Another delay..

The delays continue…

The second soil report was returned to Porter Davis and after a few weeks(!) they submitted the plans to council. Great, this usually takes around 5 weeks for approval. Then we can start building…

Way back in January I contacted the planning department of our local council to organise a planning permit. I was told we do not require one for our build. Fantastic, saved us $1300 and lots of hassle. Well as it turns out now they have decided we do need one and it can take up to 60 days to process. I make the application and submitted everything they needed straight away (last week). It should be assigned to a planner this week and we will get confirmation once this happens. As soon as it has been assigned to someone I will be calling them to tell them about the wrong information I was given in January and politely asking them to speed up the process as I don’t want to be delayed 60 days because of it.

I am slowly coming to terms with the fact that we may not be in before Christmas. It would be really nice to be in the house but if we are not then I will get over it and it just means more time for shopping for new decor and furniture.

Our electrical pit is due to be installed this week too, how exciting.. That was another nice unexpected expense. $5000 just to have power.. We had to get it and accepted that was the cost, the annoying part is the neighbours who are also building will probably now just feed of our one and not have to pay for their own one.

So far we have settled in well to our new little town, the drives to work are fine, Found a good local butcher which is always important! Rachels enjoying school and has made lots of new friends. She’s preparing for her big 11th Birthday on the 19th of June, followed by a movie day and sleepover with her friends a week later.

Latest Update – Moved to our new Town

Last week we made the move to the new rental house. It went pretty well and wasn’t as stressful as I thought it would be. I was much more organised with packing and started weeks in advance. I also packed away all the things that we could live without for the next 6 months so I won’t have to unpack it until we are in our new house.

Rachel started her new school last Wednesday and so far she likes it and is settling in well.

I really like the town we have moved to it really does have a country town feel. I know I will sometimes miss the comfort of big shopping centres very close, in say that though Westfield Fountain Gate is only 25 minutes away so really not that far.

On Friday 21st of April the second soil test was completed on the block, as of Friday PD said they had still not received the report, even though I spoke to the guy doing the test and they said they would have it Wednesday (26th) latest. I am hoping to hear from PD that they have at least received it by now. They then need to finalise the plans and submit them to council for approval. Hopefully they can do this quickly so we are not delayed anymore.

I am already counting the days to Christmas!!

Rental House.. Tick

We have decided to move to the area that we are building in, close by to watch the build and may as well get there and get to know the area. Rachel can start her new school and get settled.

Thankfully the search for a rental was easy and we got a house pretty quick. We took a 6 month lease and will take it month by month after that if we need to. It has plenty of storage space including a double garage which is good, this means we won’t have to wait until we are in the new house before we can buy furniture. The added bonus is that it is on the street we are building, 4 doors away!! We can really watch the build process which I’m really looking forward to.

We are still waiting for the second soil test, which I hope will happen in the next week and then we should be going for council approval. My hope of an April site start is dwindling at this point but I’m still hopeful we will be in before Christmas.

The bank is really taking it’s time to sort out the mortgage, even though it was already approved it has taken almost a month for them to sort the paperwork, which is very frustrating. There’s not much we can do about it though so no point getting stressed by it…

Contract Day

Yesterday was our contract appointment. When they made the appointment they told us to expect to spend at least half the day there. In total we were there just under 2 hours.

It was very straight forward. As we still have to have another soil test after the demolition is complete, which is hopefully today. So the site costs have not changed, there will be a post contract variation raised if there is any changes to the site costs. I am still hoping they are reduced! I will be happy as long as they don’t increase.

We went through the entire contract and all out selections so far, there was a few mistakes, the colour of the front posts in the portico easy fix. The garage door was also not the correct door, should also be an easy fix. They still did not have our Kitchen Culture drawings, they had send them to me a few days ago but they were wrong and I was still waiting for the amended drawing. I received them this morning and all way correct.

There was an additional charge for run of electric cables over 10m that I have asked them to revise as the meter box will not be more than 10m from the electricity pit.

Other than that it was all good. We signed around 11,000 pieces of paper and we were on our way again.

Some more progress pics on our site clearance below.

The Demolition Continues..

So it’s still not finished…

We went to have a look at the block after work yesterday and there’s seems to still be a bit of work to do.

We have now been told it should be completed by Monday afternoon. I really hope it is. 

Demolition Time

The time has come to get rid of the mess that was once a house on our block. 

Turns out there was more asbestos than originally thought which means more money.. I’m just excited to see the blocked cleared and all the bushes and trees gone! 




Should be all complete before Friday. Then it’s Contract signing day on Tuesday! 

Tender Time..

Yesterday was tender day for us, I was really looking forward to this as it’s another step closer to our build and also not so looking forward to seeing the figures..

Overall, a very good day. We arrived at 9am and met with our BC and Tender presenter.

We started by going over the plans room by room and window by window. There was a couple of problems with some of the windows we added and changed, opening windows where they should be fixed. This was fine and easily fixed. Then we went on to the dreaded site costs, the part I was most concerned about. In our original quote, they estimated (worst case scenario) $50,000 site costs so we were really hoping the figure would not go over this. The figure presented to us was $35,000. This was a very welcome surprise. She then went over some other things like the soil report on our block and realised it was not done correctly, fantastic..! As the area is in a 1 in 100 year flood zone there are different requirements for house levels. She went and spoke to an engineer and came back that we would need 75mm of fill (yes I know, 75mm is nothing!!). As it happens it is something, at least it must be something because it costs and extra $5,000. So that takes our site costs to $40,000. Still less than it may have been so we are still happy with that. They do still need to do another soil test when the trees have all been removed and the block has been cleared so this may show that some of the stuff quoted is not required and the price goes down, I am not so hopeful about this as I don’t see them giving back money, but as long as the costs don’t go up I will be happy.

I was surprised to find out that they didn’t have any of our Kitchen Culture information and we won’t have any of it until Contract. We will only have that appointment to go through it and make sure it is all correct. We made some changes the day after and I hope that it’s all correct as that will just cause a delay if we can’t sign off on them on that day.

Contract day is Feb 28th. Can’t come quick enough.

Time to clear the block!!

We met with our demolition man yesterday.  The house on the block was knocked down years ago, but never taken away. 

There is some asbestos in the old house which is a bit of a pain but we knew this before we purchased the land. We are using a loca guy to do the job and he seems nice and genuine. Depending on how much asbestos there is buried the final cost will be around $7,000 – $10,000. Let’s hope it’s the lower end! 
We are getting rid of all the trees and everything on the block except for the 1 large Ash Tree in the back left corner as I really like it. One we cut back the lower branches it will look really nice and hopefully we can get a nice swing on there eventually. 


Our tender appointment is getting closer, 1st of Feb. we will finally get more of an idea of our site costs. 

World of Style Appointment

Yesterday we had our World of Style appointment day, It was a very exciting day and we had been there a few times before our appointment so we had some ideas of what we wanted. 
We arrived at 8.45am and started straight away, our first appointment of the day was Electrical. We had already decided that we would be doing all our down lights and theatre room post handover  as it is so much cheaper, so we knew this would be a pretty quick appointment. We added a lot of extra power points and outdoor lights and feature lights to the front of the house. I took note of all the prices and its listed below. 
They don’t list prices on the final document only the total (weird I know) but i kept a list of what everything cost as we went along. 
Feature light Outdoor x 3 $207
NBN & Elec Cabinet $1148   (I thought this was expensive just for a power box I thought would come standard)
Double PP        $55
Quad PP                 $107.70
TV Point                 $84.70
Moving the baton light location $18
Double PP to kitchen island $107.80
Noggin (for future pendant light)  $142.15
Double PP Outdoor         $115.50
Outdoor sensor light (chrome) $130
Outdoor double flood light $156.15
TV Arial                 $374.39
Projector pre wiring (theatre rm) $435 Incl PP in ceiling for projector
We ended up spending around $2,500 on electrical upgrades. 
Next up was tiles, this was something we hadn’t made to many decisions on. We have decided that we are only tiling the wet areas of the house, Master En suite, Main bathroom, WC and Laundry room. I had a list of around 8 different tiles that I wanted to look at as I like the look of them on the national tiles website. Straight away we fell in love with one of the tiles, its really impressive and come is a 600×600 size which I really wanted. This tile will be going floor to ceiling in the master en-suite except for the large back wall of the double shower which will have a different feature tile, the polished cool grey tile in the picture. The main bathroom floor will also be in the large grey tile and the walls will be the cool grey polished tile. the laundry and WC will also have the same floor tile. 
The smaller tile pictures is a very light grey subway tile which will go in the kitchen on the sides of the feature window splash back and behind the range hood. 
Next was our Birk blinds consult, We hadn’t planned to use birk for our window furnishings but decided we would get a quote anyway, went through the appointment, made our selections. She never followed up with us to provide an actual quote so that was a bit of a time waste, only 30 minutes though. 
Then it was time for lunch, we had been told initially that lunch would be provided, it wasn’t. That’s ok they have a little cafe there, very small selection to choose from. We stopped at 12.30 for lunch and there was nothing left, ended up in McDonalds down the road as we only had 30 mins. 
Next appointment was colour selections, interior and exterior, this is where I expected Ryan and I to clash as we both have very different tastes, well it turns out we don’t and we agreed on everything. Our consultant for this appointment was Shane and he was brilliant, very knowledgeable and helpful. He made it all very easy. I love the Rhode Island facade but instead of upgrading to that we stuck with the included facade and chose the whites and grey that go with that look. Turns out the pretty much the whole front render is included to that’s good. You won’t even see the bricks we chose except for above the garage. We opted for the Cat 3 roof tile (included in our promo) in a charcoal colour, Light grey render, white window frames and gutters and the front door in white. 
Next was the flooring, we had picked a floor we really like but it was a few categories up so we thought it would be very expensive to upgrade as we are having timber floors throughout the house except for the bedrooms. When we got to picking the floor the lovely Shane advised us that the floor we both loved was in fact included in our promotion!! Fantastic.  We then went on to choose the carpets, we went with Cat 2 carpet and Cat 2 underlay, the colour is dark grey, can’t remember the name. The cost for this was around $4,300 but he said we would receive a credit of around $2,200 for the original carpets that were included. This is something we need to keep an eye on at tender time to ensure we are credited for things that we should be credited for. 
The wall colour we have chosen is Wattyl Kitty Grey, we saw this on the walls at the Vancouver display in traralgon and its really nice (yes we did a 4 hour round trip drive all the way there just to see this display home, it was worth it). The ceilings will be white and the window frames will be white inside, same as outside. 

Shane also took us through our internal and external door options and door handles, then into the bathroom options, we upgraded the toilets and tap-ware also the showers to the en suite to include the ceiling dumper showers. Added toilet roll holders and towel rails etc, we spent around another $2,500 here. 
Next up was Kitchen Culture… In my opinion, the most important appointment of the day. I had done my research and was prepared for the extra costs. The kitchen I wanted was of course the most expensive upgrade. Initially Ryan wasn’t so keen on it but he came round (after a lot of me pestering about it and telling him how lovely it is). 
We decided on the colourtech cabinetry in colonial square. The bottom cabinetry will be pearl grey and the top cabinets will be white.  On the oven side of the kitchen we have change the configuration to have 8 x large pot drawers on the bottom. On top there is 8 cabinets, 2 on each end will have feature glass panels. The island will have cabinets, bin drawer and also house the 2 drawer dishwasher. We upgraded to category 3 stone, the colour is Lyra on the bench tops and on the island. 
The butlers pantry / galley cost a lot to upgrade as it doesn’t come with any cabinetry included (I know!!! Ridiculous) So we have added bottom cabinetry in pearl grey, Cat 1 stone in here and a round sink. It cost around $4,500 just for the Butlers pantry / Galley! The walk in pantry was fine as the standard 4 shelves so we left that as it is. Overall in kitchen culture we spent around $14,000.
Below pic is the flooring, Lyra stone sample, pearly grey colour for bottom cabinetry and polar white for top cabinetry along with the subway tile sample in a very light grey.  
The kitchen will look something like this…. 
The bathroom Vanities we went with Cat 1 stone and blackened elm. Shown below with the floor tile sample and stone sample. 
Overall it was a very good day, we are very very happy with the choices we made. Next step is our tender appointment on February 1st. We also have to get the site cleared, this will probably happen in February. 

Building our New Home – Porter Davis Vancouver

We are at the start of what I hope to be an exciting (and delay free) journey to building our new home with Porter Davis.

So here is my first attempt at a blog… Since starting to research the home building process and deciding on a builder I have found SOOOO much useful information from the blogs of other people building with Porter Davis, the good, the bad and the things the sales consultant won’t tell you.

I have also found it a great way of working out costs and pricing as this is something that most builders Porter Davis included, will not confirm until tender / contract appointments. This, for most people is not very helpful when you are trying to stick to a certain budget.

We finally found the perfect block of land and purchased it in December 2016. It’s a 1020 sqm block and requires a KDR as the house that was originally on the block was already knocked down and left there. We hope to have the clearance completed by the end of February 2017. The quotes for this have varied substantially from $6,000 – $20,000. We have decided to go with a local guy who seems to know his stuff and has plenty of experience and is also A grade registered for asbestos removal. We hope to end up paying approx $8,000 to $10,000. This will cover the removal of the old house, clearing of the block (tree, plants, old fencing and concrete etc).

We spent a lot of time looking at display home and focused mainly on Porter Davis and Carlisle. We then found the Vancouver and we knew it was perfect for us. It had everything we wanted including 4 separate living areas (rumpus becomes Ryan’s theatre room), a big kitchen with butlers pantry and walk in galley and nice big walk in his and hers robes in the master bedroom. 
Our sales consultant Tim was so incredibly helpful from the very beginning, always on hand to answer any questions no matter how trivial, quickly responds to emails and re-did our quote several time as we made changes. I really couldn’t fault him and hope that our Building Coordinator is just as helpful and pleasant to deal with. So far we haven’t had a lot of involvement with her other than a call to introduce herself and a handful of emails. 
I will update again after our World of Style selection day on the 10th of January. Very excited about the selection process, but not looking forward to what the costs may end up at!!