Share our trials and tribulations as we build our new home - a custom Dominico by Fairmont Homes NSW

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Let the fun and games begin!

Settlement is today and we have just been told that we need approval for our house from the developers BEFORE settlement. Great news to receive the day before settlement! Anyway, one company has approved the design now just waiting on the other. We also just received the community design guidelines in the pack from Rawson. I hate being told what to do! Luckily, there is still some good scope for individuality, though we may have trouble getting approval for our roof because it’s flat. Anyway, that’s a fight for another day.

We visited the block yesterday and realised that the temporary fencing on it was never discussed…another thing for the poor conveyancor to figure out. Also, the “landscaping” (and I use the term loosely) will mostly have to go. It encroaches on where the building will be at the side and takes up most of what will be our back lawn. Another cost for poor Mick. We’ll have to sit down with a landscaper I think and discuss removing the plants and whether or not we need retaining walls. I was hoping to do most of the landscaping myself but these things call for professionals. If we can, it’s best to get the plants removed before they start building.

Anyway, we took some more photos (see below) and checked the estate out. It gave Mick and I a good chance to see what design elements the neighbours have (for privacy reasons I haven't uploaded these pics). There are pretty strict guidelines we have to follow but it’s nice to see what variations others have gone with. Interestingly if we choose colourbond for the roof (as we have been thinking), there is only one other house in the estate with it. Mick has decided that as long as there is one other house with it, we can have it too (and It’s allowed in the guidelines), so colourbond in Woodland Grey it is (the only colourbond colour allowed)! One decision down, 5million to go…

Also, the neighbours building next door have made so much more progress, which is exciting and depressing at the same time. Really though it is great that they’re building first as it gives us a chance to see their brick colour etc. We’ve noticed though that they’ve cracked the footpath in front of their house. I hope they fix it. Most of the damage is done in front of their garage however (which is next to us) and will probably be covered by driveway in the end.

Well, now the race is on to visit the various suppliers for the colour selection process as we only get a three-hour consultation with Rawson (anymore and we pay more) and we will need to be ready to tell them what we want. We also have to submit plans and colour selection to the developers before we get council approval. Let the fun and games begin!

Our block from the street:

 Trees on left-hand side of block:
 Block from right-hand-side:
 Back of block (note one Yucca has fallen down):
 Back of our block (the 'pool-like fence' is our back fence and below that is a retaining wall shared with the back neighbour):
 Right-hand-side of block:
 Our beautiful pathway (may it stay that way!):
 Our neighbour's broken pathway:
To end on a good note, view from formal lounge room:


Mick spoke to the conveyancor and builder:

- We have tentative approval for our design, though we will need to submit final plans and colour choices by end March for approval. As it stands the roof should be allowed *fingers crossed*. The roof looks really good as is, so I hope they allow it.

-  Rawson have made no provision for removing plants so Mick and I will need to meet with a landscaper before they lay the slab (and possibly seek council permission...)

- Rawson will put up their own temporary fencing, so Mick will need to continue hire of the fencing that is currently there until building starts.


  1. Mick just emailed me...SETTLEMENT IS DONE!!!!!

    Mick is now officially a opposed to a unit-owner! Heehee!

  2. Congratulations, how exciting for you both! Thanks for visiting my blog and following me.

    The plan looks great; love the lounge upstairs off the master bedroom. From one who knows; be careful where you place your extra window in the study; you need wall space for couch/desk, bookcases and shelving in a study. And you have to be on the toes of the Supervisor...we had a window in our family area which was placed hard up against the wall. If I hadn't seen it, the outside would have been bricked up and it would have been a major fix!!

    I'll follow your build...all the best!

  3. Thanks Alaine. I have the same concern about the extra window in the study. It's good to get advice from someone who has been through a build.

    And I love your blog. I came accross it when researching rosemary grevillea as a possible hedge plant in the new front garden, and fell in love with photos of the flora and fauna. Especially the blue wren!

    We shall have to keep following each other's blogs :)


  4. Ash, I chopped our Grevillea rosmarinifolia hedge down just before Christmas; it had died on the South side. We originally planted it for privacy from the road (our courtyard faces SE). It grew rather fast and did the job but grew taller than the 1.5m on the label. I'm thrilled with the view we're getting now; our other trees have grown and we no longer need the hedge for privacy. It is also very prickly (little birds love it) and I used to end up with red arms if I tried to maintain it, so I gave up and let it grow. I felt rather sad chopping it down.

    A Photinia hedge would be easier (and more colourful) to maintain or even a Pittosporum James Stirling could be kept at the height you want...the birds love them too.

  5. I believe there's a photinia hedge at the back which we will keep (you're right, they do make great hedges). But with regards to the front we have to stick to a prescribed list of plants that includes the grevillia rosmarinifolia (its prickilyness is what attracts it to us as we like the idea of deterring cats and people from coming onto our lawn) but it growing too big is a concern, thanks for letting me know.

    We are also considering (in consultation with my Mum who is a wonderful gardiner) Plumbago Royal Cape and Correa Dusky Bells. We're also being a little 'naughty' and thinking about considering a Murraya, which is not on the list. Basicaly we need hardy plants, as Mick and I both work full time in the city and are away a lot on weekends, which are on the "allowed" list and preferably, bird-attracting and pretty.

    So far we have decided on planting in the front garden Dietes (my favourite flower!) and an ornamental plum as a feauture tree.

    Thanks again for the advice. I'm sad too about your grevillia but it must have been its time to go. It did its part for the birdies while it could and now you can enjoy the view :)