Wednesday, 21 August 2013

File Lodged To Developer

Just a quick one to say...

Wisdom have lodged our file with the Developer today!!!!!!!!!

10 day turnaround - then if all good, next up Council



Tuesday, 20 August 2013


It has been quite an eventful past couple of days for us! Everyone has got their variation estimates back to us for signing already, even when they estimated it would take a week. Love it, love it, love it!

Wisdom Internal/External Colours
Draft Colour Selection Sheet has been updated to include the variations we signed off last Friday

Quote has come back for us to sign off on - we are going to visit one more time this weekend because I'm having second thoughts about the external tiles we have chosen (much to Pauly's dismay poor thing!)

This has come back already, our appointment was only last Friday!
We have now signed off on kitchen, and decided to leave the cupboards on one side of the oven, and to upgrade to flat stone drainage for the sink.
Now that we've signed off, they will start the kitchen drawings.

Electrical and Air Conditioning
Already signed off last week

Home Theatre
We contacted the Home Theatre rep that does Wisdom's installs, he was really nice and we've sent him a big email with our requirements and what we want estimated.
He said he would do a quote on supply & install, but also a quote on just install, which is great!

Today I had a call from our Wisdom rep who let me know that our plans have come back, and they should receive our BASIX assessment today and tomorrow she will be submitting to our Developer for approval!

EXCITED! What a huge moment!


Sunday, 18 August 2013

Appointments Completed

It has been quite an exhausting but productive week for us both! We completed our main appointments already, which is great and means no more thinking about colours and upgrades after this. We took 2 days off work to get these done ASAP:
  • Electrical (Clipspec, North Ryde)
  • Flooring (Di Lorenzo, Bella Vista)
  • Kitchen (Timpelle Kitchens, Prestons)
  • Air Conditioning (Ultra Air, Minchinbury)
I think we may still need to do a staircase appointment, but the only thing I need to confirm is the colour of the woodwork, as we won't be changing the design from the standard.

We have already received quotes to sign off from Di Lorenzo, Electrical and Air Conditioning we signed off on the day and we will get the Kitchen upgrades quoted up within 5 days. We also got our colours and quotes back from Wisdom this week, and we need to sign off on the extra upgrades from there.

This is the run down of the week!

Wisdom Colours
  • Final price for our Brick Upgrade to Boral Escura Velour Pearl Grey (main) and Boral Escura Velour Brown to front portico piers - came back a lot less than the original estimate which was great!!
  • Final price for second paint colour (for woodwork i.e. doors, architraves, etc)
  • Final price for clear timber stain to balcony door
  • Final price for privacy adapters to 5 internal doors
  • Final price for powder coat to balcony rail - we decided to not take this, and stick with "Surfmist" as our balcony railing colour to go with the windows

The electrical appointment was interesting, I thought I was decently prepared for it, as we had drawn our ideal plan about a dozen times, but there were still things that we started thinking about on the day. Also choosing between builder's range items and Clipsal items was a bit more challenging than we thought! We signed the plan off on the day, but I wish I had more time to ponder and make changes now.

We were a little frustrated because we had been waiting to get the cost to pre-wire the theatre, and we were told we had to go back to Wisdom! Also, the same deal with pre-wire for the intercom!

These are some of things I can remember that we added in addition
  • Provisioned for downlights in main living areas
  • Up/Down exterior lights to front facade x4
  • 3 data points - office/theatre/leisure (easier to run data points to upstairs later if we wanted to)
  • Extra set double powerpoints to each room
  • Square LED staircase lights (we went with Clipsal over the builders range as they were halogen) - theatre room x2 (for podium step) and main staircase x4
  • We upgraded our light switches to the 'Impress' push button range with blue LED
  • Extra outdoor light on blindside/laundry side of house
  • Double motion sensor external light for the backyard

This was a really difficult appointment! We had made about half a dozen trips here and had our list of tiles and were ready to go, but there's so much more involved in flooring than just selecting the tiles you want! It's particularly hard to visualise what they are explaining as well, we were a little exhausted toward the end! 

A lot more here to upgrade than we realised we would need to be doing. The people at Di Lorenzo really go through with detail exactly what you are getting in each and every room, and were very helpful!
  • Upgraded Laundry tile
  • Upgraded the shower wall with niche to all feature tiles (I am in love love love with this tile!)
  • Tiled to ceiling all of shower and bath recess only
  • Upgraded ensuite shower wall with niche to all feature tiles
  • Tiled ensuite shower to ceiling all of shower recess only
  • Upgraded powder room feature wall to all feature tiles
  • Upgraded floor wastes (except laundry) to the feature tile chrome wastes
We got quotes for the following and are still deciding whether we proceed with them or not (they ended up costing a little more than what we had expected/hoped for)
  • Extended tiling to underneath the staircase
  • Tiling to alfresco

Kitchen appointment at Timpelle was great, our customer service rep explained in detail and with drawings exactly what we were getting and recommended changes. A couple of things again we had been waiting for our kitchen appointment, only to be told we had to go back to Wisdom to get quotes on: Veg Spray tapware and space provisioning for a wine fridge in the pantry.

We are awaiting quotes on the following upgrades:
  • Second set of pot drawers to match opposite side of oven
  • Microwave provision with cupboards in kitchen niche
  • Set of pigeon door cupboards for VOID space underneath waterfall
  • Laminate pantry doors to match
  • Add set of drawers to main bathroom (instead of just pigeon doors)
Air Conditioning

This appointment the guy at Ultra Air ran us through his product, what we were getting, and how it works. We are staying with a two zone (Upper and Lower floors) and one command point. The upgrades are basically adding extra zones, and upgrading to the horizontal grills, which we didn't do either. Also he said we had the option to add zones later anyway, it's just a little more difficult but it can be done.

Pretty exciting I think, to finally have these all completed now.
The only things I'm worried about are the Theatre pre-wire, and the Intercom pre-wire which we have to get quoted back from Wisdom.

We also have not yet submitted our plans to the Developer for approval, as changes to our drawings had to be made because of our landscaping decisions e.g. remove laundry steps, change driveway shape (5 days). 

Plan for the week:
We are hoping to hear back from Wisdom some time this week and have them submit to the Developer.


Thursday, 8 August 2013

Landscaping Plan

Our landscaping plan came back yesterday from Wisdom Landscapes.

I'm a little confused - during our appointment, we were told that we only needed a retaining wall on one side of the house. The plan has come back stating two retaining walls are required - one on either side of the house.

We asked about this, and we were told that it's in the architectural plans, and to take them off would take more than two weeks. They said we can just decide not to install it when we get on site, but to be honest I don't understand, and nobody seems to be able to answer my question - can we just change our minds later? Or do we have to adhere to the plan we submit to council? If we change our minds, does that mean we have to apply for re-approval later to both Developer and then council?

Couple of other things that need fixing:
- CT2 grass required not Sir Walter Buffalo
- Letter box specified to Macquarie Links guidelines
- Plants list needs to be amended to plants that we actually want

I'm also not sure how I feel about the shape of the driveway - I didn't think that's how we left it last week. They really don't want us to change the shape though. It's very confusing, surely there's a better way to give that a nicer curve! They're quite adamant that we need the space to be able to reverse our car out of the garage, but I still think it could be a nicer curve - I wish they could quantify the difference so we could actually make an informed decision.

Anyway, what do you think?


Edit (9/8/13): I called council and they said that we could change stuff afterwards, it's not a huge deal. We only need approvals for big works like if we needed a retaining wall >0.8m high. Wisdom aren't sure if we need approval for changes from the Developer afterwards, but that's less of a big deal than if we had to go to Council. So once the changes are made to the plan, we'll be signing them off so they can get our Developer Approval ready!

Friday, 2 August 2013

Landscaping Appointment

Straight after our colour selection appointment, we met with Wisdom Landscapes to put together a landscaping plan to submit to the Developer.

To be completely honest - we had no idea what to expect, and no idea what we wanted. We were the exact opposite of the colour appointment where we already knew everything we wanted, and going into landscaping just had no idea!

Regardless, we weren't expecting things to be so bad - it turns out we need a retaining wall that is almost the entire length of house. 

You can see in the picture above that because they had to cut so much to comply with the driveway gradient regulations for council, we need a retaining wall to fill it. The Wisdom rep said that it would be around 0.8m high. I'm still a little confused about it at the moment, actually.

He also suggested (and we went with it) that we could fill where the laundry steps are, so that we could eliminate the steps and just walk out onto flat ground, which seems like a good idea, although it still seems expensive to do.

I also reshaped the driveway - there were a lot of corners and edges in the original design, so we kept tweaking it until we got smoother edges around. 

For our driveway we went with
Colour: Bluestone
Fill: Plain (no pattern)
Border: Large Tile

In the plan we also asked for gardens beds across the front, pebbles and pavers on the laundry side (blindside) of the house, letter box (per Macquarie Links specs) and a fold away clothesline.

We are worried about how much this is all going to come to - I found another fellow blogger who went with Wisdom Landscapes, and their plan looks a LOT less complex than ours, and they had come back with a $36,000 price which is not at all within the budget we had allocated to landscaping :(

Anyway, we should receive a copy of the plan next week, and apparently we'll get the estimates and costing in around 3 weeks time. It would have been nice to get it all done in the one hit, but it looks like it may not be possible and we'll just have to do the basics: driveway, retaining wall, letterbox and clothesline.


Colour Selection

We completed our colour appointment and landscaping appointment yesterday at Wisdom Homes in Narellan. The Wisdom rep we had was great, very helpful and I thought really understood us. The whole process was really easy and straight forward which was really nice.

Colour Appointment
For this colour appointment we were extremely well prepared. The only problem we had was selecting a main colour for the house paint, a colour for the balcony hand rail (we thought it was stainless steel) and a colour for the balcony door frame (we thought it was a clear timber finish as standard).

Anyway, these were our selections!

Main bricks
Boral Escura Velour Pearl Grey
Off-white mortar
Edit: We have now chosen Escura Smooth

Front portico piers
Boral Escura Velour Brown
Off-white mortar
Edit: We have now chosen Escura Smooth

Roof tiles
Bristile Prestige Concrete Roof Tiles in Tungsten
Smooth Profile

Gutter: Monument
Fascia/Watertank/Meterbox/Downpipes: Paperbark

Panelift Timbertone in Classic Cedar
Contemporary Profile

Trend Aluminium in Pearl White Gloss

Splashback: Decoglass Antique White
Benchtops: Caesarstone in White Shimmer

Cupboards/Kickboard/WIP Doors: Laminex Avignon Walnut in Natural Finish

Benchtops: Caesarstone in White Shimmer
Cabinets: Laminex Smokey Sapelle

Woodwork: Taubmans Crisp White Gloss
Walls: Bristol Satellite
Eaves: Paperbark
Balcony Rail: Monument (thinking about upgrading to the silver powder coat pending price), and I also think I prefer white railings instead of the dark this may change!

Entrance door: Hume Savoy XS24

Internal doors: Hume Ascot

So... On the day we upgraded only the following (not including what we have already upgraded in our tender):
Internal doors -> Ascot 2340 (downstairs) and 2040 (upstairs)
Balcony Door -> Clear timber finish
Woodwork -> Crisp White Gloss (only one colour paint is standard)
Front portico piers -> Different colour brick to main