Friday, August 29, 2008

We have holes!

I never knew I could be so excited about a hole in the ground, or three to be exact. But I am! We have three holes in our block, so I assume that the site survey is underway. Whoo Hoo something is happening . I know that the $600 deposit has hit the account because I checked but no communication from anyone. At least this proves that something is happening. PD certainly don't seem to be too hot on customer service.

On the down side, I visited the National Tiles showroom in Port Melbourne today to have a look before I have to make decisions. Really, really disappointed. I am NOT a brown person and if the tile was not white it was brown, there were very little coloured tiles at all even in the upgrade area. I asked if I could have some tiles that I had seen at another NT store and the girls said I would have to get the code and she would check if I can upgrade to it. Seems strange to me that I can't have any tile in the store as long as I am willing to pay for it. And I was willing to pay for what I wanted.

The tiles in the ensuite in our current house were laid wrong and the builder went broke 2 weeks after our handover. We spent over a year trying to Home Owners Warranty to fix the tile issues and other issues as well (The tiler laid all our tiles wrong, the patterns did not match in any of them) Of course the builder told us it would be fixed after hand over and we had two small children and were being kicked out of our rental accommodation as the build had gone so long over, we believed him.

Home Owners Warranty would only fix some of the tiling not all, so we had the foyer and the powder room fixed and decided we could live with the ensuite. But every couple of months, I look at those tiles and it really p's me off. So tiles are important, I don't want to have to be p'd off for the next 10 years.

On a lighter note, here is the block in daylight
and a sunset over the block.
A chilled chardy and that for a backdrop each night, where do I sign...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

And so we begin...

We have decided to start this blog to document the journey through building our new home.

But first a bit of history. In the beginning.. we decided we would spend money on the current house and not move. We looked established and could find nothing. So we updated the kitchen, repainted yada yada. That was 18 months ago. Since then time and our family have moved on.

Now we were looking to build again (third time). First thing was to look at the market, what our $ would buy and in what locations. We looked at everything from 500m to 4000m, from Nunawading to Healesville. We came across 2500m in Lilydale up near the lake that was absolutely magic and we started to sound out the estate agent and went looking for designs to complement the block as it has a 36m frontage. Then reality set in, great block, love the location but site costs would be 100K. We could not neogiate a good enough price on the land to be able to cope with that especially because that was "a rough estimate" and could be up or down by 15% roughly.

Ok, so we start again. This time we seriously thought about why we were moving.
  • First, our current block is 650m but it is the side of a hill (very steep) so although we have terraced the back, we really don't use it much because of the slope.
  • Second, our neighbours at the back overlook directly into our backyard. I mean their living room, and 2 bedrooms can look down into our entire back yard and into the back of our house. When I say that, these rooms are over two storeys off the ground so think google earth. We have no privacy another reason not to use the backyard.
  • Third, our current home is a double storey. It means that our girls are "upstairs" and we are "downstairs" much of the time. Maybe I am weird but I would like to see the girls occassionally besides the school drop off and pick up. So we need zoned living were we have our space and they have theirs but we can meet in the middle.
  • Fourth, our street is now a main road that people use for short cuts so we are getting more traffic noise.

We decided we needed a house about as big as the one we have now, but on a single storey (no more stairs) and a relatively flat block. We also decided we did not want alot of land (no more 3 hours to mow lawns) but needed an outdoor area. So, we looked at a 700m block in Lilydale in a court location off a main road.

From there we went looking at houses that fit the bill. Initially we went to see the Porter Davis Sainsbury in Mernda, looking at the floor plan the girls would have their own rumpus and we'd be able to "close off" that part of the house when (if) they ever move out in the future. Well, great on paper but I hated it. Kitchen was too small and so were the bedrooms, it just did not flow at all for me. I know I'm weird :-)

"G" the sales person suggested looking at the Illoura 36 next door. I immediately felt home. The whole design just worked for us and how we like to live. Only issues were that the study was too small and the bedrooms could be bigger. Talked to "G", all this seems possible so after a few back and forwards for other "cannot live withouts" we signed up for soil tests on 24/08/2008.

Tomorrow, once I workout how to get the pictures off the camera, I will post pictures of the block.

so now the story continues...