Clare Kinsey


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owner builder

Photo 21-01-2016, 2 20 53 PMOver the past several weeks I have had loads of people contacting me with questions about being an owner builder so I thought I would write a post about it. Now … you need to be well aware that these are MY experiences only, and that I am not a professional in the building game in any way shape or form. My only past experience has been renovating a few houses however I do understand the fear and doubt associated with this “title” as we went through it all ourselves … wondering if we had the skills needed to pull it off. The simple answer is YES! We did it and if we did it then I think most people could have a go too.

For us it was a matter of budget. We didn’t have a huge amount of money to put towards a new build and we were not looking to build a monster of a house with 5 ensuites, which all the big building companies only seemed to have on offer. We were after something that was specifically designed for us with our lifestyle at the top of mind so that the house fit us perfectly. We found Storybook Homes many years ago and always loved the look of their designs. We especially were drawn to the fact that they were all individually designed to suit the clients “wish list” as well as taking into account the block of land and the surroundings. The biggest surprise for us was that the house we wanted could not only be tailored to our needs as far as lifestyle goes but also to our budget. We jumped in!

It was a BIG scary step, but we did it and no we didn’t go and do an “owner builder course”. We had to apply for our owner builder certificate which was an easy process and once everything was approved through council and we were ready to go, we had to arrange insurance. The team at Storybook were on the end of the phone if we needed help or advice or simply wondered where to next. The building inspectors that we had looking after us were also a very useful resource as well to ensure everything was done properly. Although we were in control of the build we felt totally supported. We also had a team of amazing trades that we contracted to do the jobs that DIY fans should just leave alone, some that came recommended by Storybook, and most that we had used on projects before or people we found as we needed them.

I loved the fact that we had total creative control particularly over the inside of the house as this was important to me. I also love the fact that I know without any doubt in my mind that it has been built correctly and that I have had the opportunity to speak with all the inspectors and trades first hand to help me understand the process. I was never made to feel foolish and every one of them was helpful and respectful of my  annoying “enthusiasm”!  I am so grateful that we had such great people around us to help us.

Of course it wasn’t always rosy. There were days where I was just exhausted and thought I would never be finished. There was loads of self doubt. I found it a real challenge to manage the budget and given that budgeting is not a strong point of mine, it was always going to be hard. Even now, months after moving in we still have bits to finish but they are minor. We look at them as on-going projects!

Would I do it again? The answer is YES – in a heartbeat!! I love the home we have created and feel so incredibly proud. Aside from my amazing children, this is my biggest achievement in my LIFE! Its just a little house but it is perfect for us in every way and as time goes on it just gets better and better as we finish things off completely.

So I hope that helps settle a few nerves for a few people …Photo 21-01-2016, 7 51 36 PM

Charlie finishing off the front deck stepsPhoto 21-01-2016, 7 52 54 PM

Photo 23-01-2016, 5 57 12 PMPhoto 25-01-2016, 10 37 02 AMFront posts and garage door stained … Now we just need to finish the painting, landscaping and put in the driveway!

Thanks for visiting 🙂


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a few snaps from this week …

There has been quite a bit of excitement at #theshed this week! Firstly we hired some scaff so I could finally get up high enough to finish the top of the wall in the stair well …

IMG_8222 Can’t say as I liked being up there so much but it’s done now and looks great!
The stairs have been installed and now ready for painting and staining …

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IMG_8231 Very very happy with them 😃
And finally the stone bench tops have been installed. Still a bit to do in the kitchen but it is certainly taking shape.

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IMG_8234 We are going to need our sunnies on in that kitchen to cook dinner because it is so beautiful and bright!! I absolutely LOVE it!!


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kitchen day …

This week we have got cracking with the tiling and it is looking amazing. We got the grouting done in the kitchen, laundry & living room all ready for the kitchen delivery.

IMG_7909 It’s been a massive job and I think we will still have a few days left to finish the floors. By the end of the day on Friday both Richo & I were happy to finish because it felt like we had been tiling for weeks not days!! The kitchen was delivered this week and Steve spent the day yesterday putting it together.

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IMG_7942 While he did that, mum and I got into the painting! It’s amazing what a difference a couple of coats of paint make. Looks beautiful!

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IMG_7940 We will get a little more done today but not planning a big day. I feel like I have a cold or something coming on and I really need to do some housework here at the #mentalrental. Never enough hours in the day 😉

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almost at lock up

Things have moved along quite quickly I am very happy to say.

We have some of the plumbing in and water to the block. Our chippy and his team have done an amazing job on the house frame, putting in the windows and some doors etc and some of the outside cladding. Weatherboards have all had a paint job and now just need a touch up and the roof is on.

The rest of the cladding will be done after Christmas now and in the meantime I am going to get stuck into doing as much of the outside painting as I can. I still think I will need to get a painter in to do the higher areas which is a bit of a bummer!

Early January we will have the wiring done, insulation, and make a start on getting the plaster sheets up….

So I am very pleased to be able to show you our progress so far…. Its all looking pretty amazing I reckon.

*photo credit to Steve*

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Thanks for visiting 😉


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frame complete

Can you even believe it that the frame is done!!?? They were so quick and today when I called past they had even cleaned up. Everything is absolutely spotless and I am so impressed.

Tomorrow is the frame inspection and I will be busy painting weatherboards with my mum (yep putting her to work!) ready to go up next week. I also need to get up the ladder and get the nail holes filled and a couple of coats of paint on the facia boards at least the ones I can reach. I think the facia on the second story will have to be done by a painter with a cherry picker or something. Anyway we will see when the time comes.

Photo 1-12-2014 6 26 12 pmSorry about the crooked iPhone picture but I wanted to post asap. I swear it looks better every time I go round there and look at it. Paint colours have been selected and are below…. Very simple palette and of course lots of white ❤ Can’t wait to get started tomorrow. I only have a few days to get everything done so fingers crossed that the weather will be kind to me!Photo 28-11-2014 4 46 59 pm

 


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upper floor

Despite the huge amount of rain we had our super tradies kept on working and suddenly we had a second storey! It looks sooooo big from outside on the ground but the upstairs rooms seem small… but I know once the sheeting is done it will all change again. The images below are the view from the front and the back. SJA_1084 SJA_1080-EditSJA_1082I am really enjoying watching it grow!

*photo credit Steve Armstrong*


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we have walls…

What a difference a week makes!

It has been so awesome to watch our little house (affectionately known as “the shed”)  grow this week. I can’t believe how much they have got done. Walking through now it is all starting to make sense. For me it is anyway but I think maybe Steve is still finding it a bit hard to see it. It is going to be such a cute little house!!

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Before our eyes it grew … Our carpenter Graham and his team have worked like you wouldn’t believe this week putting in very long hours. We are so grateful to have them helping us!

threeThe view from the back…fourThe view from the front door looking to the back.

Cant wait to see what happens next week! Apparently the roof trusses are arriving …