Monday, December 13, 2010

The building begins.....

The week of Christmas, when you think nothing will start, our block was pegged and scraped ready to accept the concrete slab.

Monday 13th December 2010 - Site was pegged to show the boundaries of the house. A very lonely peg but the sign of things happening

Monday 20th December 2010 - Site was excavated 

Tuesday 21st December 2010 - Piers were laid

Friday 7th January 2011 - Formwork set up to outline walls of the house plus plumbing

Friday 14th January 2011 - We have a slab!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Final Signoff - Eden Brae

Friday 3rd December 2010

Since signing on the dotted line back in July its been a long 6 months to get to final sign-off stage. After receiving, checking, signing off then rechecking all the PCV's and plans we are now heading off towards the construction phase. This was our last meeting with Chloe, our coordinator at Eden Brae, and now we wait to see if something happens before Christmas.

At this meeting, it was also discussed that our neighbours directly across the road are building an Eden Brae home at exactly the same time as ourselves. Therefore they will hopefully be able to share trades and also push things along. Fingers crossed!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Heading off to Council

With the plans now complete we were heading off to council. Unfortunately for us, the estate we are building in requires submission to the "Estate Council" before proceeding to the Local Council. Therefore on the 24th September 2010, our house plans and garden specifications were sent off to "The Ponds" council. This process checks the plans for facade design, tree and garden selection and textures and treatments to make sure that it "fits with the rest of the estate".

For a process that was supposed to take 2 weeks ended up being close to 4, after our garden specifications were rejected due to letterbox configurations and retaining wall design. Finally after weeks of chasing, our plans were approved on the 22nd October 2010.

Next step was local council. 

My husband had heard about a new process called Complying Development Approval. This new process allows houses to be approved within 10 working days instead of the ordinary 6- 8 weeks. To apply to Complying Development you need to meet strict guidelines specifically in terms of land to house ratios. We complied and off we went! By the 12th November 2010, we were approved and final DA approval by the 26th November 2010. 

Now we wait to see if we will have a slab for Xmas!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Electrical Selection

Well what can be said about the electrical appointment with Home Smart Innovations. My husband had a field day!

We went to this meeting knowing that there would be some essentials (powerpoints, tv points) and also get the house wired for down lights but by the time we left we had in ceiling surround sound to not only the media room but to the outside alfresco area. How did that happen?

To be honest this process was fantastic and was made even easier by the computer program they use to design the electrical blue print. We were able to place the electrical's exactly where we wanted them and it would keep a tally of what had been spent. That way if you are over budget you can then start taking things off until you bring it down. Fantastic! 

In the end, we spent an additional $4k on electrical but we have now got just about everything we will ever need.

Upgrades to electrical includes:
  • Full down light installation to downstairs and front door ( we were only going to get them wired in and installed later but after doing some research it wasn't much dearer to let them do the full installation)
  • Extra power points, three way switches and tv points.
  • 5 point surround sound to media room and alfresco.
  • Doorbell
  • Outside lighting wired in

Friday, September 10, 2010

Kitchen Selections

10th September 2010

We attended our meeting with Forstan Kitchens at the Home Option Gallery. I was slightly scared of this process as I had previously told that they will try and get you to upgrade everything. No one told me that I would actually probably want everything they tried to sell me!

In the end we decided on an all white kitchen with a grey glass splashback. We have decided to source this ourselves rather than through the kitchen company as the quote came in a lot dearer than other companies we have approached. The splashback will not be installed till after handover due to the high risk of breakage by other trades.

Our selections are:
Kitchen Cabinets - Laminex Natural Finish
Kitchen Bench Tops - Essa Stone New Basmati
Handles - Hettich Handles 30cm


2 x Pot Drawers additions
Reduce size of pantry to accommodate pot drawers
Stainless steel kickboards
Eden Brae shadowlines for benchtops

Plumbing Selection

10th September 2010

While at the Home Option Gallery we had an appointment scheduled with Cooks Plumbing. Of the whole process I found this the most disappointing experience. Eden Brae have quite specific inclusions in terms of tapware and basins and we were told this was all we could have. They had no sample to show what we would actually get in our package other than a flick book with a grainy picture.

I was not happy with the basins in the package and was more than willing to pay the difference to upgrade but when I asked it all seemed to hard. We eventually changed our basins to the following:

Powder Room Sink
Bathroom and Ensuite Sink

We also upgraded the toilets to one with less space between the bowl and cistern. It was only $24 extra so we change over all 3 toilets.

Tiles / Carpet Selection

10th September 2010

Our tile and carpet selection was not scheduled for the day of our Home Options Gallery appointment, but as we finished our selections so quickly we decided to head off to Di Lorenzo. Of all the house selections I found floor tiles and carpet the most challenging. 

After two hours of pulling out tiles and walking back and forth from the carpet wall we thought we had it all picked out. However,  I have to admit that our first selection was changed the very next day, once I slept on it over night. It just didn't feel right!

After taking my mum and husband back to Di Lorenzo and using our one change allowance we changed our selection to below:  

Initially I wanted lighter carpet and darker floor tiles but with two small children we decided to go in the reverse. To make it harder for ourselves, with our new grey colour scheme, we now have furniture which does not suit (current house is brown tones!). We are using a rich walnut on the front door and staircase (open tread risers) so the colours should all tie in nicely. I HOPE!

Bathroom Selections

10th September 2010

Still at Di Lorenzo, we needed to also select our bathroom tiles. We had decided that we would select our tiles and duplicate them in both bathroom / ensuite, powder room and toilets.

We tried to select our bathroom tiles within the Eden Brae range of standard tiles as we knew that we wanted to pay the extra and tile to the ceiling. Its only once you really look at new homes that you realise they tile the bare minimum in their packages. To do this cost a little over $1000 per bathroom.

We chose the following:
Bathroom Cabinets - Laminex New Graphite
Bathroom Bench Tops - Laminex Pure Calcite

The Mosaic tile will be used in the shower niche only and white tile to the ceiling. 
Dark grey 30 x 30cm tiles have been selected for the floor.

Colour Selections

Friday 10th September 2010

Our meeting with Home Options Gallery to make all our selections for the house. We were told to have our bricks and roof tiles selected prior to this appointment. So off to PGH we went, without the kids, for hours of pulling out samples and placing them in different lights to understand what it would look like in a whole house!

Final outside selection:
Brick - Espresso - Ironed with off white mortar
Roof - CSR Traditional - Barrumundi
Garage Door - Dune
Windows - Bond off White - Surfmist
Balcony - Monument
Gutters / Downpipes - Monument
Balcony Render - Dune
Driveway - Charcoal Pavers
Front Door - Rich Walnut

Inside Selection:
Walls - Dulux Morning Moon
Woodwork  / Doors - White Smoke
Skirting - 1/2 Splay Ashwood
Cornice - Jazz

Our designer, Michelle was fantastic and completely understood the direction we wanted to go in terms of colour / look. A note for anyone tackling this project, develop a mood book with images from magazines. By me doing this, we were able to knock 2 hours off the selection process and Michelle was able to reduce the number of choices to those applicable to us.  

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Tender and Contract Process

Thursday 29th July 2010

Eden Brae scheduled a meeting for us for Thursday 29th August 2010 at 11:00am. This is where we presented with the Building Contract and a set of construction plans for our new pad.

We were quickly told that upon signing of the contract, the balance of 5% will be payable. That's a lot of money. Hopefully we are doing the right thing!

At the meeting we were quite happy to find that our final quote came in within $2000 of our expectations. It did help that friends of ours had built an Entertainer 12 months earlier and were able to give us a rough idea of what things cost and what should and shouldn't be upgraded.

Site costs were minimal - $2000 compared to the $5000 anticipated. 

Now its time to get the bank side sorted and we off on the house building roller coaster!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Initial Meeting with Eden Brae

Sunday 6th June 2010

We decided to go to Homeworld at Kellyville to walk around the house we had been dreaming about for the past two years. The Eden Brae Entertainer. We had all but built this house in our heads including the furnishings!

That weekend we decided that we would approach Bede at Eden Brae to ask about "when will building start?" and "how much are we are approximately looking at?". Glad we did, as that weekend the price of the house went up $15k and so did all the extras. 

At our first meeting with Bede we selected the following:

  • Entertainer 35 
  • Contemporary Facade with deletion of the gable roof and addition of a hip room.
  • Balcony in full render and entry archway squared off.

We also selected the following upgrades:

  • 1/2 price Air Con and Kitchen Package
  • Change wine rack to a storage cupboard with shelving
  • Increased ceiling height
  • Added feature doors to media room and study
  • Add bi-fold doors and window to back room
  • Add stained entry stairs and balustrade
  • Add a door to under-stairs
  • Increase shower size in en-suite.

We now had to organise 7 weeks of stalling, as the husband was going to the US for work and wasn't available for colour selections and contract signing. Luckily for us everything you do for a house takes forever to come together!