Only, when we got there we discovered it was no longer a display home (Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr).
(I emailed and suggested they update their website,which they have!)
So then we went out to Cranbourne to the Cascades on Clyde estate – another 20 minutes drive. Oscar fell asleep on they way so we had to take it in turns to go inside them all. Why is it that display homes don’t open until 12 or 1pm on the weekend? Surely someone has realised that a large percentage of people going through these places have young children who need to sleep at this time otherwise they become very cranky!
We saw a couple more of the Premier Builders Group homes. One was a brick version of the Delatitte cottage we loved at Laurimar (which also looks fantastic) and another was the brick version of the one at Narre Warren (which was not so impressive).
Fernhaven homes were supposed to have a display home there, but it was also no longer on display. This time my email has gone unheeded and it is still listed as a display.
Lastly, we went to see Nirvana Park Developments Rose Gum Cottage. We got there more than an hour after opening time started, but it wasn’t open, so we took turns peering through windows. Finally, as we were about to drive away, the sales person showed up so we had in a look inside. You’d think she would be apologetic about keeping us waiting, but she acted as if it was an imposition to open the house up.
We liked the floor plan and it had all the traditional features and touches that we want, but the decorating was very odd. I think they had tried to cram in as many items as possible and it just didn’t work – timber benches and caesar stone style laminate benches side by side (?).The price is OK though, so we will probably investigate this one further as well.
We’re having a break this weekend, but after that its another rode trip – Pakenham this time.
We went to Laurimar today to look at a display home from Premier Builders Group who are one of the builders I found that do period style homes. They have 2 homes on display at Laurimar, one of them – the Delatite Cottage is part of their cottage series with “weatherboard facades”. We walked through the other home first, and it was OK, a bit small for us and didn’t have the right feel about it, but the second was a different story. It was really lovely and sooo well finished. It had everything we wanted, the period look, stained glass windows, decorative woodwork, picture rails and a traditional look kitchen. And it gave me the flutters! I’ve only had the flutters twice before – when we walked into our current house for the first time before we bought it, and when my body decided it wanted to have a baby – and both of those worked out!.
This probably isn’t the house for us as it is double storey (far more space then we need) and will stretch our finances, but there are smaller floor plans in the same style, and the price of those should be within our reach. Premier also have a lot more display homes out Pakenham / Narre Warren / Cranbourne way, so we will hopefully make a visit there next weekend (with a packed lunch). There are also another 3 or 4 builders with display homes out this way that we will visit at the same time.
The really interesting thing about Premier’s designs is that they are all brick homes, but there are different facades available, including the Cottage Series which has the composite weatherboard. Because it was so cold we didn’t go outside the house, so I hadn’t even noticed that it was brick on the sides and back until the sales consultant told us. This means that we can choose any of Premier’s floor plans and have the cottage facade at the front.
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!.