We went back to our builder on Saturday, although I doubt they are going to be our builder after all. After the standard of the floor plan and specification we got back a few weeks ago, we weren’t confident that this was a company we would be able to work with. While we were there we reviewed the floor plan again (it was correct this time) and the specification, and some very strange things happened.The first strange thing was to do with the kitchen. Because the builder can’t provide the kitchen we want, we will have to supply it, but apparently their kitchen company can do the kitchen we want and the builder can get it at commercial rates for us. So the kitchen comes out at a cost of $6,000 and a contingency amount goes in for $16,000 (for us to supply the kitchen). Not sure about your maths, but I’m a bit confused about that. Then, because the kitchen company also does the bathrooms and laundry, these had to come out as well and are now to be supplied by us.The second strange thing was the taps. The original specification had the builders standard tap ware. I’ve searched everywhere for a picture of these things, but I don’t think they are actually made any more, they aren’t even listed as products on the manufacturer’s website. The closest I came was this picture from the Dorf website (under History) they are like the orange one behind Jeanie.
My parents had these in their house when it was built in the 80s. The are dorf brand and are a white roundish shapes with about 6 groves around the sides. They are hideously ugly, so we upgraded to a chrome cross style tap, also Dorf. The price went up $3000 for this change. There are 3 sets of taps – bathroom, laundry and ensuite – that’s 500 per tap! We had a quick look on Grays online when we got home. We can get the same style, 3 sets of taps, for about $300.
So after avoiding the sales push to continue on to the next stage with this builder we went to visit Harkaway Homes. These homes are beautiful, but Harkaway only provide the structure, and we would have to be owner builders to take on the project and complete the rest of the house. They provide a lot of advice and will come up with an estimate for the total job for no charge. They also have a network of suppliers and tradies that their clients recommend. I think we could probably manage the owner builder bit, but finance becomes a bit trickier.
We are going to keep looking. After trawling through some building and rennovating forums I found the names of another 5 builders that do period style weatherboard homes – so guess what will be doing the next few weekends!.
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A blog about the exciting, frustrating and crazy process of building a new home