Monaco 28 with modified Contemporary Facade

Monaco 28 with modified Contemporary Facade

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

DA Preparation Delay

If you were to take a shot every time you read the word 'delay' in this blog you'd be drunk by now.

We were told three weeks from contract signing to DA submission.  It has now been 5 weeks.

We are told that it is held up awaiting 'estate' approval. Is this a convenient way of saying 'this is out of our hands so don't blame us'?

In the meantime we waste another two weeks rent, two weeks of interest, two weeks of rates...

Hopefully this will be resolved soon so I can post about the DA delays!

Friday, 21 October 2011

Cornice Compromise (with Pic)

I said earlier that having square-set cornices (no cornices) had turned out to be too expensive.  We found a new product from Boral called Linear which gives a similar look.  It came in at less than half the price so we are going with it for the ground floor.  A good compromise I think!

Boral Linear Cornice

Electrical Plans (with Pics)

I am showing here the standard Electrical Plans versus our Final agreed Electrical Plans.  For reference, the orange crossed circles are light points, blue squares with toggles are powerpoints of varying types (single, double, weatherproof), red squares are switches of various types (# of switches, 2-way, dimmer), green squares are air related (fans and exhausts).


Ground Floor - Standard
1st Floor - Standard

Unfortunately it doesn't distinguish between normal lights and downlights.  We are using downlights in the Home Theatre (first room on the left), Porch and Hall (including niche), Family Room (rear left), 3 in the Kitchen, the Alfresco and 2 in the Main Bedroom niche. We have selected higher spec Philips 7W LED downlights to minimise energy consumption and heat. These were fairly expensive at $125 each including provision of the light point, supply and install. I'm sure we could have done it cheaper by getting our own Electrician but it was easier to just get it all done through the Builder and it will be nice to have a good proportion of the lighting fully completed when we move in.
Ground Floor - Upgraded
1st Floor - Upgraded

During the Tender phase we had managed to negotiate for free a S/S Ceiling Fan to the Alfresco and 2-Lamp Heater-Exhausts to the bathrooms and downstairs WC.  There was some reasonable cost there so I think we did well. 

Other things that you will notice we added were TV and Pay-TV points (surprisingly pricey), some external lighting to the front facade (dear too), floodlights to the rear eaves, a few extra standard internal light points and a couple of powerpoints.

All in all we will have spent about $4.5k but at least half of this is in downlights. The process was also managed very professionally by Vaccaro. Quite a pleasing outcome

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Kitchen Prices in, Electrical Booked

It turns out that upgrading from the Caesarstone base range is very expensive.  Going to a 'no-handle' option is also relatively expensive which I find surprising.

We managed to book the electrical appointment for next week, so we are going to hold off on deciding what options were are going to commit to until we've got the electrical prices on the table.  We received the standard electrical plan today and it seems reasonable.  The biggest thing lacking (which we already knew from the inclusions list) is that there is only 1 TV and telephone point. It looks like Vaccaro use Clipsal (C2000 range), they have a pretty good website to view their stuff.

It feels like we are making decent progress now.  The Fowler Homes head office consultant we are working with seems to be pretty proficient which is great.  We were advised in a letter attached to the contract that the DA should be lodged 3 weeks after signing.  That is today and no DA yet. I will be interested to see how much longer it takes...

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Timber Floors - Good News

Good news - turns out the price provided for timber floors did not discount the credit for the tiles already included in the tender.  They are now reasonably priced and within our expectations of cost.  Just trying to decide between Jarrah (preferred but much more expensive) and Kempas.  Anyone have an opinion?

Monday, 3 October 2011

The Colours Appointment (Pics galore)

The Colours appointment went pretty well.  The room at Fowler Homes HO is pretty well stocked with most options so the session went pretty smoothly. The Fowler Homes Colour Consultant was useful and helped to guide decisions that she thought were important, she got back to us with a number of option prices the next day and committed to a date to deliver other prices still outstanding. Overall the standard inclusions appear to be quite reasonable with only a few exceptions. We need to book an appointment with Vaccaro Electrical to do the electrical plan, and Abruzzo to select tiles separately.  A few annoyances with the process were:

  • Fowler Homes are currently using Taubmans paints. Had we been told this prior we could have chosen from their charts, so in this case we had to choose the best alternative from colours we had chosen from others.
  • The Consultant did not have the prices for some of the simple options like taps and bathroom accessories - we could have given a yes or no straight away.
  • We have included a free standing bath in the main bathroom.  we are now told that we need to spend more on a free standing bath spout because the standard one won't reach from the wall.  This really should have been included in the tender.
  • We got a quote on square set cornice which was almost three times greater than what the Sales Rep told us it would be.
The Colour Consultant helped a fair bit with the facade, and we chose Austral Metropolis Topaz bricks with ironed off-white mortar , Bristile Classic Gunmetal concrete roof tiles.  The windows are Trend Anodic Natural Matt (Silver), gutters, fascia and downpipes are Colorbond Monument, Gliderol Tuscan Panel-lift garage door in Caoba Dawn, Corinthian Infinity 8G 2340 x 1200 front door with Oblong satin chrome pull handle and Jarrah stain, the rendered section is Taubman's Vintage Lace and the driveway is LivingConcrete Bluestone in 8' Quarry Stone pattern.
    The kitchen is polyurethane as part of Fowler Homes' Aspire upgrade package.  We chose Crisp White for the bottom cupboards and Taubmans Zelda (charcoal grey) for the overhead cupboards.  The back of the island bench will also be Zelda. We are waiting on a price for stainless steel kick panels but will probably end up with painted Silver Pearl.  For the bench tops we can take Ceasarstone Ice Snow as standard but are waiting on a price for Nougat (pictured).  We are also waiting on a price to thicken the island bench top from 20  to 40 mm and have no handles on the overhead cupboards.  The lower cupboards will have the larger oblong handles on the handles pic, and then we are using the middle sized ones on the vanities, both part of standard offer.

    Caesarstone Nougat and Ice Snow
    Large oblong handles for kitchen, middle size for vanities
    We will be upgrading the kitchen sink at some cost but it was too good looking to knock back.
    Abey Berazza kitchen sink

    For the bathrooms we also get standard Caesarstone benchtops in Snow and we have chosen Belgian Chocolate as the poly cupboard colour.  For the Powder Room we have gone with Walnut benchtop and Crisp White cupboard doors.  Tile selection is to be done at Abruzzo Wetherill Park and it is suggested that we wait until the roof tiles are on to ensure availability of the tiles.  We got a free alternative vanity sink mixer. We upgraded the bathroom accessories to Alder Metza with double towel rails instead of single - the upgrade price was quite reasonable.

    Standard bathroom accessories
    Metza accessories
    We had included Alder Alto tapware (see Euro showerhead) but got prices on some upgrades - square ones for the ensuite, hose style for the main bathroom.  These are expensive so we may unfortunately go back to the Euro.
    Euro showerhead
    Ensuite option
    Main shower option
    We are also upgrading the toilets to ones that are flush with the wall - cost was a bit but reduced when we took all three.
    Imperialware Zeto Toilet
    The standard carpet we have chosen is Ice Breaker 650.  We have gotten a price on Floating Timber Floors for the main living areas in Jarrah and Kempas.  The price was ridiculous, >100% mark up, so we are considering doing this ourselves.  I would be interested to hear from anyone who has done this and whether it proved to be a hassle with their Builder?

    Ice Breaker 650 carpet
    The bulk of the internal walls will be painted in Taubman's China Doll (white) but we are getting the whole Theatre Room and a wall in the Study done in Taubman's Gravel (blue-ish charcoal grey).  Fowler's price on this was very reasonable.

    That covers just about everything.  We are still a bit anxious about the costs yet to be determined on the kitchen, floorboards, tiles and electrical but at least we are moving towards knowing that we will have a very beautiful home.