Wednesday, March 16, 2011

We're in!

Where have I been, I hear some of you ask? Well, actually, I've been moving into my 9 star home!!! Hip, hip, hooray.

I will write in more detail later but this is just a quick update of highs and lows:

I love my carpet. It is magnificent. If you can stretch your budget to Valieris, do. Every time I walk on it, I feel happy.

My love affair with soft furnishings extends to our Luxaflex blinds. They look absolutely superb and function like a dream. We went for blockout blinds in the bedrooms and opaque on all other windows.

I feel less happy about the boxes. There are still too many unpacked, mostly because we are still waiting on our studio floor covering. I believe it is coming ... but when?

The house is performing amazingly well in terms of heating and cooling, although I do regret not installing a solar panel attached to a tiny little motor attached to the windows so that we could open and close them at a touch of a button. I dare say that we will get used to managing the ventilation, but Melbourne's unpredictable weather does make it trying. I thought our enormous eaves would stop the rain coming through the windows, but it turns out I was wrong. Thankfully I worked this out after a light shower, rather than a rainstorm.

The light and sunbeams are a continuing source of delight to us all. And they do seem to be working from a passive solar perspective. Even after cool nights (14 degrees), we are waking up to a house that's about 19 degrees. I'm looking forward to seeing how we go after a few consecutive days of cold weather and no sun. But I'm in no rush ... I love March's warm glow.

All of our paint colour choices have been vindicated. They look great, especially against the wooden frames. I can't believe I was planning to have white window frames! It turned out the red of our bathroom really would have been better with a darker undercoat (as suggested by the painters but rejected by the paint shop). So the painters are a bit pissed off. I hope they will forgive me by the time I ask them to work on the next project (which is hopefully the house next door).

BTW, it seems that low VOC does not necessarily mean no fumes at all. The house was quite chemical-stinky for the first three weeks or so, but now it's starting to settle down. But for the record, I think the smell was mostly from the kitchen and the carpet, not the paint.

Our concrete floor feels great: silky smooth and not at all cold. But it's not looking that crash hot. We've had repeated attempts from the floor guys to fix it, and now it seems that we might end up with them coming back to grind it back again and reapply the sealant. I really hope we don't end up with more aggregate exposed, it's quite subtle now and looks really nice in that regard.

The bathroom tiles look fantastic, although much darker than I expected. The tiler did a really lovely job and I am so glad I took our project manager's advice not to cut them down. There's this idea that you shouldn't use big tiles in a small bathroom, but it sooo works in ours.

And finally, our lights! They are really lovely. I think I'd like to make a plan to retrofit them for LED globes over time, but compact fluros are working pretty well in most of them. The exception is the CF downlights, which are perfect for the kitchen, but a bit white for the one place in the living space that we used them. I think we still need some lamps. :)

When we unpack, I will take photos and post them. In the meantime, I know I owe some of you emails (Lindy & Marie). Our internet was down for weeks with the move (AAPT sux, for the record), so I'm only just catching up on emails.

I'm going to need to decide when to wrap up this blog, now that the place is actually built. But I do still have a few outstanding topics, and this is fun, so I'm not quite ready to stop. I'll be back when a few more boxes are unpacked (i.e. when the upstairs flooring is in)!!


Liliana said...

Great to see that you are in! I'm one of the many people who have been secretly checking your blog daily to see what had become of you. I'm glad there is a happy ending and I look forward to reading any other comments you have about the house.

Max Boughner said...

Sweet, it really is nice to see that you're now living in your own Star Home. I always wanted to build a new house, but right now, I'm still saving up for it. When the time comes, I too will build my own, and it would be nice if the one I would build will be good enough.