About Me

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I am a SAHM who does work from home occasionally, dedicated to raising 3 Godly, independent, healthy children. Loving the home building process though it is not without challenges. I have fairly free reign over the creative aspect of the project...just not the financial side!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A little brick hiccup!

Upon checking out brick colours on the PGH website (in all my spare time!), I discovered that my chosen brick colour CHOCOLATTO has changed Basix classification from medium to dark. THe documentation that EBH gave me at tender said it was medium; my visit to PGH had it at medium and Home Options Gallery didn't pick this up. Given our Basix certificate has been issued already based on our colour selections etc, I was a little worried to say the least. No other colours in our allocated brick range remotely excited me and I had already spent much time getting the colour scheme how I wanted it.
I had a decision to make....Do I call EBH and discuss with the potential of having to re-do colours and select a brick I don't like? Do I stick my head in the sand and let them discover the change? I then had visions of the BASIX inspector (is there one?) coming at the completion of the house & asking us to demolish as it doesn't comply. I know, a little catastrophising! I decided to ring my upline Manager to have a quiet chat. Bev made my day! She checked the file & discovered that on the Basix certificate the external wall colours have not actually been specified. This basically means we are free to choose whatever colour we wish. Interesting as the Basix documentation we signed stated that our external colours were medium grade.
Phew! I can sleep well tonight & not have nightmares about the house being pulled down at the 11th hour!

Bank approval needed

Decided that is was time to start thinking about the bank loan for this mammoth project. We have conditional approval so it isn't going to be a lengthy drawn out affair (I hope). We need to get a HUGE building contract scanned to send to the broker & bank and some updated payslips etc. Tomorrows job........

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Tree letter written

I spent yesterday afternoon drafting the letters to go to our 2 neighbours who live on the property with the trees that overhang ours. The property is subdivided and is on a strata plan. We actually don't know if the owners live there or not. I have enclosed a self addressed, stamped envelopes for them to return their written consent to pruning or removal of the trees. I have also included a copy of the letter from council outlining the issues. Fingers crossed we get a response from them.....

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Update post Fiji!

As you all like photos, I thought I would post one from where I have been the past week!

Whilst we have been away, council have decided that we need to approach our neighbours to ask them if we can prune, remove or replace 2 trees that are hanging over the boundary fence. I think they need to allow us to prune if it is encroaching our property. The letter also mentioned something technical to keep in mind when we construct our new driveway.

PCV-wise - I have one to sign explaining that EBH will place an extra timber beam in the every wall of the house for us. This will allow us not to worry what we hang on the walls - they will be able to take Brad's sports memorabilia easily!

I also need to think about extending the main bathroom wall to create more of a doorway. EBH will do this at no charge for us but I need to decide whether I want a 1000mm opening or a 820mm opening...

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Tomorrow is D Day or tree day!

Here's hoping that tomorrow will deliver an early birthday present for me. Our development application is scheduled to come out of the 'tree department' tomorrow after sitting there for 3 long weeks. Not sure what has happened in that time as there has been no apparent activity on the site (no calls from DA officer to request access or from the tenants letting us know there is someone banging on the door!) Fingers crossed that all will be OK to remove the trees that are in the way of the build. Rest assured - there are still PLENTY more trees on the block. Trees & stormwaters were the issues with the potential to hold up proceedings. No word on stormwater design as yet.

EDITED to add - Two minutes after posting this, I received a call from the 'tree man' from council to say that he would be checking out the property tomorrow if that is OK with the tenants. Hmmmm, what has been happening for 3 weeks? Nothing like leaving it to the last minute. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A few hints

Wow! I can't believe how many people are looking at this blog. The traffic is enormous especially considering we haven't even started to build yet. Don't forget you can either be a 'follower' which means that it comes up in your reading list with eblogger or you can follow by email, meaning an email is sent to you when I post something rivoting (or not!)

A number of friends are in the process of dreaming, researching or tendering for a house build so I thought it might be useful to post a tip or two for that stage of the build.
  • Identify the upgrade items on the display home you choose to build (take the upgrade list and visually tick them off one by one making a note that they are  upgrades) So much of the display homes are upgraded throughout. Many builders do have display homes that are set out only as a standard home ie without any upgrades. Ask to see one of those for comparison sake. Of course, this is difficult if your home doesn't have a display home or you make so many structural changes like we did!
  • Have a look at similar house plans on the online forums if possible since this will give you  ideas that other customers have come up with. HOMEONE forums are invaluable. There is a 'thread' topic in these forums title 'Things you forget'  - lists many, many ideas for adding to your house to make it your home. HomeOne - Things you forget
  • Make sure all items that you would like to have and think you have included are listed in the tender document.
  • Communicate with your builder via EMAIL. This keeps a record of your dealings with them.
  • Double and triple check prices in the tender - they do make mistakes with calculations!
  • Ask questions from fellow home builders for recommendations since some the other home builders bad experiences may help you avoid a painful situation. Again, I recommend getting onto HomeOne forums.
  • Think about including Provisional Allowances for items that you think you might want to add later in the selection process. For example, we added $10K for kitchen upgrades (needed $20K!!), $15K for electrical, $5K for tiles/carpet, $10K for window coverings etc etc If you do not do this, the variations costs post tender requires short payment terms and this will need to be settled before handover.

    Hope this helps a little.