Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Review of our changes to standard plan & extras we did or wished we did

Thought I would add this here as someone asked on Homeone forum and it could be useful to others building a Sandringham 45 with PD (or any build really).
List is random and not in order:

  • Smoke alarms on own circuit, we did this because we plan of putting lights on a timer & all will turn off at certain times.
  • Moved heating and cooling vents in downstairs open area so not so close to each other over kitchen bench.
  • MAKE kitchen window as BIG as you can. we did 600mm*3m. looks great so far in the frame. We missed that it wasn't centered in the area but can live with that as wont be noticeable once kitchen in use.
  • I would get rid of the double opening doors in master bedroom downstairs and upstairs and just do one big one which makes location of the lights switch easier to decide on.
  • Glad we added sliding doors to entrance to ensuites and WIR areas, laundry and TV/kids rumpus room downstairs
  • Close off study feature openings so more bookshelf area and better concentration zone
  • PD doing our fireplace rather than doing post handover, one less drama
  • Make sure you get Sliding robe heights increased to 2400 (or 2340) and wasted space otherwise
  • I would get wider sliding cavity doors on all rooms.
  • We love the upstairs master bedroom option
  • We lowered the pitch of the roof on our added alfresco and dining rooms which then allows us to have much bigger windows in upstairs bedrooms at rear 
  • Custom dining room was an enclosed alfresco (see our plans to understand)
  • R1.6 Soundscreen insulation between upper and lower floors (for sandringham 45) cost us $2490
  • Also did R2 soundscreen insulation in internal walls where possible.
  • Double glazing on every single window possible, note that the upstairs front windows can't be double glazed because of the design of windows its too long and corner window Stegbar can't do them. Laundry door and front panel of glass at front door also not double glazed as stegbar cant do.
  • 600mm eaves to roof looks much better than nothing there and also protects render and stops a lot of rain on house or in windows. 
  • We did awning windows for entire house so windows can be open even if its raining outside and im not home to shut. Also make sure all windows are centered in the room (stuff the look of outside in my opinion).
  • Bedroom 4 window had to be glazed because of overlooking issues so we increased the window to 12*27 & apparently after handover and council signed off on build we can replace window if we want (i know we wont though). 
  • Depending on orientation of your house i would add window to bed 2 and bed 3 on the side of house (we didn't)
  • Add a sink to the WC upstairs, why anyone wouldn't want a sink with toilet is odd, we also moved the location of toilet, see our plans on blog.
  • We reduced size of WIR in guest master room downstairs so we could have another cloak closet in hallway
  • Door into garage/hallway.
  • I so wish I had increased the door from garage to back garden in width, didn't notice its only 820.
  • Increase ceiling heights downstairs and upstairs.
  • Increase door heights downstairs (didn't bother upstairs)
  • Top opening awning windows in family area not standard awning opening
  • We made lounge/tv room doors into a window instead.
  • Increased size of kids bath
  • Sliding Robe doors we made them the mirrored type instead of standard (makes room feel bigger & brighter and now i don't have to buy mirrors)
  • Showerscreens grange inline semi frameless instead of standard
  • master ensuite shower screen removed and just doing a panel of glass This actually SAVED us money not added it!! Took them until after Contract to finalise price despite asking pre tender. Good decision to take a gamble and do it.
  • Enclosed stairs and made door for storage, only just noticed they aren't putting any flooring on it so it will be concrete in there unless the floor people have some off cuts of flooring i can use and DIY after handover.
  • Niches in showers all added, large one for upstairs master ensuite
  • Kitchen we went all out as this is the center of our home 110% as we entertain a lot (hence the huage dining room as extension to kitchen too)
  • Island bench 4m long, the stone will have a join mark somewhere on it
  • Cupboards on bar stool side a must for craft and cookbook and random storage.
  • We have double of everything and lots and lots of storage; extended the entire kitchen 2m more to fit more in. 
  • Fridge moved into kitchen area and not in WIP area, that will be shelved and they said they are adjustable.
  • water tap in fridge area added for modern fridge with water/ice (this will be on the for the future budget list)
  • Got an heating outlet in master bedroom ensuite too, yippee warm bathroom.
  • Fireplace very excited about as its such a luxury item I never thought I'd have
  • Stairs we did traditional option 4 but all that said i still don't know what it will really look like!
  • Carpet on stairs we decide for, unsure if its a runner or full stairs anymore
  • Top grade underlay of carpet to also help reduce noise and increase comfort of carpets
  • Tiles about vanity height in ALL toilets (4 boys in house equals lots of foulness that's easier to clean with tiles)
  • Artesan Laminate flooring, hard like tiles but less noisy in open areas. We really didn't want the noise bouncing off tiles and glass walls making it unbearable when house is full.
  • Setback of house we asked council for 8m instead of 9m, got approved = very happy me = 1m more in back garden.
  • Happy we did Evaporative cooling as I dont think a/c really needed in Melbourne if house orientation good and insulation best possible and window design thought about, as well as, adding good sized eaves too. I hope we get good passive airflow. One thing I might have done was do prewire for fans in rooms as I may not be able to get that done post handover or get  electrician to do us a favour onsite and lay wire unconnected.
  • Water tank, happy we have it but unsure its in best location for us as planning veggie patch in front garden not the back.
  • We got hot and cold capped water points out the back on wall so i can put a future outdoor shower so kids dont need to go into house after swim to warm up.
  • PD dont waterproof the entire floor of wet areas and only do bath shower area, we are waiting for our variation form to come back for price but if you happy to trust your tiles and grout to waterproof the area for you dont waste your money. Our kids flood our floor daily so I am getting this done.
Ok thats it for now. 
Will drive passed site this afternoon to see if anyone on site doing anything.


  1. Have you asked your BC if you can still change some of the things you wish you had done? I was able to get away with a few small things here and there. No harm asking if you haven't already :)

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  3. You definitely got quite a lot of work to do. Glad that you've summarized them into a checklist, so you will have a more efficient follow-through from this point. That should definitely help you in the long run, especially in the matter of perfecting your doors and all the carpentry you would need in your house. Anyway, I wish you all the best in all of that! Keep us posted.

    Greg Marshall @ Crawford Door