Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Day 44 Colours, Doors, More!

Rawson got back to me on the variations that I asked for.

They have priced up a glazed door (the same as the laundry door) for the pantry.  I assume that it will look something like this

The glass will be more frosted than in the picture and it will also be painted to match the colour of the walls.  The cost of this door $380.00 - which is not too bad. I am happy with this cost.

The cost to add an additional 1020mm pivot front door $920.00 - I thought that was pretty good value and I would have been happy to pay that amount, by Mat said no, that he will make sure that he keeps at a good weight so that he is able to walk through the front door - there goes my dreams of having a double front door. Maybe on the next house.

Lastly, the cost for the wider island bench.  Standard it is 900mm with a 300mm overhang. I was happy to keep the cupboards at 600mm depth, but wanted a larger overhang.  I have since been informed today that this can't be done. The maximum overhang that you can have is 300mm as it would need supports if it was any longer. I could have gotten the additional width of the island if I had made the depth of the cupboards over 870mm, but my overhang would have been 230mm, so less than on the standard.  I am going to keep the standard 900mm width.

So total spend for today $380.00.

I have also sent in my final colours. I know I have put you through this all before, but I finalised them and sent them off to Rawson, that way I don't have to think about them anymore.

Tiles - Barramundi - traditional flat profile

Bricks - Boral Horizons Natural Graphite

Gutter, fascia, downpipes, watertank, metal capping, balustrade, windows, flyscreens, meter box - Woodland Grey

Cladding on 1st floor of house - Taubmans Murky Water - the only picture I can find of it is an internal photo. Will look a lot lighter on the outside of the house.

Matrix board on the front of the house - Dulux Domino

Garage door - Timbagrain, contemporary profile, Caoba colour

Front door and laundry door will be stained walnut to match the garage door.

I am really happy with our colours. I wish I could get a picture of how it will come together, but I guess I will have to wait.   That is one thing I do not like doing, waiting.

So much for chasing for my plans.  5 days is what their timeline states for revisions to plans, I was quoted 3 weeks.   Plans went back into drafting 23rd July, now told it will be another 2 weeks, end of next week at the earliest, so that will be 57 days. Not happy about it, but what can I do?

Rawson quote 46 days from payment of tender to have plans into council. We will be up to 57 days and not close to council. Do I think that I will have my slab down by 15th October (120 days) I doubt it.

What gets me down about it, it is not that everything is taking so long, well actually it does, but it is that we are sitting in a crappy rental house where everyone is crawling over each other as it is so small. We have been in this rental for 4 months now and it does not feel like we are any closer from the day we moved in. I know we are, but it doesn't feel like it. Even if we start building in November - only a couple of weeks delay, they have Christmas shutdown and a 40 week (9 month) contract.   In June I said we would be in this time next year. I have said that this month as well and now I am probably going to have to say that in August as well.  So much to Mat's prediction of wanting to be in by Christmas. Will we have a slab by Christmas?

Monday, July 30, 2012

Day 43 - Doors

I have noticed that one of the things that you must take note on your plans that you receive from your builder is DOORS.  I think it is a ploy of project builders that they seem to be missing necessary doors.

We noticed that the ensuite to the 5th bedroom was missing a door

I know that the main bedroom ensuite does not have a door, but the toilet does have a door, which is essential for privacy - really who wants to see your partner going to the toilet first thing in the morning - not pleasant.

The 5th bedroom ensuite does not have a separate door on the toilet, so without a door for the ensuite you could be totally on display.  It is going to be my mum and my brother that mostly uses the 5th bedroom when they come and stay, do they really want to have little visitors when they are on the toilet - cost of this door $450.00!!!

Mat noticed last night that the pantry does not have a door either. To me this is madness. Most peoples pantry's are not the most organised all of the time and do you really want them on display. Another variation needed here, no price yet for this.

On the first floor have you noticed that there are no doors on any of the walk in robes. We realised this and have chosen not to add them. I would have liked to add them to all WIR's as I know what mine looked like when I was growing up and believe me it needed a door, but as a door would have been $350 each, multiply that by 3, adds a total of $1,050 on to the build.  I know it does not sound like much as a one off, but all these $1,050 start to add up to a large number.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Day 40 - 1/3 through pre-build. 80 days to go

Today marks day 40. Rawson quote 120 days from payment of $3000 on acceptance of tender to site cut. If they are keeping to time, then we should be 80 days from starting the house.  So far we are more than 15 days behind that schedule as our plans are still waiting/being re-drawn with all the changes we requested.

During this time I am finding it quite difficult. I see things that I want to add to the house, where if the plans had come back, I would be able to put them away until we went to colour selection.

I am set on my colours, except for one thing, this matrix board on the front of the house (above the front door)

On Tuesday I was looking at the Rawson website and came across the Balmoral display I thought the wood above the front window would look great on the front of our house instead of the matrix board. A quick email to Simone (CSO) was replied the following day with approximately $2,000. You have got to be joking.  There are three panels of matrix board that wraps around the front columns - total is 8.5m2, therefore I would be charged $235/m2 and there was no talk of a credit for the matrix board that I was not going to use - OUCH. That is expensive wood.  I will speak to my works carpenters once we hand the house over and I will get them to change it.   I work it out if you use Merbau which is about $6.00/lm (less for trade)  we would need about 93 metres which is $560.00. Add a days labour for a tradie to do it, we are paying way less than half price.

Another question that I have asked is about the island bench.

I didn't give it too much thought until one of the others on the H1 forum brought up the width of the island.  It is currently 900mm wide, which means there will be a 300mm overhang. The island benches in the Rawson showhomes is 1200mm.  I am thinking that this might be a little skinny given the length of the island (over 3.4m) I sent an email yesterday to Simone asking the additional cost for the Caesarstone to change it to 1100mm, but so far I have not had a reply.

Another price I have asked for, but not had a reply as yet is changing the front door to be a double door. My parents have double front doors and I love this. The door that we are getting is a 1020mm pivot door, so I asked what would be the cost to have two of these so total entrance of 2040mm.  I am sure I will be shocked when I see the price, but who knows I could be shocked in a good way, but I doubt it.

Monday is day 43, so I will start chasing for my revised plans.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Day 36 - Resolution

Finally there has been some resoltuion to our changes to the check plans.

We have added back in the second window in the 5th bedroom. Mat was worried about the bedroom being so dark.

I also questioned the cost of the 40mm waterfall edge on the cooktop bench.  I was charged $950.00 each for the island ones which are at least 900mm wide, but also quoted the same for the cooktop run where it is only 600mm wide.

Finally given the answer this afternoon that Rawson have an agreement with their supplier that they charge the same for waterfall edge, no matter the width.  I am happy with that answer, and have agreed with all the changes to the plans.

They are going to go back to drafting today. Hopefully this next step wont take too long - Rawson quote on their timeline of building that it takes 5 days for changes, but we are already behind their timeline already

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Day 34 - Colour Confusion

I finally got a reply from Rawson on my changes.

The window has now been changed and is currently a 3m long window to be centred and it was $1980.00 - so an extra $750.00 which I am happy with.

The additional waterfall end for the bench that I want (taking the count to three) came back at $950.00. I am querying this price as it will only be 600mm wide, not the 900mm as for the island, so I think it should be cheaper.

This is the final change that I am going to make here. I could keep going on and making changes here and there, but Mat has put his foot down and said no to any other changes.

Colours, well I think I have changed my idea a little bit - I am ditching the Dune all together.  So I think we will be having

Woodland Grey for the roof, gutters, fascia, windows, downpipes and watertank.
Surfmist (or a really light grey) for the eaves
Caoba for the garage door - this will be matched with the front door stain.
The cladding for the first floor - Taubmans Murky Waters
Matrix feature on the front - Taubmans Abstract
We will bag/paint other parts of the house after handover and these will be - Dulux Western Myall.

So we will have a grey/brown theme.

I went and did a driveby yesterday to the house that we saw a couple of weeks ago that we liked their bricks. I pinched a brick off the site and took it to Boral and got them to match it. Luckily it was the same brick that was in Rawsons standard range.

They seem to be doing the same colours as us (it even could me monument instead) but you get the drift. Mat is happy with the colours.   The grey on the cladding is a bit darker than what we will have, so I am hoping ours will work.

This house is about 45mins drive from where we live, so I don't think I will be making the drive that often to see the progress, but it is good to see another house with the same bricks.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Day 31 - Headaches

Yesterday was a headache. I submitted the plans back to Rawson with all the changes. All of them have come back fine apart from one.

The major headache - this window for the kitchen splashback. My dream to have a 4.7m single piece of glass, but the reality, this would not be strong enough as a single pane of glass, plus if someone ever broke it, replacing it would take a second mortgage.  So the reality was I had to make it smaller. My compromise, a 3m pane in the middle, with 2 x 85cm panes on the outside which were divided by transoms.

Yesterday, the news was not good. When the additional kitchen cupboards were added onto the plan, they go over the old alfresco which now has a steel supporting beam. As the window crossed this, we would also need a steel supporting beam for the window. 

We have already been charged $980.00 for the window (at 3m length) another $250.00 to increase it to 3.8m, but this window had 3 transoms in it.

To keep the window at 3.8m length (keep the transoms as well) and centre on the bench - which would mean going over the steel beam, meaning another beam was needed $2,600.00 (on top of the costs already charged above)

To extend the window to 4.7m (keeping the transoms every 1.0m) was $2,850.00

I was told that I couldn't have a single piece of glass at 3m and then transoms.   I stewed on this for the afternoon and at one point rung the glass splashback company to see how much a glass splashback would be and get rid of the window all together.  I spoke with Mat on his way home from work and he came up with a solution in no time.

We are going to cut the window back to 3.0m and have a solid piece of glass. We think that this is under $2,000. We will centre this on the 4.7m bench and then have glass splashback on either side of this.

The window should look like this

Or like this

Window will be larger than this one - but you get the idea

Hopefully we can get the pricing for these changes back today and then Rawson can get started revising the plans to reflect the changes.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Day 29 - Changes

We have spent the last four days going through the check plans. It seems every time we look at them we add another change, or take one away.

After a visit to trusty Paul at Waterford County we have finally finalised all the changes that we want to make.

Sorry for the really crappy photo of the plans. The combination of a dark house and an iPhone doesn't make for good photos.

You can see all of the changes that are on the ground floor. There are more on the first floor, but the majority are on the bottom floor.

Tomorrow I will scan and email the plans to Rawson with my excel spreadsheet explaining every change that needs to be made.

Hopefully the revision wont take too long to come back

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Day 24 - Check Plans

I received my check plans today. I knew there were things that needed to be changed, but I didn't think there were going to be so many changes.

You will have to excuse the photos, they were taken on my phone from the computer.

Front Elevation

Here we need to change the front sliding window on the ground floor. This room is going to be our home theatre room, so we want to reduce the light in there. This to be replaced with two full height windows, but narrow.

We were also unaware from the facade pictures that we had seen what the detail was above the door. We thought it might be brick, but it turns out it is textured matrix that is to be painted.  That is another colour we need to think of.

Back elevation.  Hopefully the windows at the back of the house can be moved so that they are internally central in the bedrooms. At the moment they are not and I know that that will drive Mat nuts for the whole time we live there.

Also on the ground floor on the right hand side of the house there is a full height window. We want to change this to be a sliding door - to match the one that is on the other side. Wanting them to move the sliding door from the front of the house to the rear.

Ground floor, quite a few small changes here. One of the main things is that they have neglected to add the additional 900mm cupboard for the back bench of the kitchen. The island bench has been extended by 900mm as requested, but they forgot about the back bench. This also means that the kitchen splashback window is also too short.  At the moment it is 3850mm, but it needs to be 4750mm long. It is currently drawn with transoms (glazing bars) (you will see this on the side elevation picture) we don't want this and are getting it priced to have a single non-opening window.

Window heights and placement to be changed on the first floor. Also they forgot to remove the square set opening from the ensuite to the WIR. We want this closed off and have another shelf with hanging rail installed.

Side elevation that shows the kitchen splashback window. It means that it will extend to the watertank, which means the tank will have to be moved. I am thinking of moving it to the garage wall. Not sure the implications (if any) of this.

Other side elevation. I want to change the three windows on the ground floor.  The one on the left - this is the study and I don't want a full height window.  The other two that are currently half height (sorry, don't know the correct name for them) I want them same width, but full height, as these are the living areas and I want as much light as I can get.

In all there are 24 changes that I want made.  I am going back to the Waterford County sales office to go through the plans and work out if there are any other changes that need to be made.

Hopefully the changes don't take too long to draw up and don;t add too much extra to the price.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Day 23 - Plans & External Colours

Going by Rawson's pre-building time line, check plans should take 20 days to be received. My file was received to our CSO on 21/6/12 - and given an estimated time of 2-3 weeks, advising that they were taking 3 weeks.

I chased today, and was advised that the plans have been completed and they are just being checked by the drafting manager and they aim to have them to me tomorrow. I am excited, but I know there are going to be changes.  It is this window in the kitchen that is bothering me.

The initial quote did not give a size to the window. I assumed that it was 2.4m, but when I measured it in the show home I realised it was 3 metres.   We thought of going with a long 5 metre window with transoms through the window, but my boss (I work for a building company) thought this would look pretty crappy and suggested a 5 metre window.  This is one of the changes we need to make as this is going to be a major feature of the kitchen.

We have also chosen our external colours.


Traditional Flat Profile

Barramundi Traditional Flat Profile Tiles . We debated whether to pay the additional $2,000 quoted to go with Colorbond (cost for the anticon blanket), but we have decided that this build is so far over budget that we have to cut back somewhere. So we are going with the tiles.

Gutters and Windows - Woodland Grey


Dune colour here. I am still debating whether to go for woodland grey for the downpipes or stick with the dune.  Too many decisions.


Boral Natural Horizons, Graphite. Off white mortar, flush joints. 

Garage Door

Colour - Caoba - this will eventually match with the front door.

I am hoping these colours will look good. Too bad we can't have a mock up of it before we finally sign it off.