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!
Showing posts with label pool. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pool. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Pool reflections

Apart from a post to show you our newly laid waterline tiles, I thought I would update you on the latest decisions we had to make on the pool.
A few weeks prior to Christmas, I was surprisingly informed that there was an extra cost to be incurred. The backwash pipe allowance in the contract is for 6m but we would need about 30m to reach the sewer gully. To extend, it would cost about $1200. Upon baulking at paying that, it was suggested that we change to a centrifugal filter - no backwashing required, with Concept picking up the extra $50. Great - signed off on it.
Fast forward to January when our landscaping team asked how we were going to remove waste water from the pool in the case of days of heavy rain. Not sure? was my answer. The Finishing supervisor suggested hooking up a hose, carrying to the stormwater absorption pit and dumping in there. The Director of Concept suggested just letting it overflow and evaporation will do its trick. Neither solution sat comfortably with me at all.
Tim Hayward and his boys suggested getting a plumber to do the pipework as they could not see how it could possibly be $1200 worth and requesting the original filter in the contract. Done! We had a plumber by that afternoon ($250 plus the pipes which are yet to be invoiced) with the job completed.
Well done Hayward Landscaping - not something in their brief but took it on willingly.
I sent an email to Concept Pools informing them of the work completed (installing a gully on the boundary shaft and raising it to the new ground level; run a line to the new gully) so imagine my surprise when I then received the contract variation from THEM for over $1000 to complete the work. Now having sent them photos, I hope that we receive the correct filter to install.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Concept Pools

I have been asked by a few people about my experience so far with Concept Pools, specifically if I would recommend them. Publicly, my answer is that the jury is still out on that one.
I would change the way I went about the whole process. In my naivety  and desire to make things easier on myself, I made the assumption that engaging the services of Concept Pools would be a good move. Concept have an office at Home Options Gallery and build the pools for Eden Brae's display homes so I thought there was a link there between the two. Nothing could be further from the truth as confirmed in an email from the owner today. I went with Concept thinking that the two companies would help to make the process smooth and didn't even shop around for competitive quotes.

I have found the people I have dealt with to assume that I have knowledge on pool building and get frustrated with my questions; I have found communication delays to be less than desirable either by email or phone call; I am unsure about the quality of the build as to date I only have a concrete shell; I have been asked to keep Eden Brae management out of my email correspondence (I CCed one into my last one) as it has 'nothing to do with them'; I was told before signing that it would take a week to finish off the pool once the house was completed. I was not told that 'week' would be over stages with long gaps due to situations outside their control from other companies. One week is now in an ideal world, according to them;

So to date, we are still waiting for the Finishing Supervisor to contact the landscaper to schedule a time to start his work laying pipes. We were expecting that to be done about 2 weeks ago.

Read this and make your own decision about whether you would use them. I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Partially roofed

Today saw some of the Colorbond roofing installed. They only do the upper roof now as the scaffolding is in the way of the lower roof. Any work that needs scaffolding will be done now ie eaves, downpipes etc
The bottom two photos have been kindly sent by our beautiful neighbours to be from their back fence. Anyone for a swim?

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Bank issues

I have received an email from our Mortgage Angel this afternoon who promptly got a fiery phone call from me.  It seems paying for the pool separately yet included in the valuation is not a great idea.

"I have just spoken to CBA and CBA has requested receipts from the pool builder for your contribution of $X for the pool.
As per CBA your total contribution was going to be $Y, out of this CBA has evidence of $Z being paid already by yourself.
CBA is looking for evidence of payment of $X before they will pay the builder for the slab.

Could you please forward that to me as soon as possible?"

Um, NO! We have half a pool which is why we had paid only half the amount! HURRY UP AND PAY OUR BUILDER NOW.

Update - And it seems that we are not going to get any joy from the bank even though we are getting a loan fro $40K more than what we need. Before they pay EBH for the slab we need to pay THEM for the rest of the pool and recoup that money at the end. CRAZY! We have demonstrated to them our ability to pay for it already.
Note to others - it will be much easier not to add other items to your valuation eg. pool, landscaping, driveway etc if you are paying for it out of your own pocket.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Thinking about the landscaping too

While I am twiddling my thumbs here waiting for the build to move to construction phase, I have been continuing the process of thinking about landscaping. We have a plan submitted to council already which we have to adhere to fairly strictly. We also have a council DA requirement to maintain canopy cover by planting 3 indigenous trees that will grow in time to a minimum of 15m high.

There is a local company called OutThere Landscapes & Design who have done some work for a friend who built with Eden Brae further out west. I really liked the look of what they have done to complete their house so I am keen to get them to do a quote for us. I have sent off my details for a prosposal to be out together. I am looking to 'stage' the development of the gardens (as with the interior decoration of the house) Stage One will be the basic requirements of retaining walls, pool surrounds, turf, tree replanting and possibly creating some garden beds.

I like the look of this pool - simple, practical & easy on the eye.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Pre plumbing & lighting

It was a good news day today. I drove past the block and noticed the foreman there working in the hole. I stopped to chat to him about progress and he informed me that it should all be finished by Tuesday now (not next Friday) as the concrete spray is booked in for then. In preparation for this, he was doing the preplumbing and the lighting. Peter let me know that he changed the lighting from the plan from the right hand side to the left hand side (usual position). From the house, yard & alfresco, you want the ambient glow of the lighting in the water not looking direct at the lights. Fine by me!

I asked him about the mountain of fill to the side of the hole as we have already paid for fill removal (including the rocks). Peter told me that this is fill for EBH that we asked for. I had assumed that all the fill had rock so all of it was to be removed. Hopefully that will save us about $5K in additional fill that EBH will require!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Steel reinforcement completed (I think)

As a family, we went away overnight so stopped by the block on our way home. Excited to see the steel reinforcements in place. From what I can remember, we have a certification check scheduled for tomorrow before they can continue after Australia Day.
The gardeners were meant to finish off clearing the block today but were not able to. When I spoke to Geoff today, he agreed to backfill the holes left by the stumpgrinders and try to remove part of a stump that is still remaining. He is meant to be there on Tuesday now.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Excavation complete

Excavation complete - please cough up 25% of contract price plus extras for rock! On the up-side, I have been able to meet one of my neighbours who is just lovely. Seemingly non-plussed about the build and even went as far as sending an email to the demolition company congratulating them on the good job. If only she knew it from our point-of view LOL!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Rock on!

Pool excavation started this morning and by 8am we had received a call to tell us that they had hit rock :-( Peter, the site supervisor, needed me to contact EBH to see if they would use fill with sandstone in it. It took a while for the answer from EBH which of course, was NO!
Peter has measured the rock to be 18.3 m3 with the monetary value of $3.4K for the excavation alone. Depending on how many loads of fill there are, we will now have some cartage/tipping fees too ($1.2K per load)
Peter estimates the excavation will now be finished by Wednesday and with the Australia Day holiday thrown in, it will be more like next Wednesday when they finish as they have a few EBH contracts that they need to start at the same time.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Site start appointment

Yesterday in the sweltering heat, we all travelled over to Bella Vista to have our site start appointment. It was great to be able to put a face to the voice of our CSA, Rania. It was an efficient meeting with all my points dealt with - I am glad I took the advice of my fellow HomeOners and emailed Rania prior to the appointment.
Expected timeline from here.......
* Pool excavated on Monday 21//01
* Pool shell constructed, boarded up & fenced
* We notify EBH when that is completed who will order the peg out
* Once the survey from the peg out is received, our contract period begins.
* The slab should be poured within about 3 weeks.
A big relief to get to this point after 15 months of planning.

We did receive a confusing email from our Mortgage Angel yesterday regarding the pool. The email seemed to contradict itself. We are funding the pool ourselves though because it is part of the valuation for the house, it seems that CBA want the money upfront for that and to release funds themselves?? Brad questioned this with our Mortgage Angel who herself, didn't seem to understand what was required. Sitting tight on that one before we send over $50 K to CBA!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Pools and brokers!

For a while, I have been wondering what to do about the fact that EBH let us put a PA for a pool into our initial contract yet the pool company are not actually a part of EBH. The pool is on a separate contract and paid on a different schedule.
Yesterday, I spoke with our wonderful mortgage broker (Paul Pappas from Mortgage Choice, Pitt St) who advised us to take the pool PA out of the contract and get a separate loan for that. Paul also confirmed there was no hurry to get formal approval for the construction loan - November would be ideal. Phew!!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Fiddly bits and followups

It has been a while since I have posted an update. Nothing major has happened just loads more research on the forums to see what others are doing and going back through emails to see if there is any item that seems to have fallen through the cracks.

1) The pool contract is here for some light bedtime reading. Hmmmm, I just love reading all that fine print. I also need to talk to the mortgage broker soon to see if we need to take the pool allowance out of the EBH contract as Concept Pools are not related in any way to EBH. (This is more a little note to myself than of any great interest to anyone!)

2) Waiting to hear back from the estimators on the Madison front door and door to rumpus room as pictured below.

3) Still waiting to hear about the shape of our Bed 1 robes - the plan has them as Ushaped but the design of the fitout from Wardrobe World is named L-shaped. Don't want 2/3 of the robes not shelved!

4) Not being au fait with reading plans, I have been a little in the dark about measurements of certain things in my house. This has been highlighted when planing the luxuriously large laundry. No-one has told me what sort of material the laundry cupboards will be made of - laminex? No, gyprock inside, architraves and flush doors. No heights, depths etc. Discovered the height of them which does not go to the ceiling. Now I am waiting on estimating to get back to me on a quote for a bulkhead over these cupboards - I really do not want an open space above the cupboards for dust and lint to collect (or for me to dump stuff!) I am guessing that the picture below, from a display home, are the standard height.


5) Caught EBH out on a little error this week too. Reading through a PCV for me to sign there was an extra charge for $494 to install 2 upgraded freestanding baths. Pretty sure that the baths I selected were not freestanding (don't want them) and even if I did, there was no mention of this when I signed the Cooks Plumbing quote. A quick apology was made when I pointed this out to them. I reckon some clients might just sign away without checking too carefully.

6) Finished all my variations (I hope) with Kitchen Culture for the kitchen (obviously), bathroom vanities and the laundry benches. Waiting on my 3D drawings and plans which will take approximately another 2 weeks.
I really wish EBH used more than one company for their fittings etc (kitchen, electricals, flooring etc) These companies know that we are 'stuck' with using them so there is no competitive pricing at all and customer service could be better.
Whilst I am on suggestions for EBH, I will note here for future reference (mine) that my idea would be to have another level of inclusions called Platinum (or the like) for clients like me who seem to want all the upgrades. They could include things like, but not limited to, glass splashback, stone tops in kitchen & bathrooms, wallfaced toilets, raised ceilings/doors, softclose drawers, pot drawers, 2 DPOs per room, more TV points, more data points, overhead cupboards in kitchen & laundry, higher category of carpet & tiles.......
Anyone else on my wavelength?

Ramble over now. Excited about Tuesday's appointment - electrical, window coverings, staircase and floor coverings. I am sure there will be a big post on Tuesday or Wednesday!

Friday, August 3, 2012

A great start to the weekend

I have just received an email from EBH to confirm that we can use the fill from the pool excavation on the house construction. In our house contract, we were paying $4300 for additional fill and in our pool contract we were paying $6000 for fill removal! I spotted this last week and saw $$$$$ (savings/more spending!) We will need more fill than the excavation provides but I have just saved us $8K. Happy dance....

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A progress report

It has been a week or two since the last blog post. Here is where we are at....

1) We are waiting to hear back from the first neighbour we approached to see if they will grant us an easement over their property. If we get a YES, we then need to approach another neighbour. Yes, 2 properties and therefore 2 lots of compensation and 2 other sets of legal fees!

2) I met with the lovely AJ from 're-do my space' on Monday. I feel really confident that she can help me to decorate the super large house so that it is warm & homely. AJ got me over the line too as far as taking it slow. I would LOVE to have the house nicely furnished from pretty much the moment we move in. Lately I have been thinking that this really isn't realistic especially as I want to do it right. I will pick a few key rooms to do first and then work on others as money allows. This house will have NO Fantastic Furniture in it ;-)

3) Still waiting on the pool quote/plan to be sent to me so that it can be added to the plan to go to council.

Off to Melbourne on Friday for my annual shopping, coffee, footy, wine, 5 star hotel trip with Brad and one of the companies that he is the client of. Bought new gloves today preparing for the icy cold temps we are expecting.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Further developments

The last few days have seen a few hiccups....

1) A frantic call from our CSO on Friday was received asking me if we were having a pool. (The landscape designer had mentioned positioning of the pool.) I replied YES as per the provisional allowance in the contract that we have both signed. Rania asked if we had wanted it excavated/shell before build or we wanted to look after it all ourselves after settlement. Confirmed the earlier as per conversation with Sara upon contract signing. Oops - it wasn't put on the plan by EBH! A quick call was made to the pool company to start the planning of the pool. And the plans will need to be redrawn soon.

2) We need to approach neighbours to ask for an easement right over their properties as we have no stormwater drainage. Firstly EBH informed us that we REALLY want them to say no so that we can use absorption trenches (quicker & cheaper). Counter advice from our trusted plumber and the hydraulic engineer employed by EBH saw me a little jaded. Furthermore, we were advised to approach the incorrect neighbour (upslope rather than the logical downslope neighbour) So glad that I didn't rush in and go doorknocking!

* Today we had an appointment to design our pool, right down to the last tile! Very exhausting, technical 90 minutes. We are building a rectangular pool with a 'wine & cheese' ledge across the width of the pool and a smaller, deep water ledge. A very fine, smoothish pebblecrete finish with a blue fleck in it. Needed to move the position of the pool from where I had thought it belonged due to lay-of-the land - no biggie!

* Moved straight onto a consult with the landscape design company. It was fairly straightforward. The brief is 'as little as possible at this stage' as I am thinking we will need to take out another mortgage for the retaining walls on the property! We can always build on the garden later down the track.