Friday, August 27, 2010

How would you like to pay for that?

So we have had somewhat of a productive week with some ups and downs, nothing to serious though.
We had a meeting with PD on Wednesday at which we went through all the structural changes to the house and locked in anything we needed or didnt need or could or couldnt have in the house. For example we added in a couple of internal doors that didnt come standard, we added a niche to our ensuite shower that we didnt know we could have, but we had to take out a niche that we planned for the Lounge as structurally they could not put it in. This was a bummer, I was really loving my mirrored lounge niche but had to say goodbye to it.. oh well you win some you lose some!
We also went through the site costs and it came as a pleasant surprise to us that they were going to be a couple of grand cheaper than what we had budgeted for! Bonus! The slab and these costs also cover cementing our alfresco and front porch areas too, another bonus! This bonus was in turn spent on internal doors! Doors are so expensive! Why is that? Your looking at about $300 a pop! Crazy!!! *Shrug* Eh, what can you do?
Next thing was the payment. We are thankful as we have been able to put a cash deposit down on the house rather than out of the mortgage so we will actually own a good bit of the house ourselves... well maybe just one room I guess and most likely the smallest one in the house....which would be the toilet!

One other sad part of this week was that I found out that we couldnt have a pool! Boo hoo!
Why? I know your all asking, because you were so looking forward to spending summer at the Dunne Resort weren't you?
Well because when we looked at our plans in the first instance we were thinking of a plunge pool. All good till I found out they have to be so many meters away from an easement and we dont have that much space between the house and the easment to fit the pool. So the next option was to look at running a lap pool down the side of our house. It seemed like a great plan, then the bubble was burst!
Firstly, lap pools are waaay more expensive than plunge pools, like $30K more expensive! Secondly, the way we have to have our house on the land only leaves a space of 2.8 meters down the side we were planning. I wanted to have the pool 2 metres wide and have a meter wide of paving by it, there goes that.
Thirdly, because it would have been so close to the house they would need to put deeper supporting anchors under the house and pool so that they would not cave in, this would cost thousands, we dont have thousands for anchors.. So bye bye pool!
On the bright side of all this, we have decided that the Dunne Resort will still be open for business, but just with a smaller option of an above ground Jacuzzi. Something to this effect:

Please be aware that the view is not part of the package!

We have also locked in our facade which is the Ashmont. Although the picture below is incorrect as ours is the flipped version, making the garage and the entry are on the right side of the house not the left, but it will give you a rough idea anyway.

Our plans are all locked in now too, so no more changes to them.

Also the wrong way, they are flipped too.
This week we have appointments for our colours, tiles and electricals. I am in charge of colours and Derek is in charge of electricals and we both did the tiles.. The appointments take about 3-3 1/2 hours each so it will be another week that will be full on and full steam ahead!
They told us on Wednesday that they will have a start date for us very very soon! YAY!
We are getting ridiculously excited now!
Untill next time,
Sayonara and Arriverderci

Friday, August 20, 2010

Mounds of Dirt and Minds with Designs

So not a lot to report over the last couple of weeks.
I'll go back to where I left off the other week, which was we were heading out looking at splashback and kitchen designs..

So that weekend went very well! We drove all over Melbourne pretty much on that Saturday!
We started off looking at kitchen places in the South East of Melbourne to get ideas on the splashbacks, cupboard's, doors and benchtops. We spoke with a few kitchen guys, who gave us some really good information on the differences between Laminex and Formica and Caesar Stone and Essa Stone. Helped a lot just to talk to people.

Then we headed into Frank Walker at National Tiles so I could show Derek my ideas for our tile selections. He was pleased with the choices I had made on the colours and size of the tiles and we agreed on a pebble feature as well! TILES CHOSEN - TICK!

Next we headed over to the Hopetoun Interior place again to just go over what we already knew on the colours/styles we liked for everything. But it was nice to really know what we liked and have a firmer grasp of the choices we will make before we get to our appointment.

Hopping back in the car the next place to visit was display homes! So off we headed out to Point Cook in Melbourne's West. We needed petrol, so a quick detour to the servo for fuel and a coke that apparently came with a "free - all I had pay was an extra $1" Snickers bar for afternoon tea. I complained about having it for all of about 10 seconds till all that was left in my hand was the wrapper...ooops!
We wandered through the Porter Davis homes there, at Point Cook, to look at colours and designs etc but nothing really tickled our fancy or stood out to us and we were still happy with the choices we had made! Good news!

Meanwhile back at the block....
Someone was kindly dumping soil on our land and not just a little either!
The mound was massive!!! See pic below...
That week Porter Davis were due to do our site and soil survey, but I received a phone call from our Customer Service Representative, K, to say that the survey could not be completed due to the mound blocking the surveyor!
So I had back and forth phone calls with the people down in Somerfield estate to arrange for a call to be put through to the site supervisor of Lot 86's block to get it removed. It took a few days but finally it was taken away! Although this, then in turn, delayed them with our results for the survey so we have had to put our Tender appointment with them back a week.

We have also arranged our colour selection appointment and our electrical appointment..
We are feeling quite daunted by the electrical appointment. We have to make decisions now as to where we want power points, light fittings etc etc and the list goes on and on.. Very daunting indeed especially when they don't give you prices for anything and we already know that 1 down light = $100 eeek! So that will be a fun and enormously expensive appointment I am sure..

We also visited Carpet Court last weekend and no we didn't see the Court Jester!
The service there was fairly lacking and we waited for about 20 minutes to be served! But, on the upside once we had the attention of the guy, his information was extremely helpful. He told us what the best choice would be out of the "Porter Davis Range" of carpets, adding after it "I probably shouldn't be telling you this but....." So we have bedded down our carpet selection now too! YAY!

Side tracking from house stuff for a minute -

Last weekend we had two special birthdays to attend!
Our beautiful nephew Merrick had his very first birthday and my middle brother Stuart celebrated his 40th!
I have popped in a couple of photos and send out to them a massive

Back to house stuff -

This last week, we have been looking into the design of swimming pools.. well I have anyway.. Derek has been looking into the expense of swimming pools.. that one is still yet to be decided.. I will post a picture of a possible design and you tell me what you guys think ;). The pool idea also relies on the broker getting back to us on how much money the bank will give us!

Maybe baby, just a maybe...

Tomorrow we are heading into the House and Garden Show in Jeff's Shed. I am so excited as I have been told its very very good! They have all types of exhibitors there. From curtain people to landscapers, to furniture to wall paper.. they will all be there I will be looking at all of them..
Better offer up a good trade off to my husband in exchange for his patience!

Peace out for now

Mound of dirt
Possible Backyard Design ;)
Dan and Merrick with his favourite character Iggle Piggle in cake form made by Nana

Blowing out his candle with Mum and Dad

Stuart and Angela

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Building our first house

I thought I should give my 2 cents every now and again on the blog, otherwise it might get a little one sided, well you know what they say, "there are generally three sides to every story: her side, your side and the truth!"

I will start off by saying I never imagined how many selections you have to make when building a house! Sure, I expected the normal stuff like the carpet and paint but what I wasn't expecting was the smaller details. Selecting bricks, colour of the grout between the bricks, is the grout to be flush against the bricks or a little groove in the grout? Type of roof tiles, colour of the roof tiles and the list just goes on and on and on.

It is a pretty hectic first month when you sign the contract. From week one to week four you need to have everything ready to go into a contract and all the bank papers have to be arranged so you can draw down on the loan when the builder needs more $$$.
I can easily see how people could get overwhelmed by it all, because if you don't go in to the selection place on the weekends before your appointment you would have to select everything in that one meeting when seeing it for the first time! They do tell you that you should go in and check it out before hand, but I imagine there would be a percentage of people who don't, (like I would have done, had Amy not had us in there every weekend trying to narrow down our selections!) then they would have to select everything when seeing it for the first time. Down the line those folks would most likely try to make changes which would either cause delays or can't be made which would cause a lot of frustration for the builders and the owners.
The one thing that does frustrate me is that the Porter Davis electronics division is not open on the weekends and there are SO many decisions to be made with wiring, plugs, switches, down lights, network points, speakers, etc. The most important decisions are the electrics (in my mind anyway) especially around my cinema room ;).

It's very exciting but at the same time its hard for me to picture it coming together. I thought Porter Davis would have some software that would show us what our colour selection would look like inside and outside the house, but now we have to visualise it ourselves. When you pick a colour and it is painted on a wall it could look totally different . I am not a very visual person so it is very very tough for me to imagine which I think frustrates Amy a little, but she does her best to try and find pictures online with the colours we have chosen even, she's a good wife really! :)

Anyway I hope I can keep this up to date and make at least one post every week.
When the building starts in October we will also upload photos of the different stages.

Over and Out

Friday, August 6, 2010

Update to Blocks and Banks

Ok so..FINALLY we recieved the paper work for the settlement of both the land and Webb street.

I have to say I have never been so confused in all my life! These conveyancing folk really dont make things easy to understand for the regular laymen people like me! Derek was as confused as I was.. so then I asked Dad and even he was confused by it! It just wouldnt add up for us. In the end we managed to work out how they had come to the figures layed out in front of us, albeit, in the most ambiguous form! As it turns out, its all correct..Sweet!

Next part of the action is to call the broker and ask for the money for the house. Joy! Thats Derek's job though, because our broker is a Scotsman and I cant for the life of me work out a word he says over the phone, except for the end of the conversation where he says "keep your chin up", that's about all I can get out of 10 minutes on the phone with him (in person I lip read).

So I leave that to Derek seeing as they are both from that side of the world and the accents are similar..well sort of!

Sidetracking to more interesting events...

We popped into Bunnings (huge hardware warehouse for those that are unfamiliar) last night..Yay! Love Bunnings! No sausage sizzle on, booooo! Although it wasnt really the night for it, absolutely pouring rain and pitch black! On the upside of the downside of no sausages, there was no body there and loads of staff to help! Thumbs up to Bunnings visits mid week in the evening!

However, I digress...

So a trip to Bunnings to check out splash back colours for the kitchen in the Dulux paints range. There was much discussion around this. It seems to be one thing we are having some trouble, lets say, "coming to a conclusion" on!

My idea is to keep the kitchen area to basic colours, whites, creams, beiges etc, so that we wont get too sick of them over time and so we can add in other colour, like furniture and decor. Del agrees, but he would really love to go with something bright and stand out like fire engine red or a bright blue. Its quite a tough decision. I too, do love the bright colour effect, but I feel that we would get sick of it and wont be able to change that easily without replacing the whole splash back. So eventually, (after about an hour in the paint section of Bunnings) we have come to a "semi" agreement of a metallic colour that's basic, but gives off a sparkle just to make it that bit more exciting than a flat matt colour. I think the colour we may go for is called "Pewter Illusion". He will tell you that he has just agreed with me to keep me quiet, but I think he secretly likes my idea.

This weekend is going to be spent looking at kitchen places and splash back designs so we can make a very informed decision. I say "yay" he says "urgh"! Then we have some pals coming over for dinner on Sunday, at which, the girls and I will (most likely) scrutinise colour options and discuss all things housey and the boys will talk about football and supercoach.

Until next which I may just have some pics for you...ooohhh aaaahhh