Wednesday, 30 April 2008

[Progress.119] Landscape work started

The annoying rain for the past 2 weeks finally stopped and our landscaping work started yesterday. As shown below, they were digging the alfresco and retaining wall footings at the back yesterday. The timber flooring guys almost finished their work for ground floor and their stuffs were everywhere.

This morning, most of the footings for retaining wall at the back seems to have finished.

They have this cute little dingo machine at the front today for excavation.

The way the worker stands on the dingo machine is quite interesting.

Our tree at the front has been protected by fences for past 8-9 months finally been release, just look at the grasses surrounding the tree...

The tree-protecting fence that's been removed.

Sunday, 27 April 2008

[Progress.118] Kitchen floor tiles completed

With the help of friendly staffs from colortile, we selected our tiles from they huge range of products a few weeks ago. They also told us that one of the reason some tiles from other stores are quite cheap is because they are using "red biscuits" (left hand side one in photo below), instead of the much better "white biscuits".

Day 1/3 - Monday
Our kitchen floor tiling work started on Monday 21/4. This is what the kitchen floor looks like before the work started.

First they pour lots of sand.

Then the messy part, mixing with water and cement. We were told by the timber flooring guys to finish the kitchen tiling before starting the timber flooring job. Now I can understand why...

After some careful leveling, a thick layer of concrete base was finally completed.

Day 2/3 - Tuesday
Next day, they started laying the tiles. Each piece of tiles carefully measured and cut, looks very nice. The grouting will be done in the last day.

We asked for diamond pattern and this is the corner area.

The area reserved for dish washer will be completed tomorrow.

The original timber skirting around the fridge area has been removed and replaced by tiles tomorrow as well.

The part where it's going to join with the timber floors also nicely finished with an aluminium bracket.

Day 3/3 - Wednesday
The focus of the last day is the grouting plus a few unfinished area.

All tiles nicely laid.

Skirting for fridge area also completed.

The corner area again, but this time with the grout work completed.

Dish washer area also completed.

Our timber flooring work also started this week. It's a lot more complicate than the kitchen floor tiles and probably won't finish until mid next week. I will have a separate post for that later.

[PropertyInfo.028] Stylish dots on your benchtop

I visited a furniture shop in Belrose the other day and saw this product called "SafeSpot". As shown below it's simply adding some stainless steel raised dots on your benchtop, which helps protecting your benchtop from scratching, cracking or burnmarks. Not sure how much it would cost but definitely sounds like a nice, stylish and good looking idea to me.

I went to their web site and was expecting to see information about different ways to protect your kitchen benchtop. Surprisingly, 95% of the content (even all the photos in the gallery) are talking about installing those raised dots (Tactile?) on the floor. Only information I can find about installing the raised dots in the kitchen benchtop is this PDF file.

Well, may be the market for individual kitchen benchtop installation is much much smaller than governments and big corporates who need to add those dots on their foot path or drive way.

Monday, 21 April 2008

[Progress.117] Feature Walls

At the request of my little princess, we bought a 2 litre pink paint from Bunnings on Saturday (19/4) to paint a pink feature wall for her.

Before we start, we did some test with some masking tapes and found a problem with the cornice. The paint came off straight away when we removed the tape! The painter must have only applied single coat of paint on the cornice, what the !#$@#$*!

We then started first coat of painting with some masking tapes protecting the wall and cornice.... that was a mistake. Why? Because a single masking tape is not wide enough and we keep accidentally painted on the other wall...we should have at least 3 of them for the wall, right next to each other to be wide enough to provide sufficient protection from amateur painters like us...

After about an hour of trial and error, finally got the first coating done... time for a break.

This is what it looks like after everything done and cleaned up... except some red marks on the cornice and skirting boards which we will try to remove them later...

Guess what, after the fun experience wife wanted to have one in our main bedroom as well... So we did it again on Sunday and this time it finished much quicker and with the much wider masking tape, there wasn't any marks on the surrounding walls and cornice. Problem is, the colour is a much brighter one and this makes the not-so-professionally done edges a lot more obvious.... Need to work out a way to get that fix soon...

Friday, 18 April 2008

[Progress.116] 695 screws

As our builder didn't put on the roof tiles until the brick work finished, our first floor timber flooring boards were soaked in rain water most of the time during the long rainy 6 weeks brick work period. After that we got quite bad "floor lipping" issue. From the photo below, you can see how much floor board the floor sanding guy has to sand away to make the "lipped" floor board joining area leveled to an acceptable condition.

After the floor sanding (twice actually) we found a lot of nail heads missing. The following is just an example, the one on the right hand side is a normal nail, while the left hand side nail lost its nail head after the floor sanding. Although our builder keep saying this is normal, we certainly don't want to have squeaking floor noises and decided to fix this ourselves.

The other day I borrowed this Makita Cordless Drill from friend and bought a bag of 100 pcs screws from Bunnings. With a hammer I started working on the flooring board.

Surprisingly, the bag of 100 screw runs out very quickly after the first bedroom and I have to buy a few more, and then later another few.

After a few hours of hard work, I finished 7 bags of screws. As shown below, only 5 screws left. I used 695 screws to fix all the flooring board for 5 bedrooms plus upper living areas.

In the end, I got all the floor board joining area firmly screwed to the beam below. The photo below is just an example, 2 screws right next to 2 nails with nail heads missing.

The Makita cordless drill is very handy and it saved me lots of effort. But even with the powerful drill, I still got a soar back and soar arm... I would certainly recommend this tool to anyone planing to something similar to prevent floor squeaking in your new house.

Thursday, 17 April 2008

[Progress.115] Smart way in improving floor tiles

Don't know if this is normal, our builder added extra wide/thick grout on all the joining area to sort of improving the look and feel of the floor tiles, as this sort of covers all the joining areas, and makes all those tiles that were not cut properly less obvious.

I have listed the before and after photos for you to compare the differences as below, this is the "before" of first set:

This is "after":

This is "before" of 2nd set:

This is "after":

This is "before" of 3rd set:

This is "after":

This is "before" of 4th set:

This is "after":

This is "before" of 5th set:

This is "after":

The last pair shows the tile next to the waste cover has been replaced. This is before:

This is after: