Well where do I even begin! It's been a few months since I last posted and not much progress has happened. So as any good story teller will say ... lets start at the very beginning ....
Dec 2011 - we had a meeting with James from Precision just before Christmas to go over the quote.
Our original budget was between $250,000 and $300,000 for the build which we had been assured time and time again would be fine!
The quote was $400,000 (give or take) that's $100,000 over budget!
Over the few weeks of Christmas we went over everything with a fine tooth comb taking things out, cutting back here or there and after New Years I sent a very lengthy email to James outlining what we wanted to change, where our budget has to be and asking for his advise of what to cut out to get there.
Jan 2012 - after sending off the email we waiting for 2 weeks with no response. Sent a second email, called twice with again no response.
Feb 2012 - we started working on different plans our self, cutting down to a single bathroom, taking out a lot of the extra features we where assured would come within our budget and sent of another email saying that we want to arrange a time for to go over the quote and new plans with him. This one we got a response to, and we set up a time in March.
Mar 2012 - I emailed James a couple of days before our appointment to confirm the time only to receive an email back telling us that he has left the company so will no longer be able to meet with us but he is handing our project over the William, the Director, who will be able to meet with us the next week.
End of Mar 2012 - we meet with William, who told us straight away that the plans we where wanting to do we could never do in our budget range, and the best thing to do would be to start from scratch with a new floor plan. So we spent nearly two hours getting him up to speed with everything that we wanted, the modern look, the small features that we wanted to keep and the things we where willing to cut back on. We left the meeting feeling like he had a good idea of what we wanted in our home, we also said that if we cant do our dream home then we would cut out budget back to $200,000 - $250,000, which he wasn't keen on but still thought he could do something within that range.
April 2012 - our second meeting with William, this time with floor plans that he had come up with, all of the features that we wanted were gone, no window splash back in the kitchen, no two way bathroom, display niches. The only good thing was that we still had a huge pantry. We spent an hour and a half going over every inch of the plan, changing things here and there until it 9:00pm at night and it was time to call it quits for the evening. We where disappointed, the floor plan looked like something you could pick out of a book, there was no thought to the use of the space no special features nothing that set is aside as being a home that we had designed.
Our frustration continued when at every turn we kept getting reminded how low budget we where, we cant do this or that because we don't have the money for it. That they had done an amazing plan or idea for another client but that it didn't apply to us because that was for a $700k budget.
May 2012 - our latest contact was an email to show an idea of what the frontage would be like. Again there was nothing about it that we originally wanted, it almost looked as though our floor plan had been put into a 3D model simulator and they put some render on the front and left the garage bricked.
So really the last six months have been a waste of time, we don't have a final working plan, a front elevation, we have nothing! The only blessing is that we haven't signed any contracts and we haven't paid any money.
Time to take a step back and look at our options we think ...