Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Neo Dusk Promotion

With the unpredictable housing market many builders are throwing in more and more inclusions for free or for a fraction of the actual price. Metricon have the neo Dusk where you get up to $90k of inclusions for $3,900. However when we signed up and paid the $1,000 deposit in Nov the Neo Dusk was free and about to finish so the promo could cost more or have different inclusions now.

What we are getting with Neo Dusk

Corinithian wide style pivot door and door frame
Gainsborough pull handle set and entrance door furniture
Tiles to main floor areas
Carpets to main floor areas
Bi-fold timber door
Caesarstone quartz bench tops kitchen, laundry and vanities
2 overhead kitchen cupboards
Glass splashback to kitchen
Isis ss kitchen sink
Mia Cucina dishwasher, microwave, rangehood, cooktop and oven
Polished edge frameless mirrors
Frameless shower screens
Kohler vanity basins and toilet suites
Kohler taps
Kohler flipside shower
Laundry cabinet with Java ss drop-in tub
Autodoor garage
Venice lever door handles
2550mm high ceilings to ground floor
2340 high passage doors to ground floor

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Key Milestones

Received an e-mail today from our Customer Service Consultant (CSC) introducing herself and explaining the Key Milestones in the lead up to our build.
The Key Milestones
1. Soil testing, survey and preliminary contract
2. Contract signing after which colour, electrical and tile consultation appointments will be organised. (Now I thought this would have been done prior to signing the final contract as obviously what we choose for bricks, roof tiles , kitchen finishes, electrical layout, carpets, tiles and so will surely affect the final contract and price?). CSC also suggests going to Studio M to look at colour selections and tiles but omits to even tell us where they are...hmmm that's useful.
3. Formal selections for tiles, colours and electrical. We have heard bad things about the electrical consultations regarding lack of information, displays, choice and assistance from the electrical consultants who are not Metricon but a third party contracted to them. Hoping that some of the issues we have heard about will have been rectified by the time we get round to planning out electrics. However we will not be taking chances so will be going in with as much information and as many ideas as possible. The plan start making a list now. Any tips?
4. Lodgement to private certifier/council. The building approval documentation has to be lodged and rubber stamped before the build commences.
Note at this stage M will want a 5% deposit.

Better e-mail CSC to get Studio M details don't fancy my chances of a reply as it's so close to Christmas now.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Getting Ideas

Not much to report right now as we are waiting for our Preliminary Contract.. Been using the time checking out images of M homes and the Studio M and Tile studio websites and seeing as many display homes as possible.The problem with this is that we keep seeing more and more things we'd really like to have in our house so the wish list is getting longer and longer and we have no idea how much any of the alterations or add ons will cost. It doesn't do any harm to dream though! We are trying to be as prepared as possible with our choices and have a back up option in case something costs far too much. 

Pool - like this?

We also want to put in a pool down one side of the house so have been looking at who we might use for this. Metricon will need to have an idea of where the pool will be as this may mean extra reinforcing to the structure of the house (more cost) and whether we are having it installed during the build or after.

Will post a list of upgrades from the Neo Dusk promo and the ones we have selected soon along with some photos and prices where we have them.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The House is on the Market

We have a few months before the land settlement is due so in an attempt to save money we have decided to get the house sold and move in to our temporary accommodation. The house needed a few finishing touches like repairing worn decking boards and fully repainting inside and out. I was horrified by how much we had been quoted for painting with quotes coming in about $10k more than we had anticipated, either these guys are using gold plated brushes or they are taking the mickey. Finally we approached the painter who did the work at our business and he came in with a figure which was much more realistic. Unfortunately he had a motorbike crash on his way home from day 2 of our job and ended up out of action for over a month which meant instead of the house going on the market end Oct it is now Dec. By now the housing market is more unstable with buyers nervous that house prices are dropping and they may end up paying over the odds, fingers crossed we will get a quick sale and a decent price.
The house looks great on the real estate photos so should attract potential buyers.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Putting Our Stamp on The Nolan

Today we've met with our SC at the Underwood display homes to see which features we would like to include in our Nolan. Obviously the displays have all the upgrades and finishes to the "live the dream standard" so it is very easy to get carried away as they make their houses look incredible. Do not assume that just because it is in the display home that it is automatically included in your house as most of it will not been unless you request it and are willing to pay the premium. We have decided at this stage to take an "if we like it it's on the wish list approach" so at least we can get it costed at the preliminary contract and then change to something not so flash and smiko (our term for top of the range) if the prices were getting really silly.

So far we have added:
steel frame ($3,500 extra as part of the Neo Dusk promo)
timber and glass sliders/cavity sliders to both study and en suite
reconfigured the powder room to have the door at it's entrance
changed part triple garage to work shop and gym area with a window instead of garage door
added a massive island bench in kitchen
upgrade bifold door to extra high and added another onto grand outdoor room
cedar cladding to outdoor room roof
picture windows from dinning area
reconfigured bathroom to remove interconnecting doors from bedrooms
reconfigured bathroom layout added extra vanity basin and larger bath
larger bath in en suite
air conditioning
provision for $10K of electricals
reconfigure the laundry
extra cupboards and shelves in both kitchen and butlers pantry
flush tile drains
recess shelves in showers
chrome wastes in sinks
render to the portico area
mirrored sliders to wardrobe doors
and the list goes on

We felt it was better to make as many of our additions at the stage to get a more realistic costing to work from rather than keep adding things as we went as we didn't want to receive a nasty surprise and blow the budget out beyond control. This was a slight mistake we made on the renovations we did for the business and it is very easy to get over the top when you see something gorgeous at the display or on the net and whamo you've spent another $20-30K before you know it. Thankfully with the Neo Dusk promo we get some really nice finishes and options thrown in already.

The visit took about 2 hours and our SC was great at giving suggestions and letting us know what options were available, he even explained that we would only get basic electrical fittings and to factor extra in the budget, that it may be cheaper to get a concreter to do our driveway rather than M (Metricon), that render as shown in the brochure is not standard, that there are differing ranges and upgrades to be aware of which will affect the price and which things are included as part of our build and those that are not.

Left feeling happy with the changes and additions and that we had been able to put our own stamp on the Nolan. And as our SC says "you can have want ever you want with in reason as long as you have the money to pay for it!".  With that comment ringing in our ears we can't wait to see how much we have pushed the price up over the basic house fee.

Guess we'll find out in a few weeks once the prelim contract has been drawn up and then we'll be most likely crossing things off and lowering our expectations.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Decisions Decisions

OK we've made a decision (at last) it has to be a double story with a decent outdoor room and good master suite and both the Nevada or Whittaker fit the bill perfectly......or do they?
 I've been checking the floor plans on the Metricon site and noticed a drop down list of structual changes that you can add at the click of the mouse like a triple garage, butler's pantry, different size outdoor rooms. How come I haven't seen this before? Aah this is Metricon NSW obviously the different states have variations in websites - good idea to check them all out in case they have options or variations you want. A quick email to Greg our Sales Consultant (SC) and yes we can incorporate these changes to our design.
Played with a few floor plans and have now changed our minds it's going to be the Nolan 45 with grand outdoor room 2 instead of rumpus, butler's pantry and a triple car garage. Essentially we have turned the Nolan in to a Whittaker with a bigger outdoor room .... Perfection!

Nolan 45 Floor Plan with Modifications

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Our Build with Metricon Brisbane

Nolan 45
The Nolan 45 by Metricon


Early 2010 we decided our home of nine years no longer worked for our family as our son now aged four wants to play outside more. This means packing everything up, going downstairs and out into our small yard or pool area. We wanted a house where the living areas flowed out into the garden, with a pool and a lovely outdoor entertaining space, somewhere we can play and relax as a family.
Several months of house hunting (it was now August) and one business premises renovation/relocation later we finally admitted the perfect home did not exist! Tired of looking the idea of buying a block of land and building our own home seemed the only way to go, however, land around our suburb didn't come available that often and if it did would be way too expensive. Moving away was not an option as our business is in the area and Rachel refuses to commute more than 10 mins. (It's a hang up from growing up and working in England where rush hour traffic is awful.)

That's the patch of dirt for sale
Amazingly that weekend a land release with 36 lots was being advertised in the suburb next to ours and would be selling at auction in November. The time to take the plunge and find out what building a house would cost, how long it would take and what is involved had come.
After researching and lots of number crunching it didn't seem that difficult. Really how hard could it be?.......I guess we are just about to find out.

August 2010
Visited display village at Springfield Lakes - really like the Metricon homes there and the guy at the desk was really helpful even though he was busy he made time to chat to us. Like the brochures too - wow those houses look perfect.
Next day visited display village at North Lakes - the Metricon homes still did it for us. Sadly the lady there could hardly give us the time of day and could well have put us off.

Spent the next week pouring over house designs to find "The One"

Sept 2010
11th Sept - Back to see Greg at Springfield. He really is mister helpful going through plans and prices, house designs etc and even offering to help us decide which block of land would work best before we went to auction, simply email the lot plan and he'd email back how the house fits and where the sun comes from etc. He even suggested to going to the Metricon display at Underwood as they had just finished a double story house similar to the ones on our shortlist.
12th Sept - Underwood display. Mmmmm very nice I wonder how much it costs to have one with all those fancy finishes? Definitely worth the trip over, took heaps of photos and picked up ideas for layout and finishes.

Oct 2010
Emailed potential blocks of land to Greg. Narrowed it down to about 4 and have 3 favourite house designs. Thanks to Greg we knew which lots would work for us and had a lot more confidence to attend and bid at our first ever auction.

Nov 2010
Auction Day!!! It's a hot sunny day and loads of people have turned out for the auction Sandy and I are nervous but have our strategy all worked out. The key is to not get too excited and remember that is real money your are writing down on those little pieces of paper. The bidding on the lots was to happen simultaneously and the auction got off to a fast and furious start. We put the first bid on our block and were swiftly countered by a very determined couple. We held our nerve and pushed our competition on to another lot by coming back strong more than once. The auction continues until there are no more bids it seemed to last forever but was great fun. Finally the hammer fell and then began the nervous wait to see if we had met reserve. Yippee the land was our and for less than we had expected to pay. AWESOME - now we can build our dream home. If only we could decide which one to go with!!!

13th Nov Meeting at Metricon Springfield. Paid our deposit to get building process moving and also to beat the cut off date for the free upgrade to the NeoDusk Promotion which gets us $90K of upgrades including extra high ceilings downstairs, pivot front door, bi-folds, caeser stonework tops, stove top, cooker, microwave, smart sinks and taps and even tiles and carpets so long as we stick to the standard range. Have a feeling we may upgrade though as we have expensive taste.