Monday, June 20, 2011

Electrical Appointment done and dusted - PART 2

Continuing on from our last blog, we had our electric appoint last Thursday and over the weekend I noticed a few small items within the electrical paperwork that need either changing or confirming to be consistent with our understanding of what we requested/require.

Small things (5 in total) such as a power point at 750mm not at around 100-200mm as we requested and discussed with the sales consultant.  It appears they overcharged us for one point but as you know any little overcharges all add up and are worth following up. Yep, they say you need to notify them within 24 hours but lets get real, its an unrealistic time frame.  Their '24 hours' ended Friday afternoon, so no one was going to get started on anything at that time, especially on a Friday.  The first really opportunity is Monday morning - to which they would have received my email over the weekend.

We also had some issues regarding our discussions with the Sales Consultant about the ducted heating controllers. So what does 'in lieu of standard' actually mean?  In my world, it means to replace the original wall mounted controller with a remote controller, not in addition too but even after seeking clarification twice, the consultant assured us it means 'in addition' ie we would have both a wall mounted and remote heating controller.  Still unsure about whether or not this is the case, I emailed the electrical contractor this morning only to be told that 'in lieu of standard" does infact mean only one controller...Disappointed that their so called 'electrical consultants' dont know the products that they are selling you!

There were very limited options on offer at the electrical appointment.  Even the downlights within the display houses are not available.  I understand display homes are full of 'non standard items' but my money is on 90% of lights are not available.  Now that's just taking the piss - in my opinion.

Interesting enough, our sales consultant at StudioM has given us around 3 weeks to get back to her.  A number of items need to be changed or confirmed there as well, but again nothing too significant. I wonder why the electricals cant offer the same flexibility??


Friday, June 17, 2011

Electrical Appointment done and dusted !!

It is nearly 9pm on a Friday night, Cam is out on the town with his mates for the night, the boys are in bed, one glass of wine has been consumed and I have been staring at this computer screen now for 1 hour (well, that’s not entirely true, I have been watching the box too and trying not to laugh at Gary Mehigan every time he says “spotted dick”, juvenile, I know)

So here goes… the dreaded electrical appointment. The time when you go and spend exorbitant amounts on tiny little lights and powerpoints.

“Yes, add 6 more lights to that room please, another double powerpoint there and there, and here's my right arm and left leg to pay for it all” LOL.

Cam and I spent a lot of time thinking about the electricals, we had grand plans to put in the minimum amount of lights (battens) then get Cam’s Dad who is a sparky to help make them into downlights later one. We went along to Habitat Consultants with our house plans with powerpoints, internal and external light points and switches all nicely colourcoded…Hmmmmm

So in the end here’s the damage…
  • 4 Junction boxes for future lights to the front of the house
  • Extra exhaust fan for the boys toilet upstairs (LOL)
  • Prewire for ceiling fan in grand outdoor room
  • 64 additional downlights spread throughout the home ($101 each)
  • Most existing battens moved and converted to downlights
  • Provision for 2 pendant lights to be hung above the dining table
  • A few dimmer, 2-way switches
  • Provision for future evaporative cooling
  • Provision for future downstairs split system
  • Spotlights for outside x 4
  • Extra light circuits
  • Bigger meter box
  • Upgrade all powerpoints and switches to Slimline (remain white in colour)
  • Stair lights in the wall and provision on ceiling above stairs for feature light
  • Waterproof powerpoints at back
  • Surge protection
  • One additional TV point upstairs

All up these cost in excess of @10,000 which is mindblowing…

On top of this we upgraded the ducted heating to a 4 star Bonaire system, with a remote control to use upstairs and added 2 additional ducts to the Ensuite and bathroom (the cost of this upgrade for the Nelson design was about $1800 but well worth it in my opinion).

The one thing that I was disappointed about was that we weren’t able to use the new technology LED downlights as they were an additional $100 a light than regular halogen downlights. Hopefully over time we will be able to replace these lights with LED, they are so much more energy efficient and I feel a sense of guilt at installing such energy hungry downlights, especially cause I am an environmental science teacher by trade!!!

However, as we paid our deposit prior to 1st May 2011, the new regulations regarding only being allowed to have an average of 5 watts per square metre doesn't apply to our build. Whilst I totally understand why such stringent regulations have been implemented, I am a bit relieved that we didn’t have to consider this on top of everything else.

I guess in time we will have to post photos of what lights we are thinking for the dining table and stairwell.



Friday, June 10, 2011

Studio M at last!!!!

Tuesday was a big day for us! After months of planning, stressing and changing our minds we finally had our colours appointment at Studio M.

We arrived bright eyed at 9am at Studio M, we had Hamish along for the ride and although he wasn’t asleep when we arrived, it didn’t take him long to drift off in the pram (perhaps all the talk about brick choices wasn’t riveting enough for him?).

So… brick choices… we spent a ridiculous amount of time choosing our bricks, went to Austral display centre, looked at our chosen bricks in not one, but 4 locations across Melbourne’s SE suburbs (with an overtired screaming 12 week old bub in the back on one afternoon). We were decided, it was to the the Austral Latrobe Brick.

Perhaps the universe had other plans however, Larissa (our Studio M gal) couldn’t find the sample hanging on the wall and we soon discovered why. 2 weeks ago the Latrobe has been discontinued by Austral and was no longer an option. It was a shame however that the people at Austral failed to tell us that when they gave us the addresses of homes to look at when we went there 10 days ago. Hmmmm…

Our second choice the Hawthorn bricks, part of the lovely Melbourne brick range, these too have been discontinued (lucky as they were a Cat 5 and more than we wanted to upgrade). So we ended up choosing a Selkirk Brick called Tawny Heritage, which even though it is a Cat 3 apparently Selkirks Cat 3 are cheaper than Australs, I am sure this is the first of many “what the?” moments that we will have! LOL

We got off to the rocky start with the bricks but it wasn’t all doom and gloom, au contraire… The rest of the appointment went smoothly and we are happy with the choices made.

We are waiting for our list of colours from Metricon but in the meanwhile time for some of the details that you all want to know……


Roof Tile – Boral Ebony Classic Profile
Brick – Selkirk Tawny Heritage
Aluminium Windows, Sliding and Bi-part doors – Black Satin
Garage Door – Gliderol Tuscan Profile – Colorbond Monument
Cladding – Heifer (the lightest colour)
Render on far left study wall and around garage – Champignon (medium colour)
Render on front pillars – Raku (darkest colour)

Front Door
  • Corinthian Madison 101 pivot door (1020 wide) in Monument with clear glazing insert and clear glazed sidelights

  • Gainsborough back to back pull handle with roller bolt mortice lock
  • Walls –Beige Royal Half
  • Ceiling – Lexicon Half

  • Pantry Wall and overhead cupboards – Polar White Vinyl Wrap Gloss
  • Island Bench and Underbench cupboards – New Graphite (Natural Finish) Contour Edge
  • Benchtop – Caesarstone White Shimmer

  • Handles – Drawers to have large horizontal square handles (top in picture), cupboards have medium vertical square handles (middle in picture), this is for all bathrooms too.

  • Baumatic 900mm multifunctional oven with 900mm 5 burner gas cooktop in lieu of upright all in one.
  • Baumatic grill/microwave with trim kit
  • 2 x Clark Epure large undermount sink
Under and overhead cabinetry – New Graphite Contour Edge
Caesarstone Benchtop – Osprey
Clark Flatline 8420 Stainless Steel Trough

Powder Room/Upstairs Bathroom
  • Under and overhead cabinetry – New Graphite Contour Edge
  • Caesarstone Benchtop – Osprey
  • Basins – Fowler Regent inset (x2 in family bathroom)
  • Tapware – Vito bertoni Vito CD Fixed wall taps/spout (x2 in family bathroom)
  • Fowler Regent toilet suite – soft close

  • Elevated wall hung vanity unit in Polar White Vinyl Gloss
  • Caesarstone benchtop in Urban
  • Basins (x2), tapware and toilet same as powder room

  • Downstairs entry, hall, kitchen, living and dining room – “Style” Strand Woven Bamboo Timber flooring in Coffee

Study, Sitting and Rumpus, Stairs and Whole upstairs Carpet – “Andrew in Karaoke” colour

Miscellaneous Inside Stuff

Jetmaster Gas Log Fire – Ours is bigger than this and will be wall mounted rather than floor mounted.

Internal Door Handles - Elena

 Upstairs Linen Cupboard Handles (the middle ones)

PHEW, what an epic post… I;m exhausted!

We are moving into our rental on Tuesday, going to electrics this Thursday, final contract on the 30th… yay yay yay!!!

xoxo Kirsten

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Preliminary Contract - a retrospective entry...

Well it has been one week since we signed out preliminary contract and things have been well and truly moving. And when I say moving, that is exactly the reason why it has taken a whole week to write this post.

We have signed a lease to rent a townhouse for 12 months and are moving out of our home next Tuesday. Packing up the house in short burst whilst the kids are sleeping is proving to be a long and arduous process although we are getting there in the end.

We attended our preliminary contract meeting last Tuesday with Linda at Metricon HQ. The meeting went well although it we got off to a bad start. You never want to hear “so… do you want the good news or the bad news first?”. In our case it was mostly bad news. Initial soil and site tests on our block have revealed that the extra 1.1m we were hoping to add to our garage at a cost of around $3,000 is now going to cost in excess of $15,000 because we will need to prop up the neighbour’s garage footings on one side… Needless to say that threw a spanner in the works and we are contemplating what to do. At this point in time we have decided to go leave the extended garage in the plans and get a more in depth footings probe done under the neighbour’s garage to see what the exact figures will be. Watch this space.

Apart from this item and a few others blowing out our site cost budget by an additional $20k the meeting was reasonably effective. We saved a bit of money here and there (only to spend it again at Studio M and probably electrics too). The only other bone of contention in our plans that we can see (well I am particularly p*#*ed off about) is the need to put obscure glass in one upstairs bedroom and on the landing to protect the neighbours privacy. I am all for respecting the new neighbours right to get around their own house starkers, but this obscure glass also means that the windows have to be awning (rather than sliding) and can only open 125mm. I have a thing with awning windows… I really hate how they don’t allow air flow, now I have them all through my new house and there isn’t anything I can do about it!!!!!

After a few variations and a nice cuppa tea so we could discuss aforementioned garage disaster (as it shall now be known), we signed the prelim contact, handed over the dosh and away we went.

Today we went to Studio M to complete colour selections but as I am now a stay at home Mum again, my brain is too tired from thinking about ADULT stuff all day and I cant be bothered writing the blog entry about that. I want to do it justice as we all know it is the most exciting part of the process before any dirt gets moved… So perhaps tomorrow if I get some time away from packing I’ll get that entry done…

Au revoir!