves and skirting boards.  The plasterers are still working too, with the cornices still to be done.

Shower base

Today our shower base was laid.  A recess was left in the ensuite floor by the builders, and a mortar base has been placed with the recess so that there is a sloping floor.

Long wait for short runs of carpet

Harvey Norman has called today to say that there's insufficient carpet in stock in Australia from within the same dye run to complete our place in January.  They can do it from different dye runs, with the risk of a noticeable colour difference, or we can wait at least three months for another delivery from the USA. The salesman advised last week that there was 'just' sufficient stock and if we placed a deposit quickly we would get it.  We paid the deposit the next morning and nothing was said about being too late or different batches of carpet. We're going to now wait the three or more months so we have a greater guarantee of matching colours, and we'll have to move our furniture (again!) in February or March so that it can happen. We are now very disappointed with our experience with ordering carpets from Harvey Norman. Why is it tagged as 'in stock' in the store, when they have no more than short runs of left overs in their warehouse and a three month dela…