Saturday, 28 June 2014

Then came a house (design)

For us, this whole process has gone super fast.  From deciding to buy a house, to building instead, to buying a block of land and now here we are signing a Preliminary Works Contract (PWC) with Boutique Homes.  All of this in the space of 4 months.

I would not recommend to anyone who is building for the first time to do what we've done.  We've done very little research and made some pretty snap decisions.  It has left me feeling very stressed and excited at the same time.

Long(er) story short, we spent most weekend trawling the internet and going through display homes until we finally settled on the St Tropez 28 with Boutique Homes.
There were a number of reasons for choosing this particular design with this builder.

Firstly the design.  We had to have a study and the husband decided we needed a theatre room. This was a luxury item and was the first to go if we couldn't get exactly what we wanted.  In the end we decided on 4 bedrooms (instead of 3) as we thought this might add a bit to re-sale down the track.  Our daughter has already claimed a second bedroom as her own 'retreat'.  That works well for us as it will essentially be her own study for high school years.

Why Boutique?  Mainly because we found the sales rep David to be really easy to talk to and to get along with. He didn't once try and up sell us on anything we didn't need and in fact would convince us of removing things we could do without, or add after handover more cheaply. Being the first time we'd ever built too, it just seemed the list of inclusions with Boutique was greater than others meaning we didn't have to think too much about the extras that need to be added (like flooring).

We made a couple of minor changes to the standard floor plan:
  • Upgraded the entrance door to a 1200mm wide pivot door
  • Changed the ensuite shower to a double shower - bit of a novelty really, but what the hey?
  • Moved the WIR entrance in to the ensuite
  • Changed the window in the living area to a sliding door
  • Added cavity sliding doors to the theatre
  • We also added a few cosmetic things like square set cornices to the main living areas and a nice door on the pantry.
We really really really wanted to remove the corner wall between the dining/kitchen/living/alfreso so that we could have that whole integrated outdoor living thing going; but a cost of $6,500 to remove it kind of took that decision out of our hands.

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