About Me

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I am a SAHM who does work from home occasionally, dedicated to raising 3 Godly, independent, healthy children. Loving the home building process though it is not without challenges. I have fairly free reign over the creative aspect of the project...just not the financial side!
Showing posts with label demolition. Show all posts
Showing posts with label demolition. Show all posts

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Jack is out of my life!

He has been paid...after I received 3 ignored phone calls from him early this morning. I was just waiting to hear from the tree lopper in writing about exactly what he was going to do today before I paid Jack his money. I did need to chase the clearance certificate even though I was told it could be sent 10 minutes after money had been received. An email from me, an SMS from me....nothing. Brad rang this afternoon and it was emailed to us within 20 minutes with a note to say that we had been a pleasure to work with LOL.

Brad has just returned with a bottle of Mo√ęt to celebrate with all our good friends tonight over some Canasta.

Simon, my wonderful tree lopper is doing his bit today & tomorrow. Barring any catastrophic events, the site will be completely cleared by the end of the day tomorrow for pool excavation next week or the week after.

Yesterday also saw us receive our 'Authority to Commence Construction' letter from CBA - another step closer to the building starting.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


What a relief! With the heat of yesterday, I lost sleep last night worrying about whether Jemena & Ausgrid were able to do their utilities disconnection. My brother sent me photos this morning showing me the ACTION on the site. My friend, Lucinda, can attest to the screams of sheer delight as I was waiting for the email attachments to open - her ears are still recovering.
The excitement levels remained high until I received a phone call from the demolition company at 2pm, declaring the job complete and the payment due NOW. I told him that I was not paying until the site was cleared and ready for the builder (no tree work has been done yet) Again, we argued over his ambiguous quote getting nowhere. He said he needed the money to pay his staff on Friday! I told him that I didn't care about his cash flow issues. He told me that the contract was redone when I engaged HIS treeloppers services. Um....I have not re-signed any contract! The quote & therefore payment was now for demolition of the house only.
Whilst I was waiting for Simon, the treelopper, to call me back, I decided to drive back to Sydney to check on the block. Finished? Not quite! There were still a few guys there at 5pm working on the block. Interestingly, one of the guys told me that he was expecting as per normal to clear most of the vegetation but was told not to for this site. Ask me privately for words to describe this company!
I need the clearance certificate from him so the builders can access the site - not worth fighting at this stage. The job has been done well - the process has been so stressful especially when dealing with the owner of the company.
Looking good now. Treework to be done tomorrow.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Going on holidays

Au revoir! Going away tomorrow for a week and don't I need it! If anyone drives past the house, feel free to snap a pic of the current state of demo and send it to me.

Another BIG day on trees & demolition

I received a phone call from Jemena yesterday to inform me that the contracting company has our job booked in for January 8. It is a little more complicated in that Ausgrid needs to be present because mains power is involved. Demolition of the house therefore cannot occur until Wednesday.

I received a phone call from the tree lopping company contracted to do the job last night quoting me $5k to do the job of removing all vegetation & stump grinding. Aargh! No way! Told him that I couldn't pay that on top of the $15K demo job especially when the quote says that it includes removal of all shrubs, bushes & trees (with an extra charge to take trees from the site). The lovely man Simon rang back at 9pm to lower the quote to $3700 which still was not acceptable to me. He really wanted the job and was prepared to do it on Saturday. I explained that I had a trusted CHEAP tree lopper that I was going to get a quote from.  I SMSed Jeff straight after and we organised for him to quote today.  After a false start (read he didn't meet me at arranged time due to a doctors appointment), he walked through the property while I was on the other end of the line. I could tell that Jeff really didn't want to do the job (HUGE). Said the tell the other company that he would do it for $3300. Jeff also suggested that we get rid of the palm tree that we were planning on keeping - they are bad news. Called Simon who is going to do the job for $3500 including palm removal.
At some stage, I need to nut out this terrible quote with State Demolition. After losing sleep over the past few nights about this, we might wait until after my holidays.
Be wary of cheap quotes, I say!!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

And now for another BLIP in the journey

Update on this afternoon.....
So I did receive a call from Jack to meet him at the property at 3:30pm. I don't think he could quite believe the amount of vegetation to be removed LOL! He is organising a quote for mulching & removal of trees that are to be lopped. He gave me an approximate timeframe of Monday & Tuesday for demolition of the house and the trees after that BUT.....
He did notice that the gas had not been disconnected as yet. This is obviously of great concern when knocking down a house. I organised this on Dec 11 with a note to say that it would be done ASAP after Dec 23.
So I came home and spent a frustrating hour on the phone to Energy Australia and Jemena. EA (retailer) told me that they had done their part and it was with Jemena (provider) now. We should allow up to 20 working days for it to happen so it may not be done until January 11. Aarrgghh! I explained that the house is partly demolished and we need disconnection before it can continue, I rang Jemena who told me that the job has been dispatched but they cannot tell me when it will be done as it is the hands of the contracting company. The lovely CS lady was going to send the Manager of said company an email to hurry them up and requesting a phone call to me.
So in a state of limbo now until we know when the gas can be disconnected and really hoping it doesn't end up costing us money due to a delayed building start time.

And now for NO action :-(

So the course of no-events......
* Sent an SMS on Friday morning regarding tree work. "When will it me done as I need to identify trees to be kept?". Rang me in the afternoon to say that we could walk around the yard on Saturday morning before tree lopping is to be done. I rearrange my day on Saturday to wait for him to call. NOTHING.
* I send another SMS on Monday morning asking the same question. NO RESPONSE
* After driving by this morning and seeing no work being done, I call him. No answer. He calls back and when he hears that it is me, he hangs up. I try 4 times to call him over the space of an hour - no answer. I send an SMS to say 'Please call me urgently'. No response.
* Sneaky me calls his mobile from my landline and BINGO, it is answered!!! He blames his children on the hangup. Informs me that he cannot get the machinery needed to do the job this week. I ever so politely say that it is OK but it would be courteous to just let me know. I thought he had done a 'runner'. Jack promises me that he will be in contact to walk through the yard today or tomorrow. I encourage you all not to hold your breath waiting....
* Message me if you would like the name of this company...or scroll down to read the quote and you will find it there!!

Friday, December 28, 2012

And now for some real action....

...albeit too early! Demolition is not meant to start until Monday December 31. Maybe that means with the heavy machinery?? Brad drove past this morning on his way to the station and rang to tell me demolition had started on the roof! I quickly jumped in the car and went to visit. I was worried about not marking the trees yet. The guys there couldn't tell me when that was booked in for. Made a note to stop in at Bunnings on the way home for some tape to wrap around trees.

Incidentally, do I look Russian? The guy working on the house swore I looked of Russian descent???? I did say to him....do you mean Scandinavian LOL?

Thursday, December 27, 2012


We have temporary fencing ALREADY! My friend and I were off to the city for drinks & dinner at the Opera Bar and drove past the house at 6:45pm. I felt a rush of adrenalin when I saw the fencing up and a tingle of excitement. Obviously a motivated site supervisor! We were SMSing (no language barrier that way) at 4:45pm when I gave him the OK to go ahead so within 2 hours the fencing was ordered, delivered & installed. I have had to quickly organise the notification of neighbours and council; organise the protection of trees on council land and will need to mark somehow the trees that are to stay.

Now to go back a little for you. When I spoke to the site supervisor this afternoon, we worked out that the only thing stopping the demolition for starting early was the temporary fencing. I told him that if he could find a company willing to get it done now, it should be fine. He came back with a cheap price with immediate delivery so I gave him a AOK. I panicked a little about the temp fencing company that I had organised to deliver early in the morning of January 7 knowing that the office is  closed down for 2 weeks. Crossed my fingers and sent them an email. Received a response in 5 min from the administration officer letting me know that she would cancel my order and that there would be no charge - YAY!

So.......demolition should start on Monday with the real action day (ball through the house) being Thursday January 3!

Advice needed please! How do you read point 4)?  Trees will be lopped but need to pay for green waste at tip? Need to pay separately for lopping & tipping?
I have also just reread that our 'special offer' means they pay for the site fence?? Not once has this being mentioned. Grrrrrr.....

More demolition news....

1) I was reading the quote last night (as you do when there is little on TV) and discovered I had misread the document. I thought block clearing including all vegetation was included.  Trees incur a separate charge. I will need to negotiate what is a tree & what is a very tall shrub with the demolition company now.

2) I, in fact, received a call this morning from the site manager for our demolition job. He actually wants to start earlier than January 7. This would suit us apart from the fact that the temporary fencing is not arriving until the wee hours of January 7 and there is a requirement for fencing. I asked him if he could meet with me next week to go through the backyard & discuss the issue of trees VS shrubs. I also told him that we would be on holidays during the demolition period. He will contact me next week to arrange.

3) According to the work plan, the main day of demolition is on Wednesday January 9. If you have a child who may be keen to watch, mark it in your diary and get the camp chairs ready! Free school holiday entertainment!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

One man's junk.....

.....is obviously another man's treasure! I posted on FB yesterday afternoon offering things from our house that will be taken with the demolition company in early January. Well, I was bombarded! In 24 hours, we have had curtains, blinds, security door, air conditioner and vanity taken with someone returning to take a gate & dismantle the carport. Oh and roof tiles might disappear if they somewhat match someone's roof! One guy wanted to take the windows if he could work out how to take them home with him (visiting family for Christmas)
Really glad that others can get something from our house rather than it all going to recycled waste. I felt a little like Santa!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Boring update

Nothing really exciting happening just yet but thought I would post whilst watching Grey's Anatomy.
Silly me mentioned to a few people this morning that I didn't have much to do today. Work is finished for the year, children at preschool or school, Christmas shopping under control, gym workout done. Well....from the time I got home just before 11am until school pickup time, I was on the phone bar a 10min break to eat salad.
Started off with the most frustrating call to Energy Australia to try to organise gas disconnection. Being the owner of the property I have no right to any information as to who supplies gas to the property (I am not the account holder, the tenants are!) I asked questions like how I was supposed to organise disconnection if I can't know who supplies it. The answer was 'I can't comment on that'. After nearly 2 hours on the phone, I have set up an account and I am moving into the property on December 24 AND I want the gas disconnected as soon as possible after that. OMGoodness, I cannot believe it is so hard. Tears were nearly flowing at one point.
Next call was to the temporary fencing company who I have emailed 3 times but never heard back from. Under normal circumstances, I would forget them but as this company is the one EBH use, I was getting a discount as there is no need for them to come & disassemble & reinstall between demolition and start of building. All sorted though there was a hiccup as they close down for Christmas on December 21 but the tenants don't move until December 23. Hopefully they can get the fencing installed before the demolition company start in January 7.
Miscellaneous calls to the mortgage broker to follow up on the loan documents, from my mum and a friend followed.
I have been having issue for the last 6 months with Telstra and internet drop outs. Countless hours & a fair bit of money has been spent to try & rectify the issue. Yesterday's call of hour duration left me very hopeful that the issue was finally fixed only to have more dropouts today. I needed to call AGAIN. This time, I asked for the same technician I had yesterday to try to shorten the call. He worked out that the modem I bought from Telstra 2 months ago in an effort to fix the problem is faulty. Please repackage & return it with a receipt to the place you bought it from. Hmmmm....this is where I wish I was more of a hoarder!! No box kept, no receipt kept. Oops!

Anyway, even though the day turned out to be much busier than I thought, it was productive with a few important tasks dealt with.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Unconditional approval

Music to my ears! The new house has been valued, our current house has been valued, we have attended to a special condition placed on the loan and it has been rubber stamped today. Still waiting on the paperwork to complete (loan offer) and to send to EBH but good as done.
From what I understand, we are waiting on a construction certificate and then our final construction drawings, colour documents and final variations. A site start appointment will herald the end of the admin stage and the start of the construction stage.
In the meantime, I am desperately trying to find out who our gas provider is??? I am on hold to every company I try. I am also attempting to get quotes from fencing companies to get temporary fencing for the very short phase of demolition.
Soon photoless posts will be a thing of the past....

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Status - approved!

Don't get too excited yet. This is only for demolition. So far we can demolish & build a pool  - maybe we can live on a boat in the pool? The DA that has been in Hornsby Council since the end of August is not yet approved though we are close - tomorrow (depending on whether they all have flexidays!) or Monday. All checks are listed on the web tracking site as been completed. Nothing really can happen until we have this approval. EBH need it for final plans to be drawn up, the bank need it ( I think) for the construction loan...
Hurry up  - only about 6 weeks until DDay on January 7.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

My visit to Council

Any of my really observant followers will have noticed the title change of the blog to Our Dream. Brad was a little offended that he wasn't included and wanted it changed ;-) It has never been his dream, is happy where we are currently but more than happy for me to oversee this. A few of my friends will remember trawling through project homes when I was in my early 20's when we had a spare Sunday! We would dream of new houses & interior design LOL. Linda H??!

I armed myself with reams of documents this morning to visit Hornsby Council. The lovely Customer Service member was extremely helpful in going through these documents and working out which ones I needed. The application to DEMOLISH was lodged then & there - DONE.

I then sat down with one of the Heads of Planning & Building to ask him some questions regarding trees.
* Any tree marked for removal can be removed without further consent when the approval comes through.
* We may prune the neighbours trees right to the fence without their permission and we may also leave the trimmings neatly stacked on their property for them to dispose of (we will green waste them ourselves)
* The new vehicular crossing required does not need to be applied for until closer to the date of construction.

All in all, a successful morning at council.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Demolition Derby

Firstly, my helpful council officer called me back this morning after speaking with those in the tree department. All we need for the DA to move ahead is a YES or NO from Eden Brae as to whether they are prepared to build using tree sensitive protection measures. A YES given from EBH and sent to Hornsby Council. Unfortunately EBH are not able to price this up until DA has been approved and the tree conditions placed on the DA consent. Leap of faith here.

Finally, I was able to get in contact with the Operations Manager from our demolition company. She has been off sick for a while with obviously no-one performing her duties for her. She seemed a little shocked that the 'job' had not been progressed, in particular, no application with a certifier or with council. Unfortunately, we cannot use a private certifier now as the procedures have changed recently. Myriads of paperwork were sent to start the process. A few minutes later, I was speaking to Council who questioned why I was doing it that way. She suggested submitting my request to demolish as additional information to my existing application - this requires minimal cost & minimal paperwork. How appealing! Not to be unfortunately. Eden Brae have a policy that demolitions and builds need to be separate as they do not want to be held liable as 'owners' of the development approval. Back to the sea of paperwork though it is a little unclear as to what is actually required. It was suggested to me that a trip to Council's clerical department tomorrow with my documents would be a useful idea. Brilliant way to spend a 'day off' with Brad who has just returned from the UK.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Quotes - demolition & blinds

Will we regret it? I hope not. We received a quote today from State Demolitions which was in the ball park figure I was expecting (actually a little lower at $14.5K) This includes council application & tree removal. We decided to go ahead and accept this quote rather than mucking around wasting time & energy getting others for comparison. More quotes also mean inconveniencing our tenants which we want to avoid doing.

We have had a rush of blind quotes over the past few days:-
For the entire house in basswood plantation shutters......
Abbey Blinds - $14K (Eden Brae associated)
GR Blinds - $11.4K (highly recommended by friends)
Shade Elegance - $10.2K (approached me via HomeOne)
I am loving all these quotes as I was expecting a figure more like $25-30K for shutters.
No decisions need to be made for ages. Filed away for future reference.....

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Blinds, tiles, carpets, demolition & hose cocks!

Today has seen me spend inordinate amounts of time emailing various companies to tie up loose ends.

I wanted to see the quote come in for carpet upgrades for 3 weeks ago so I got Eden Brae and my contact at Di Lorenzo both onto that. The quote came in and of course, it was incorrect. This was quickly rectified. The quote now contains upgraded carpet throughout the house ($5 per sqm more) to one that is a little softer under foot than the scratchy ones that were standard. It also contains a medium upgrade to underlay downstairs and the top upgrade for upstairs carpet (I am hoping it helps to muffle the elephant herds upstairs). Sleeping on the quote before I decide whether to accept it...

I had decided that the blind/shutter appointment I had with Abbey Blinds was a waste of time as I had heard they never respond to emails nor do they actually send the quote through unless you hassle for weeks on end. I was already armed with window measurements so thought it would be something I look into next year whilst the build is happening. Much to my amazement, I received the quote from Abbey today and it was very, very reasonable. To put plantation shutters on every window in the house, I was quoted $14K. Now given 11 years ago, we were quoted $13K for Venetian blinds in our current, much smaller house - this quote is too good to be true. This company also have access to the house before settlement as they work with Eden Brae.

Someone from a demolition company rang today to ask if he could quote for us.....within an hour!! Nothing like a bit of notice particularly when we have tenants that need to be notified via a property manager. Fortunately, it all worked out, thanks to my lovely tenants.

I decided that on a house our size we need more hose cocks (where did that name come from??!!). Waiting for a quote for 2 more to give us pretty much one on each corner of the house.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Time for demolition quotes

I had a call from Rania yesterday to officially let me know that the plans had gone off to council. Checked today on the tracking device online & they have been received and entered by Hornsby Council.
Rania also wanted to know if we had submitted our demolition application yet....ummmm, no! Next job on the list of things to do.
Mentioned to Rania that I still hadn't received our quote from DiLorenzo after 2.5 weeks and some followup emails. R said she would followup too from her end - we then had the quote within an hour! We are still waiting on the carpet component of it though.

Personally, I think the way DiLorenzo operate with the builder is a little sneaky. Even though they are up front about the charges for laying tiles that are larger than 250 x 250mm, the tile displays they show you for standard EBH tiles are all larger than 250x250mm. Basically, you need to specifically ask for smaller tiles to avoid charges. Anyway, our tile quote came to the amount we allowed for in our contract as I decided to ask for floor to ceiling tiling in the main & ensuite.
It will be interesting to see the figure for carpets as I would like to upgrade the carpet and the underlay!