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  1. 2871094

    Recommended Builder

    Can anyone recommend a builder? I need a doorway chopping into a load bearing wall. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  2. 2871094

    Drinks tonight...

    Any expats fancy meeting up for a drink a bit later in CBD? I’m male and herald from the fabulous 1970’s decade with a few Aussie years residency under my belt. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  3. 2871094

    There in 2 months time....arghhh

    I agree with Jen78 best to take everything you can fit. A big part of emigrating is being able to settle. Putting the kids to bed in their own bed with their own dooner (quilt), and just having your own familiar stuff around helped us a lot. Also it's so expensive to buy everything new again. It adds to your stress. A smart TV tends to be bundled with UK stuff like iPlayer which won't work, and the local apps like ABC iView won't show up. The menus and scheduling might struggle a bit too. But you can still watch Aussie TV shows no problem. All electricals will work really. Just need new plugs. Bank account is easy though you will have to fully activate it in person at a branch when you arrive. Prior to that you can deposit money into it but not much else. Recommend you call Commonwealth Bank (London) 020 7710 3990 and ask if they still do their 'London Transfer Account'. This was for people emigrating; a one-time deal where Commonwealth transferred your money without any fees. I used it but I'm not sure it's still on offer.
  4. 2871094

    Odd things I've noticed since moving!

    GPO is not general post office apparently. It's a general power outlet. AKA a plug socket. No twin and earth cable. It's TPE or thermoplastic elastomers. (I had to look that up.) Plumbing copper is based on old imperial sizes 1/2 inch and 3/4 inch and very heavy gauge by comparison. It's sold in metric and imperial size depending where you go, but it's really imperial. UK pipe is definitely made metric. Plumbing is a very different game here. Also no sleeving of copper pipes through walls or in concrete that I've seen yet. Electrician's aren't compelled to test the earth readings on circuits protected with RCD's. Sadly there is too much emphasis on RCD's being used to make crappy circuits compliant and not enough emphasis on good workmanship. Older houses often have exposed live cable joints where the tape has come off over the years. Do not go crawling in the attic without turning off the power. (No Aussie sparky today would joint cables like this, by the way.) No ring main circuits. All radials. Be very concerned if you see 20 amp or bigger fuses on your power outlet circuits. Really should be 16 amp. (My house had 32 amp!) Electric power cupboard sited by your front door accessible by anyone. Bear this in mind if you have security cameras as they don't work when the burglar switches off your house. House roofs generally have a much shallower pitch compared to typical UK houses. Makes them rather useless as storage spaces, especially where big air ducts are in the way. Aussie houses like metal roofs, but if you get a normal concrete tiled house, there probably won't be any sarking (felt), so leafs and crap will be all in your roof space. This also makes them even more useless as storage spaces. Gas pipes are fine to run in a cavity wall (illegal in UK). Water and electrics also run in cavities. Discouraged in UK. Where cables are chased into walls, no mechanical protection applied, i.e. sheaths, conduits. Cable just pressed into a groove and plastered over. Full wet plastering rare. Mostly gap filling of plasterboard. Quicker and cheaper. Stored cold water tanks very rare in normal metro area houses. This is good in my opinion. Can be very different if you're off grid in the bush. Washing machines go in the laundry, not the kitchen. This is good. Many do like their top loaders still. This is bad. Everyone has an electric garage door. Post box in the middle of your lawn. Lack of footpaths in older suburbs. Everyone drives everywhere. Shopping precinct car parks are often lethal for pedestrians. Severe lack of provision for walkers. Asbestos fences on old houses, metal on new. No timber fences. Everything stained from the bore water retic. People rarely park on the road in regular suburbs where houses have drives and garages. And if you do expect complaints from the neighbours and possibly the bin lorry. Overhead domestic street power lines almost everywhere. Some areas (Subiaco) finally realising the benefits of burying their cables, but it's expensive. Whenever there is bad weather, someone always gets power cut because of the vulnerable overhead network. (It also looks awful.) Low quality single glazing to the point where you think you left a window open to find it is actually closed. Even newer houses. Dust, proper dirt type dust, all over your furniture from outdoor and poorly filtered air constantly falling through your evap cooler vents into your house. Doesn't matter that the cooler isn't running. Metal door frames that you will never be able to relocate when renovating. Plus the paint chips off, and door hinges are welded to the frame. Makes swapping a door a bit trickier as you have to make the door fit the hinges rather than the door-and-hinge-set fit the door frame. House thermal insulation. What's that? Drains in the floor of you bathroom and toilet. These are not for washing the floor. They are for overflow of sinks etc. Note that older baths, sinks, toilets did not have overflow outlets. Today they do (mostly) so you don't actually need the floor overflow drains now. Never park or camp under a gum tree. They randomly drop huge limbs and branches as part of their natural life cycle. Weird weekly price cycle for petrol. Cheapest day at the moment seems to be Monday, but it has been Wednesday and Thursday in the past. Why they have this cycle is unclear. Storm water from gutters go into underground 'soak wells' to return the water to the earth and retain the natural balance of moisture in the ground. In UK, such water is often (not always) taken away to sewer (and you're charged for it). Soak wells can get blocked up and can cause problems when they do. Houses are built on concrete 'rafts' rather than on footings and foundations. Perth's sandy geology enables this technique as sand doesn't compress much. However it's not uncommon in older houses to see settlement cracks. All houses are generally bungalows, and where conversions of these bungalows are made to make them 'double storey', they are often a timber-framed one-roomed tit on the top that overheats in summer and freezes in winter.
  5. 2871094

    Odd things I've noticed since moving!

    Difficult to write but I'll try; So poms tend to extend into 3 syllables and call it Man-dure-rah, but then we're told it's pronounced with 2 syllables (sort of) as Man-dura. OK then, so I applied this to Min-darie, but apparently it's Min-dar-ree. It seems the pattern is there is no pattern. Is it me, but has anyone else noticed any new poms calling it, just for a short period before adjusting, Joon-da-loop?
  6. 2871094

    Odd things I've noticed since moving!

    Prow-ject, not project. Dayboo, not debut. I particularly have difficulty accepting that one. I mean what next? Men-noo instead of menu? Smoko, though I don't hear that used much.
  7. 2871094

    UK v Aus Outgoings

    I assumed my pool pump is 1.1kW for 6 hours per night to get my total. I think my pump is about that size, but some pumps are a little as 0.75Kw rated. That would be considerably less power consumed. Some are bigger... The 6 hours comes from getting 2 pool water changes per night through the filter (recommended). So a 50,000 litre pool needs 100,000 litre change in 6 hours which is 280 l/min. That's how your size your pump. You could in theory have a bigger pump and reduce the time, but your pipes will get too small at some point. You can also go the other way and run longer with a smaller pump. Sometimes that pays but the reduced flow power can affect your kreepy Krauler cleaner from working properly. In winter, you don't need 6 hours. 1 or 2 would do, but most people never think to adjust their timers. Forget the TV. They are drops in the ocean! Biggest electric drains are electric fires, dishwashers, washing machines, pool pump, spa, tumble driers. You'd be surprised how few people seem to hang out their washing in preference to using the old tumble drier in Perth. Terrible really. Retic (sprinkler) bore pumps can be juicy but they only run a short time, 10-15 mins 3 times per week September to May, banned June to August (winter). My kids love the pool but you'll only want to use it in summer around December to March. Some kids will go either side say November to April, even May. Forget June to October unless you have a wetsuit. Too cold.
  8. 2871094

    UK v Aus Outgoings

    Hi HarryStyles, You won't technically need car insurance as the 'rego' (tax) automatically covers you for 3rd party insurance. However topping it up with your own policy to make it fully comp is recommended. Allow around $700 per annum for that. That's on top of your compulsory annual rego fee typically around $700-800 per annum depending on what car you have. My Xtrail just cost me $371 for 6 months rego. The following statements are based on my household of 2 adults 2 kids in a 4x2. My gas bill is $1300 per annum just for hot water. WA gas water heaters are mostly old technology with pilot light and are 'always on'. No timers. They stick them outside (no worries about pipes freezing in winter of course) and they require no power supply because they're 'always on' and require no external controls. They do regulate to a thermostat within, but the stats do not require an electrical supply to operate. Newer gas heaters are starting to go condensing, but they're not compulsory and cost more because they need a power supply for a flue fan. I have no gas heating or gas cooker. My gas consumption last 12 months was 4800kwh. In UK it was 25000 kwh. So I use considerably less gas now despite the inefficiency of the heater. Electric is the tricky one. As Admin points out, every house is different. My house has no mechanical air con, just an evap cooler. There are only a few days a year I would like to have proper AC. As it's so infrequent, I can live without it. The problem is winter. As I have no gas heating, winter heating can get expensive as I plug in electric fires. The case for proper AC actually stacks up better for winter heating rather than summer cooling. My annual bill last 12 months was $2200. My pool uses about $360 of that at cheap night time rate 13c/kwh. Standard rate would double that cost. My consumption these last 12 months was a rather high 9600 kwh (the pool uses around 2600 kwh of that, or 27%). The Aussie average annual consumption, they say, is 6500. My UK consumption was around 5000 kwh. UK average, they say, is 3300 kwh. (That would just about keep your pool going.) Bear in mind I'm using electric for heating. My carbon footprint is actually rather lower as I burn much less gas here compared to UK. That said my wife's new spa hasn't quite filtered in to my calcs yet, and that thing pulls some major juice when it's heater is on. Keeping it at 37C isn't cheap, but the heavy use it gets once every 6 weeks or so justifies it. Not. You are correct that as you're renting you don't need to worry about paying rates. If you ever buy, allow around $1500 per annum for that. Water is dirt cheap to consume, surprisingly. The high part of its cost is built into their standing charges. As Admin says, you will only pay for what you consume as a tenant (no standing charges). This is because the Water Corp are an antiquated government QANGO, and they're old fashioned processes means it's too difficult for them to bill tenants like everyone else seems to be able to do without any problem, so they only bill the landlord direct because it's easier for them. So we have this weird arrangement where landlord can only ask the tenant to pay the consumption. Like the landlord doesn't factor in the total water cost when setting the rent fee! Water fees are staged. The more you use, the more each m3 costs. Top rate is $3 per m3. So if you have a 50000 litre pool and decide to refill it, it will cost you $150. I reckon you can expect a charge of $20-$40 from your agent every couple of months. My last 12 months water bill was $1650 for 194m3, or 530 litres/day. My personal view, being Perth is one of the driest populated cities on Earth, is more weight should be given to consumption and less to the standing charges. At the moment there isn't much deterrent to use lots of water as if barely affects the cost of your bi-monthly bill. My UK consumption was 450 litres/day. Not massively over considering the pool uses a fair bit. Drinking is on average $10 pint. Some more, some less. You might get a pint of Guinness in an RSL club (working mens club) for $8. 6 pack of beer $14-16. Kilkenny 6 pack is $20.50. Worth it in my opinion. I just renewed my home and contents insurance and it cost $1100. I can keep 2 phones going for $30 each per 28 days with Telstra Prepaid. Depends on your usage if that deal sees you right, but I doubt you will spend less. Hope this helps..
  9. 2871094

    Odd things I've noticed since moving!

    The oddest one for me is 'manchester' which means bed sheets.
  10. 2871094

    Weather in WA in August

    Possibly the worst month. No one has mentioned that it rains a lot in August. You'd be surprised. Perth's rainfall in August averages, according to the Bureau of Meteorology, 130mm. By comparison, the UK's rainfall in February (northern hemisphere equivalent) according to the Met Office averages 88mm. And that's an average of the whole UK. London's rainfall, for example, would be less than that. Wet wet wet...
  11. 2871094

    Flights booked, here we come!!

    The very best to you. We've lived in Willetton for 3 years close to RSHS and can vouch for the area. Guessing you have kids at high school age? Ours are 14 and 10. Cheers,
  12. 2871094

    Who likes watching Wanted Down Under...

    WDU do show the occasional episode where things don't work out. I recall one mother in a revisited episode who broke down at the end of the show due to years of stress trying to make the dream work. 'Fake it till you make it'. That terrible moment where you have out too much into it to throw the towel in, but you're just unhappy with the whole thing and wish you never had the idea in the first place. And you're unhappy that you're unhappy. A downward perpetual cycle...
  13. 2871094

    Who likes watching Wanted Down Under...

    WDU does show the occasional episode where things don't work out. I do recall one mother in a revisited episode who broke down at the end of the show due to years of stress trying to make the dream work. 'Fake it till you make it'. That terrible moment where you have out too much into it to throw the towel in, but you're just unhappy with the whole thing and wish you never had the idea in the first place. And you're unhappy that you're unhappy.
  14. 2871094

    Who likes watching Wanted Down Under...

    I agree a week is too short to 'experience all aspects of aussie life'. I think the BBC shouldn't keep saying that. There is the occasional episode that shows when things don't turn out as hoped. I recall one revisited episode where a mother broke down at the end due to the years of stress trying to make the dream work. 'Fake it till you make it'. That awful period where you have put too much into it to throw the towel in, and the kids are settling reasonably well; but your own situation is an unhappy one and you wish you never had the idea in the first place.
  15. 2871094

    Who likes watching Wanted Down Under...

    The 'dream' is generally imposed by the people wishing to make the move, not always the BBC although Nicki Chapman doesn't help by claiming how warm it always is and other flippant comments. There are a number of episodes where things haven't worked out and do not have the uplifting fairytale ending at all. Certainly I recall one revisited episode when the poor mother broke down at the end of the show after years of stress trying to make the dream work. 'Fake it till you make it' she said.