Piers Dropped and Form-work Started

December 13, 2012 § Leave a comment

If it doesn’t rain it pours…or however the saying goes. Mum did a quick walk past the block today and found that the Zen guys were hard at work dropping piers and beginning to form up in readiness for our slab. We still haven’t physically seen the block ourselves yet (that will have to wait until Saturday) but thanks to my parents who live just around the corner, and the brilliance of smart phones, we are kept updated with every little change. From the images I was sent today it seems that our slab looks MASSIVE. Let’s hope we still feel that way when it is laid.


Looks like our neighbours at Lot 1427 have had their frames put up, and our back-neighbours are installing some form of retaining wall. My fear from this perspective is that our backyard looks tiny!! Until Saturday…




December 11, 2012 § Leave a comment

Yesterday we signed our building contract…finally! It has taken us a very long time along a very arduous road but we’re here. I couldn’t believe the dramas we had with council – but that is another story for another time. What I’m here to state (finally) is that our land has been CLEARED!


With word from our builder that our slab could be poured as early as next Wednesday, it’s heartening to see that we’ve finally had some movement, and still in 2012!

Stockland Approve…With Conditions

June 26, 2012 § 5 Comments

So, Stockland have sent back approval for our home! Unfortunately the approval has come with conditions. Are there any other Glenmore Ridge residents who have had the same? Am I worrying unnecessarily because it is actually something done with every Design Guideline approval?

Our conditions included: pathways, woodland grey fencing (something we already knew about and are responsible for ourselves anyway), council setbacks and secondary frontage feature. All of this we have considered anyway. So now, we’re off to council. It’s come at a really good time too because on Saturday we’re off to Vietnam! Two weeks overseas means two weeks less we’re back at home waiting around for approval!

Neighbourly Meeting

May 13, 2012 § Leave a comment

Today we decided to drop by the land to check out what progress had been made (especially considering that registration is set for this week). And guess what?! We shiftily drove on the roads! With the gate somewhat ajar, we took our chances and drove up right to the land. And then we got another surprise. A neighbour! We met a couple a few doors up from us on Binyang. They were beautiful and we were really happy to know that young couples will be excitedly awaiting settlement just like us.

Looking forward to hearing registration has happened and settlement is around the corner!

House Plans Update

May 9, 2012 § Leave a comment

Well, it’s been a long time between drinks (as they say)! I thought that since the planning process and land registration is now amping up, it’s time for me to start regularly updating all you Glenmore Ridge-to-be-residents and other interested parties on our progress.

Since we last spoke (a looooooong time ago) we have done a few back and forths with our house plans. Working with Zen Homes has been at once exciting and terrifying. It’s great to have such a say in how the house looks and acts but with a very small and up-and-coming builder just exploding on the scene, sometimes it seems they are stretched to the limits (and they are!) and at times unable to get back to us as quickly and as thoroughly as we’d like. But…after all that we’ve agreed on a value, agreed on the plans and the tender has been signed. Check out our updated plans below (now in their fourth incarnation):

And just because I wasn’t satisfied with the plain white rendition of our home’s exterior (and I seem to have more time than I should) I spent some time photoshopping facades. It has given us an idea about what we like and dislike but also has made us realise one very important thing: this is our HOME!

 This one was my favourite but not Shan’s so it looks like we’ll borrow some of these elements and change them to suit. Be back soon!

Display Home Shopping

December 3, 2011 § Leave a comment

Well, as promised, I thought I’d share with you guys some of the inspirations we found from the display home shopping trip we did a few weeks back. Every other trip we were keen on working out which floorplans and layouts worked best and to see if any builders could customise their homes to fit our odd shaped block. This time was different. With a fair idea of what we are going to build, this trip was more about style ideas, finishings, fittings and exterior looks (including landscaping). I was also on the lookout for any home that had a similar living area to the long and narrow 12m x 5m living space we’re going to have. I don’t know how many times I said to Shan “how wide is this area?” or “is this going to be like ours, do you think?” but let’s just say he was always accommodating and seemed to relish the stepping out of metres as much as I did.

We started by examining exteriors and facades. At this point we haven’t even finalised the floorplan let alone the exterior facades. All we know is that we love the look of wood: wooden windows, wooden panelling, wooden garage doors, fat wooden front door.

Yes there is a lot of upkeep but we’re up for the challenge. Problem is, are we allowed any of this stuff if our property remains at the highest BAL rating?

We also like faux stone, rendering and darker bricks. But now that we know that those faux stone walls are simply tiles, we are thinking about doing them ourselves when we think the right location has been found.

Covered areas and decking remain big focus points for us. We also like the integration of outdoors to in, even for the front of homes. Living in the west of Sydney where temperatures often exceed 40 degrees and drop to 0, plants need to be hardy and frost and drought resistant. The natives that many display homes plant are perfect for this and quite striking too.

I like the idea of defining spaces in the yard but not in a French way where we try to control the wild. I like clean lines and divisions, but only if practicable. Shan feels the same, so that’s lucky!

We both also love the idea of creating a retreat style outdoor space that feels private, secluded and inviting. One of the things we’ve both talked about is screening. We want to be able to disguise the fact that we live in a small rectangular box surrounded by other homes (and the ugly colourbond fence). I have always loved the idea of bamboo as screening as it delivers a tropical and holiday vibe in a quick, relatively simple grow. I have been warned of its potential to spread like a voracious weed so I am a little hesitant to use it. Shan loves the idea of edible trees; things like lemons, olives and mangoes. If they can also act as screening, then all the better! What do you guys suggest as screening to disquise nearby homes and fencing?

Another thing we have loved since exploring the Sunshine Coast Retreat is outdoor seating built in to the decking. Our friends from Melbourne who also built have just completed their back decking with planter boxes similar to these bench seats. I have dreams of sewing up gorgeous cushions in bright outdoor fabric that can be used to lounge around on in spring (way too hot in summer!).

Rich outdoor decking is another must. These two images show that to great effect. We are unsold on the double border…though apart from in the corners, it does look quite extravagant.

Indoors we were concerned about size and space, decorative ideas and the all important kitchen.

If you put aside the ugliness of this furniture and design, you will see what we assume to be a fair representation of what our eventual living space will be like. I stood in the same spot for both images – one looked left and the other looked right. There is 12m from the back of the kitchen to the back of the red lounge. This room is narrower than our eventual space though (and we’re feeling that ours will feel more spacious because of the windows we’ll have. It was reasonably sized and we were happy with it.

We’re imagining we’ll have to, regardless of practicality, have a long narrow window run the length of our kitchen wall as above. Without it, we’ll probably lack a little light in that space. We were happy to see this kitchen which is what we keep imagining – a large island (about 1.5m) that will accomodate breakfast stools and preparation space.

I liked that this small space accommodated so much. Seems Shan did too.

Loved this chair – it was super comfy and looked uber stylish. It was in a bedroom next to a dresser and I could just imagine myself sitting down to slip on my heels before heading out for the evening!

And finally, these stairs stood out to us because they were not only unique and a different spin on the see-through staircases that we lean towards, they weren’t directly “up”. This may be a good option for us as we might not have the room for our stairs to go directly up. And in feng shui terms, this is a good thing for our bank balance.

House Lust

November 23, 2011 § 1 Comment

This is our future home! Nah, just kidding. This is our dream future home. You see many moons ago on a quiet Saturday afternoon Shan and I decided to dream away and visit a (then) new display home at Brightwater, Sunshine Coast. That was when we lived there.

We fell in love with the single storey four bedroom home known as The Sunshine Coast Retreat and longed for the day we could build something like this.

The kitchen was large and practical and showed us hanging lights above the island for the first time.

The colour scheme and style was immediately inviting. We loved the many little nooks all with their own alfrescos…

…all surrounded by built in bench seating and screening to aid in natural cooling.

And then there was the ensuite bathroom – big enough to rival any full sized family bathroom. Needless to say, we were in love. But with the tight building envelope constraints of lot 1426 and the fact that Plantation Homes are a Queensland based building company the beautiful Sunshine Coast Retreat will not be built on our quaint corner block. But! That doesn’t mean that we can’t be inspired by some of the features and fixtures we found there.

We love the look and feel of the Plantation Homes facades…

 …and found that Metricon offer similar facades.

And if it weren’t for our difficult shaped block we may very well have chosen them as our builders. But we were totally turned off Metricon by a rude sales assistant who blatantly told us that 1. we had chosen the wrong block and 2. that they would be unlikely to adapt floorplans to suit our needs because it would be out of our budget. Pfft.

And so we’re off to Zen in the next few weeks to finalise floorplans and facades, what features and fixtures we want as well as what inclusions we’re going to get.

In the stress of the planning we sometimes forget how amazingly exciting this whole journey is.

Until next time when we share some of our recent NSW display home finds…

  • About Us

    We're a young couple from Sydney currently in the process of building a custom designed two-storey home on a small corner plot of land in Glenmore Ridge. You can read more about us here.
  • Building Timeline

    18 January 2012
    Frames delivered

    18 December 2012
    Slab LAID!

    17 December 2012
    Formwork complete

    14 December 2012
    Mr Waffle delivered

    13 December 2012
    Piers dug and slab half-formed

    11 December 2012
    Land cleared!

    10 December 2012
    Building contract signed

    24 November 2012
    Construction certificate finalised

    5 November 2012
    Back to Local for construction certificate

    24 October 2012
    Letter of determination generated

    12 October 2012
    Plans APPROVED

    9 October 2012
    Plans updated with garage at front (9th)

    20 September 2012
    Plans updated with double garage (8th)

    18 September 2012
    Shan meets with council personally

    14 September 2012
    Plans updated with large back driveway (7th)

    3 September 2012
    Plans are lodged with council

    27 August 2012
    Stockland approves new plans

    21 August 2012
    Plans changed for driveway (6th draft)

    6 August 2012
    Plans go to council on garage issue

    19 July 2012
    Plans resubmitted to Local

    18 July 2012
    Plans changed for setbacks (5th draft)

    27 June 2012
    Plans submitted to Local

    26 June 2012
    Stockland approves.

    18 June 2012
    Plans off to Stockland!

    15 June 2012
    Signed final plans with Zen!

    07 June 2012
    Land settled - we OWN it!

    24 May 2012
    Land registered with Council!

    23 May 2012
    Working drawing plans from Zen

    02 May 2012
    Signed tender with Zen

    21 Mar 2012
    Received updated plans from Zen (4th)

    13 Feb 2012
    Received third plan draft from Zen

    Jan 2012
    Working with new plans

    28 Oct 2011
    Exchanged contracts with Stockland

    14 Oct 2011
    Letter to Council about setbacks

    24 Sep 2011
    Holding deposit put down on lot 1426

    21 Sep 2011
    Preliminary draft plans for house by Zen

    11 Sep 2011
    Put a hold on lots 1401, 1404 & 1426
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