Thursday, December 30, 2010

Good looking and accessible?

We had the task of working out all the little bits and pieces we need for the ensuite bathroom in order to make it fully wheelie accessible.  It was a fair task though to pick out stuff that was accessible, that looked good too.  This initial process was just to get a tender letter back with prices, so we went with what we would love and it would be more than likely that we will have to trade these things out for cheaper alternatives.  Fingers crossed though that we don't have to lose too many things.

The trickiest thing to find was the basin.  We decided that a wall mounted basin would be the way to go and I wanted something that I could wheel straight under in either my day chair or shower chair.  Stacey and I loved the water plane basin that 'the boys' used on The Block, and it would be perfect for us, but unfortunately it costs around $3,000!!! Back to the drawing board.

After scouring the Reece website, we came up with this.

 This Alape basin measures 1000mm wide, providing plenty of space on either side of the basin itself.  As far as storage goes, we are thinking some wall mounted bench space with drawers working in flush next to this.  This is a little bit of an idea of what we are thinking.

A tiled feature wall would be pretty cool, but I think that that is going to be a little bit of bling that we will be going without!

We've pinched a bit of extra space from the bedroom and also from the WIR and at the moment our layout is looking a little like this.

 Because of where the external walls are, we've been told we might have some issues getting the 920mm cavity sliding door in there, but we're waiting to see what the engineers come back to us with.  We might even switch the toilet and shower around too, so that the fold down shower seat can be on the side of the shower rather than under the shower set.  Although doing that may mean that we can't mount the toilet grab rail on the wall due to the cavity door.  We'll work something out, but we're at a little bit of a stand still until we hear more from Coral Homes.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tender away

Our Tender letter application has been sent away to head office now, and there was a lot of stuff on there!  I can't believe just how many items there are just to make the place wheelchair accessible.  I'm dreading the figure that comes back on the Tender.  It will be interesting to see at the end of all this just how much extra we had to pay to make the house accessible.

If only the entire building industry practiced 'Universal Design' principals so that all houses were accessible.  The costs of modification in years to come must be astronomical.  Not everyone is affected, but most families would have to experience, at some point in life, to some degree, someone that requires some help.  Whether it be within a bathroom and having grab rails, or just wide enough doorways for entry with a wheelchair, or a walker.  It's not until you think of all the little things around a house that can be a problem, that you realise how many issues there can be!  I was surprised myself at how many tiny things we have had to address, and I live these kinds of circumstances everyday.  I'm sure there is someone out there in internet land that is far more articulate than I am that has written of these issues.

OK, lighter side of things.  I received in the mail a revised ''cut and paste" copy of the plans with the changes we are making and also a site plan with the house sitting on it.  The house fits like a glove!  It's really close!  I would love to have a much bigger yard for the kids, but the budget just didn't allow for it.  But... looking at the site plan and putting my year 8 geometry to use, it looks as though to the side of the house the kids will have a good 49.5m2, but all up around 124.5m2, just in a funny shape going up behind the bedrooms and around to the back.  That should be enough room for their cubby and to cause some havoc, but it would be nice to have more space.  Luckily on the estate plan, there is going to be a massive park at the end of the street, which will be a flat push too.  Hopefully the footpaths and lips on and off the street will be nice and accessible.  They should be, being new, but you never know.

The kids are getting a basketball ring for Christmas (hopefully they aren't reading this), and my initial thoughts are that it could go in the front yard by the driveway. 

Not sure how Stacey feels about this, but I am happy to go outside with them when they want to play.  I know as I kid I hated playing on hoops that were mounted in a grassed area.  Plus, if it's in the driveway it's much easier for me to play with them.  The other plus is, the paved area in front of a 3 car garage is going to pretty big!  We're talking about 10m x 5.5m.  So Stace :))))))), if you're reading this before I am talking to you about, this is the case I am

Sunday, December 12, 2010

....Oh they're all cars

A little while back stages 4 and 5 of Coomera Retreat appeared on Google Maps.  I was checking out all the surrounding street names and then it clicked, hang on, there are a lot of car names here.  It turns out that all the names are either a make of car, or a car related term, or something before the car... like Coach Way. 

I had never heard of a Wolseley though, so Wikipedia helped me out, and I discovered the Wolseley Motor Company.  Read the Wiki if you want the whole long winded story but the company was formed in 1901, so we're talking old cars!  I don't mind the badge though,  I could almost picture the badges of the different car makers being used on those big wall style street name signs you see in some estates.

So it begins...

"We're not going to Dreamworld".. hmmm.... I can imagine that Stacey and I are going to be saying this fairly often in the early days of living in 4209 Upper Coomera.

I came across the blog of some old friends/colleagues who are building a house together a little while back and thought maybe I should do something similar for our journey. To be honest, I want some more help making some of the decisions! Despite $$$$ being the main decision maker for us, there still seems to be so much to decide on and it's hard trying to imagine it all put together!

So anyway... the story so far is this... we have a block in Upper Coomera,

It's down in the patch of dirt right in centre and down a little

....not far from Dreamworld at all. In fact it's the same exit from the Pacific Motorway, and according to Google Earth the block is exactly 2.6km from the Tower of Terror/Giant Drop.

So, our 605m2 patch of dirt in Wolseley Way (I've since found that a Wolseley was an old British Car - but that's another story), is not yet registered, and Lee from Coral Homes is guestimating that registration may come through some time in January (fingers crossed!).

So the block is in a great location for us. Right near schools for the kids, shops, major shops, the highway is only a couple of kms away, and easy access to Brisbane or the Gold Coast. The block itself is great too. We had a real hard time finding something flat, with level street access. As the name kind of suggests, UPPER Coomera is pretty hilly in parts, particularly where a lot of the new developments are (and there is a lot of them!), so this block was great for us. It's also got a really wide frontage (26m), so we can fit in the 3 car garage we want, so that we both have plenty of wheelchair space around our cars and I have somewhere to set up all my work benches and store chairs and parts etc... (Ride Wheelchairs - shameless plug)

So on to the house.... the block is tied in with Coral Homes, which is also good for us as they were a company we were already looking at and had a plan in mind that we liked. The house we are building is the Stradbroke 251 (pdf), with a few changes, like the 3 car garage, and some extra space in the master suite and at the back of the house to improve access to the bathroom and laundry.

They have a Stradbroke 279 on display at the estate (oh forgot to mention it... Coomera Retreat). It's essentially the same, except a little bigger and with a seperate dining space. Here's a few snaps of it...

Hopefully this is a reasonable summary of what's happening. There's plenty more to tell, but that can all come out in coming posts. I don't want to spill it all out straight away and be left with no material!

Everybody though must cross their fingers for January land registration!