Sunday, November 30, 2008

"Stop the Clock"

That's what we are on with the Council, it's called "Stop the Clock", what it means is that they have given us a list of things that they want fixed before they will approve the DA.
We have got 5 things that need to be fixed:
1) Concept Stormwater Drainage Plan- Now I think that has been done so they will have to send it in to them, (our last DA I am sure that these plans were sent in with the DA)
2) Driveway Setback - it must be a minimum 1mtr from the side boundry.
3)Visual Privacy - Home Theatre and Family Room windows will have to be made translucent or they must be 1.7mtrs above the finished floor level.
b.) Upper lounge window must be the same as the above.
c.)Outdoor Leisure - The privacy screen louvers must be fixed and set at angles so that we can not look into the neighbours yard.
4) Fill & Retaining Walls - any reconstituted ground level must not exceed 600mm above or below the natural ground level of the adjoining property.
5) Basix - Require that we have a window in our kitchen, and that the water tank is 450mm away from the fence.
This is our list of things that have to be fixed, some things are easy to fix & other things require a bit more thought as to how to go about changing them.
Wisdom were looking at it on Saturday so hopefully I will have some answers on Monday as to what we can do to fix them all.
We got the Council officer back (the one that we were hoping for) that did our last DA so this is his list of demands.
The kichen window is a problem because we can only put it above the cooktop and that would be a bugger to clean all the time, will have to wait and see what we can negotiate there.
The bobcat came yesterday and cleaned up the glass that was down the bottom of the block, I now think that it wasn't from glass houses that was on our block but from a glass factory that was to the back of our block as there was just so much of it burried in the ground. They were different types of glass as well, someone told me that they was a factory in the area a long time ago, might have to do a bit of research to find out about that.
Hopefully I will have some good news to spread tomorrow about all the things that need fixing.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Now waiting on Council

Our neighbour notification period is over, and the great news is we had no objections, so now it is in the hands of our Council officer. He told Wisdom that he would give them a call yesterday but I am not sure if he did that. He is looking at our application to see if there is anything that does not comply, you can be assured that they check it twice.
The air-conditioning prices finally came back we have said yes to all but one that was the upgraded ducts in the ceiling, they came in at around $1500 for the 5 different vents, so we will stay with the standard ones and go with the other upgrades which then had a total of nearly $3000.
We also had a problem with the plans, we wanted to make the bathroom window translucent and I had asked them to change it but I hadn't seen a price, so when I checked they asked did we want the toilet upstairs and the ensuite windows done as well. I said no as I thought that they were up high windows the same as in the display at The Ponds, but when I checked the plans the toilet window was 1mtr long by 900mm wide, so we didn't want that.
Wisdom checked with the council who said we had to get the neighbour on that side to write a letter to them saying that he didn't mind the change in windows (way too much hassle as that side is a really old guy) so I told them to make them translucent and I asked them to find out how high the window would be off the ground in the toilet (what worried me was that you would see a shadow sitting on the loo).
They then came back with that the council had agreed to let us change the windows (as they were getting smaller) with out the neighbour notification, but we have a redraw fee of $300 for the new plans and then they have to go back to council. Don't know if it will hold it up but the windows were just too big and we didn't notice them on the plans.
That's about all that has happened, this period is really slow as we wait for the DA approval stamp to be placed neatly on our plans.
We have been really busy at work which is good so the time hasn't dragged along that much, one of the kids goes on school holidays on Friday and the other one on the Tuesday of the following week so I will be busy with them with us as well. It's lucky that they can come into work with us as they are off for 2 months (knew I should have been a teacher, though I think they deserve it as my Friday night Little Athletics Under 10 Boys drive me nuts, and I only have them for a couple of hours).

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Not much has been happening.

We are into the last week of our neighbour notification and we have been over to the block a few times this week. We went over to meet one of the Dad's from School that has a bobcat so that he could have a look at the glass that is on the block. We believe it's from some glass houses that were smashed instead of taken down, he is going to pick up all the glass and take it away so that when we do start to build it will be all done. We just have to move the glass that is less than 60cm's from the fence (as the bobcat's bucket can't get that close to the fence), so that will probably be a Sunday job as I am out all day on Saturday, unless the husband and kids are looking for something to do.
As you can see in the photo's the weeds have taken over, the mower guy came and whipper snipped on Wednesday but only from the sediment fence down and the front verge, as when the bobcat comes he will take the top of the weeds down.
We didn't get the Council Officer that we had last time, I check the internet a few (maybe more) times a day and when a different name came up I was very dissapointed to say the least.
Wisdom rang me on Wednesday to say that they had spoken to our Council Officer and he said that he will have a look at the DA next week, but they usually don't look at it till the neighbour notification is over.
We are still waiting on the new Air-Conditioning quote, it hasn't arrived as yet, Wisdom were going to chase it up with them.
When the kids and I were at the block tonight the neighbours were all out asking the questions, why hadn't we started, who was the new builder, why is the house smaller. Apparently they couldn't understand why we hadn't started and then when the new DA came, some of them thought that the old DA must have been knocked back (that was so far from the truth).
We must have been the talk of the street, how funny is that!!!!

This is the glass that we need to get rid of.

The bobcat is coming next weekend to dig all this up and take it away. We just have to move it away from the fence so that the bucket can get it.
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Look at the size of the weeds!!!!

These weeds have grown so fast and so big, look at them compared to our 9yr old son.
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Council Sign is up.

The Neighbour notification finishes at 4.30pm 19th November,2008
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Saturday, November 8, 2008

Air-Conditioning Appointment

Well we had our air-cond. appointment this morning and all went well, we have asked for a price to upgrade the system to the next model up and also to change 5 of the vents in the living areas out the back of the house to a rectangular streamline duct rather than the standard square one. When we saw the other vent we really liked it and thought that it would look really good in the main living areas as it is really open and it will not stand out. We also have asked for another thermostat in the upstairs area, and we have also gone for 5 zones instead of the 2 that are included (what that means is we will be able to just heat/ cool the bedrooms or the lounge area etc). We also are going to put 2 vents in the garage, this came about as both our boys are born in June and in previous years the weather has been terrible for their parties so we had 2 vents left over in our allocation and my husband came up with the idea and we thought that it made a huge lot of sence. So we will wait to see how much this will all cost.
We went round to the block today to see if the council had put the new DA sign up, but they hadn't so I suppose it will be put up on Monday. I have also been checking to see what officer we have been allocated but as of Friday we still didn't have one, the file is with the team leader waiting for our planner to take it on. As you know we are hopefull of getting the officer that did our last DA approval as he has been through all of our journey with us. We need to cross those fingers again.
The weeds at the block have taken over, who would have thought that where the house had sat for 50 odd years with no weeds under it as soon as it's gone the weeds are taller than our 9 year old son. I am going to get it cleared closer to the build as I don't think that it is worth doing it now and then again before we start.
The fences are also falling over on both sides, so they will have to be replaced once the house is built, one neighbour has said that they want the new fence but I haven't spoken to the other side neighbour.
We are also waiting for one of the Dad's from our kids school to come with his bobcat and take away the dirt down the back of the block that has the remnants of a set of glass houses that were smashed instead of being taken away, we were concerned that the kids and the dog may hurt themselves.
I got the local paper and tried 3 different people to come and give us a quote but 3 weeks later and I haven't heard from any of them, so much for no work in the building industry. I remembered that one of the Dad's had a bobcat so a quick call and he was doing some work in Canberra so he should be back next week, fingers crossed he will be able to fit us in.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

We have a new DA number...... Yeah.......

We have it, a new number that now tells me we are officially in Council. Most Councils have DA tracking on the internet so you just put in your number and you can see where it is up to.
It works really well as long as they update their systems to reflect what has happened.

Our neighbour notification period finishes on the 21st November, so nothing much happens until that period ends, its really just a waiting game.
We were also advised that we will need a sewer peg out done as we are in the"zone of influence" sounds awful doesn't it. What does it mean, not to sure on that one other than we do have a sewer connection at the bottom of our yard so I assume it means they are not allowed to build near it.
Will ask next time I speak to them and maybe next post I will be able to tell you the whole "zone" story.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I hate waiting.....

I spoke to the Council Officer on Friday and he was going to look out for our DA, I don't think that he needs to as it was going to be sent directly to him. So yesterday I kept looking on the Council website to see if we had a new number so that I could check it every 10 minutes (me.......... ...obsessive.....NO) and I have just checked and we still don't have that new DA number. Damn.....
The elusive air-conditioner company rang today after me leaving 3 messages, we wanted to upgrade the amount of zones that we have in the house so that we are not cooling/ heating rooms that we are not using, makes sence to me. Anyway we have an appointment on Saturday with them and they have come in specially as they don't work the weekends, so that makes up for them not ringing me back.
So I am off out to make Christmas cookies tonight with my cousin and not think about that new DA.
As they say tomorrow is another day..........