Friday, June 25, 2010

Sketch of our Home (updated 09/11/2010)

Here it is!!!! 

This is a sketch of our new home with the colours and materials we have selected.  Marlon's MS Paint Skills :)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Tender Process .. Inclusions .. Exclusions and handy tips

We were very pleased with our tender and feel that it now includes all the things that we needed.  We made mistakes along the way and even now wish we had thought of a few things at the start....  It would have saved us time and effort.  So Marlon has compiled a "short" list of tips and things that might be useful to consider.

We found that the following items would have been helpful if we had done at the beginning
  • Identify the upgrade items on the Display Home you choose to build (take the upgrade list and visually tick them off one by one making a note that they are  upgrades) If you don't do this eventually you will find out some items that you thought were included are not included and it will create disappointment from your end.
  • Have a look at similar house plans on the online forums if possible since this will give you great ideas that others have thought about and you may think about once you have signed the contract  (you need to search through the blogs for the plans that have been posted online for similar houses)
  • You may want to ask the sales staff to give yo a couple of plans of other people who built the same house (they may give it to you without the client's details obviously )
  • Make sure you check all the items such as bricks, bathroom accessories (Sinks and Niches etc) and kitchen, Windows etc
  • Make sure all items that you would like to have and think you have included are listed i the tender document in one way or another
  • When you pick  Facade make sure you check what is included in the cost and not included (what you see in the display is what you get) 
  • Communicate all inquiries, questions or clarifications  via email and ensure you store the responses safely just in case the sales staff you started the project with is no longer working for the builder etc
  • Take the items in the tender document very seriously since this eventually becomes part of the contract you sign.
  • Take the time to understand the itemised pricing on the tender and double check the pricing in the market since the retail price at times be cheaper than what the builder lists on the tender
  • Make sure you ask for any discounts in the $100's not $1000's before you sign off the tender in preparation for the plan drawing stage
  • Ask questions from fellow home builders for recommendations (do and don'ts) since some the other home builders bad experiences may help you avoid a painful situation
  • Ensure every item you think of or its detail is listed in the tender since no assumptions will be honoured by the builder if it comes to a crunch one day
  • You can also include cost provisions for upgrades etc so the price estimates of these items are included in the master tender document and will be payed with the progressive draw down payments if you are borrowing the money form a Bank. if you do not do this the variations costs post tender requires short payment terms and this will need to be settled before soon..
  • If you have any doubts on any items make sure you ask and clarify (Even if it is a slight though in the back of your mind) .. it is recommended not to keep any items unresolved when you sign the tender or contract.
  • Good luck with your new home build project - Marlon :)

SCR Design Review Board (Urban Pacific)

We have submitted our construction plans and landscape design to the Stonecutters Ridge Design Review Board (Urban Pacific). Made several phone calls to followup and after a week or so Wisdom received a letter that the Setback from the Fence on the side and the Fence from the front were incorrect on the plans. Also had to pick a certain type of mailbox according to the SCR design specifications .

We picked option 1 Mailbox and passed this info to Wisdom Homes for passing on to landscape design person. Wisdom has also requested the plans to be re drawn with the correct setback from the side and front for the Fence.

We were a bit disappointed that Wisdom did not update the architects and the landscape design staff that the Stonecutters Ridge had specific requirement since they have build 2 houses already and is in the building multiple houses more on the new Lots..

Here's hoping we can get this turned around pretty quickly so we can get the documents going to the Council for approval.

23rd June 2010 at couple of mins past 5pm we have received notice with the review board approval .. the staff i was dealing with was very nice and helpful .. they seem to have a overload of applications on top of the usual and they will need to get used to it since SCR Lots are selling like hot cakes currently

Friday, June 4, 2010

Wisdom Homes

Wisdom Homes have a couple of great homes and display houses built in Sydney.. The quality of the homes are great and the sales staff is great too.

We fell in love with the Impression 38 MK II Display home at the Ponds and Colt is our primary sales person and Linda also assists at the Ponds Office..

This particular home has a very tidy open plan with all the rooms upstairs with all the latest amenities and features one requires included in the package (one would always include upgrades obviously)

Colt at the sales office has been great and he has a lot of knowledge of their homes and costs involved in upgrades etc. Colt was a builder himself before migrating to Australia and that experience carries a long way in his customer services, sales skills, consultation and advise for sure.

As we learn from our mistakes we will be sure to let you know so that you do not face delays or costs associated with the same issues.  Whatever we post is purely from personal experience as clients and 1st time builders.

Display Home at Ponds (Pic from Wisdom)

The Begining

Hello all ..

Let the fun begin!!!!

At the beginning of the year we decided to buy a house, we were looking around for a nice house when we happened to stumble upon Stonecutters Ridge. We fell in love with the place straight away and decided to build our new home there.

Many good things in our life have happened "by chance" and we feel that this is another one of those. 

Since then we have pursed our dream and all of the rest is history.  This is the reason we have called our blog Serendipity.. enjoy the journey with us.

also wanted to add the new community web site link here