Thursday, June 23, 2011

First Draft of New Plans

After dealing with Premier for 8 long months, with all of their delays and "it will be available next week" comments, it is very refreshing to have Keogh say to us on Saturday that he will have the first draft of the plans to us "next week" and then have them arrive on Monday night!

So here they are. We will probably change a few little things, like swapping around the linen from the study into the family room and maybe widening the fridge space, but on the whole I think we are actually almost there. Let us know what you think, as now is the perfect time to incorporate any of these changes because we have another meeting with Keogh first thing Saturday morning. We would appreciate any advice or comments that we can take with us to our meeting!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Second Meeting with Keogh Homes

We had our second meeting with Keogh Homes yesterday, and it is looking quite postive indeed. We took in our initial sketch based on our discussions from the first meeting - he was very impressed with our scale drawing! Over the next 2 hours we then went through this in detail, tossing around ideas and improvements.

It was quite interesting to hear some of the things the designer came up with, and being an accredited energy rater he has a really good understanding of how to best make our block work for us, in terms of both energy efficiency and actually living in the house. We have decided that this time we are going to go with a weatherboard design, in order to allow us extra room on the width of the house. We also feel that weatherboard will fit in with the style of Kilmore a bit better. We were thinking of something along these lines:

I really love that little corner gable on the verandah in the first picture, and with our current sketchings we should be able to incorporate something like this. Once we decide on a design for the outside I guess I'll have to update our blog header picture!

We put down an intial "design deposit" with Keogh yesterday. Basically this means that this week he will put together our intial house draft and preliminary costings. If we are not happy with this, we can walk away and get a refund on what we have paid so far. If we decide to proceed, the money already paid will form part of our final deposit. He thinks he will be able to have this ready for us in the next week electronically, and then he will post out a scale version in hard-copy. We have another meeting in two weeks time to dicuss. We are still not 100% decided on Keogh until we get these drawings and costings, but we do at least know the ballpark figure so things are looking good.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

So long, and thanks for all the fish

Big things have happened since our last update. When I last made a blog entry, we were still waiting for the contracts to arrive that Friday. Well....5pm Friday came and went, and we had all but given up on the contract when we received a phone call at approximately 8pm that night. Apparently there was a problem - a big problem...

I won't go into too much detail here, but suffice to say that there were some major issues in our original site cost estimations. Our house had been costed to go on a slab, when from day one we have said that we will need to go on stumps. We weren't happy, Onley wasn't happy, and Premier wasn't happy. After much consideration, we decided that it was all too hard and notified Premier that we no longer wished to re-sign the contract with Onley. We requested a full refund and left it at that.

Then on Thursday we received word back from Premier - they don't want us to go! They offered us Prime Construction instead, and offered to provide us with a 45 day site start. It seemed like a fair offer so we considered this, but when push came to shove, this still doesn't resolve the costing issue. And after all the delays we have experienced to this point, frankly we are a little bit over it all. So on Saturday we notified Premier that we were rejecting their counter-offer.

Where does this leave us now?

Essentially, we are back to square one - back to the drawing board. We had a meeting with Keogh Homes on Saturday morning to investigate what they can do for us. Keogh are a much smaller project builder, but they specialise in period homes and the quality of their work is outstanding. The designer gave us a lot of helpful points to consider in our new design, so we have been busy putting together an initial sketch of what we want. We have another meeting in two weeks so it will be interesting to see what he can do for us then.

We have also been looking at Highview Homes again, as it turns out they CAN build on stumps (they just prefer to build on a slab). They have some really nice weatherboard cottage style houses (the Seachange series in particular), and include a lot of the period features as standard. It just comes down to whether or not they have a floor plan that suits.

Stay tuned...