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Showing posts from June, 2011

Supplementary Rates Notice

We've received a supplementary rates notice, along with a letter apologising for the delay in increasing our rates!

It had never occurred to us that our rates would be increased immediately, instead of when our property was next valued along with all others in the area.

Kingston City Council doesn't have any information online about Supplementary Rates that we could find, not even on the Council Rates page. Using their website's Search function for the term 'rates' doesn't return any relevant results on the first page, which has 20 results and links.  However 'Council Rates' is the first result on the second page.

I asked for greater transparency on this issue, via Council's Facebook page.  The first time I did this by linking from the Cheltenham Home Facebook page and Council deleted the link to my post.  So I posted directly to Council's Facebook page and they've left it there unanswered since last Friday evening.  I had thought highly ab…

Opening doors

Today we had our new front door fitted.  Our old door wasn't closing properly, and exterior doors aren't very expensive, so we decided that instead of fixing the old door and lock, we'd instead have someone replace the whole door. We have kept the screen door for now.

We chose a contemporary door from The Door Store.  We've always had good service from the staff there, when buying handles and locks at all stages of our renovation.  We went with a Gainsborough tri-lock on the front door, to match the external locks on the extension, and for an extra $20 The Door Store re-keyed the lock during the weekend so we only need one key for all external doors.

The Door Store recommended We Hang Doors, who for a few hundred dollars, picked up the new door, removed the old door, fitted the new door and lock, and removed the old door.  It required a bit of work, because new standard doors are thicker than typical 1950's doors, and the height of the lock is different.  We're …

King Furniture couches - functional style

Our new Delta S couches from King Furniture were delivered yesterday.  We assembled them last night. They look great and are very comfortable.

It was nice to see that they were well packed, in cardboard boxes and plastic bags, with no Styrofoam to be binned afterwards.  We'll take the boxes to the cardboard recycling bin at one of our nearby service stations.

Each seat has a fantastic gas lift mechanism to lift the base and reveal a deep storage tray.  The weight of the seat keeps it closed.  The storage will be excellent for blankets and bedding; for example, to convert the chairs to their bed configuration (but don't assume that they're sofa beds in the traditional style - they're not!).

When first opening the boxes with the chair bases inside, we figured out, in the end, that to stop the gas lift mechanisms opening you instead open the box at the bottom, immediately place the seat the right way and lift the box off the top of it.

The arms and backs are incredibly easy…

Skip hire

For the long weekend we hired a skip so we could get rid of an accumulation of rubbish from moving back into our renovated house. We used Rhino Bins this time.

We still had many of our removalist boxes, with some having been given away to other people.  On top of that was all the packaging from Ikea, Aldi and other places where we've bought things in recent months, as well as rolls of damaged chicken wire from the fence of our old chicken run.

I also used the bin to get rid of more timber garden edging I'd uncovered.  The previous owner had used old timber fence posts as garden edging and as I've uncovered their termite infested remains I've been stockpiling them for a planned campfire night.  However with all the recent rain and much colder weather, I decided it was better to put them in the skip.

More heating problems

We've just returned from a week away in a warmer climate.  Arriving home late yesterday afternoon we switched the heater on, but after several hours it couldn't lift the temperature inside above 16C.

We tried again today, thinking that perhaps with the house being empty for a week and our friends telling us of low temperatures in that week, it would take a while to warm the house.

However, by late afternoon, the house was only back to 16C.  I also noticed that our downstairs toilet, which has a ceiling fan, was warmer than the bathroom where a heater outlet is located.

So I pulled out the ladder and lifted the manhole cover.  I was greeted by a rush of very hot air from within the roof.  From that, I knew straight away that there was a hole in the ducting.  It only took about two minutes to find that the ducting had come off one of the plastic intersection joins, where the ducting from the heater splits into two separate, smaller, ducts.  A few minutes with ducting tape to rep…