Monday, 28 July 2014

Finalising choice of house to build on our block

We have a ~650sqm block, 14m frontage x 45m length. This immediately limited our choice of houses to build because the block just isn't wide enough. We had lots on our wish list for our home but the basics came down to a 2 story home, 5+ bedrooms (master bedroom upstairs at back of house), 3+ toilets/bathrooms, a pool, a study, separate zones for kids, a large kosher kitchen (2 ovens, 2 dishwashers, 2 sinks and a huge island bench for kids to eat & gather around), a large dining room to accommodate large meals but not too big that it was never used, a relaxed lounge/living area open plan near the kitchen, we didn't want the tv in the open plan area if possible, lots of windows and natural light in kitchen/living area, a good sized garden with an area for veggies and area for kids to play.

After looking at various custom builders & volume builders (Metricon, Carlise, Porter Davis, etc), it came down to cost and our budget. The design we picked was Porter Davis' Sandringham 45.
Upper Master Suite Option - Standard floor plans

The Porter Davis sales consultant (ADJ) was really helpful and was willing to help with all our changes and requests. We went to a meeting with him with a full page of requests which he said were possible or we were to discuss at Tender meeting or with our allocated Building Coordinator. We wanted to customise lots of things as you will note on any volume builder display home they are FULL of upgrades and customised things to make them look amazing. Everything you see you will need to ask if that is standard or upgraded.

Tips for going through display homes
- Take loads of photos of everything. Forget about the furnishings and look at the details
- Window sizes,
- Window positions,
- Type of window openings, remember if you want to leave a window open when you aren't home and it rains you really have to have awning windows. We changed almost every single window in the house. Some we wanted more of a clear view out so made them top opening awning windows. The bedrooms we made bigger and centered windows. The overlooking window in top floor kids room has to be opaque due to council guidelines and was tiny and high so we completely changed that.
- The windows on the front facade cant be touched so we selected the facade based purely on the type of windows we were going to get. We didn't want a balcony on the upper floor as we saw this as wasted space and not fussed over the image of the house.
- If you have a choice between A&L doors and Stegbar, I would highly recommend the A&L doors they are solid and gorgeous. PD wont let us have them as we have a prestige home which they have a contract with Stegbar; but their cheaper homes are allowed to have the A&L doors. Really really annoyed that the prestige home are allowed the better doors, what a ridiculous decision on their part to sign a contract for poorer doors for their more expensive homes. Grrrrr
- Doors. We increased the internal roof height of the lower and ground floors so therefore all the doors had to have their height increased downstairs, we didn't bother with upstairs.
- The front doors that come standard aren't that nice so we were allowed to pick another from the Corinthian doors range. I really want the wide solid door like the pivot door but at $3k I have compromised to another door, yet to be decided. Colours appointment soon and decision has to be made.
- look at the floors and carpets and colour choices throughout the home for your style preferences
- look at the lighting ideas they have done. Down-lights are upgrades, we are budgeting plenty of $ for the LED down-lights. It will be a large outlay at the beginning but are told it will pay off in the end.
- check out the cabinetry of the display home. wardrobes don't typically come with anythings but a shelf and hanging rod. We will do this post handover to save money. They told us that its cheaper to do afterwards and not them.
- Kitchen choices, shelving, cupboards, sinks, splash backs etc look at everything and my guess it is an upgrade, budget for it if you want it to look like display home.

I find it so hard to visualise the display home on our block especially as they floor plan we've selected doesn't actually have a display to view. Often the display homes are on tiny blocks and we are hoping we have enough room still for our pool and area for kids beyond the alfresco.

Things that we selected and altered at time of signing the sales form and paying the $2k deposit.
- increased kitchen bench tops, altered the kitchen by adding cupboards and areas for extra DW, sink, oven, moving fridge from butlers pantry, waterfall bench top
- rain water tank
- solar hot water included
- changed all windows, double glazing
- added under stairs storeroom, a hallway cloakroom,
- evaporative cooling, I don't think Melbourne ever gets hot enough for long enough to justify a/c to whole house. We are installing a pool so that should keep us warm also the fact that we have to have 6 star energy rating and have positioned windows, extended eaves, have semi thought about natural solar heating in winter and cooling in summer. we will consider prewiring and installing noggin for future ceiling fans in room that may require extra cooling however evaporative cooling has fan function not just cooling function.
- Little things like niches in showers and thinking about extra taps, gas points for BBQ, lighting ideas
- insulation we wanted as much as possible with soundproofing
- we closed over all the feature holes/windows in walls between study and lounge.
- we added an extra 2 rooms/areas to the house, one will be an alfresco & the other will be a dining room (like adding an enclosed alfresco).
- we selected the Dream Big promotion, the Miele kitchen promotion, and the flooring option.

## Oh it wasn't until we signed that the sales consultant mentioned the build start date couldn't be until November (this was way back in May). What a massive disappointment, no wonder they didn't offer to mention this prior to taking our $2k. We then looked into a custom builder to see if they could offer the same and start earlier - no luck, much more expensive for only a month or so early build.

Now we had to wait for our paperwork to be sent to PD east office. Wait we did until I got on the phone and started hassling them as to when I would be contacted by the head office about appointments for Tender and then colours, electrical & tile appointments, and then the final Contract meeting. The sooner all this is decided the sooner we might be able to get to start early as someone else may not be ready in the October or even September with their land title/mortgage etc.

1 comment:

  1. What is the rebuild cost of my house?

    As the term suggests, the rebuild cost is the amount of money you’d need to rebuild your home from scratch.

    Rebuilding takes into consideration the price of labour and materials that would be involved in building a house identical to yours on the land you own.

    The final sum is usually less than the market value of your home, ie the amount you’d expect to get if you were selling it.

    This is because factors such as the land, location, school catchment area, and supply and demand are taken into account.