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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kitchen love

It has been such a long time since I have posted, no excuses except I am slack …. and busy 😉

Anyway I thought I would post a few images of our kitchen because it is nearly completely finished. The whole house is very nearly finished actually with just the tedious painting jobs and curtains. I also want to put a few skylights in around the place but that will have to wait till we have a few more dollars. The outside on the other hand is no where near finished!

Back to the kitchen … We purchased our kitchen cabinets as a flat pack from Masters purely because they had the drawer profile that I wanted – no handles! We built (actually Steve built) the cabinets over a few days and then Richo installed them. A few minor glitches getting it all to work together but otherwise it was in pretty quickly.

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Originally our plans had a walk in pantry in the corner BUT when we saw it marked out on the subfloor at frame stage we decided not to bother about it as it seemed to be really small. Turns out it was a great idea as we now have an amazing galley style kitchen still with a fantastic bench and loads of cupboard space. The design had been in my head for such a long time and it was amazing to watch it all come together. Once the stone tops went on it was totally transformed!!

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The idea for the shelf through the windows was pinched from one of the millions of display homes I have been through over the years. It was clad in the same rustic timber that was used for the flooring upstairs. You will also see it on the rear of the island bench. It has been used in other areas as well but we will chat about that another time 😉

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I chose tiles for the splash back …. wonky hand made subway tiles with a matt finish. They were a bit on the expensive side but I am glad I went with them as they look amazing.

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We held our breathe as the oven was fit off … tight squeeze, but it fit!

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And there you have it. The skirtings are still to be painted. The big blank wall at the end of the kitchen is eventually going to have a door in it that takes you straight outside to the (future) kitchen garden! Cant wait to get that done, it will really finish off the space!

 

 


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we are IN!! 

You have probably guessed by now that we have moved in to the “shed” and we just couldn’t be happier!! We still have a long way to go before we are totally finished but it is more than livable for now. 

It has been fun unpacking boxes that have been in storage for almost 2 years and rediscovering some treasures. We don’t have a great amount of storage prepared as yet so the garage is full of everything except cars! We can’t get our cars in there yet anyway until we do the drive way so it’s no biggie. 

So our plan over the coming months is to finish off a room at a time – as far as the budget will allow! We are starting with the guest bedroom (Daisys bedroom for now). The pictures below are taken from each corner of the room and the queen size blow up bed just gives you an idea of the size – surprisingly spacious I think!  

      Today Charlie has fitted the cupboards that Steve & his dad put together last weekend (gotta love ikea!) and I am really pleased with them! Now I need to get in and finish the painting etc and then we will have this room ticked off! 
I will post more pics when it is done and Daisy has her furniture in there! It’s going to be such a lovely room ❤️


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what a journey we have had …

We have had the most amazing couple of weeks! Our gorgeous girl, Daisy, has returned home after 2 years in NYC … So excited to have her home ❤️ 

 

We are just days away from being able to move into the shed…  Still a few things to finish but what is left can easily be done once we are living there. All I really have to do now is gather all my compliance certificates and build the landings off the living room and we are done!!  

          

I will post loads more pictures once we have a little more furniture in there… So close now and I can hardly contain myself… What a journey we have had!!!  


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busy week …

I have spent my day mopping… In between visitors! Just about all the floors have been grouted and I have mopped those dam floors over and over to remove the excess grout one layer at a time! It looks fabulous!  We have had visitors drop by all through the day which has been so nice and I have had Mr Concrete stop by and have a chat with me about what to do with the driveway. 

This week has seen the kitchen FINALLY be in! We have put it in and pulled it out so many times to sort out stupid little problems but now I reckon we have nailed it!! Thank you Richo for your patience. 

We have also seen the oven hooked up to the gas, the dishwasher and washing machine put in and the bath put in as well!! Big thanks to Solve It Plumbing for all of that AND for moving the shower head for me to make me happy!!    

     

I figure we will be moving in very very soon and I can’t wait! 


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vanity peek …

So I had to work today and Richo was left to busy himself with our list of jobs to do…
I called in after work to measure up a space in the bathroom to put a vintage cupboard I have found and just love!! Anyway…. I was surprised to see he had done the vanity!! I can’t even tell you how happy I am with it. It has been a vision in my head for so long and finally it’s real!! Just had to share a peek…. It’s not finished but I think this week is going to be the most transforming!!

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better & better …

Another couple of weeks has passed and we are making steady progress at #theshed. The kitchen cabinets are almost all done and in place and the benchtops have been measured up! I am so happy with the design and can’t wait to show you the finished result!!

IMG_8021 Doesn’t look very exciting right now but it will!!
ALL the floor tiles are finally done with just a bit of grouting to go. Richo has done such a good job with them, they look absolutely amazing and flow beautifully all the way through the house. Bathroom is waterproofed and the wall tiles have started in there… And the beginning of the vanity!

IMG_8138 I should also note that we now have a proper toilet inside – there were a few hiccups with this but sorted out by our award winning apprentice plumber, Travis, without me having to worry about anything.
This weekend I have done lots of tidying up jobs and of course my amazing mum has helped me paint!
My boy Charlie and our friend Jamie have almost finished the front steps. Just the finishing touches to go.

IMG_8180 It just gets better & better 😉 Before you know it we will be moving in!!!!!