Friday, August 20, 2010

A change back

A number of posts ago I mentioned that we were initially, with our build going to do the ensuite before Christmas and the back extension after so it was easier to live in the house. I then went on to say there was a change as thought the whole build could happen before Christmas, well this is not the case and so we are back to plan A.

One thing I have learnt from this is make sure you get your builder to explain time lines in detail and you understand them. There has been a misunderstanding in our case and so we have been busy packing up the house and getting organised. At least I have only packed things I don't need on a day to day basis!

Monday, August 16, 2010

And on it goes - contract negotiations

Yes, we first looked at our building contract over three weeks ago now and we are still trying to sort it out. We had so many questions and items in the contract that weren't exactly what we had asked for or expected.

I know I discussed this in an earlier post but really want to reiterate as it is causing us a bit of angst and I hope by talking about it you can avoid similar.

Sharing our dilemmas with friends I have heard so many stories of delays at this stage. Or in the case of one friend they signed the contract in good faith and then discovered the doors and windows weren't what they were expecting when they were being installed - they proceeded to give the advice, 'it is good what you are doing, you should check every item and look at exactly what they are providing you with'.

This is exactly what we are doing and have discovered the doors aren't the quality ones we wanted and need to upgrade, plus a whole lot of other items we thought were included in their initial quote to find they weren't. This I am told is very common.

So now knowing this I can say to any of you out there about to start a renovation check your builders contract thoroughly!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Window design and the environment

Windows placement and style can add so much to the house, they let in the light and as some say provide the soul of the house. So how do you decide on what windows to use? What is more important to you the style and size or how well they protect your home, by keeping heat inside during Winter and heat out in Summer - the energy effectiveness? Can the two go hand in hand?

These are all questions my hubby and I recently asked ourselves as going through our building contract we realised exactly what windows and glass sliding doors we were getting. We didn’t really think about it until we saw it in writing.

Initially we weren’t keen on getting the awning windows listed and wanted double hung ones but then we checked them out on the Trend website and discovered the star rating was quite high so decided to keep them. This is important to us, one because we want an energy efficient home but secondly because two of the bedrooms face West and so are heat boxes in Summer. With this in mind we are getting all new windows double glazed with PVC frames. Did you know that PVC frames transmit less heat then others? I certainly didn’t until I looked into it.

The other important thing with windows is placement and this can be looked at more easily when building from scratch but as we are extending an old house we unfortunately can’t change this as much. We are lucky however that our main living space faces North and this will be the area with the glass facing doors, good for the Winter sun but we need to make sure they are well shaded in the Summer and so are looking at our eaves and a pergola for this.

If you are interested in finding out all about windows and energy ratings – visit the Windows Energy Rating Scheme website.


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