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Slab formwork – Day 15 – September 7, 2017

The weather this week has been terrible! Overcast, wet and very cold across most of Victoria with snow falling at Lorne earlier in the week. We’d been bracing ourselves for limited progress so when we received an email from our site supervisor last night we were pleasantly surprised.

As you can see from the photos below the formwork has been set-up and they’re planning on pouring the slab today (weather permitting).

Looking forward to a site visit tomorrow and getting a better feel for the scale of the house and it’s position on the block.

View from front of house. Office and front door directly in front of photo position.

View from eastern side (garage side)

View towards back of house. Alfresco area in top RHS of photo.

Under floor drainage and power – Day 10 – September 2, 2017

A full week of ‘construction time’ has passed between site visits so hopes were high that we’d see some action. We weren’t disappointed.

The first thing we noticed was a toilet, skip bin and signage identifying our building site. Minor things but they helped give the block that ‘building site’ feel.

This week they’ve installed under floor drainage and power so that these services are available in the required location after the slab is poured.

Looking forward to more progress next week.

Week 2 – View from across the road

Drainage and power poking out of the ground

View from the rear of the block

The boys enjoyed playing on the pile of soil sitting at the front of the block


Site Cut – Day 1 – August 24, 2017

1 year, 11 months and 14 days (714 days) after we placed the sold sticker on our previous home we’ve finally started construction on our new home in Torquay.

Site cut was carried out on the block today in preparation for sewer connection and slab preparation.

It hasn’t changed the view much (it’s still an empty block) but it means a lot to see some activity that’s a part of the overall construction process.

The first of many photos from directly across the road

The block was already relatively level so not much earth-moving was required.

Time to start building – August 21, 2017

Just when you think you know what’s going to happen next – the schedule changes!

We’d resigned ourselves to a couple of weeks approval time for our building permit but it turned around in less than a week. The approved plans and permit were then forwarded to the bank to confirm that funds were available for the builder. This morning I got the email we’ve been waiting for.

Handover to construction – Lot 268, 12 Wagtail Ave, Torquay

Looking back on this website I know that we first identified a suitable block of land in November 2015. It’s been a long haul, waiting on civil works to be completed, land to title and then confirming our home design is suitable.

No more waiting, it’s time to start building.


Final Approval and Plan Submission – August 11, 2017

The word ‘final’ gets used a lot when preparing to build a house.

This is the final draft of plans.

This is the final variation.

This is the final decision on paint colours.

While you continue to tell yourself that you’re finished ‘tweaking’ the design and the last round of documents signed are indeed the final documents there’s always some more ‘final steps’ to be carried out the following week. Well, apparently this week we’ve reached the final steps in client approval. We signed all of the construction documentation so that it can be submitted to council and subject to approval, these documents will be used by the various tradies involved to build our new home.

Next steps are as follows:

  • Plan submitted to council for building permit approval (estimated 2 weeks)
  • Builder starts onsite (after council approval is given the builder will be onsite within 14 working days – 3 weeks)
    • Level the site
    • Start preparing for slab foundations

With August now flying past it’s looking more like an September start.

Latest odds for construction start


Further changes in the betting this week.

  • August Start: 50-1
  • September Start: 2-1 fav
  • October Start: 50-1

Sorry for the punters who loaded up on the August start. You should have made a bet when I was offering 150-1 for September. As I’ve said before, everything takes longer than expected…

Engineering approval and model construction – July 18, 2017

After a couple of weeks wait we’ve now received engineering approval for our home design. Apparently the post placement in the kitchen took a little longer than anticipated to resolve. The posts will be spotted gum with final positioning decided after some Lego construction from Jill.




Not satisfied with the multi-colour version of our kitchen bench I joined forces with Riley and Darcy to create a more detailed model of our kitchen.





So where are things at now? We’re just waiting on a final variation (more $’s) from the builder before changes are sent to the guys responsible for updating the construction drawings. These drawings will be signed off and sent to local council to get approval for a building permit. Once this is received (2 weeks?) we’ll be able to start construction.

With July flying past it’s looking more like an August start.

Latest odds for construction start


Some changes in the betting this week.

  • July Start: 100-1
  • August Start: 5-1 fav
  • September Start: 50-1

Sorry for the punters who dropped their money on a July start. Everything takes longer than expected…


Crossing i’s and dotting t’s – June 19, 2017

Settlement has now been and gone and the 18 months of waiting are now a distant memory. At least one lot in our land release have started site works with soil having been scraped and removed from the block. Water meters have been installed on about 6-7 blocks – this seems to be another step towards construction commencing. No sign of a tap at our block yet.

Next on the agenda:

  • Select kitchen appliances
  • Receive final construction plans for review
  • Get engineering approval on specific elements of build
  • Sign construction plans and associated documentation
  • Submit plans for council approval
  • Receive approval from council
  • Start construction

While there always seems to be ‘one more thing’ to do it feels like we’re now closer than ever to commencing construction.

Latest odds for construction start


No change in the betting this week.

  • June Start: 1,000-1
  • July Start: 2-1 fav
  • August Start: 12-1
  • September Start: 50-1

Settlement Soon – June 2, 2017

Thanks to the stellar efforts of our finance and conveyancing team the loan documentation has been submitted and now we’re waiting on the bank to advise a settlement date.

Last weekend we dropped past the block and were pleasantly surprised to find that all fences have been removed and we can now drive up Wagtail Avenue and pull directly into our driveway! After many months of waiting it now feels real – it’s no longer just a construction site. It’s the place we’ll call home.

In the driveway

The fences are down so we parked in the driveway

We wandered about the block and discussed with the boys where the house will be located. Given we found a visit to our vacant block this exciting I expect the first sign of construction will have us in a frenzy.

May 2017 - Front

A blank canvas. Ready for our new home.

Next update will be settlement. From there it’s just a few more steps and construction will begin. Exciting times ahead…


Our block is located on the site of an old flower farm. All across the site bulbs are bursting to the surface

Latest odds for construction start


No change in the betting this week.

  • June Start: 30-1
  • July Start: 2-1 fav
  • August Start: 12-1
  • September Start: 100-1

Full Speed Ahead! – 21 May, 2017

Go Sign

After receiving disappointing news last week that our block had been submitted (but was now on the waiting list) at the titles office I was surprised to receive a call from our conveyancer during the week advising that we now had title and settlement would be occurring in 14 days! What the?

I’m not sure about the specifics but it would seem the vendors/agent expedited the process so instead of 19 days waiting + 2-5 weeks of processing time it all happened in the space of just over a week. Excellent news after waiting so long however it now puts pressure on getting our finance approved prior to the settlement date of June 1st.

On Friday we signed the building contract, signed the land transfer documents and passed everything back to our mortgage broker and conveyancer to weave their magic.

So, once again the  odds change…



Revised odds for construction start


  • June Start: 30-1
  • July Start: 2-1 fav
  • August Start: 12-1
  • September Start: 100-1