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Hi all,

I haven’t written for two weeks because very little had happened except…. the planning permission.

Planning permission – the day that I wrote the previous post we (finally) received the approval for planning permission in the mail. Not the final planning permission – just the approval that we will receive the final planning permission once certain documents are signed/provided. Only one of these documents was my requirement. The following day I took this document to the “building department” of the iriya (city council) and paid them a deposit of 3000NIS which we get back once my kablan (contractor) finishes his work. The other 5 or 6 documents were from the structural engineer and he worked SO slowly. In fact it has taken him 2 weeks and as far as I am aware this documentation may not even have arrived yet (the third date he gave us for his documentation to arrive at the iriya was today). Assuming that the paperwork will only get in today we will have to wait for the paperwork to be sent to us by post. When this arrives we should be able to sort the אגרה (payment) and then get the final planning permission. Once we have been given the ishur (permission) the builders can start the work. Everyone is waiting on this.

I would not recommend my structural engineer – not because of his work – but because he is very slow and not easy to contact when you wish to obtain updates.

Kablan – Once we get the final planning permission then we can start doing work on preparing the windows. We are not yet aware if there will be any extra cost attached to this as there are a couple of places where the windows may need to be strengthened.

Windows – we have been working with Andersen windows to finalise our exact requirements and arranging a quote. We need to make the order very soon so that we do not miss a shipment from the USA to Israel arriving at the end of January. There is an inherent risk in ordering the windows before the spaces have been completed for the windows – but this is fairly small and may allow us to move in more than a month earlier. We want to get in!
A lot of work has been put into getting the windows completed very quickly – and we have been constantly let down by our structural engineer.
The only issue that I had with Andersen Windows here is that they never told me that I would need to pay in dollars for the windows, because I knew that timings would be an issue I specifically brought money over from the UK and converted it into shekels. If I use this money I will be paying a double conversion fee. I have decided to use this money for other costs (we still have enough to pay!) and send money directly from the UK to Andersens instead.

Windows/Alarm – A question came up about the alarm with respect to fixed windows and insurance requirements. Do we need to have alarm sensors on fixed windows. The answer was that sensors are needed on all points of entry to the house. But only when we are out. We asked this because we had an issue fixing/hiding the alarm points on the corner windows. We therefore have interior alarm sensors for when we are out – and also a sensor for if glass breaks for when we are in the house. Problem solved.

Electrics – The electrician has started putting the wires into the conduit. He appears to have finished the basement and the ground floor. He has also added a conduit between the roof and the ‘TV’ area in case we ever want to put up a satellite for the one that we have removed from the house. We won’t want this as we do not really want TV. If we ever do decide on TV we would probably buy a US or UK IP address and then pay for Netflix or the equivalent.

Sound System – the boxes for the speakers have been put into the walls for the play room. Nothing has been put in to the lounge, kitchen or dining area so far – and so I assume that this will be built in to the plaster board features in the ceilings.

Tiling – The upstairs bathroom and all the upstairs has been completed – the entry-level, most of the stairs and our section are all that are left now. The stairs are last and the other sections are waiting on the underfloor heating. The underfloor heating is waiting on cutting out all the windows. So there is obviously a delay here.

Glass – we have approved the glass and mirror quote, but not arranged any payment yet. The glazier has given our builder the metal holders for the shower enclosures and these have been tiled in to the kids/guest bathroom.

Carpentry – We looked through all the carpentry plans that Tamar gave to us, made our comments and then Tamar made changes to the plan. We made more comments on this and now Tamar is going to choose materials and send off the plans for a quote. This is to get a basic idea, once things are slightly quieter we will go through materials with Tamar and then get the quote updated.

Lighting – We were hoping to look at “fancy” lighting for the dining area and the stairs (and anywhere else we have wall lights) on Friday, but Joelle had to go into work as her colleague wanted to swap so that she could go to some school activity for her kid. Joelle was nice (I wouldn’t have been as nice because her husband almost always refuses when we have made similar requests) and we will be going this Friday instead.

Net in playroom – Tamar has not had much luck with this, she is currently waiting on feedback from some companies that make the children’s play areas in parks and public soft play areas.

Punch Bag – We decided that we want to put up a punch bag – this will be really good for fitness and may also be good for the kids (and us) to let out some aggression/frustration. We haven’t told Tamar yet but it will go into one of the play areas (or even outside in the garden)

Concrete in the garden – we have tried multiple times to see examples of the concrete contractor’s work but we have had absolutely no luck, mainly because we were given only one address where the concrete is behind a security fence and the owners are never in. We were not given a phone number so that we can co-ordinate times and have a chance to look. Tamar is looking into this now.

To Do – we currently only have a few small tasks that sit on us now. The first is completing the building permission as soon as we can (hopefully within the next 2-3 days) the second is to look for (and buy) sheets for the beds so that Tamar can use those colours to decide on options for painting the bedrooms and third is to check the windows contract and arrange to sign/pay for the work to be done.

That’s all for now folks,

Adam & Joelle

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