Wednesday, December 21, 2011

On the first day of Christmas, my builder gave to me...

.... a permit and a start date!!

That's right folks! It has taken two years and two builders, but we finally have a building permit and a site start date! Found out this week that they are looking at doing set out in the week commencing January 9th, with drainage to follow immediately afterwards. Finally, something is happening - what an awesome Christmas present.

On that note, we would like to wish everyone a happy and safe Christmas, and hope that everyone has a great New Year!

Love from Isobel, Ben, Oscar and Kody

Monday, December 5, 2011

Colour Up Appointment

So on Wednesday last week we had our colour up appointment where I finally got to meet our builder, Pat, face-to-face for the first time. It took us over an hour and a half to drive to Hoppers Crossing for the 9am meeting - the Ring Road is terrible of a morning...glad I get the train to work! And after all that work I did designing our electrical plan, of course we were about an hour into the drive there when I realised that we left it sitting on the desk at home...

In terms of progress, final engineering has come back and plans have been sent to council for approval. We will definitely not be getting our site start this year, but Pat assures us that we will be the first job 'off the blocks' when they return from their extended Christmas break in late January. We really weren't expecting the site start to be this year after all that kerfuffle with the final engineering, so that wasn't too much of a disappointment.

Next came the fun part - choosing our selections! Being a smaller builder, Keogh don't have a big flashy 'design studio' set-up like some of the larger builders. Instead, we sat in Pat's office with a huge pile of catalogues and went through each decision one-by-one without even leaving our chairs. Although it wasn't flashy, it was straightforward and simple. In some ways I even like the fact that you don't have an entire warehouse of choices - I tend to find that the more choices you are presented with, the more confusing it can get.

I expected to be choosing things like external colours, windows and so on, so we went in with some idea of what we wanted in this regard, which helped to speed things up. What I didn't expect is the the number of minor decisions to be made - all of those tiny details, even down to the colour of the window winders - exhausting! You can see all of our external selections here, and our internal selections here.

We will update these pages as we make more selections - tiles, cabinetry, electrical, etc. As mentioned in a previous post, we chose the tiles separately through Hynes The Tile People in Hoppers Crossing. We will meet with the cabinet maker after site start to go through the kitchen design and pick our colours for the cabinetry in the kitchen, bathrooms and laundry. Carpet will be done by us after handover. I like the fact that we get to choose our tiles at a tiling store, carpet at a carpet store, cabinetry with a cabinet maker...this means that we can get the assistance of people who are professionals in their area. We have been very pleased with the assistance of Deb at Hynes Tiles - we were wandering around quite lost until she gave us some assistance, and she was able to quickly pull together an entire 'look' based on one style of tile that we said we liked.

One other issue discussed in the meeting was that of the timber flooring. One of the main features we loved about the Premier houses was the 'firestreak' flooring:

The good news is that we managed to track down their supplier, Master Plus Floors, and contacted them for a quote. The quote for Master Plus to provide the materials and lay the flooring has actually come out about $500 cheaper than Keogh have allowed for in our contract, so we decided to make a variation to credit the flooring allowance back and we will deal with Master Plus directly to organise the flooring. Very happy - it's going to look beautiful!