Thursday, March 31, 2016

Our House Build - SketchUp - Kitchen Change

Here's a render of the kitchen with the island bench in white, as well as the feature tile shown.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Our House Build - Selections Updates and Bath Render

We've been to-and-fro a little with the builders over a couple of finishes we weren't quite sold on.

Today my A4 colour samples from Dulux arrived. While Sarah is now satisfied with Dieskau as the wall colour, neither of us were totally sold on the Orangeade for the door. We've decided against being brave and are going to do both the front and laundry door (which we've verified is a PMAD4 style door as per the front entry door) are going to be painted Colourbond Monument to match the fascia, guttering, window frames and garage door.

Part of the reasoning is the interior of the door will be painted the same colour as the exterior, and while I still feel the exterior of the front door would be great in a striking colour, I don't like the idea of clashing with any future styling or art choices we make for the living and dining area. Similarly the outside of the Laundry door can be seen through the kitchen splashback window - this would be similarly distracting if it clashed with any styling choices for the kitchen.

In lieu of the orangeade door, we're thinking of a large lasercut corten steel street number to attach to the wider left hand section of the rendered entry archway. This should give a similar colour tone to the orangeade once it starts to rust.

The eaves are to be painted natural white.

The power meter box will be painted monument.

Downpipes will be painted closest match to the brick colour which looks likely to be Colourbond Terrain.

We're going to proceed with the marble splash back tiles as they're adding just over $1,000. They're real marble - so need to be sealed (which is included in the price). It's a fair chunk of cash but it's one of those things - any guest we ever have over will see them, we'll see them from the main living areas of the house, and if we'd not done it we'd forever be kicking ourselves. To re-do later would be a bit of a nightmare!

We've also decided to drop the vinyl plank under the kitchen island idea, mainly because it's another thing we were just not quite sure on. We're going to go with the Polytec Classic White Sheen melamine for all the kitchen cabinets and doors including the rear of the island now (despite making builders price us on createc, a more shiny finish) because we're reasonably sure that we will be happy with the amount of reflection and it shouldn't show up too many fingerprints. The Createc would also have cost an extra $1,300.

We may end up adding some sort of feature to the underside of the island as part of the styling of the house later, but for now white will do. White will allow any stools we choose to be a bit more of a feature in their own right anyway.

I drew the bath for the main bathroom in sketchup, so have been able to render that also.

I'm not rendering these at the highest quality because it takes too long, that's why the images can tend to be a little grainy.

Here's a couple more renders I did of the kitchen before we changed the colour for the underside of the island bench.

We're also having a raised seating area (100mm step up in the floor) put in the theatre and we want to put an LED light strip downlighting this step. We're waiting on confirmation for pricing of the LED strip as we may just get the wiring done and supply the LED strip ourselves.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Our House Build - SketchUp - More Tapware

Drawing the tapware has taken a bit of doing, but it's been a good challenge - it's always good to be forced to learn some new techniques and this has certainly helped! The image above is after the mixer was drawn - I took the CAD (2D DXF) from the Phoenix website, imported it into a free trial of SketchUp Pro (installed onto a laptop here because my trial had run out on my main PC) then saved as a sketchup file, imported, split the top, front and side views, re-scaled to match dimensions on the drawings on the manufacturer's website, then rotated and aligned the three views and drew in 3D to match the views.

Textured and rendered, the result is a relatively accurate rendition of the desired product.

This one isn't quite true to the drawing/original as there were only two views - the head is supposed to more of a squared off-oval shape but because I couldn't see what it was supposed to be well enough, this has to suffice. The rendered version looks pretty close to how it's supposed to look. Currently this is specified for the butlers pantry and laundry.

The drawings for the butlers pantry don't actually show the location or orientation of the tap so I've just guessed here and put it off to one side, it'll probably end up being centered. I've also applied the alternate splashback tile here. I am unsure but at a guess it'll probably have to wrap around to the side wall too.

The showerheads are probably the most complex item I've had to model from scratch so far. Here I've copied the arc and straight centerlines from the manufacturer drawing, sized a circle from the top and side drawings and used the follow-me tool to sweep the shape of the arm.

Next, I've grouped that and hidden it to make way to allow me to draw over the existing geometry (I can intersect them later). I snapped the line tool to the X and Y axes to draw a triangle and then used that to start the circle tool on the right plane for the part extending down to the showerhead. Then I used the push pull tool and multiple instances of the circle tool to vary the size depending on what was shown in the drawings.

Here I've turned the visibility back on for both groups (but not yet intersected them)

Here I've used line tools and the arc tool to trace as close an approximation of the shape of the showerhead as possible. I then deleted the surface and created a side profile of the top and bottom for half then used that to sweep the shape and deleted any double ups. It might have been easier to use the offset tool and then the move tool to do this and if I did it over that's probably the approach I'd take as it would result in neater geometry however it might not render as well (more facets for harsh reflection)

Here's the swept shape, after using the shift key and erase tool to "smooth" any jagged geometry left over. I've also intersected the two original parts (see the top)

I didn't bother detailing the nozzles as I feel it probably adds too much complexity to the model, it renders OK without it.

The light is still a bit funny on all of these renders as I've been running them with the light layer turned off and the roof and ceiling off - it allows the renders to complete much quicker (20 minutes each) to allow me to more easily check my work as I go.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Our House Build - Sketchup - Phoenix Tapware

Our builder specifies Phoenix Tapware, we are using taps from their Vivid Range (I believe they're sold through Reece)

I've started modelling the kitchen tap, shower mixers and the outlet for the bath.

I've still got to do all the basin mixer taps, as well as a different style tap he's specified (a more basic one, but that better suits the butlers pantry and laundry - basically a longer headed mixer tap)

Friday, March 25, 2016

Our House Build - Sketchup Detailing

The render program does some funny things whenever I turn the lights on in the render. I think it's casting reflections and bouncing them between the glass all over the place, although it's only visible when I have the sun turned on. Odd.

I drew up the kitchen handles we're having and added them, click this image to enlarge if you want to see it in a bit more detail.

Laundry here, shown wide angle as otherwise the render doesn't give a lot of detail.

Ensuite, experimenting with setting a texture up as a mirror.

Night time render showing rooms casting light outside. This is kind of cool, our plans show a number of outside lights but I haven't put them in yet.

I built a 3D model of the franke steelqueen sink that's listed in the spec for the pantry,

As well as the one for the kitchen. Adding details like this is much easier now I'm getting used to modelling using sketchup for finer details.

I also imported the Caroma basins for the bathroom and ensuite vanities that are in our spec - thankfully I could just take that from Caroma's own Revit resources!

I also modified (stretched to match published dimensions) someone elses bath model to match the dimension of the decina sheraton we're getting in our ensuite. I've got to do the taps, shower heads and bath outlets etc as the company (phoenix tapware) who make them only publish a 2D drawing of them - that's a bit much work for tonight so it can wait.

We've also optioned 300x300 tiled niches (2 in the ensuite shower and 1 in the main bathroom shower) which I'll have to model too.

We're getting a price on replacing the splashback in the kitchen and butlers pantry with this calacatta 200x400 mosaic brick lay tile (Beaumont's 1000087), it's actually 5 rows but I cut one off in photoshop so it would tile better in sketchup as a texture. The 450x450 tile just doesn't really feel/look right.

It does depend how much these cost but I can't imagine it being hugely expensive since we've got such a small area to cover. We originally saw it on the polytec website while trying to determine which melamine finish we want to go for (still trying to decide if the sheen is ok or if we need to cough up extra for createc):

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Our House Build - Selections Part 2

Here are the selections I'd forgotten the names of

Floor tile for bathrooms - grout colour is an approximation (I've used this image as the texture for sketchup; you're welcome to steal it if you're trying to do the same thing). It's a Beaumont Tiles 79955 Haven Charcoal 450x450

Similarly, this is our wall tile for the bathroom shower recesses, bath hob, as well as kitchen splashback, butlers pantry splashback, laundry splashback etc. It's another Beaumont tile - 79931 Balga Grey 450x450 - again the grout is an approximation.

This is the laminate for the vanity units in the bathroom and ensuite (where we have tiled floors) - we'll get the grain run horizontally (I think) - it's a textured finish and in person looks nothing like this sample on the computer - the colours are much more washed out. What you see on your device will differ to mine anyway - unless you've got a calibrated monitor like I do. It's a WilsonArt product - Natural Ash

This will be for the bench in the butlers pantry - it's a high gloss laminate equivalent to our Arcadia smart stone, aptly named Arcadia it is another WilsonArt laminate, in the 01 gloss finish.

This is WilsonArt's white Carrara marble style laminate in 01 gloss finish. This will be the bench tops for the laundry, vanity units and in the powder room.

Carpet - this is a Tuftmaster solution dyed nylon product called Harbour Town in Charcoal 990 - it's much lighter in person but we wanted a reasonably dark carpet anyway as the house we're in now has very light carpet and it's a nightmare with the kids.

For the kitchen, butlers pantry, powder rooms and laundry cabinets, the doors will be a gloss white - we've been told Polytec's Classic White Sheen Melamine will be shiny enough but we're not convinced, so we've asked for a price to upgrade to the Polytec Createc range which offers a shinier high gloss finish (similar to the photo in my previous post but not quite as shiny - we want a balance between dull (and boring) and being so shiny that it shows up fingerprints too easily!)

Our House Build - SketchUp - New Finish Renders

Here are a few renders using the new facade and elevations for butler's pantry, as well as new finishes.

I'll do another post soon with the rest of our finishes now I've confirmed what we've chosen.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Our House Build - Selection Day!

Given the amount of information I seem to have been collecting through this process, would you believe I only managed to take a single photo during our selection appointment today?

This is it;

Basically just confirming my original colour scheme and what I've been doing in SketchUp - monument gutters and fascias, basalt roof, Boral Horizons Mocha bricks. We saved a huge amount of time by already having made these decisions!

The only change was off white mortar (I hadn't specified anything previously) in an ironed finish, and colourbond dune for the porch render. It's only a small section of render so it should look good being the lighter colour and will break the width of the house up a little.

We've specified pretty standard round PVC downpipes and quad matched to the bricks, but we haven't specified a colour for the downpipes, meter box and eaves so I've emailed them and asked what we need to do there.

The builder had a new facade option for us to look at which we liked, with some small adjustment - the porch will now be much shallower, but will be wider. This will mean even with the render I believe it should work out cheaper. The windows at the front of the house will be taller with a single awning sash to one side and a bigger fixed glass section in the A&L windows boutique frames (the same as our sliding doors - a bigger, bolder semi-commercial style frame). Jarrod (the owner of Warrnambool Builders) is going to cover the cost of getting the energy rating re-done with the new window design as the changes were his idea (he'd prefer to build a nicer looking house - how good is that?)

The beauty of the whole selection process with a smaller custom builder (or specifically Jarrod and his team at Warrnambool Builders, if you're lucky enough to be building in an area they service) is the ability to have in one place at one time the selection specialist, builder/estimator and drafter (many of these hats are worn by a single person!) and as such you can ask "how much to change that carpet" or "what if we run the tile to the ceiling" and get an accurate answer on the spot, rather than a drawn out process that runs to weeks as I've seen mentioned numerous times on other's build blogs and threads on homeone.

Now the rest of this post is going to be a rough play by play - we don't yet have a copy of the selection decisions we made on the day but all of the swatches were photographed as we chose them and will be presented to us in a document which I'll share in some fashion on here once we have a copy. As a result I may be taking a semi-educated guess at the selections we made (especially those that Sarah decided on rather than myself!)

Firstly, flooring. The mFLOR system has a few colours available in the Victoria Plank collection - we chose I believe one of the more neutral colours in an oak finish although I don't recall the exact shade, possibly martinsyde oak:

We then asked if it was possible, and chose a second vinyl plank for the underside of the kitchen island bench; a nice contrast to ebony:

We have gone I believe a polytec melamine in a gloss white; although the gloss sample was missing, so we haven't 100% confirmed this until we can verify with a sample - for all the kitchen cabinetry. Originally we'd tried honey elm and sublime teak but all seemed to clash with the floor finish when comparing the materials side by side.

Hopefully it will look something like this (although this is something called ultra-glaze, so we still need to confirm):

Overhead we have no handles and on the botom doors the handles are actually very similar to the image above - a brushed satin chrome style finish.

We've gone for Dulux Dieskau for the walls

Vivid white in semi gloss for the trims, in a normal low sheen for the ceiling.

Tonight we decided to do all four walls in the theatre room as Timeless Grey

We've gone a charcoal carpet-  we actually upgraded to their second level carpet as the pile is just a bit thicker. The builder uses a standard underlay that's much thicker than what most volume builders use which is nice, but Sarah feels the thicker carpet will last longer and feel nicer. It's also only $800 to do the upgrade so like the bricks, a bit of a no-brainer.

We're happy with standard cornice and architraves/skirting so I didn't even attempt to look at the options there.

The walk in robe I've been rendering in a laminex or coloured melamine, the spec only shows it as standard (boring) white - I've asked how much it would cost if we wanted to choose something else but it might be easier to stick with white given that will allow it to be added to or adjusted very easily and cost effectively down the track.

I added a couple of rear LED flood lights to the rear garage PA door and the laundry external door, as well as putting the lights for the garage and laundry on a double switch setup at the external doors; this is mainly for entry/exiting to the shed at night or for washing cars at dusk or in the afternoon in winter. Not sure yet what they'll cost but I'm sure they'll be invaluable.

Bench tops in the kitchen (yes I'm aware I'm jumping around a bit here, I'm just writing it down as I think of it - I've mentioned before this is as much my diary for this process as it is a record for anyone else interested in the process!) are to be smart stone arcadia (I believe, although will confirm once we get our selection document!):

- we've chosen a matching gloss laminate for the butlers pantry bench tops; although I've got no idea of it's name or even brand.

For the laundry and powder room bench we've gone a calacatta marble style laminate, with the gloss white cabinet doors and handles matching the kitchen. The main reason for this is because the vinyl plank floor continues through from the living room, and again we didn't want to have too much going on.

In the bathroom we've gone a charcoal tile, which we've also used in the ensuite. This tile matches to the vinyl and the carpet, so it will flow quite well in both cases. Our original choice is no longer made (although they still had the sample) but there's another from a different range that's very similar. The big benefit is that it's the same size as the wall tiles we've chosen which is a concrete style large format tile, so the grout lines will line up. For the grout we've chosen the closest colour to a match for each tile so it should just disappear rather than be too contrasty. We're also going to run the concrete style tile as the splashback each side of the window in the kitchen, for the bath hob (top and side) in main bathroom, for the splashback beneath the vanity in the laundry, bath, ensuite, powder room and maybe even the butlers pantry. I can't be sure because at one point we chose a very basic white tile for all of this but then changed our mind!

My head started to turn to mush toward the end and I can feel it happening again as I try and recall this part of the process. I think I said to someone when I got back to work that if anyone asked me about tiles for the rest of the day I might kill them with one!

We haven't specified a material for the adjustable shelving in the butlers pantry (or I don't think we did) or finish/stain for the entry way slats.

We chose white doors for the kids robes and white for our blinds.

Sarah conceded to Orangeade for our front door. I've ordered an A4 sample sheet from dulux to make sure we don't actually hate it as despite being my idea, I'm still not 100% convinced. I don't want red (it's done to death by countless others) but I don't just want it bland and to just go monument like most of the other bits of the house.

Speaking of monument, the rear roller garage door will be monument, as will the front panel lift door which will be horizontal line profile but just plain monument colour.

I'm going to get Jarrod to price the retaining wall to be done by a contractor, but for him, mainly so we can finance and do building permit for the wall with the rest of the build. We'll still do the groundworks ourselves though.

Anyway, I'm off to email poor Kellie at Warrnambool Builders a bunch more questions!

Our House Build - Sketchup - More Renders

Just playing around last night killing a bit of time while Sarah was out of town, added an approximation of my MX-5 to the garage:

and some furniture to the bedrooms:

and textured the inside of the wall "cavity" - in reality this is only drawn down about 100mm but the shadow and black bottom make it look full depth. It's easier this way because it doesn't interfere with the door or window openings.