Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Design Picture Boards

I just wanted to share these, the husband sat down yesterday to set to work on these great picture boards of many of the features and things that we like and I reckon they came up great.

I was really happy with how they came out and they really caputre the theme and design features that we want in the house.  Hopefully this will give the builders an even better idea of what we want our house to look like.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Meeting the Builders

Yesterday we met with our top two choices for builders, both are custom builders who concentrate on quality over quantity, both have received great reviews on and we had two very different experiences.

Precision Homes
We spent over an hour with James from Precision going through every aspect of our design and all the ideas that we had and how/if they where going to work.  We looked at the design from every angle, what materials did we want to use for the front facade, our ideas for each elevation, how the loft space would work and our concern about the percentage of open space.  In the room we where sitting in was their selections for some of the finishes so we could gather an idea of what would be available to us.  When James saw our idea for the floor plan and the front elevation you could see the natural enthusiasm and he looked excited by the fact that they didn't have anything that was like it.  He showed us the concept drawings that they did for a house at Henley Beach that that the master bedroom, ensuite and walk in as the loft and told as that if we wanted to arrange a time to look through the house to let him know as the owners are more than happy to do that.  Once we had gone through everything from our budget, to wall height, to eave width, to the type of cladding he then explained that he would start on our concept drawings and get back to us in two weeks with those drawings as well as a quote, which will obviously change depending on if we change things in the concept drawings.  This whole process he does himself and takes account for every brick that is to be used. 

Stellar Homes
When we arrived at Stellar the person who we where meant to be meeting with had been called to Mount Gambier so we ended up talking to someone else.  We spent 20mins with him as he explained the process from their end, we showed him our design briefly and then he took us through some of their selection options so we could see what was available at the basic level.  He then explained that he would give our floor plans and front elevation picture to their design team who would then come up with their concept drawings and from there he would put the info into the computer to calculate the estimated costs and that this process may take a week or so.  We weren't asked what our budget was and a lot of the details that we went through with Precision where over looked.

Endeavour Homes

The last builder that we met with was Clay with Endeavour Homes, I had been referred to them by a few of my clients at work and after having such a terrible experience with Stellar we decided that we wanted to meet with another builder just so we could accurately compare what each company was willing to offer us.   We spent about 45mins with Clay to discuss our plans and ideas and he was able to give us a rough quote very quickly.  The quote for everything that we wanted sat at $1216/m2 for the standard home then plus the upgrades that we wanted which took it up to $1400/m2.

One of the biggest concerns that we had going into this meeting was that we wouldn't be able to interpret our idea's into words and that the builders wouldn't be able to see our true vision of what we wanted in a house. From the time spent and the details given we feel that Precision took the time to get to know us and our plan and from that first meeting will be able to give us something very close to what we are after, we aren't so confident that Stellar will be able to do that.

But we aren't going to let this first meeting make our decision for us, that will come once we see their concept drawings and see their quotes and then we can take it from there.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Floor Plans Take Three!

I always knew this part would take awhile, I'm not going to say the longest simply because I'm sure there are things that will take much longer like going through council and then there is the actually building process. But over the weekend we went out to Lightsview and actually took note of room sizes that we liked because before then i had really been rather blind about the sizing of things like the toilet, laundry, bathrooms and I'm not very good at measuring or estimating distances so I was pretty hopeless. 

So we wandered through the houses and took note of how big different area's where and then worked on putting them into a plan that we liked and this is what we come up with:

Now we are meeting with builders in a couple of weeks so lets see what they think and how much we'd be looking at! Fingers crossed it's not much!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Floor Plans - Take Two

We have a meeting with two builders in a couple of weeks and we would like to have a plan, or at least a very close working of a plan, that we really like. Something that is a good blend of all the things we love and something that we have managed to remove most of the things we don't love.  I've been working on different plans each week trying to come up with different options so that we know what will fit and what we want so that when we go see the builders we can get a quote on something that fits us to a tea.

So here are the designs and what our thoughts are:

Design Features For All Designs:
1. Entrance will be open with high ceilings and we are wanting to be an atrium style so you can look down from the retreat into the entrance.
2. Front door to be a large feature door.
3. Stairs to be wood and possible a nice feature railing.
4. Flooring to be wood or bamboo with carpet in the bedrooms and in attic.
5. Side windows will be high windows to prevent having a pretty view of the fence.
6. Front windows will be long narrow windows and one running the length of wall at the staircase.
7. Feature window in kitchen between the cupboards looking out onto a garden bed.
8. Sliding door in hallway that slides into the wall.
9. Double Garage will be an open but covered carport with the wall extending across as a fence.
10. Alfresco area to have an outdoor gas heater with sliding or bi-fold doors opening out to it.

Design A

Things We Love:
1. The big open entrance.
2. The window/garden at the kitchen.
3. The Attic Retreat!

Things We Like:
1. The big laundry and being able to walk out to the courtyard where the clothes line will be.
2. The side courtyard, but it does mean we sacrifice some of the backyard to let light in the corridor.
3. Double showers in main and ensuite bathrooms.

Things We Dislike:
1. All the house seems to be one sided which means the study can only be used as a study and lacks flexibility.
2. Kitchen is a bit small.
3. Not a lot of storage space and not much room for a shed in the backyard.
4. Not having a window in the main toilet.

Design B

Things We Love:
1. Good Size Rooms
2. Big Walk in Pantry and bigger kitchen
3. Bigger backyard
4. Side Entrance
5. Bigger Study that will be able to double as a gym plus as a fourth room is needed.

Things We Like:
1. The curved hallway to allow for better use of both sides of the house.
2. Having the main bedroom separate from the other bedrooms to allow for less sound travel.

Things We Dislike:
1. Having the vanity in the main bathroom I do prefer having it separate.
2. This design is a bit more traditional then we would like.

Design C

I accidentally cut off the retreat when I cropped this pic but it's still there.
 Things We Love:
1. Having the bathroom and laundry between the bedrooms so it creates a corridor to allow for more storage space.
2. The storage near/under the stairs.

Things We Like:
1. Having the Study and Dining facing onto the courtyard
2. A Larger backyard and alfresco area..

Things We Dislike:
1. Not to sure of the walk in and ensuite will work as they are a bit narrow.
2. The L-Shaped Kitchen, Dining and Living

Design D

This is the same as Design B but with a different bathroom, which I prefer.

So they are the designs that we have at the moment, lets see where we go from here shall we!