Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Down, down, the prices are down!

I find it impossible to pay full price for anything.  It's simply not necessary - the are plenty of bargains to be had no matter if you're buying clothes, cars or building products.  Half the fun for me in making a purchase is calling, visiting and googling about 100 different suppliers to find the best price.  Ironically its the first place I've gone to that I generally return.

I have to acknowledge that I am very lucky that I'm able to use my contacts  to obtain particularly good pricing on a range of goods (special thank you's to Brett's Timber & Hardware, Finlayson Timber & Hardware and Boral) for this project.

However, the most amazing bargain of all, one that has nothing to do with my work and something that anyone else can obtain, is the incredible kitchen, pantry and laundry cabinetry that we sourced through the wonderfully helpful Adam at Aussie Cut.

Aussie Cut is a high-end cabinet making factory.  They've got this wonderfully clean and tidy, high tech factory at Brendale - it has huge computer operated machines that slice, dice and create kitchens following some data entry and the press of a button.  I've had seen their advertisement in the Master Builders magazine about 18 months ago and then coincidently my mum and her partner sourced their kitchen from them last year - they got top notch quality at a brilliant cost because basically you are cutting out the middle man ie the kitchen designer.  Of course this wouldn't be for everyone - you need to have a pretty good idea of what you want plus you need to draw up a plan and measure everything yourself.

And so this is what we have done.  I must admit it wasn't particularly easy and it took a couple of trips out there to get it right.  On my first visit - the first Friday of the school holidays  - I had to leave and burst into tears when I got in the car because my two naughty brown eyed, brown haired boys misbehaved so badly I couldn't concentrate and was getting my measurements topsy turvey.  In hindsight this was a blessing because we really hadn't put enough thought into things.  Happily some holiday time and James' huge effort in drawing and measuring up ensured the next time went smoothly.

It's semi gloss lexicon quarter 2 pac for those that speak "builder".  40mm organic white ceaserstone benches to come 
Still getting the plans "right" before going to the factory and then spending a few hours sitting with Adam talking through the plan and checking measurements was quite nerve-wracking - like sitting an exam.  If we made any, they would be expensive mistakes! We asked if we were particularly inept or if they often got people walking through their door with similar plans.  We were pleased to hear our approach wasn't uncommon!

My pantry - not quite finished  but getting there...
The kitchen took about 3 weeks to manufacture - most of that time it was getting "2-packed", it was then delivered and installed by our builder.  And the result?  Couldn't be happier!  We've got a custom-designed 2-pac kitchen, pantry & laundry all with blum softclose drawers for less than I would pay for an ikea kitchen.  What's not to be happy about - as I said I truly love a bargain!

One side of the compact laundry - I've got drawers to store the dirty clothes...
Sink to go in the top of there and more drawers for dirty clothes!
The kitchen was delivered mostly assembled and our builders have installed it.


  1. Wow! Everything seems to be coming along so quickly (making me very jealous.) Kitchen looks great (even without the bench tops) and are they subways I can see? It's going to be fabulous. Sounds like you got a great deal - Thanks for the tip. xx

  2. Wow, looks wonderful so far and very interesting as an option. Not totally sure if we could be trusted to not stuff it up but we essentially designed our kitchen so may be worth looking at. mel x

  3. Hi C, I forgot to ask you - what size flooring did you end up choosing, 130 or 150? My existing pine boards are also 150mm (non standard size) so I need to decide whether to use a standard 130mm board for the new work or get a 180mm board machined down to 150mm. I'm going with the blackbutt. Any cupping issues with a 150mm board? Any info on this is much appreciated. thanks xx

    1. Disregard previous question, I went back through your posts and saw you used 130's. I think I will use the same size - it acknowledges the existing cottage but unique on its own. xx

    2. Hi - sorry was going to get back to you last night but had book club...

      I would go the 130mm - ours do look great, plenty wide enough. The technical fellow at work had even advised me to go lower to avoid any cupping issues and perhaps he was right because with this wild weather we've had they have already slightly cupped. They will settle and consequently we are going to hold off getting them finished until after easter. I'm also going to use a wax finish called Whittle Wax so as not to get edge bonding that polyurethene delivers (which becomes a problem if you get any cupping) along with the chemical fumes. My girlfriend in Sydney has this finish on blackbutt and it gorgeous - a very natural look. Finlaysons at East Brisbane have a showroom with some different species finished in it. I've been hopeless on the blog but so many decesions and jobs each day - I think having everything chosen as you have before you start is a good idea! xcb

    3. Thanks Clarissa. I'm going to check out that wax product. We have a satin polyurethane specified which actually gives quite a natural look (I don't want a high gloss finish.) I believe wax or oil is easier to maintain too. Thanks for your tip. xx

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  5. Hey Clarissa - are you still there? I've been dying to see your reno progress. xx

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