Monday, 11 July 2011

External Colour Selections

Well as most of you know, when building at The Ponds you have to follow "the design guidelines" that govern your choice of brick, facade and colour choices.

A few points we had to adhere to were:
  • have an interesting looking house by having articulation such as STEPPING walls (so no straight walls like a box)
  • walls over 14m must have a break
  • you must have eaves (min 450mm) Very happy to have them anyway
  • no fancy ornamentation or fake historical details
  • at least two different materials on the facade eg: brick, stone, tiles, render, paint, cladding etc
  • no colourbond fencing.
  • points of interest- stepped walls, balconies, varied finishes and projected walls
  • bricks to be not deeply textured, generally uniform and not white or pale coloured!
  • base colours and highlights should be subdued
  • roofs are preferrably of a darker colour
  • driveways should be charcoal or natural earth tones
  • letterbox of solid construction eg brick- no box on a stick allowed
There is also the offer of a $5,000 rebate if you follow the landscaping guidelines. Such things in that are:
  • 4 x 6m of POS (private open space)
  • front yard has min 2 small trees (4-6m)
  • rear yard 1 large tree (6-10m high)
  • low fence or hedge across front boundary
  • garden bed beside driveway and neighbours yard
  • turf all yard
  • most planting is native species
  • no turf down the side of the house if it is narrow(can be pebbles, pavers, steppers,decking)
So there are some restrictions which were pretty easy to incorporate...they actually reduced choices which in turn helped us a lot. The more choice it seems, the more decision making to do!

This is the roof tile, brick and portico combo.
So for the bricks as said before, we chose Earth from the Symmetry range with an off-white raked mortar.

The roof tiles are Monier Traditional profile (flattish) in the colour Baramundi (which is a dark grey)

The windows, facia, gutter and down pipes will be Woodland Grey.
The external cladding at the back of the house on the top storey, plus the eaves will be Moonglow.(which is a very pale cream/white.

Here is a dodgey photo of our colour selections. Only time will tell, but from looking at other houses in the area we think we are onto a winner!
The Garage door will be a slimline door in Classic Cedar and our front door will also be stained to match.

Then finally our front portico will be similar to Alligator Alley Green from Dulux.The best part is that this can be changed whenever we feel the need (with a tin of paint). Mum has been very forceful in wanting something that stands out a bit!!. The house colours are all safe and muted so Mum is arguing that the splash of green will look great, especially with the plants selected for the front yard tying it in as well. There will be a beautiful Tibouchina allstonville in the front yard (Lassiandra to you old folk haha) so the purple flowers will set the green off! (So she says)

The Ponds design panel were not too fussed on the green either....much to Dad and D2's delight. But Mum and D1 are sticking with it as they think it is an added feature! Only time will tell! It is only about 1/8 of the front facade when talking proportion of colour so Dad says he will take the risk for the sake of an arguement. Good decision Dad!.

This is an indication of colour on our chosen facade. Obviously bricks are darker, roof is darker and the garage and front door match in Classic cedar as swatches. Too out there???

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Slab- a carton of 24 cans or bottles of beer!!

How good does that sound? Often referred to as a case, a carton or a BOX if you are in Melbourne??? Hi Heidi see you next week!

Cruiser Hummingbird Blonde Lager With Passionfruit 275mLWanted to share with you a beautiful slab that is really cheap and tasty too. I think it is about to be discontinued and that is why it is so cheap. It has passionfruit in it.   


Anyhow, we have a slab now and there is no beer in sight. Our concrete slab is much better than anything with passionfruit.

The concrete slab was installed last Saturday. Since then there has been not much else that can happen, that is exciting. it is all just like watching grass grow or paint dry as the sayings go while we wait for the concrete to cure. Now we have heard so many variations on what is the best time for the slab to cure. Apparently industry standards say that you need to wait a minimum of 7 days before any further works on the slab as it needs time to cure or set. Some facts (or fiction) found from other websites say:
  • Concrete will attain most of its strength in the first seven days
  • 28 days minimum under constant moisture control If it loses too much water before the reaction is complete, then the concrete will not be full strength.
  •  Keep it wet/stop it from drying out. The concrete goes hard after 1 day or so by dampening it you stop it from drying out too quickly
  • Minimum curing time can be 7 or 14 days.
  • No anchoring of heavy loads to concrete as it can stress at the anchor points if not cured properly
  • watering or moisture added later stops cracking later.
  • Higher MPa means earlier work on the slab
  • you can do frames but not brickwork as the frames have a balanced load bearing
  • as the concrete cures it shrinks as starting framing and brick work prior to 7 days can be bad for that reason
so there are some trivial points to get you thinking and confuse you even more.

Our Slab

This is the front of the house, the lower part is the step down garage.

Working on the Alfresco!
Since the slab was poured we have had light showers and rain through the week so we hope that nature may have intervened to help us have the best foundation for our house. I think it is the only time we would actually appreciate the rain. So until the frames are up, the brick work done and the roof on we do not want anymore rain please! After that it can pour, pour , pour.

Through the week there has still been work undertaken at the block. The drainage has been installed and so has the eletricity.

We went out there on Saturday morning and there is a great deal of  pipework that has been laid around the slab. We have what appears to be sewer and stormwater pipes all installed and trenches everywhere containing the pipes and conduits.

We took a heap of photos so that the pipes will be easier to locate later (especially if we do go with the pool) so that we do not plant our trees and garden on top as we do not want any tree roots affecting our pipes.

Whilst we were there we noticed that some "grub" has dumped a pile of empty paint tins on our neighbours block.

This is really irritating as I think most builders and tradies are making a "GOOD" deal of money from our builds yet some (and not all) are rorting the system by dumping on other peoples land.

I read on the builders forum that people have had fill dumped on their blocks and extra fill added to their stockpiles. After seeing how much it cost to get rid of it properly, I don't understand why they do it.  The home owner has definitely paid their hard earned cash for that!

By the way did you know that as a resident of Blacktown City Council you are entitled to 12 free Council Clean ups each year? That means technically there is very little reason why dumping should occur. Of course paint tins and builders rubble are not included in these clean ups .......but it is still pretty good I think!
 For more info have a look at the website:

We have water and electricity access!

Pipes and STUFF!! Definitely notthe technical term!.

Anyhow here is to hoping that all runs smoothly from here. Noticed that the people behind (Phil and Bel) have had their timber delivered for their framework...very exciting!! Looking forward to seeing it all take shape.
Over and Out.
This is from the back looking inside from the alfresco.