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

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


I wasn't able to upload pictures this afternoon and they are the best part of blogging! So, here are a few taken last weekend at Fairmont's display home Dominico, which our home is loosely based on.

Current plans for the colour scheme are wooden floors in the entry, hall, kitchen and meals with light carpet for the rest of the living areas, cream walls and some bold feature colours. The kitchen will (at this stage) have white laminate cupboards, white stone bench tops and a black glass splashback with Smeg appliances.

Our future Kitchen and meals area!

The view from our future TV Room to our Master Bedroom (though technically this is from their Master Bedroom to Bed 2):

Our Balcony...though ours will be 250mm bigger, but who's counting?

Our bath will have a fixed window from the top of the bath to the ceiling:

Our balcony...again!

Our facade will be similar to this except; the balcony will be across the garage and be roofed, there will be a sliding door from Bed 1 to the balcony with a fixed window on the other side, there will be matching big windows in the Living and TV Rooms (opposite side to garage) and the whole upstairs will be clad, the bricks will be lighter and the whole thing will be mirror-reversed...hmmmm...maybe our facade is not so similar to this after all...

Another shot of our Kitchen:

The feature recess in the hallway (where Mick and I will hang Mick's bday present, a beautiful piece of wood with a clock, thermometer and barometer set in it):

This one's for Mick, a picture (which he took) of our future a/c unit:

Now, some photos from the block on the weekend. I'm hoping that we can keep/transplant the trees with the white blossoms and the Red Hot Pokers. If they can thrive (beautifully) in their current conditions, then they deserve to stay:

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Plans Finalised

Just a quick update to let you know that we have the most gorgeous house ever!!!!
Tom, Michael and especially Daniel at Fairmont Homes have just been wonderful to deal with. Very knowledgeable, helpful and fast. Their pricing also seems fair.
We are currently due to sign the tender on 3rd September and pay for full plans to be drawn up as well as the required documentation for Developer, BASIX and Council submission. It will then also be time to approach a landscaper.
Below is the final draft of our plans:

Note: there will be a tall, fixed feature window above the bath, but exact dimensions can’t be finalised until the elevations are drafted. And we were so glad to find out that we can have the balcony extension after all. This was due to a clause in the fine print saying that the Developer Guidelines “trump” council’s.
How exciting! It’s nice to have the passion back after such a rough beginning, especially as we are about to enter a financial vacuum waiting for Mick’s unit to sell.
On the home-front, the tiling quote should be finalised this week (thank you Strata for lengthening that process) and work begin next week or the one after. Once complete, we will be putting the unit on the market (finally).
We’ve also been in contact with our future side neighbours regarding fencing. Between council regs, estate guidelines and personal budgets/taste, this should be interesting. We’ll also need to begin talks with our rear neighbours soon…Let the fun and games begin!
(I should note that it turns out that who we thought were building next door appear to have on-sold…for those who know what I’m talking about).

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

So long Rawson!

Rawson finally bothered to contact us, and what a warm and fuzzy email it was too <insert sarcasm here>. You know, my father had it right when he said that we shouldn't accept Rawson's invite unless it was from the CEO himself and he actually apologised and said he would fix things. All the manager did that we met with was basically tell us, "well, that's your opinion." and offered no helpful solution. So, here is our reply:

Good riddance!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Tender and plans nearly finalised

We’re nearly there people!
Discussions have continued with Fairmont, who have nearly perfected our plans and tender. Mick and I are getting very excited about the finished product and now just need to look at what little “extras” we want.
Fairmont have been great. Really quick to reply and they really know the guidelines! I also like that they are proactive and even suggested our external finishes to comply with the guidelines…and included the bagging in the standard quote!
Extras we’ve asked for:
-          Nice, large front door (which you can view by clicking here)
-          Gas-boosted solar hot water system (estate mandate)
-          Higher ground-floor ceilings
-          Glass kitchen splashback
-          Ducted A/C (And “damned if it isn’t the big one!” It’s epic and is our most expensive upgrade, but worth it)
-          Alarm
-          Automatic garage door with two handsets
-          Bathroom Upgrades Package (tiled shower niches, semi-frameless showers and higher tiling points)
We’re also getting costings on some nice little (unnecessary) features and we’ll see what we can afford…like a corner window above the bath in the main bathroom.
We’re also waiting on site costs (which we should have today), but we have a rough idea on these already because of Rawson’s quote.
Anyway, what a lovely house it’s shaping out to be…we can’t wait to finalise the plans and get the proper ones drawn up…though from there we need to wait until Mick’s unit is sold before taking the next step.
On the home-front, Mick is getting the last quote for the tiling tomorrow and hopes to have that work started next week. That’ll take a couple of weeks to complete and in that time we will continue packing and hope to have it on the market as soon as the tiling is done….and it’ll also be nice to be able to have friends over again. We’ve been turning them away left and right because the unit is a mess but, thankfully, it’s getting better every week.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Rough plans (almost) finalised...

Fairmont sent through amended plans and we had a good hard think on them over my birthday weekend. We made some slight changes and are now happy with the plans (as we have re-drawn them) and have sent them to Tom for a final re-draw and pricing. I’ve posted our amended plans below:

As you can see, we have compromised on the pantry. The normal cupboard pantry I’ve included (I think) is about 1.4m long, more than enough! And trying to fit an extra room in is difficult and certainly not worth compromising on living space or the openness of the kitchen area.
We have also planned some integrated shelving units for the Living/Dining area (which will become the Living/Reading area) and Games Room. We’ll also be putting shelving up in the Laundry (behind the door) and a workbench with shelving down the length of the Garage, which will all be done after the build. I’m glad Mick will get a nice long space for tools and other “manly”-things. Especially since Campbelltown Council mandate the 6m length so 4WD’s can fit and it would be wasted on a couple with one (small) car and two motorbikes!
Example of shelving we're after:

Also, the entry to the Games Room will have French doors. This will mean that, with the addition of double doors to the TV Room upstairs, we will have two entertainment areas that can be closed-off and more potential bedrooms, which is great for re-sale value.
And, of course, I have already begun thinking about the windows, floors, kitchen and external finishes and colours (because I can’t help myself!). So, I have included the following piccie of what our Kitchen/Meals area will (sort-of) look like:

We want those floor-boards and kitchen cabinetry (even our appliances will be similar, though we plan on getting a black, glass splashback) and the stacker-doors leading onto the alfresco area are similar again to the layout/style of what we want.
We are eagerly awaiting Tom’s reply and hope to have some good news for you today or tomorrow…

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

We have lift-off!

Tom from Fairmont Homes got back to us...yesterday! (Suck on that Rawson!) And the plans a good:

We gave some changes we'd like, most important among them being that we need a pantry. And, for once, my SnagIT work has let me down and I'm at a loss as to how to re-arrange the plans to fit a pantry. So we've left it to the experts, giving Tom this brief:

"The Games Room is more Mick’s domain and he doesn’t want much in the way of light/windows (it would become his media room) and the kitchen is more mine and I would like light and (visual) access to the outside… Basically, Mick wants a “den of iniquity” and I want light and nature…with a pantry. I hope that makes sense."

On the train home this evening, and after 24-hours of thought, I believe I may have it: making the laundry the pantry and turning a sliver of the Games Room into the laundry....but i'll wait and see what Tom and his draftsman come up with.

I'm also slightly disappointed that the chance for landscaping is on the side without living rooms (and I just realised that "landscaping" will actually be "water tank/air-con exchange unit/hot water service" *frowny face*) and that we don't have much in the way of lawn, but the Games Room and Alfresco are the happy trade-offs. And we may end up tweaking this anyway (especially as making things smaller may help costs). For now, I'm just looking for a pantry and being able to see garden from the kitchen.

Always getting ahead of myself I've also begun thinking about windows and an alternate use for the Dining Room as a library (perhaps more of a "reading space" with a chaise lounge and book shelves)....stay tuned!

Anyway, the plans are great for a first attempt, and as we told Tom, we are very heartened and look forward to what we can achieve with a little adjustment.