Saturday, February 28, 2009

Colour Selection Appointment

It was an exciting day on Thursday making our selections, but also a learning curve in learning about different features e.g. types of tiles and all the elements of the electrical set up. Whilst I will go through our day process and the selections we made, I will have to add photos at a later date once I actually have samples of them all.

First appointment: Cosham Interiors
9:00am to 11:00am (1 hour less than expected)
First things first: the façade we chose – The Scottsdale, with the full balcony, and the side entry, being a grand entry from The Windsor façade did not really match together. T spotted the discrepancy questioning if the Sales Consultant had offered the suggestion of simply raising the roof above the door on The Scottsdale façade. We had not had that option presented to us, but yes it definitely made more sense, so we didn’t have two separate looking houses matched together. She will follow this up with the designers/architects.
Smooth sailing from then on.
Bricks: to be rendered
Render: (Colourbond) Paperbark
Roof tiles: (Capri) Ebony
Gutters: (Colourbond) Monument (a very dark blue – blacks have been removed from their range)
Fascia: (Taubmans) Pebble Bay
Downpipes: (Colourbond) Paperbark (we don’t want them standing out)
Infill above windows: (Taubmans) Pebble Bay
Aluminium window frames: (Dowell) White Birch
Meterbox: (Colourbond) Paperbark (don’t want this standing out either)
External doors (laundry and garage): (Taubmans) Pebble Bay
Front door: (Corinthian) Sunburst – (Cabot’s) Australian Jarrah
Garage door – Front: (Panelift) Statesman – Paperbark (with Sherwood windows)
- Back: (Henley upgrade - Rollerdoor) Paperbark
Benchtop: (Caeserstone) Nightsky
Cabinet doors: (Laminex) Echelon Redwood (now comes with rounded edges as standard)
Kickboard: (Laminex) Echelon Redwood
Splashback tiles: (Beaumont Tiles) Gloss Stone (63201) 200x300 stacked
Frieze tiles: (Beaumont Tiles) (93246L) (to be laid one tile down below Gloss Stone beneath overhead cupboards)
Mixer: not the rounded one
Door handles:
Bathrooms and Laundry
Benchtops: (Laminex) Starlight - Diamond Gloss Finish 873
Cabinet doors: (Laminex) Echelon Redwood
Ensuite cabinet: (Henley upgrade) 4 doors and 3 drawers
Wall tiles: (Beaumont Tiles) Limestone Bone Gloss (48550) 330x330
Floor tiles: (Beaumont Tiles) Limestone Bone Gloss (48550) 330x330
Basins: rounded
Walls: (Bristol Paint) Moon River
Stairs: handrailing – (Cabot’s) Australian Jarrah (to match front doors)
Carpets and Timber Flooring we had quoted from Floors Plus but have since decided not to go with as the cost seems excessive.

Second Appointment: Meccair
We fit in time for a quick bite to eat prior to this appointment as we knew the remainder of the day would be really busy. We spoke to the Henley consultant, who was very helpful, especially in explaining the benefits of the system (which I had previously selected without D’s consultation) to D. The system we have selected (although expensive) is the Actron Plus, which enables us to zone 8 areas, but only have areas running that we need, helping reduce the capacity of energy the unit itself needs to pump out at any given time. The Sales Consultant commented that he wished all people were like us, to make the time to sort out their requirements (including placement of the unit and controllers) so we know what to expect when we get it and can have input into the placement, rather than complaining later that it wasn’t as expected.

Third Meeting: Clipsal Powerhouse
This was an impromptu decision, as once again, we were running ahead of schedule. D was highly impressed by the display which I had previously seen with D’s mum during the holidays. It helped create further excitement for him for our meeting with the electrician later in the afternoon.

Fourth Meeting: Corinthian Doors
Yet another impromptu meeting rather than an actual appointment, however, this yielded no successful results. When I visited during the holidays they informed me the Sunburst doors would be available for display in about a month. Here we are a month and a half later and it is still not in. We have asked Henley to quote us for it, but we would like to see it for real, rather that just a picture prior to actually getting it. Looks like a return visit here will be required. They will phone us when they come in.

Fifth Appointment: Star Electrical
For this appointment, I had very little knowledge and undertaken no research. I was hoping W could be the person to provide us with information. That he did. Lots of $$ worth.We had allocated/budgeted so much, but the new amount came as a bit of a shock. Why so much? Well, what we thought was a C-bus system turned out to be a whole lot of systems combined to produce what is really Home Automation. While the C-bus can be connected to most of the systems, we need to set up and install the other systems first. These include lighting, power points, security, and star serve (for home theatres). W discussed our lighting layout with us, but reflected that the other systems are a little harder to determine at this early stage as we are unsure about where we will set up furniture and what will be in each room. He suggested he will quote us on everything that we discussed, using his experience to estimate what things we will want and require, and then we can work backwards deleting off the things we don’t want, bringing the price back down. Sounds like a plan to me. At least we have made a start on this side of things. Thankfully, this doesn’t need to be finalised until the beginning of stage 3 in about 5 weeks time.

Sixth (and final) Appointment: Bank SA
Time to share the truth. It was great being able to see Steve before he goes on holiday for the month of March, and tell him we now have our house under contract, however the reality of the expected cost of The Majestic was harder to verbalise. Eventually we spat it out. While rather shocked at first, and questioning if we are building a mansion (YES), he sat down and worked through all the figures with us. Final word: some months will be very tight, but we can afford to continue. We could even borrow more according to the almighty computer, however, this is not a path we would want to follow nor could realistically do. At least we know we can keep our dream alive and continue to put in upgrades to our house that can only be done in the build process and not have to skimp and scrape and just build a mediocre home because it was all we could afford. This is our dream. We only plan on doing it once. We have to get it right the first time!

We arrived home at 5:30pm. Such a busy day, but ever so productive. No, not one fight! D and I were in agreeance with everything. We remain really positive about the process and look forward to the continuing searching of quotes for things like carpet, tiling, driveway…or in D's case Home Theatre requirements and accessories.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The night before Colour Selection

I feel like a child the night before Christmas waiting eagerly for Father Christmas to put the presents under the tree.

Our colour selection appointment is tomorrow!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Display Home Photos

While these do not represent our colour selections, there will be some similarities. These are photos of The Majestic show home in Adelaide which closed late in 2008.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Paperwork signed

After 1 month of researching, searching, viewing, comparing… we returned to see V at the display centre to sign the documentation related to the building of The Majestic.

Officially we now enter Stage 1 of the building process. Whilst I didn’t realise we needed the Certificate of Title for our block at this meeting, everything else was smooth sailing. We requested the Scottsdale Façade at an additional cost, along with the Grand entry from the Windsor Façade. The only structural change was the removal of the wall between the his and hers walk in robe to the master ensuite and we followed up that their will be two sliding doors leading onto the balcony, not just 1 and a window. Additionally, we will include a rear roller door to the garage so we can drive into the back yard for washing cars, and get drawers in the bathroom in the master ensuite. At this point we thought we were being quite conservative with our money, although going for the extras we really wanted. Then came the optional additions we didn’t know about – insulation, instantaneous hot water… and the extras which just haven’t been mentioned to this point but I had listed as questions – footings?, storm water (to follow up ourselves), electricity for 2 stories (3 phase power), connections … In total the cost has come to over $100 000 more than budgeted, without C-bus, solar panels, rain tanks, colour selections (e.g. Caesar Stone Kitchen bench top)… but does include air conditioning and floor coverings. V informed us it was okay for me to fax through a copy of the certificate of title today, which is required for Stage 1 to proceed any further.

The whole process has been really exciting – deciding on roof tiles, colours of tiles, type of flooring in each area, air conditioning… and also mind consuming, creating some sleepless nights thinking about what are the best options and what if we make a wrong decision.

We now have a ‘Complete Home Manual’ which guides us through each stage of the building process, including all the pre-building admin stages like what we are entering into now. I’ve already read it from cover to cover of course, and D picked it up last night have a skim read through the first sections.

Previously I was concerned about D being equally involved in the selections, but I think all has turned out well with him having input in everything and us being in agreeance before any contact has been made with Henley.

Stage 1 is meant to take approximately four weeks. The paper work we signed on Saturday will be checked and accepted by the office. Then Henley will arrange a soil test, siting and site survey by contacting D for us to line up a time with the current tenants of the house on the block. Within two weeks a colour selection appointment will be made with Cosham Interiors for us to put forward all the other exciting decisions we have made and gain more of an understanding to the full extent of cost. The consultant with either be T or C, who may well follow through with us the whole building process. I met T when D's mum and I went to their selection room to view the Bristol paint range and she was more than helpful in answering the many questions I had at that stage. That appointment will last approximately 3 hours, so D and I may well need to take a day off work (or at least get out early) as Henley (at Wayville) are only open Mon-Fri 9am to 5pm. Two weeks after the colour selection a tender will be presented to us (another 2-3hour meeting) showing final costings for the entire build.

In the lead up to the meeting with V on Saturday, we were also preparing to sell our home. I have been busy packing, painting, cleaning, pruning… Then last weekend we had a working bee. Friends and family came round to complete some of the larger tasks – cutting back trees, removing trellis, hard waste dumping, buying and laying of Forever Red bark chips. On Friday night before meeting V we organised a meeting with AS (a real estate agent) (highly recommended by WM) and signed a contract to put our house on the market. So now we have simultaneous processes underway of selling and the early stages of building. The tenants have also moved out of our investment property, so many boxes have been moved over there to reduce clutter here for open inspections and in anticipation of our move, creating less work at a later date.

Stress to this point has been kept to a minimum, with just a few moments popping up here and there. Being stressed is one thing but feeling like we are on top of things and organised is another. The later being more how we have felt about the process.

We look forward to many more exciting times ahead, but of course are not wishing the time away. We want to enjoy the experience.

P.S. V said that currently the build process is at 38 weeks for The Majestic, with the current admin stage taking approximately 20 weeks, including council approval.