About Me

My photo
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!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Inconsistent prices

This blog post is more for EBH to read (!) and for me to have made a note for when/if they ask for feedback at the end of the process.
There has been discussion on the forum I participate in lately about inconsistent pricing. I don't know why but this makes me an angry Kerith! So clients were saying that they received a price for an item at tender which differed to the price they were given at their HOG selection appointment eg. overhead cupboards, pot drawers etc. Sometimes the tender price was more, sometimes less. Surely, an overhead cupboard is the same price with the same company whether you request it in tender stage or just after. Comments were made that it seems like the tender presenter just guesstimates. This does not inspire confidence in the EBH process at all.

Further to my post yesterday about the cool website from one of Eden Brae's competitors....I sent a link to my lovely Manager Bev. She forwarded it on to the Home Option Gallery Manager who was quite interested. They can see the benefit for EBH & their clients. A company has done something similar for a few builders and it has only recently gone live. Maybe next time I build an Eden Brae house....;-)   (Brad doesn't read this blog, does he?!)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Cool website

I stumbled across this website today as I navigated through some other HomeOne threads


I have maintained all along that this is something that Eden Brae should do for their clients to assist with complete satisfaction. It is so difficult to select colours from tiny swatches and know how they are going to fit together in your house. How good would it be to sit at Home Options Gallery & to finalise your colours based on a program like this? Interior & exterior. I am a highly visual person and need to see my colours working together. Hopefully in the future, it will all be computer aided - too late for us though.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Loan approved conditionally

Our construction loan has now been approved with conditions - the standard bank valuation on the land we are building on and that the redraw balance on one of our other loans is reduced. I don't understand the concept at all but Brad does. I was hoping it meant that I could go & spend $50K on something other than a new house ;-)  Brad seems really happy with the way that Mortgage Choice have structured our loan - important that he is happy when it comes to money!

Miscellaneous stuff

* Fencing - The demolition company have sent me details of the fencing company they use and costings today. I asked Eden Brae whether we could use the company they use for temporary fencing and extend the length of time forward to include the demolition period. NO was the answer.
Is it only me or does it seem crazy that we use one company for temp fencing for 2-3 weeks, they have to return to disassemble  & then another company comes to erect their fencing for the build?

* The tenants called me yesterday to check whether the letter they received from the property manager was fair dinkum. Do you really want us to clean the house from top to bottom upon leaving? LOL I confirmed that they didn't need to. I could hear the sigh of relief from my end of the phone.

* I received the approved plans today via the Council's website.  Any tree (apart from the neighbours trees in question) can be removed. We do need to plant 4 indigenous trees to maintain canopy cover.

* The valuer is going to visit the property soon for bank loan purposes.

Things are moving along nicely.....

Friday, November 23, 2012

3 out of 3 APPROVED!

After 3 long months, all 3 applications to council have been approved. Ahhhhh.......  We can demolish, build and put in a pool. One neighbour in particular is not going to be happy - they objected to the pool (acoustics & loss of privacy) and the house (privacy & loss of sun).  

"An objection was received in regards to the two storey dwelling-house resulting in a loss of privacy to the adjoining property in Gxxxxx Avenue. The first floor windows serve bedrooms and bathrooms only, in accordance with the prescriptive measures of the Privacy element. The single window on the first floor facing the objectors property is setback over 26 metres from this adjoining property.
As a consequence, the development would have negligible adverse privacy impacts, the proposal meets the objectives of the Privacy element and is considered acceptable."

"An objection was received in regards to the two storey structure causing a loss of solar access to the rear western property. The shadows cast from the proposal would allow at least 4 hours of sunshine to the private open space required for adjacent and proposed dwelling-houses on 22 June (the winter solstice). The shadows cast from the proposal would allow north facing windows to living areas of adjacent and proposed dwelling-houses to receive 3 hours of sunshine over a portion of their surface on 22 June. The proposal meets the prescriptive measures and objectives of the Solar Access element and is considered acceptable."

Fortunately Council didn't seem to think they were legitimate reasons to protest. Can't wait for our first pool party!

Hornsby Council themselves did have a concern over the design initially-  -->
"The proposed 12.9m unbroken wall length of the northern elevation does not comply with the prescriptive measures of the Design element which requires that walls not exceed 10m without a physical “break”. A balance between solid walls and openings and variations of roof form has been incorporated into the elevations to avoid a monotonous or symmetrical design.
On that basis, the proposal would have negligible adverse visual or amenity impacts to the adjoining properties, meets the objectives of the Design element and is considered acceptable."

Eden Brae can't move onto the next step until they have a hard copy of the determination. Grrrr.... This paperwork took 2 weeks to be put in the mail for the pool DA. I wonder if I can print it off and send it to them rather than waiting for Council to do it?? The information is all on the website for public record. Not sure why they don't accept it.

Anyway, happy days here until the next hiccup! Enjoy your weekend. I am celebrating 11 years of wedded bliss with my wonderful husband. Awwwww....

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Status - approved!

Don't get too excited yet. This is only for demolition. So far we can demolish & build a pool  - maybe we can live on a boat in the pool? The DA that has been in Hornsby Council since the end of August is not yet approved though we are close - tomorrow (depending on whether they all have flexidays!) or Monday. All checks are listed on the web tracking site as been completed. Nothing really can happen until we have this approval. EBH need it for final plans to be drawn up, the bank need it ( I think) for the construction loan...
Hurry up  - only about 6 weeks until DDay on January 7.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

My visit to Council

Any of my really observant followers will have noticed the title change of the blog to Our Dream. Brad was a little offended that he wasn't included and wanted it changed ;-) It has never been his dream, is happy where we are currently but more than happy for me to oversee this. A few of my friends will remember trawling through project homes when I was in my early 20's when we had a spare Sunday! We would dream of new houses & interior design LOL. Linda H??!

I armed myself with reams of documents this morning to visit Hornsby Council. The lovely Customer Service member was extremely helpful in going through these documents and working out which ones I needed. The application to DEMOLISH was lodged then & there - DONE.

I then sat down with one of the Heads of Planning & Building to ask him some questions regarding trees.
* Any tree marked for removal can be removed without further consent when the approval comes through.
* We may prune the neighbours trees right to the fence without their permission and we may also leave the trimmings neatly stacked on their property for them to dispose of (we will green waste them ourselves)
* The new vehicular crossing required does not need to be applied for until closer to the date of construction.

All in all, a successful morning at council.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Demolition Derby

Firstly, my helpful council officer called me back this morning after speaking with those in the tree department. All we need for the DA to move ahead is a YES or NO from Eden Brae as to whether they are prepared to build using tree sensitive protection measures. A YES given from EBH and sent to Hornsby Council. Unfortunately EBH are not able to price this up until DA has been approved and the tree conditions placed on the DA consent. Leap of faith here.

Finally, I was able to get in contact with the Operations Manager from our demolition company. She has been off sick for a while with obviously no-one performing her duties for her. She seemed a little shocked that the 'job' had not been progressed, in particular, no application with a certifier or with council. Unfortunately, we cannot use a private certifier now as the procedures have changed recently. Myriads of paperwork were sent to start the process. A few minutes later, I was speaking to Council who questioned why I was doing it that way. She suggested submitting my request to demolish as additional information to my existing application - this requires minimal cost & minimal paperwork. How appealing! Not to be unfortunately. Eden Brae have a policy that demolitions and builds need to be separate as they do not want to be held liable as 'owners' of the development approval. Back to the sea of paperwork though it is a little unclear as to what is actually required. It was suggested to me that a trip to Council's clerical department tomorrow with my documents would be a useful idea. Brilliant way to spend a 'day off' with Brad who has just returned from the UK.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Council DAs

Well DDay is here and of course, no contact from the neighbours. I have spoken to my officers at concil who will get back to me about what the next step is. She did mention that if we did move the house over on the block thereby redoing the plans then we would need to go through the DA process again, including notification. NO WAY!
I talked to Sarah about our pool application that was approved despite some objections from a neighbour (privacy & acoustics) . Sarah said that we do have objections sitting there for the house DA too but seemed to indicate that they were insubstantial.
Geez, I really look forward to moving in one day, surrounded by unhappy neighbours on all sides!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Another tree post

OK, this has been consuming me. I left it in the capable hands of EBH over the weekend. I received a call yesterday from the CS Manager who strongly suggested ;-) that I need to convince the neighbours to reconsider their decision. To build around the roots of the trees will be a very costly & involved process. I was coached in what to say to the neighbours (the trees need to be pruned significantly anyway as overhanging our boundary considerably; we will replace them with mature trees of their choosing to allay their fears of more sun, less birds etc) The neighbours are in consultation with each other (2 properties) until Friday - if I don't hear back from them, their original decision stands.
If this happens we have 2 options.....
1) We may be able to move the house over by 1.2m to avoid these trees but then we lose some of the setback we have on that side and possibly it will uncover more costs.
2) Employ 'tree sensitive protection measures' when building the house.

Stay tuned.....

Friday, November 2, 2012

Request rejected :-(

Unfortunately our request to the neighbours to remove, prune or replace their 2 trees has been declined at the 11th hour. They say that "the trees are well established, aesthetically pleasing and attract native birds. In addition their removal will mean more sun in the rooms at the front of the house. We consider that we will be disadvantaged by their removal"

PLAN B...........