Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Variations - What We Spent at Studio M

Budget, what budget?
It's hard to know how much all those lovely upgrades and finishes on display at Studio M will cost. You go on Saturdays and spend hours going around saying oh that looks good, I'd like to have that, is that an upgrade or standard and most important of all how much extra will it cost. Now the ladies at Studio M are very helpful and knowledgeable but no one seems to be able to give you a price, not even a rough idea so you are pretty much in the dark on selection day and even then they can only estimate what the final price is. It is not until your post contract variations are generated that you get the final tally.
We have decided to list some of our variation costs to prevent those of you in the planning stage from having heart failure when you are doing your selections.
  • rebate slab edge to recess bi-fold door frames   $240
  • off white colour mortar for brickwork   $2400
  • grey tinted glass to front elevation   $325
  • deadbolt lock for rear garage door   $95
  • upgrade front door handle add   $145
  • pedestal vanity with ceramic tile kicker add   $66
  • chrome pop up wastes to vanity basins   $50
  • chrome waste for bath   $35
  • towel rails   $70 
  • toilet roll holder   $50
  • towel ring   $55
  • 2 Pac gloss for part kitchen   $2015
  • upgrade handles for drawers and cupboards   $324
  • metal kickboard   $270
  • duct rangehood externally   $380
  • 2 Pac for butlers pantry   $1100
  • upgrade handles   $72
  • upgrade to wide architrave   $594
  • external paint colour for cladding   $165
  • upgrade hot water system to 360L***   $825
*** Hot Water System Comment
Look closely at your house plans, they show you have a gas hot water system included in your build. However, what it doesn't tell you is that is is a tiny tiny tiny system (18L) that would only provide enough hot water for a house with one bathroom. So if you are building a bigger home this system is woefully inadequate and unless you want to be running out of hot water all the time you have to upgrade to a larger system. Now you would think that Metricon would be aware of this and would provide a suitablly sized hot water unit in your base price and it would then be your choice if you wanted a much bigger system or one that uses solar or a heat pump etc. But no you don't find this out until the colour selection appointment and then have to choose from the upgrade options adding yet another unexpected additional cost. Hmmm.

I hope that you potential home builders find this useful as you go through your planning stage as it is so easy to get swept away by the lovely displays and finishes on offer and then before you know it you've spent so much more than your budget can stretch to.
We found that some of the standard finishes were excellent whilst others were very cheap and plasticy or just didn't look that nice. It pays to go to Studio M as often as you can before your selection appointments that way you can ask lots of questions, take your time and be prepared. But even then Metricon will find a way to surprise you with the unexpected (like the hot water system).


  1. It is a bit disappointing no one knows the cost of anything. The rule we took with us is go with every upgrade we thought would be good even different options to compare prices, then take out what we didn't want when we finally signed the variations for colour selection.

    We are very disappointed with our hot water system. It's a Rheem instantaneous gas heated system. Not only does it take a long time for the hot water to reach taps furtherest away from the system, also it's not hot enough for our liking, and finally when you want a warm shower, you can't get the finer adjustment to coolish warm. It's either hot warm or cold. And when you think you got the right temperature, halfway through your shower it turns cold on you. It was one of the negatives we have with the house from the beginning. I guess it's saving us on electricity costs, it really should be designed better.

  2. Not much fun taking a shower at you place then!
    Which house did you build?

  3. Hey Rachel & Sandy thank you so much for your variations costings.
    It certainly has made us aware on the hidden surprises lurking with M.
    I will now add the hot water system to my ever-growing wish list of 'Wants'. BTW we are at the stage of still obtaining preliminary costings on the Nolan 41.

  4. We built an Everest, which is a single story Metricon home. We only handed over in late January.

  5. I was wondering if anyone can recommend other blogs by people building with Metricon. I have googled but don't seem able to find many.
    Any suggestions or recommendations for good build blogs especial ones with Metricon would be appreciated as I love following everyones progress.

  6. duct rangehood externally $380??
    we've built a nolan and the range is ducted externally by default due to the position of kitchen wall. Might want to double check why are you charged for it

  7. I think it is being ducted up out the roof rather than out the wall hence the extra cost

  8. Just read your post - we are in the process of building with carlisle but found your blog extreemly helpful. I will check the HWS with carlisle - it's something i would never have thought of