Week #2: Shock and awe plus 6cm worth of trouble with Australia Post

So everything but the bedrooms, study and entrance hall has been gutted.

Even though you know what’s coming , it’s still a surprise to see your interior completely exfoliated.

Looking towards the front of the house - main bathroom and old atrium gone.

Looking towards the front of the house - main bathroom and old atrium gone.

By week’s end new pipework for the ensuite has gone in, and a trench dug in the kitchen to relocate its wet area. An alternate plan has also been found to resolve a nasty sewerage issue that emerged just days before our start date.  It won’t be any cheaper but will involve less disruptive work.

Kitchen and former laundry gone.

Kitchen and former laundry gone.

Chez Wayville dates to 1920 and we still had some original earthenware pipes apparently. These have to be replaced with PVC. Instead of having to pull down fences and excavate externally, disrupting the neighbour’s build, they’ll now be replaced under the original slab. The new main bathroom and laundry pipework will be connected to the PVC put in when the previous owners built our extension in the 1990s.

Digging down to replace the pipework for the new bathroom and laundry

Digging down to replace the pipework for the new bathroom and laundry

A pipe specialist with a camera on the end of a probe was brought in to trace the pipe network. Wish I’d been there to see that.

So, we’re slightly behind after two weeks; footings should have been laid for the new bathrooms and laundry but I’m told they’ll be a cracking pace this coming week.

Meanwhile, this stunning mirror for the main bathroom is languishing in an Australia Post mail centre in Portland, Oregon. All because of 6cm.

The Ojai mirror was found by my sister Christine on a US homewares website Serena & Lily. It’s absolutely perfect for the new main bathroom. And it was a reasonable price. Unfortunately they didn’t ship to Australia.

So I decided to give Australia Post’s new US postal service ShopMate a go.

It’s free to register and you get a US address. I previously belonged to myus.com – wish I hadn’t cancelled my subscription now.

It’s a mirror – it’s not a table or sofa or something large, I never dreamed there would be an issue. It’s under Australia Post’s ShopMate weight limit by 2kg (including the extra weight from the packaging) but apparently it exceeds the length limit of 105cm by 6cm.

Australia Post’s options are: throw it away and charge me $5; I arrange return to sender (as in online seller) and charge me $5; or I make alternative arrangements. The latter is what I’m attempting to do. FedEx quoted me $950. I said no thank you. I’ll update next week how the freight fiasco is going.

Meanwhile, a second attempt at using ShopMate worked for these cute handles for the main bathroom vanity.

They’re from another US retailer Hickory Hardware. They only cost $27 to ship to Australia. Maybe I was a bit harsh when I filled out the Australia Post customer service survey based on my mirror experience.

Postscript: Christine tells me she's ordered these door handles for the vanity as well - and she's still waiting for them to arrive.

They have to be dipped to match the bamboo draw handles. I'm thinking tybuy.com is starting to sound like a bit of a dodgy site. Hope not because they are gorgeous.

Are you getting a feel for theme in the main bathroom yet?