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

Saturday, June 25, 2011

News flash

Rawson Homes have just been in contact with us looking to "make things right." Unfortunatley Mick is quite unwell today and was in no mood to talk and told them to call him back in a couple of days. Not sure what to do really. The only way we would consider going back to them is if they dramatically reduce the cost and are nicer to deal with.

But, we've fallen in love with the new design. I just don't think we can go back to the previous house...

Looks like the plot has thickened.

Still waiting...

Well, we haven’t heard back about a base price yet from GJ Gardner and I really don’t feel like chasing them. We have however heard back from Cosmopolitan homes and while we get the feeling they’re just another sausage factory, it’s nice to get info from them on their service so we can make an informed decision. We also remembered that the fourth prescribed builder is Fairmont homes, so I will be looking into them.
We also visited the block yesterday with Mick’s parents, who came along for the adventure. The neighbourhood was quiet and friendly as always. And the house being built next door has really come along. To be honest though, I’m a bit disappointed. Though it is a fine house, I was expecting grander things. Their alfresco area couldn’t even fit a dog’s bed and we’re also not sure they’re going to insulate! They’re at a stage where they should have insulated now, but as my Dad said, perhaps they’ll blow it in (not really sure how it all works to be honest). Anyway, knowing the owner has great building connections, I thought they would do more. Never mind! I’ve managed to pin down which house they’re building, thanks to the (dis)advantage of building a project home. I’ve posted the designs of both our neighbour’s houses and some photos. And before anyone accuses us of stalking, it’s only because we need to submit a “privacy plan” to the developer, outlining our neighbour’s windows and explaining how we will maintain our (and their) privacy…plus I love seeing what other people build! Things I’ve never previously paid attention to, I now notice. Like kitchens in ads, use of materials on new builds, bathroom designs at work etc.
We’re also pretty close to having perfected our design. Unfortunately I’ve left the latest version at work, so I’ll have to upload it later.
Ok, to see the Champion Home design on our right (as you face the block), click here. It is the second layout called Lincoln 338 and it is reversed.

Photos of the house:

The house on the left of our block is a Cosmopolitan home and be viewed by clicking here. We don't have photos of the facade but it is exactly the same as on the brochure.

And some photos:

Now, the rose between two thorns...I'm talking about Mick's Parents of course!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Quick Update

Rawson have sent through the Site Analysis Report and Detailed Site Contour Survey, which we have forwarded on to GJ Gardner.
We also have official approval from the Developer to use GJ Gardner for the build.
So…all systems are go for organising plans and a tender through GJ Gardner *fingers crossed* we have a better experience through them…though, no signing of a tender to take place until we are happy with the inclusions and cost.
On the home-front, Mick and I plan to spend our weekend cleaning and packing up the unit in prep for the renovations (new paint and carpet and re-tile the wet areas). Fun!

...just realised that I cross my fingers a lot...

Monday, June 13, 2011

Here's to round two!

If GJ Gardner are willing to build a Cosmo Home with Rawson influences then we’re ok with that.
We spoke to the gentleman at GJ Gardner on the weekend and looked through some of their designs and showed them one we like by Cosmo (who have a terrible reputation in the area and never replied to my enquiry so do not get our business). Using the Cosmo design as a base, GJ Gardner seem genuinely passionate about building our house. Having said this, Mick and I are a little wiser than when we signed on the dotted line with Rawson. I’ve amended the floor plan to the specs we want and have included almost every last detail of what we ideally want. I want the tender to be as inclusive as possible before we sign ANYTHING.
In the meantime, we have had to ask Rawson for our FULL site survey as they only sent us a PDF of the block and not the soil testing that would have gone with it and the proper draftsman version. *Fingers crossed* they hand that over without a fight. We paid $750 for the survey and should own the rights to it but nothing is ever easy.
All-in-all we’re after a nice house within budget and a more enjoyable building experience with a company that wants our business.
The house we like from Cosmo is called Ecco 35 and can be viewed by clicking here.
Here’s our modified version of the floor plan, which Mick has dubbed “House MKII”
And here is the facade - though we will add a balcony over the garage and will probably have to put a "normal" roof on it and chaneg the colours to conform to the Estate Guidelines.

The amount of glass at the front is something we love for maximising the views over the golf course. For this reason we also like the flow-through effect of the living room, dining area and kitchen. We've added cavity sliding doors though for privacy. Mick is also a huge fan of the alfresco area and we have extended that area so he can BBQ without smoke getting into the house.

Here’s to round two!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Where to from here?

So, the million dollar question…where to from here?
Rawson have been nothing short of difficult and rude, which wouldn’t even be too bad if they would design a house we love for the price it’s worth. So, we will be giving them the chop, we’re just a little hesitant to send the email we currently have drafted. I think we may be pondering on that one for a while yet.
Whilst we are still reeling from the unpleasantness of it all and would like nothing more than to wash our hands of it and start again, I know from a logical point of view that building a house on this block is better for the bottom line. It will be easier and net a little profit (depending on the cost and what we build) to sell the land with a house on it. It is also no hardship to live in it for a few years to net a nice profit and look at building a single story home somewhere else down the track.
In the meantime, I believe I mentioned that we have fallen in love with a particular single story home..? That building company actually offers a “made-to-measure” service and has (so far) been quite keen for the business, even offering for the CEO himself to meet us out of area. So we are exploring the possibility of building with them. We just need to double-check that we are allowed though *rolls eyes* as they are not one of the four “prescribed” builders for the estate. We are not interested in using one of those builders however as one is Rawson, another is building the house next door and has been difficult to deal with, the third never got back to an enquiry I made, and we can’t remember the fourth one..!
So, I’ve sent through an idea of what we want to build to the new builder at their request, and am waiting for them to get back to me about a time to meet up and discuss the options.
On the home-front, Mick’s unit needs all the carpet and shower replaced. At the same time we will re-vamp the bathroom (it is quite old) and kitchen tiles then be ready (and happy) to sell it.
*Fingers crossed* we might be on a winner, though the end is not in sight yet…and no promises Mick doesn’t torch the land given the stress it has caused added to the stress of the unit flooding and his stressful job. I guess we can’t say it’s been uneventful!