Tuesday, September 14, 2010

When Pewter turns to Toffee...

I know, I know.. I have been slack! I have excuses: busy, tired, writers block and the list could go on but I wont bore you with that.

September so far has been busy. We have had appointment after appointment, birthdays, weekends away etc etc.
So I will go back and start at the 31st August with our Electrical and Colour appointments.
Our first appointment was with M in the electrical department. With M we had the task of selecting where our lighting was to go throughout the house and what kinds of lights they were to be e.g. down lights, battens, chandeliers and so on. Where power points, data points and wiring was to be put in the house. Any extra home, sound devices and security systems were all added in this time too.
We sat with M for about 2.5 hours going through each room and putting in everything. We had done our own draft plan before seeing her so the job was slightly easier as we were fairly organised and had a rough idea of what we wanted. It actually went rather smoothly which pleased us, including M, to no end and she actually thanked us at the end of our appointment for being so easy to deal with! Bonus!
The price tag for the electrical appointment came in under what Derek had thought so that was also very pleasing to our eyes and ears!

After the appointment we were given a lunch break, lucky us!
Then, the afternoon went all pear shaped and ended in tears for this little duck..

We sat down with "F" (I will leave her name out for her own safety) at about 1.30pm. We were feeling good, full with a nice lunch and caffeined up on coca cola.
F's first words were "oooh whats that your carrying there?" I was carrying my piece of glass painted with the perfect colour of "Pewter Illusion" for my prized splashback that I had worked so hard on to choose, so that Derek would be happy with the kitchen colour choices I had made. This was the one colour we had finally come to agree on!
I explained to F what it was and got the response "You cant have that colour! You can have any Dulux colour you wish for except for the Metallics and the Pearls."
[Insert smile disappearing from Amy's face at the same rate as a bullet from a gun]
Noooooo! There is another word beginning with F that would have been fitting at this point but I kept it safely in my mouth seeing as we had only been sitting with F for a few minutes and she hadn't really got to know us yet.
(Background to this story is that I had been told by someone at the colour place that I could have ANY Dulux colour I wanted, I figured that would actually mean ANY! How ridiculously presumptuous of me!)

So we proceeded on with the appointment, starting with Bricks and all things external then moving onto all things internal right down to handles on cupboards. There were a lot of "No's" coming from F's mouth and quite a lot of whispered "F"'s coming from mine!

{Side note: I would not have had a problem with the no's if I had being given all the correct information at the start of this whole process! I feel that if we had have been told the boundaries as to what you can and cannot have at the start, the process would be much more refined and less damaging (to my brain and Derek's ear drums on the way home) and my research would have been built around these no's and in turn would have been "yes's". }

F also told us a lot that of the things we asked her about were supposed to have been decided at our tender appointment, like soft closing drawers and floor boards, and that she had no notice that this is what we would be having. This confused us immensely as we were told at the tender appointment that those things were done at the colour appointment! Someone was not being honest with us and I had a fairly good idea who that may have been at the time (someone whose name started with an F perhaps?), but gave the person the benefit of the doubt anyway.
At the conclusion of the colour appointment I walked away feeling a sense of loss and disillusionment, especially at not being able to have my Pewter Illusion and having to choose Crust instead. I don't even like crusts!

I am fairly sure F knew how majorly annoyed I was, I made that extremely clear in the three hours we were with her. I also made it very clear that we were paying a lot of money to have this house the way we want to have it and why should we not be allowed to have what we want? What were the reasons behind her no's? To that we got nothing. She had no answers but pretended, albeit badly, that she cared and she was sorry. Frustration station!
Upon going to this appointment, I was under the impression that the person helping us with these, seriously major, choices would have some knowledge, understanding, advice and ideas about interior design..Apparently not.. all we got were blank looks and impatient frowns when we were making our decisions too slowly.

In the car on the way home, my loss and disillusionment came to head and turned into tears of frustration and disappointment. After having put so much time and effort into planning into the whole exercise and then having to change so many things on the spot to something that I did not love and did not want!
Derek tried to calm me down by saying "calm down", which as many of you know, generally works like a hole in the head and I was riled even further. Then cake was suggested and I brightened a little bit.. but only a little bit!
That evening we went to Bunnings (AGAIN) and picked a new colour for the splashback. I really did not like Crust and it was playing on my mind that we only had 48hrs to get any changes through to F. So we settled on Toffee Fingers. I like Toffee, so was feeling much more comfortable about the choice. The colour is also similar to my beloved Pewter Illusion but without the metallic through it.

The following day, we had our appointment with the National Tiles people to make the decisions about the tiles for our bathrooms and laundry. Again, we went along completely organised and had the majority of our decisions made before we even arrived. We only had to make a small change to a feature area under the mirrors in the bathrooms as we had thought the mirrors met the vanities, but they don't. It turned out great though because there was a stack stone feature that Del loved in the display home we had seen and this was available for us to use as that feature. We were thrilled as we didn't know we could have it!
The girl at Tiles was also very very helpful with suggestions and ideas. She liked what we had chosen and also thanked us for being so organised. I was also in a better mood as I had noticed cake was available for clients on my way in and we got to have some along with a free cappuccino from the local cafe, in a break between tile choice and the quoting. That's what I call service!

The same day, at about 6pm, I sent a massive email to our Customer Service girl, K. I went over everything that was bothering us and asked for a lot of answers, not without a few sharp swipes about the previous days disastrous results. K got back to me by 10am the following day (awesome service point number 1), she replied to each question systematically in red font to make her answers clear (awesome service point number 2), and she answered everything in detail or stated that she would follow up and return to me with the correct answer (awesome service point number 3)! Amy was a much happier person following this email as you can imagine!

The following week on the 8th September we met with K to have our Contract appointment. This is the appointment where we go through everything and make sure its all we want and more. It is also pretty much the last opportunity to go through and make any last minute changes and adjustments to our plans and colours. There were a few things that needed moving and changing, but all in all this was a relatively easy and pain free process. K made any changes on the spot, so we could see them straight away. She even told me she would check up on why the Metallic paint is not available to us, but I am not getting my hopes up just in case.
We payed the balance remaining on the deposit and signed all the paper work and got our own set of signed plans and contracts!
Woo Hoo!! We are all set to go...nearly! Now all we are waiting for is council approval, developer approval, and our bank to deal with PD. When all this is done we will have an actual start date! They are saying now that it will be anytime before the 31st October! Yippee!!

I am feeling more relaxed about everything this week as it feels all under control. Fingers crossed it stays that way!
Even though we have had one not very pleasant experience, we feel that we have been lucky and well looked after in other areas so far. I have heard horrible stories on other blogs so we are feeling rather blessed at this stage.

Peace out

Footnote: I know it sounds like I am being a housezilla with regards to splashbacks and colours and floor boards etc, but I have good reason! Once they are in the house they are there to stay..there is no going back and changing it, unless of course, we win the lotto! Next blog I will do my best to be a little bit less ranty! I will also hope to provide you with some pictures of the colour choices we have made.