1 Aug 2017

Why We Went Over 100K From Our Base Price

Firstly, what you see in the display home versus the actual base design of that home is always going to be different. There is a reason why it's a display home. Master builders they hook you in with their beautifully designed homes which has extra rooms and upgraded everything. It's only when you ask for the base price you'll realise the basic design probably doesn't include the study room or the butler's pantry, and you're going to have to add those extras that you fell in love with at the display home. "Oh, you want handles for your doors? ... That's extra"

Right now we're yet to do our colour and electrical appointment but already we have gone over 100K from our home base price. I've mentioned previously we've been forced to have a rendered home, as this is a requirement for the area we are going to live in. So even before we made changes, already we've had to go over the base price by a few thousand dollars.

Here is a list of our notable home design variances:

1. Lots of Structural Changes

We moved walls to create bigger rooms. In particular, the bedrooms and entertaining spaces like the meals and family rooms. We plan to never do this again and we don't want to outgrow our home so we wanted to make the rooms as big as possible. Fortunately, we have a big piece of land and if it was up to me I'd make the house even bigger! Unfortunately, Hubby wouldn't let me. 

We also changed the structural location of our laundry. In the original design (and in the display home) to access the laundry, you had to walk through the pantry. We instead created a new room behind the walk in pantry for the laundry, leaving us with lots of pantry space too. Laundry spaces are considered a wet area, therefore tiled. Since this is now a big laundry space (2.7m x 2.4m) this also meant there was an extra cost for tiling too. 

Current design on website and display homes

Our design. Created a new laundry room. We know it's a huge laundry but it will double as a storage room too, hence why we didn't add any cabinetry in this room.

2. Third Garage

We have the land space and it's something we knew in five years time we would regret not doing, so we added a third garage to our home. 

3. Kitchen Upgrade

How it works with our builder is, after you have selected which home design you like, you select what quality fixtures you want to determine the starting base price for your home will be. We decided to stick to the middle range, which they currently call Sapphire range. However, we opted to get the Diamond range for our kitchen because we wanted higher end finishes for our kitchen. 

We also extended our kitchen benches, the island and moved our fridge cavity location. Refer to images above. 

4. Added Shower

The base design of our home didn't come with a shower on the ground floor bathroom. We expect and want family and friends over, and we want to accommodate our love for entertaining by adding this to our plan.

5. Extended Ground Floor Ceiling Height

Currently, the ceiling height of the ground floor for the Sapphire range is 2600mm we've extended the height to 2750mm.

6. Floor to Ceiling Tiling in Bathrooms

The kitchen and bathrooms were areas we are prepared to spend money on. They're spaces that are used every day so we wanted quality fixtures and finish. Floor to ceiling tiling is something we really liked and looks great when done right.

Other notable costs that caught us: 

  • Air conditioning. There was a promotion where we could choose either solar panels/power for free or air conditioning for free. Solar panels were always going to be something we would get very early on. We've seen their benefits from our parent's homes when they get close to nothing, or in credit when they get their electricity bill. And moving up north where we probably will use the air conditioner a lot well, we opted for the solar panels. 
  • Types of windows and doors. Front doors are surprisingly expensive. Stacker doors and awning windows are extra, so is making the windows bigger or glass translucent. 
  • Sliding mirrored wardrobe doors are extra. 
  • Home facade. They always make the standard facade basic and ugly. I'm sure the builders do this on purpose. So of course you're going to want a better designed exterior, which cost more than the standard.  
  • Council application fees.
  • Structural and building requirements such as earth works, electrical connection and drainage. 
  • The quote for our custom cornice order cost more than our Diamond kitchen! So we went back and reviewed which rooms we could exclude this cornice style in, such as the garage and walk in pantry to reduce this cost. 
Like I mentioned earlier we haven't even had our colour and electrical appointment yet - yikes! I just remind myself and my husband we're never going to do this again, so let's think of everything we want and depending on the cost scale back accordingly. Also, we'll be paying for this for 20+ years so the stuff we do really want just add it to the mortgage. 
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