Monday, November 26, 2012

Movement on the Block!

Things are still getting pushed forward to go to site asap, even after being told it likely wouldn't be til next year, they are desperately trying to get us there ... which is exciting!

On Friday we had the site cleared so that once the final approvals are all done with the bank we can get going straight away.  I must admit the original quotes I had from the big companies scared the begeezes out of me, but I found a local company who went to the site before quoting me and said it would be $600 for their time and for dumping that they would go there 2 weeks prior to spray everything and even offered to bring in extra dirt to level us with our neighbour ... all free of charge!  In the end Metricon wanted us to get it cleared asap so they didn't have the time to spray everything but they did a good job with clearing it all and got there within 24hours of my call back. So all up I was very happy!  If your in need of anyone for something similar contact Paul on 0412 454 791.

Now all we have to do is wait for finance to go through this week and we are on track to be on site (and fingers crossed ... slabbed) before Christmas break!!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Latest Update

Well despite our best efforts it looks as though things will be kicking off fresh in the New Year. We where originally told that if we had all paperwork signed off on by the end of November then we could have the slab down before they break at Christmas, well yesterday it went from the end of November to Wednesday! Which just wasn't going to happen!

So yesterday I spent the day finalising a few quotes of things we want to include in our home loan and chasing up a few last minute things that Metricon had informed us we needed to do.  One of the things was getting the site re-pegged as someone (namely the person down the street that decided to do donuts on our block and the next door neighbours builder) had removed our two front pegs, this will be an extra $700+.  We also have to arrange to have the site cleared, which we had always just assumed that it was included in the site works as it had never been mentioned as something we'd need to do, so we're getting quotes this weekend, one quote was close to $3,000, due to the dumping fee.

The other thing we need to sort out was that Metricon have said that our upgrades from Beaumonts aren't included in our selections quote, which is not true, as I've highlighted, scanned and emailed it to our Customer Support Coordinator showing her exactly where it's included.  But it seems that email was ignored, so they are getting in touch with Beaumonts to arrange a variation.  I'm just hoping that this doesn't completely confuse everyone and they try to charge us more for upgrades that are already included.

I must admit that this has been my most frustrating time we've had so far and it's simply because we will go close to two weeks without hearing anything then suddenly we get 15+ emails in the matter of a day and a half.  I was just lucky that I had yesterday off to go through everything, as I'm not in a position at work where I can reply and chase up personal emails.  Also as lovely as our Customer Support Coordinator is we hadn't actually met her and built a rapport with her until the day of a final contract signing, all the times we were told that we'd meet her, like at the Studio M selections and air con selections, she never came by.  But we'll get there in the end!

The last few quotes that I've been chasing up where for the concreting for the drive way and front perimeter and also for the decking of the outdoor room and portico.  We've already got our solar panels sorted with the deposit paid, we arranged that at the same time we arranged our Mother-in-Laws so got it at a slightly cheaper rate.

And that it our latest update!  So looks like mid-Jan it will all be going ahead ... lucky it will be here before we know it!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

New Home Contract Signed!

Yesterday we had the sign off on our Official New Home Contract and it felt good!!

We received the contract on Friday just like they advised and had the weekend to go over everything.  On the working drawings there where just a few notes that hadn't been removed from past changes and the tile height in the bathrooms hadn't been adjusted to suit our upgrades at Beaumont's.  In the actual contract there where just a few clarifications that we needed to go through, for example out ground storm water is included in the final pricing but on the site plan it notes that these are for us to do after handover. 

The biggest thing we had to discuss was the site works as council has asked that we put in extra soil, originally the plan was to do a 50/50 cut and fill then have a sump pump in the backyard for extra drainage.  But our neighbour has done a lot of extra fill so we are looking at matching him to make the blocks even, this way we wont need to worry about retaining walls and sump pumps etc.  Metircon are going to send someone out to the block this week to investigate the best course of action, and the most cost effective for us.

We should have all the variations discussed yesterday sent out to us early next week and we've arranged an appointment with the bank now that we have our bank pack so we can get the ball rolling on the finance end.  Hopefully ... fingers crossed and all going well ... they are hoping to be on site in Dec and have the slab down before they break on the 16th Dec!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Selections Signed Off!

Well last week was a whirlwind!  We received our quote for the selections and surprisingly once we added it all up we where only a very small amount over budget and after talking to the bank we realised that it wouldn't make any difference to our repayments over the course of the loan so after we made a few changes we signed off! 

The only change we actually made was to the doors to the master bedroom, we originally had chosen these doors with the Charcoal Stain and frosted glass, these original doors are around $900 each and we've kept these for the linen cupboard and also the cavity slider into the study ...

But after some discussion and our main concern being the soundproofing and privacy we decided to change to these ones in the same Charcoal stain, these doors with a painted finish where $260 for two (as we have a double door to the master bedroom) but with the change to wood and stain finish where $700 for two ...

The doors where one of the most expensive things in our selections pricing the other things that added to the price where the stone end panel for the kitchen island bench which was $1,180. The frameless shower screens with the door where also a bit more than expected coming in at $2,051 each.
All our other upgrades where small amounts here and there so overall we where very happy with how everything totalled to. 
We've made an appointment for the 30th Oct to do our final sign offs and we recieved word last week that the draftsmen had a break in their schedule so where starting work on our plans for the final contract sooner than expected.
Also our neighbours rubbish has been removed, but I think that was more due to them wanting to make space for the timber framing rather than my email!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Kitchen Appliances

While I was on a roll thought I'd post some picks of the appliances that we've got for the kitchen ...

They are all Zampetti and are part of Metircons appliance selection, we did upgrade to the larger size as part of the promo that we signed up on. 

This Isn't Meant to be Here

We drove past the block over the weekend to find that our neighbour has been slabbed and that there is a HUGE mound of dirt and concrete on OUR block!  I'm pretty sure this is not meant to happen without our consent, strangely enough if they had asked we probably wouldn't have mind.  We're hoping that they remove it in a timely fashion because we don't want it to interfere with our build and cost us money to remove.  So I'm giving them a couple of days and then I'll contact them to find out what's happening.


Monday, September 24, 2012

Studio M Selections

Today we had our Studio M Selections appointment and through the process we did find a few errors on our plans and preliminary contract.  Things such as we where listed as having tiled roof when we had always said we wanted colourbond and the rendering for the front hadn't been included nor the feature brick portico.  But the plus side was that the changes we'd made at the last appointment had been included, the timber front window, adding eaves and changing the stacker door at the back to a bi-fold.  The front render is an easy fix, but of course at extra cost, and we are waiting to hear back on the roofing but hopefully this change will only slow us down a little.  We shall see.

We where also meant to start the appointment with having our air conditioner appointment first but after 20mins of waiting and numerous phone calls from the receptionist we found out that the guy was sick and this would need to be rescheduled.

So off to our selections ...

Externals ...

Our brick colour is the Boral Chocolate with the Jasper Roof and gutterings and Dune fascia's, down pipes and windows.  Our render (which because we picked last I didn't get a photo with it all together) is slightly darker than our external linings which are slightly darker than the Dune so all the tones are very similar.  The gutters and down pipes are standard, the garage door we upgraded to a timber finish to set of the timber from door and window and we match the stain colour across them all, the stain came up really red in the photo but when compared to the garage door it's pretty similar.


The Privacy Glass used for Bathrooms
The awning windows which will be double glazed
Door Handles ....
Bathrooms ...
The tapware in the bathroom did require upgrading, I think because we brought a plan over from the Vic designs there was some confusion as to what range it sat under so rather than being showed the Allegra range as our standard we where shown the Lifestyle range.  So as a result the Allegra range is pretty ordinary and because we had already gone to the effort of upgrading to the free standing bath, the frameless shower screens and the squareset basins we wanted nice tapware to match.  We are still waiting on pricing for these but hopefully it's not too ridiculous!
Main Bath colours inc tile, cupboards and stone top

Ensuit colours inc tiles, cupboards and stone tops
 As far as colours go we've kept them all the same through the kitchens, bathrooms and laundrys.  One because we're a believer of the three colours/textures rule but also because it's only a small home and we didn't want things to look to busy or miss-matched.  Plus they've done this in their display homes and it looks really good.
Kitchen ....
Many of the kitchen upgrades had already been included, so all the pot drawers, undermount sink and appliances are already upgraded as part of their promotion.  The only thing we had to decide on today was the colours.
 We are having a window splashback so there is a small section that when we went to the tiles selections they said tiles where included for that part, but this never really appealed to me, so to decided to go for a glass splashback instead, in the first photo, we've also upgraded to the two tone cupboards with the darker colour on the bottom and the lighter colour on the top.  We also added an additional stoneslab on one side of the kitchen island and upgraded the pantry shelves to the dark laminate with extra width.  The first picture shows the splashback, stone tops and cupboards and the second shows the cupbaords, stone tops and the floor tile colour.
Misc ....
Carpets for the Bedrooms/Study along side our tile colour.

Skirtings (second one from bottom) but not in the lovely blue!

Standard internal doors
Feature door for the cavity slider to study, double door to main bedroom and linen.
Laundry Mixer - upgraded to lifestyle range

Laundry sink upbraded to inset with cabnetry which will be the darker of the laminate colours
Paint Colours - the bottom one for ceilings, lightest of the three for skirtings/doorframes
 and the middle one for walls (next to tile colours)
 We also upgraded to include locks to the windows ($350), remote for the garage door ($650) and white morter for external bricks ($1000) we thought this was a cheaper option and a good compromise especially for the front portico as the feature brick hadn't been included.
We are still waiting on exact pricing for upgrades which we should get later this week, fingers crossed we are within budget ... if not then we will have to do some culling!

Friday, September 21, 2012


Today we had our Tile Selection appointment at Beautmont Tile in Norwood and while I nearly had to go alone thanks to Mike getting an unexpected call into work we still managed to both go and got everything sorted within 90mins!

We are having tiles throughout the main living areas as well as the wet areas, as shown below.

We had allowed for an additional $3,135 in our Preliminary Contract to upgrade to floors from the standard tiles to the porcelain tiles that are shown in their display homes, but what we forgot to account for was that in the bathroom the standard tiling that's included in the build pricing is shower height tiles in the shower, 1.2m around the free standing bath and only a skirting for everywhere else.  So it didn't take long for that extra $3,000 to get swallowed up in tiles!

Our first decision was an easy one ... what floor tiles did we want?

We decided on the Alto Beige as it has a very soft finish to it and a lovely texture throughout.  The following picture is from their display home in Mount Barker and shows it together with the French Nougat stone tops that we are going to choose for the kitchen.

The rest was pretty easy and I was wanting to have the wall tiles in the bathrooms the same as the floor tiles but just jazz it up with a feature wall running along the wall of the shower.  We did have to make a few adjustments when we saw what the final price would be to have floor to ceiling porcelain tiles in both the ensuite and the main bathroom, the final $11,000+ was not in the budget!

So this was our compromise ....

Main Bathroom ...

This was the bathroom we where willing to splash out a bit on especially as we're going to have the free standing bath and frame less showers, we thought spending the extra money on the tiles was certainly worthwhile!  We have the tiles going to shower height with Alto Beige on the floors and three of the walls, the wall that the shower runs along with have the Alto Mocha which has a lovely gloss finish so it's easy to clean but also has a lovely texture within the tile. 

Our Ensuite ...

We didn't mind cutting back in the ensuite as we figure that once we've done the initial house tours people will lot be visiting in there too often.  We kept the Alto Beige for the floors but for the wall tiles we went for their standard range which helped us bring down the costs a lot.  City Beige for most of the walls at a 1.2m height and in the shower alcove we have the Gloss Mocha at shower height.  We still get the look and feel for what we want but at a much more reasonable price.

Laundry and Toilet ...

These areas we weren't too fussed with so we went with the Alto Beige for the flooring and the City Beige for the skirting boards and laundry splash back.

Kitchen ...

Because we have the window splash back in the kitchen there is only a very small portion of tiling that needs doing on the walls.  We kept it very simple with a colour that we can easily match our paint colour to as to not make it more obvious.  So we have the Alto Beige for the flooring throughout the kitchen and the living area, then for the walls we have Alto Eggshell which is a Porcelain tile we figure it's such a small area it was worth having the porcelain to match in with the floors.

Grout Colours ...

Travertine for the tiles that will be near the front door and outside, Havana for the dark feature tils and alabaster for the floors and light wall colours.

And with that our tile selection was complete and we managed to bring the price down from an additional $11k to only $7k which is really only an extra $4k as we'd already budgeted for $3k!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Starting with Selections

So over the last few weeks we've been visiting display homes and starting to make a selection choices just to make things easier when it comes to all our appointments. 

And these are some of the things we've decided on (that we have photos of), most of these are already included in our final price and wont be at any extra charge once we get to selections. ....

Frontage with feature brick portico and timber finishes

Front Pivot door

Garage Door - this will be an upgrade

Exterior Brick colour

Favourite Kitchen colours

Example of having the dark colours on the bottom and the lighter colours on the top

Floor tiles with the stone top for the kitchen

Our free standing bath

We've also decided on our roofing, fascia and gutters colours.  At the moment we have semi-frame less showers included but we are hoping to upgrade them to frame less depending on how much is spent at selections.


Monday, August 27, 2012

Preliminary Contract Signed

Today we had another meeting with Odell to go over the final pricing and plans ready to be submitted to council.  Everything went really smoothly and although Odell did say it came in a little extra than he thought, mainly due to storm water and footings, the price was still within budget and still leaves us with a bit of wriggle room when it comes to finalising our selections.

So our next installment has been paid, the preliminary contract has been signed, we are ready to go to council and are aiming to have our selection appointments within the first 2 weeks of September.  Estimated build start is said to be around November/December 2012 (this is not set in stone though) and Odell said he'd be surprised if it takes longer than 4 months to build.

Feels good to see things progressing ... now on to selections!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Time for an Update

It is typical that just after we pay our deposit Adelaide has the rainiest May/June on record! So our soil tested for the engineer report where delayed but thankfully not for too long!

We had our pre-selection appointment at Studio M the other week to get us thinking about colour schemes and choices.  We already have a clear idea of what we want to do now it's just a matter of choosing the actual colours to match together.  I think a visit to the display homes will be in order this weekend so we can see what colours they have used and what we do and do not like.

So now we are just waiting on the site plans etc to review and then we can pay our next installment and head to council ... which hopefully wont take too long!!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Deposit PAID!

Sunday we finally did it ... paid our deposit to start the process with Metricon.

We have spent the last few weeks going back and forth, adding and subtracting (but mostly adding) things into and initial budget and making a few changes here and there of the floor plan. 

We've managed to get a good blend of features, and so far remain in budget, we've managed to be able to include raised ceilings, frame less shower screens, window splash back in the kitchen, free standing bath ... so all the nice things!

So now we can expect the engineers soil testing etc to be done in the next two weeks and we should have the report within the next six weeks. In that time we get to go in and have our pre-selection appointment and the fun can begin!  At this stage we're looking at no more than 11 months for the whole process to take place but I'm hoping that because things are a bit quieter on the building front things can happen a bit quicker ... fingers crossed anyway!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Metricon it is then!

We have got further in two weeks with Metricon than we had in eight months with Precision!

Yesterday we met with Odell by chance at the Mt Barker display centre, it was a cold and rainy Monday afternoon so we where the only ones there and he was able to sit down with us and go through what he had done so far, add what he hadn't had a chance to finish and talk over the things in between.

The floor plan for the Murchison 18 is pretty spot on with what we want and what will suit our needs, there are a few changes here and there that we will make and we toyed with the option of adding some extra space to the bedroom/ensuite and the main family room, but after some discussion and also seeing the extra expense I think we'll most likely keep it as is. 

But it was a good opportunity to go through everything and at the end of the meeting Odell told us he'd email us that night with the revised quote, and sure at 7:00pm the email came through.  This quote was the one that included every add on and upgrade to the most extreme level so that from there we can cut it back, but to my surprise it was only $5-10k over budget ... so there wont be too much cutting which will be nice!

We're going to have a sit down and chat it over tonight, touch base with the bank during the week then most likely pay our initial despot and have the team at the block within the week to start the Engineers report.

So far we're pretty impressed with the process we've made!  Now to tell Precision that we've moved on to another builder ... I'll let Michael have that conversation!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Take Two

It seems everything to do with our First Home experience the first option just doesn't work out ... it happened with our land hunt and now it's happening again with the builder.  But the best part is that things always work out for the best ... at least that is what I'm hoping!

Over the weekend we went looking at display homes at St Clair in Woodville where we had two homes in particular that we were interested in looking at, our other goal was to stay away from the homes on the "Expensive" side of the street and stick to what was within our budget.

The first home that I wanted to look at was a Weeks Peacock home, The Sheridan:

We loved the floor plan and the modern frontage ... but the price tag was a bit out of our price range.  For the most basic build they were asking $290,000 ... and that is far more than we where willing to pay!

The next stop was Metricon, we like their modern style for the interior and the open style living areas plus they have a huge range of floor plans especially for narrow blocks plus their pricing for a standard build looked to be more in line with what we where after.

After looking through their St Clair display home and after having a chat with one of the sales consultants there we decided to head out to Blakeview to have a look at the Cedar, which would fit on our block and also be close to our initial price range.

We actually really liked this design, the floor plan had a good feel for space and while it is larger than we had originally planned it would certainly suit us for years to come.  The standard price for this was $263,000 so it is over our original budget of the $250,000 and there would be a few things that we'd like to upgrade to make the most out of the home.  But luckily for us Metricon have a special going where if you pay an additional $4,000 you get $20,000 of upgrades or you pay $8,000 for $40,000 on upgrades.  So we left there feeling positive that this would be a good plan to start with.

Then we got home and started number crunching ... that was depressing!

After some soul searching and a some brutal honesty we decided that in order to have a life we should stick to a budget of $200,000 going no higher than $210,000! And with that in mind we dropped the idea of going two storey and had a look at their single storey plans ... things got even more depressing for awhile there as we went through plan after plan in the SA selections without much luck.  Then we came across the Murchison in the Victorian section and it is pretty close to perfect.

The best part is that the standard build is around the $150,000 mark and we still get to take advantage of the special offer, up to $20,000, and we still have $50,000 to jazz it up.  So that made us much more positive!

It was an emotional  roller coaster of a night that is for sure!

So the Monday night we made a time to have a look through the Selection Centre so we could see what came standard, what would need to be upgraded and to ask if it is possible to do that design even through it's not in the SA floor plan selections.  We where really impressed with what they had to offer ... so now we are just waiting to hear back with a rough estimate on costs and also if that plan is possible here.

So fingers crossed looks as though things are turning around!  Finally!