Sunday, October 30, 2011

Boys and girls, the word of the day is COMMUNICATION!

So, it has now been a month since the contract was signed. The loan has been approved and the documents have been signed and sent off, so this week we thought it was time to check up on what Keogh was doing....

In our last post we wrote that Keogh had told us they were waiting for the final engineered drawings, so we thought that the plans should be with council right now, right? Wrong....

Turns out that when Keogh told us two weeks ago that they were waiting for the final engineered drawings, they meant that they still had to give the draftsman the go ahead to start the drawings. This would be fine, except that the designer thought that the builder was following this up, and the builder thought the designer was following it up. End result? No one was following it up and nothing has been done - grrrrr!

So now it will take anywhere from one to three weeks to have the final drawings done up and checked, then another week or so to put together the council permit application. We asked about the likelihood of having a site start by Christmas, and the builder only said it is "probable". I think "probably NOT" is the more appropriate response, but maybe I am just being pessimistic.

One thing we did not want to have to do with these builders is ride their backs every week to make sure things were happening, like what we had to do with Premier, but now it looks like we are going to have to. We will be giving them a call again at the end of the week to make sure everything is on track again, and perhaps talk about scheduling in the electrical appointment and/or colours appointment sometime soon. I would just like to have something "housey"to do again - I think I am having withdrawals.

We did go and have a look at a beautiful open house on Saturday which helped to curb the housey urges a bit. The property in question is on a similar-sized block to ours, and the styling and look of the house was very much in line with what we want to achieve, so we thought it would be good to go along and see what ideas we could pick up.

Front view

Kitchen and family room - quite like the fretwork separating the kitchen

As expected, the house was beautiful inside, but I also love what they have done with the back deck and backyard. We are still going to need to put up another retaining wall between our house and the backyard once the house actually goes up, and it would be great to do something like what they have done. Got some great ideas from this excursion, so it was well worth the trip.

Backyard - like this retaining wall and how they have done the steps into a wide lawn area

Like the look of this deck area too

In other news, we have now been blogging about our house building experience for 12 months - seems to have gone quite fast (although we still don't have a house!). In that time we have signed contracts with two builders, terminated the services of one builder, and visited more display homes than you can poke a stick at!

We have had over 2,600 page views since starting the blog, and thanks to our widely-travelled friends, we have had visitors from the US, Germany, the UK, New Zealand, Latvia, and even Mongolia! Wow!

Here's to the next 12 months - and our house finally getting built :)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Loan approval and some light shopping

Got a lovely email from the bank on Friday to say that the loan has been approved, pending acceptance of the First Home Owners Grant (which I don't see us having a problem with since it has been accepted once before!).

Ben called Keogh today to let them know of the loan approval and to find out how they are going with the permits and so on. Turns out that they are still waiting for the final engineered drawings before they can apply for the permit, but they are expecting them this week sometime. Once that has all been submitted, they will be scheduling the colour selection meeting and the electrical appointment....can't wait!

In the meantime, we thought we would go have a look at lights to give us an idea for the electrical plan. We had already purchased this light earlier in the year from Recollections, to go over the bench in the kitchen in our original Premier house design - luckily it will suit just as well in the new house design!

"Portia" Servery 3-light from Recollections

So given how much I like "matching" things in life, we thought we would go back to Recollections to see what they had in terms of pendant lights - just to look mind you, not to purchase. However, it turns out this 'Portia' range has now been discontinued - BUT, they happened to have ONE 6+3 pendant chandelier left, at 50% off no less - bargain! Definitely couldn't pass that one up.... this will look lovely over the dining table.

"Portia" 6+3 pendant light

Then, when the customer service assistant was ringing up the purchase, she helpfully offered to check the availability of the other sized lights in other stores. Turns out that the Mitcham store had one 6-light pendant left (also at 50% off!), so we raced over there and snapped up that one too! We are planning to put this one in the family room.

"Portia" 6 light pendant

Inspired by our bargains, I had a look on eBay to see what else we could source....

Unfortunately I couldn't find any matching "Portia" lights, but I did find these similar lights that I think would go well in bedrooms 2 and 3:

Lights for Bedrooms 2 and 3

We successfully bid for and won these items (another bargain!), and we pick them up next weekend.

So that is almost half of our lights sourced for the house in one weekend - now we just have to try and squish them into the storage locker.....