Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Display Home

Today we went by the diaply home to take lots of pictures and video, as it was our last chance to see it before they closed it down. We are happy with our decision to choose this design. French doors and larger outdoor areas are great. One disappointment is that the laundry does have sliding doors.

We have reserved ourselves to the fact that our home won't look as good as this, but there was no way we were going to spend to upgrade the way they do.
Outdoor area
Main bathroon
The bath
Other side of kitchen

Family area
Bifolds out to outdoor area
Living, we are having this cutout.
Niche's in th hallway Hallway from entrance
Niche in ensuite shower
Two showers heads in the ensuite
Alcove in master bedroom and WIR to the right
Ensuite from the master bedroom
French doors in the master bedroom
Doors to the mastr bedroom
Study, metricon has modified this to open up to a courtyard that opens from the french doors in the master bedroom

Entrance, we will be getting the promotional door.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

How it all began

We fell in love with Metricon the first display home we entered. The level of detailing to their homes was exceptional. We had looked at various builders such as, Hallmark, AV Jennings, Clarendon, Orbit Homes & Ausbuild, but nothing compared. Now all we needed was some land to build on. After about 6months of selling our previous home, we kept looking. We had a couple of possiblities, but fell short in some aspects. We ended up settling for a bit of land in Wishart which is close to where we currently live and close to our daughters school, where she has started prep.

The land is a battle axe at the end of a prestige estate (Sovereign Gardens) in the suburb of Wishart. Now we had aquired some land, it was time to look for a suitable home design. We looked at the possibilites of the Windarra or Everest. The only one of those that was available as a display was an Everest which was on display at Ormeau. We initially enquired over the phone to the sales consultant Trevor. He confirmed with us that both designs were suitable, we liked the everest as it had the extra study area. We had spoken to a previous sales consultant about a previous design for other land possibilities, so we pursued with Gary (from Heathwood) for the remainder of our experience.

After settling for the Everest 33 on our block, we looked at the possibilities of locating it on the block, since we had a battle-axe we were not under the front setback limitations you need to apply for from the BCC. So we located the home as far forward as we could plus sitting along the left boundary where the garage would be so that it would maximise the opposite side access. this would involve a small cost to the BCC for site boundary allowance, which involved permission from all adjacent neighbours. So having been happy with the location of the home, we pursued with the signing of the preliminary contract.

After we signed the preliminary contract we had to wait for the preliminary plans to be developed. Then we got a phone call from the sales consultant, who asked us to skip the prelimary contract stage and go straight to contract. What he told us that this would mean is it would save us time instead of waiting for estimates on costs, and save on only one set of drawings being drawn up instead of two had we wished to change anything. To us this sounded abit sus, so we ran with it anyway. After a few weeks we got the contract back, but because we had agreed to go straight to contract we were entitled to changes only up until contract signing stage. Usually at this stage you would not be able to change anything and would be subject to variation costs. So we reveiwed the plans and requested the necessary changes and waited for contract signing.

A few weeks later we got together with our sales consultant for contract signing. To our suprise there were additional costs involved. 1. 2. We made the necessary variations and sent away for request. In the process we had to obtain finance for the deposit, until this time no paper work could proceed. Once we paid the initial deposit. few weeks later we had a letter from our nominated CSC. Who gave us a schedule of the next few steps, including tile, colour & electrical selection. Previous to this we visited Beaumont Tiles and Studio M to browse through the range of colours we had to be able to select from.

To level or not to level.

This is when the nightmare began. The rear of our block is slopped, and requires a retaining wall. We thought we'd flatten the block and retaining up to the boundary, which sounds easy right? Wrong! Our backyard backs onto a major main road, which is state government owned. We tossed up between different designs, sleeper vs block wall. This ended up being a long and drawn out process taking over 12months to reseolve. The main reason was the Department of Main Roads design criteria were unreasonable, being so unreasonable that the cost to build such a retaining wall would end up being almost half the cost to build a house. We ended up with a hybrid design. Part sleeper wall, and part block wall, but elevating the back yard, to minimise the amount of disturbed soil we would have to excavate to keep DMR happy. To make matters worse we would have to reinstate the acoustic barrier that offered noise protection to us and the neighbouring houses.

The hole ordeal left a bitter taste in my mouth about the engineer we used, and the public servants working for QLD government. We chose the same engineer used by metricon to design their homes. We thought it might be a good decision, having the same people designing the whole job. It's hard to say if things would have been different if we went with someone else. I guess we have to except somethings in life and move on.

So 16months later, after signing a building contract which we were obliged to speed up because of the sales consultant advise, we had to fork out escalation costs on the constructions. Add this to the amount we committed to retaining wall construction, let's just say we could have spent this money on much better things. Maybe 6month holiday abroad or even more.

The whole ordeal left us fatigued and at moments losing sleep and stressed. Sometimes wanting to give up on the whole thing, and sell. We perserved and now can say we're on the way to building our own piece of paradise. (We hope)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Acoustic amelioration, WTH?

Today I read the fine print in my sales contract and discovered I need some kind of acoustic treatment to the house. This only came about because my builder queried it, as I was in close proximity to a main road.

Now I'm ringing anyone that has been associated with the development to see what I can find.

From what the real estate agent knew, he though the acoustic fence was all the sound treatment that was need to any propsed dwelling built on site.

I got onto a guy at the Department of Main Roads, he sent me the full conditions of development on that site. In a nutshell it must pass noise attenuating conditions spelt out by DMR. With with a traffic project of 10 years, it must be adequate to be inhabitable without disturbing the occupants of the house. I need to involve acoustic engineers to certify the proposed dwelling to see if it passes the design criteria.

I rang a couple of companies and they all asked for an existing noise report, or one had to be developed. According to the development application of the subdivision, there is someone who has one. I just need to track it down. That would save me thousands of dollars. The certification costs a few hundred, but the study costs way more due to equipment hire and data retrieval. I'm doing some more investigation to see who has a copy of the report.

OK a few hours later after ringing developers surveyors and engineers, i was told to contact Brisbane city council. The people working there are so helpful. He found what I was looking for and has emailed me a full copy. After I confirmed I was the owner of the property he didn't hesistate. As I read I found it was 4 years old.

I rang a couple of acoustic engineers that could help and they could make conservative projections from the data already obtained. Still wouldn't be as accurate as if they had to perform a noise report from scratch, but it was something.

Let's see what the outcome is. I would still want to use double glazing on my windows, not only to see what all the fuss is about, but being in close proximity to the road, I think we will need it.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Studio M appointment

This is not exactly the house we have selected, but use your imagination by combining the everest below with the fascade and the colour selections above, then you will have the finished product. I hope.

Indicative kitchen layout
Indicative living area layout
Indicative bathroom layout
Goto www.studiom.com.au/envisage and give it a go.

Went to Studio M today. As it was my rostered day off, we spent pretty much the whole day at Metricon deciding on colours, and electricals. We even met up with out CSC afterwards.

  1. Floor Tile
  2. Wall tiles
  3. Roof Tiles
  4. Fascias
  5. Gutters
  6. Interior Wall
  7. Window Frame
  8. Main cupboard laminex
  9. Secondary colour laminex
  10. Ceasarstone benchtop

Our complete colour selection:
Frames : Black
External Glazing:
Wet Areas: Grey Spotswood
Sidelight: Translucent
Windows & Doors: Grey Tint

Roof Tiles
Standard: Windsor
Colour: Gunmetal

Fascias, Gutters, Downpipes, Rainwater Tank
Fascia: Classic Cream
Gutter: Monument
Downpipes: Classic Cream
Rainwater Tank: Paperbark (by owners)

Gutter Profile
Profile: Trimline (square)

Garage Door
Colour: Classic Cream
Profile: Heritage

Upgrade range 4: Stonewash (Double height)
Joints: Rolled
Mortar Colour: Off white with white sand

External Entrance door
Door Style: INFWS 6G (Pivot)
Finish: Stain grade
Glazing: Clear
Laundry & Garage doors: flush panel, paint grade finish

Internal Doors
Standard: flush panel, paint grade

External door furniture
Front: Horizon 9648PH370- back to back c/w 775 series with 10EU4 escutheons
Garage & Laundry: Terrace lock + 550 series deadbolt

Internal door furniture
Style: Venice
Hinges: Chrome
Cavity Sliders: 396 circular pull

Architraves: Classic/42mm x 12mm
Skirting: Classic/ 68mm x 12mm
Cornice: Cover, 90mm

Benchtop: Raw Silk 20mm aris edge profile
Ebony Macassar code 272 Laminex: cupboards Fronts, 200mm Island Cupboard Front, Bank of drawers, Pot drawers, Island end panels, Island back panel, Kickboard
Parchment code 202 Laminex: Infill/shadowline, Overhead Doors, Overhead panels, Server all panels incl. top.
Sink: Clark Quatro
Splashback: Star Fire glass, snake skin (metallic)

Kitchen Appliances
As per promotion pack

Bathroom + Ensuite + Laundry
Licorice Linea code 279 laminex
Basin: Liano square inset with pop-up chrome waster
Bath: Newbury with pop-up chrome waste
Shower: Framed + semi framed pivot door
Mirror: Framed
Toilet: Fowler Regent

Irwell Pin Mixer
Dorf Nutra Multi Function Shower on Rail (showerhead)

Floor Waste

Bathroom Accesories
Dorf Belmore MKII Toilet roll holder & Towel rail

External Painting
Door & Frames: Sikken Dark Oak (009)
Other Hinged external doors: Taubmans - Colourbond Classic Cream
Eaves & External Ceilings: Bristol Beige Shadow
Window infill/ FC sheeting/Blueboard: Taubmans - Colourbon classic Cream

Internal Painting
Ceiling & Cornice: Metricon White
Main Wall Colour: Taubmans China Beige T2-2W
Woodwork: Bristol Bassinet P001-L3

Range: Stoney Creek
Colour: 12 Almond Shell
Underlay: Rubber 1 (Premium)

I discovered that there's a studio M website, that allows me to visualise the colour selection. This was made for victorian customers, but it can still work for us northern states. The entire range doesn't exists, but you can still choose something close.
Bathtub tiles & laundry splashbackFloor Tiles

Monday, May 4, 2009

Display home again

I'm so pissed. I went through the display home to locate all the electrical fitouts for our electrical appointment next week. I brought in the plans for the house and marked out all the down lights and switches. I left it for a few minutes on the kitchen bench and some S.O.B nicked it. I gave up and started to take a video recording instead and tried to work from that when I got home.

The nerve of some people. To take something that is not theirs. That's enough of my rant. Whoever you are, I believe in Kharma. So you will get your just desserts.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

GO Straight through to contract, (do not pass go...)

OK Gary rang me today and asked if we would like to go straight through to contract. Probably because he thinks we are genuine in our sale. What does this mean. It means to them that they won't have to print out another set of contract documents, and ultimately save time as we go straight to contract. I will not have to pay the extra amount to do so. It just get's accounted for in the end.

We're just a bit weary about rushing and making mistakes. He says it's ultimately going to save us money. How much in the end, is still unknown. Basically we will be able to start a month ahead of schedule if we go this way. Usually you are not able to make any changes or variations to the contract after this stage, but if we choose this option, we will be able to confirm one set of changes, then the submission will be made. We just have to wait for the costs and estimates to come back to us.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Land Purchase Settled

Today I submitted my cheque with my conveyancing lawyer.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Preliminary Contract

Today we signed a preliminary contract with the initial deposit. Our sales consultant gave us a $2000 discount as he probably knew about our dilemma on the previous plans. Never settle for a sales price, you will be suprised at how much you might be entitled to.

We are going to go through the contract with a fine tooth comb dot the i's and cross the t's.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tree Removal

Got the tree experts booked to come in and remove that tree on the block. It's booked for the 3rd of March

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Walk through appointment

Well we went for our walk through appointment today with Gary. Even though this is not his diplay home he was helpful enough to come out early to meet us and go through the house, and list out the options.

We will decide from this whether we want to go through with the contract.

We already lost the initial deposit on the other land a few months back.

This layout is heaps better than the other one

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Soil Test Report

Today I got my soil test report. It says it's Class H/P. Highly reactive soil/Problematic. This is due to a tree on site. The allows the soil to be moist, so they must assume the worst cast. This tree will be removed if we ever go through with the sale

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Ormeau Display Home

Went for a visit to the Ormeau display home. Trevor is the sales consultant out there. I don't know if it's Metricon, but all their homes look nice. I'd be happy to build an Everest on our block. We gave him the measurements and he will give us a response in the next few days.

Looks like it will fit, but can't be sure until proper surveys are done. We might have the same problem as the last area.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Arrange Soil Test

Today I rang STA to arrange a soil test on our land, just to see if we had any bargaining power when we negotiate with the sales agent.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Offer placed

Well we put in our offer for the battle-axe lot. Not expecting much. Let's see what the outcome is.