30 Jun 2017

Our Home Tender Process

Firstly, an update we finally own our land!! It was finally registered and we settled last week. So of course now that it's ready, we want to start building as soon as possible. 

However, we're still going through the tender process. We have progressed a lot in the past few weeks but it has been quite a long process. 

Initially, I thought it's just about making sure walls, doors and windows are where we want it to be. But I've learnt it's also the time we need to be specific about the details we want in our home because firstly, this becomes the contract between us and the builder and any reviews and changes after we sign will be an added cost. Secondly, depending on the change they may not be able to do it because we didn't raise the request earlier and it's too late to make the changes. Thirdly, we provide the signed contract to the bank to reassess how much we actually need from them, so having a quote close to how much everything will cost will minimise surprises and monetary shortfalls. 

So we've already been deciding on things like what kind of floors we want, how our ceiling is going to look, and how we think we'll use our spaces. 

I thought I'd share some of the initial hurdles and surprises we've encountered to date.


What are property covenants? They are rules set to help guide or restrain how homeowners build and alter their property. All homes have it and it's established and policed by your local council. That's why depending on what you want to do to your home you may first need approval from your council to ensure it meets their covenants. The estate we purchased our land from has, in addition to the council's rules, their own covenant that we must abide by. This information was given to us when we received and signed our contract, but admittedly we didn't review and question every item. 

So now we learn first of all our home has to be fully rendered, no exceptions. When we went back to check out our land last February we drove around the estate to see if any homes were able to get out of this clause .... nope. Every home there was rendered. Even after we requested for an exception it was declined. Don't get me wrong rendered homes look great, but it is pricey, and then there's the ongoing maintenance cost to keep it looking great. So already we've had to spend 15K (this doesn't include the facade) on a feature of our home we didn't necessarily want. 


I remember seeing a picture of a mutual friend's new home and loving her floors, in particular, the design of it. Actually, you can see her home as it was featured in Adore Magazine. Her timber floors were a herringbone design. I want this for our floors too! Our flooring design was non-negotiable for me and our builder can't do what I want so we're going to get someone else to do our non-wet area floors post hand over. 
(example of a herringbone floor design)


We wanted a shadow-line cornice for our ground floor space.
(example of how a shadow-line cornice/ceiling would look)

Initially, they said they could do it but then our builder's Construction Manager came back and said they refuse to do this type of ceiling due to issues they had with it in the past. I was really disappointed to learn this and expressed that to the builder. Learning this dampened my spirit a bit. I couldn't get over it. We were researching alternatives and although there was one, the supplier stopped manufacturing the product. In the end, we compromised with the builder to place a custom order for a cornice style that they don't offer but is available from their supplier. Still not happy but what can we do? 

Despite all these things, the arguments over priorities and taste, sleepless nights thinking about the details, it's .... fun! I love thinking about every room and specifying the little details we want. I've always said I'm kinda boring when it comes to style. I consider my taste to be plain, but modern and .... boring, but I'm surprised how much of an opinion I actually do have about certain things, or have a preference towards something. I get excited picturing in my head how each rooms is going to look cause we've designed it that way. 

It's exciting!! .... I just got to stop thinking about the ceilings. 
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