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Nikkis2000

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Just an update. Our, footings were poured today, wire mesh installed, pipes all there ready for connecting up to everything and pad is being poured tomorrow (weather permitting) exciting. Can now walk around and get a feel for how everything is laid out against the view.

 

Brilliant VS though bad timing on the weather front!! Hope it doesn't affect you too much.

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Hi guys and thanks for the well wishes.

 

Our pre start was 4th March, though we had a 2 week delay due to problems with the earth works.

 

We are still hoping to be in for Christmas.

 

The building methods here are odd and to be honest poor. The building association here only expect houses to have a lifespan of 17 years!

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17 years - That's shocking!!

 

My OH's relatives live in a wooden stumped house with pressed tin ceilings and it's been there since circa 1920!!

 

We're spending hundreds of thousands on something that potentially won't last 20 years!!

 

That news combined with the fact that I've got bolshy sales people playing mind games with me is enough to put me off. Fortunately its not our builder playing the games, it's one we didn't go with (which actually makes me quite glad we didn't go with them!!)

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Just an update. Our slab was delayed last week due to the bad weather, but finally poured this morning. They estimate a cure period of 2-3 weeks before the bricks start being laid.

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Just an update. Our slab was delayed last week due to the bad weather, but finally poured this morning. They estimate a cure period of 2-3 weeks before the bricks start being laid.

 

Woohoo!! Great news VS.

 

D and SIL's block is all levelled and they are getting ready to lay the block too.... so exciting!!

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Update on our progress:

 

We signed up with Redink last week and have paid over the deposit - so that's it!! We've got about another week to come up with any other structural changes we might want to make and then it's locked in as it goes off to be drafted. You can make changes after this but there are steep penalties for doing so. I think we're pretty happy with what we have come up with though.

 

Site survey and soil sample is booked in for next week so fingers crossed it's not too horrendous :shocked:. The good news is that we got a local groundworks company in to have a look. They have done loads of work in our area, and whilst every block can be different, he said that in general round there it's not too bad. His experience is that it's actual sandier than it looks and the rocks are "floating" and can be easily removed and don't have to be broken etc.

 

Finally - and perhaps the most exciting - is that Settlement for the land purchase is set for this Friday. So come Saturday I can don my newly bought Blue Steels and get clearing our driveway. I should imagine there'll be a bonfire or two - Baked potatoes anyone?!

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Update on our progress:

 

We signed up with Redink last week and have paid over the deposit - so that's it!! We've got about another week to come up with any other structural changes we might want to make and then it's locked in as it goes off to be drafted. You can make changes after this but there are steep penalties for doing so. I think we're pretty happy with what we have come up with though.

 

Site survey and soil sample is booked in for next week so fingers crossed it's not too horrendous :shocked:. The good news is that we got a local groundworks company in to have a look. They have done loads of work in our area, and whilst every block can be different, he said that in general round there it's not too bad. His experience is that it's actual sandier than it looks and the rocks are "floating" and can be easily removed and don't have to be broken etc.

 

Finally - and perhaps the most exciting - is that Settlement for the land purchase is set for this Friday. So come Saturday I can don my newly bought Blue Steels and get clearing our driveway. I should imagine there'll be a bonfire or two - Baked potatoes anyone?!

 

So exciting!! Hope the building journey is a great one for you guys!

 

As an aside, what do you think of Ellenbrook? It's one of the places we have been looking at but don't have any experience of it so any insider info would be good. We haven't finally settled on anywhere yet so you can be as honest as you like!!

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On paper Ellenbrook is great. Shops are a few minutes drive away(and there is every shop you need), 5 or 6 gyms, schools (although I can't comment on the standard), the Brook Bistro, parks for the kids - the list goes on! There seems to be very little trouble. Yes - you get the hoons (where don't you!) but I haven't seen or heard of any other trouble. The only real downside is the public transport which is lacking. To get to the city is do-able it just takes a bit of time and effort. To be honest it's not a big deal for us as I drive to work in Stirling and we only go to the city for the odd shopping/restaurant trip so an hour on the bus & train adds to the day out! I haven't tried getting anywhere else either as we just drive!

 

However, we decided early on that it wasn't for us. It's not that we dislike it, there's just nothing particular to fall in love with either.

 

We are in the very fortunate position that we are renting our place from OH's cousin, so it was only ever convenience that took us there. We also knew from the outset that we didn't want to live in a suburb where everyone lives in similar houses and you can virtually touch your neighbours roof.

 

Having said all of that we haven't really explored the "community" side of life there. We don't have children so we have no need to join groups, take the kids to places etc, and we both work full time so tend to come home and just have dinner and chill. It may be that there's a whole different side that we just haven't experienced.

 

Hope that helps!

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On paper Ellenbrook is great. Shops are a few minutes drive away(and there is every shop you need), 5 or 6 gyms, schools (although I can't comment on the standard), the Brook Bistro, parks for the kids - the list goes on! There seems to be very little trouble. Yes - you get the hoons (where don't you!) but I haven't seen or heard of any other trouble. The only real downside is the public transport which is lacking. To get to the city is do-able it just takes a bit of time and effort. To be honest it's not a big deal for us as I drive to work in Stirling and we only go to the city for the odd shopping/restaurant trip so an hour on the bus & train adds to the day out! I haven't tried getting anywhere else either as we just drive!

 

However, we decided early on that it wasn't for us. It's not that we dislike it, there's just nothing particular to fall in love with either.

 

We are in the very fortunate position that we are renting our place from OH's cousin, so it was only ever convenience that took us there. We also knew from the outset that we didn't want to live in a suburb where everyone lives in similar houses and you can virtually touch your neighbours roof.

 

Having said all of that we haven't really explored the "community" side of life there. We don't have children so we have no need to join groups, take the kids to places etc, and we both work full time so tend to come home and just have dinner and chill. It may be that there's a whole different side that we just haven't experienced.

 

Hope that helps!

 

Thanks for that! It does help just to hear an honest opinion from someone..... too many times I ask people and they fob me off (I wonder if they are trying not to sound like they are judging our choices of suburb). I so appreciate people just saying how they have found it, the good, the bad, and the ugly!! We haven't decided exactly where to live yet and I would rather explore with a bit of knowledge than be fumbling around not knowing anything about a place! In the end we will make a decision based on what we feel about a place having visited ourselves but it is nice to hear from people who actually live there too.

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No worries! I speak as I find and I don't see the point of trying to either oversell it or highlight the bad points ( though if it was hell on earth if be sure to tell you!!)

 

It's really each to their own - what doesn't suit us may be your idea of heaven. Likewise someone who wants to live by the beach wouldn't like where we're going to be moving to.

 

It's what keeps us interesting!!

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Exciting times Nikki.

 

Why I would recommend now is you spend some time at the block with a tape measure looking at where windows and things are going to be so that you can amend anything while you have time. Also, go in different times of day so you can see how the sun is on the block and get a feel for where things should be.

 

The next big thing will be pre-start and I think it will be very similar to ours as Redink used to be part of the same group - it was owned by one family and there was a family bust up and the group split forming the Scott Park group and Home Group.

 

The pre-start is great fun, but hard work. You will get a huge folder that has everything to chose from. Literally everything that is included in the house build from the kitchen sink to the roof and bricks. They will probably have a selection of things at their showroom as well so you can see what things actually look like. Ours had the internal door selections, stone bench top selections and various others. But, you will need to trawl round tile shops, laminate shops (the tile shops do swatches of the laminates, but their tiny, but you can get much bigger ones from the laminate shops). Wall paint will probably be dulux and if you get in touch with them they will send a4 size swatches of colours you are interested in. The pre-start folder will state which tile shops and other suppliers you can chose from. Also, if you go to the roofing companies you can get samples, likewise bricks. In our garage now, we have a selection of the bricks, path and drive stone and all sorts of other things.

 

Once you get the detailed plans, think about the electrics. They will have put in an allowance for one socket, one light, one light switch per room and one telephone point per house. So, what we did was to put colour coded points on a copy of the plans showing where we wanted everything. The pre-start details will also state how much a light, switch or socket costs, so you can calculate what the costs are going to be before the meeting.

 

It is a good idea to have a lot of the cables put in conduits so they can be added to later easily.

 

Also, look to see if you need a conduit putting under the drive so that retic can be run under it. Most houses do. It costs, but worth it.

 

With the electrics remember to plan for things like where you plug in a dishwasher. Allow a double socket at the fridge in case you later have separate fridge and freezer. Think about where your Internet will go.

 

When you get the addenda - this is the document that will come with the plans and lists everything and the costs check that at least two soak wells are included. This is how the houses drain in wet weather. Some only include one and can have flooding issues as a result.

 

Think about if you want a gas point outside if gas is available to the property. Likewise water.

 

Get plenty of power points in the garage so it can also be used as a workshop or something.

 

If you are having a home theatre then remember to ask for a tv point in there and where. For example, we are having it half way up the wall. Same with bedrooms. We have a tv point in each.

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Gosh - its sounds like it could easily become very overwhelming!! I have already started making a list of things we need to remember like the TV point thing but I hadn't thought about the phone/internet point!

 

Roughly how long do you get from receiving the "Pre-start Bible" to actually having to sit down with them and confirm you choices?

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Exciting times Nikki.

 

Why I would recommend now is you spend some time at the block with a tape measure looking at where windows and things are going to be so that you can amend anything while you have time. Also, go in different times of day so you can see how the sun is on the block and get a feel for where things should be.

 

The next big thing will be pre-start and I think it will be very similar to ours as Redink used to be part of the same group - it was owned by one family and there was a family bust up and the group split forming the Scott Park group and Home Group.

 

The pre-start is great fun, but hard work. You will get a huge folder that has everything to chose from. Literally everything that is included in the house build from the kitchen sink to the roof and bricks. They will probably have a selection of things at their showroom as well so you can see what things actually look like. Ours had the internal door selections, stone bench top selections and various others. But, you will need to trawl round tile shops, laminate shops (the tile shops do swatches of the laminates, but their tiny, but you can get much bigger ones from the laminate shops). Wall paint will probably be dulux and if you get in touch with them they will send a4 size swatches of colours you are interested in. The pre-start folder will state which tile shops and other suppliers you can chose from. Also, if you go to the roofing companies you can get samples, likewise bricks. In our garage now, we have a selection of the bricks, path and drive stone and all sorts of other things.

 

Once you get the detailed plans, think about the electrics. They will have put in an allowance for one socket, one light, one light switch per room and one telephone point per house. So, what we did was to put colour coded points on a copy of the plans showing where we wanted everything. The pre-start details will also state how much a light, switch or socket costs, so you can calculate what the costs are going to be before the meeting.

 

It is a good idea to have a lot of the cables put in conduits so they can be added to later easily.

 

Also, look to see if you need a conduit putting under the drive so that retic can be run under it. Most houses do. It costs, but worth it.

 

With the electrics remember to plan for things like where you plug in a dishwasher. Allow a double socket at the fridge in case you later have separate fridge and freezer. Think about where your Internet will go.

 

When you get the addenda - this is the document that will come with the plans and lists everything and the costs check that at least two soak wells are included. This is how the houses drain in wet weather. Some only include one and can have flooding issues as a result.

 

Think about if you want a gas point outside if gas is available to the property. Likewise water.

 

Get plenty of power points in the garage so it can also be used as a workshop or something.

 

If you are having a home theatre then remember to ask for a tv point in there and where. For example, we are having it half way up the wall. Same with bedrooms. We have a tv point in each.

 

WOW VS....I am impressed with this advice and have forwarded it to D and SIL...... you really have looked into this.... "clapping hands" for you!!!

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Watch the costs at at pre start, things can run away rapidly, and some banks will not add pre start to the mortgage as in some cases it over capitalises the house, we went with ANZ with only a 5% deposit! they would not allow us to add pre start costs to the mortgage! we went in with little to no budget! we added power points, extra TV points changed a few lights to LED's added some lights, added wall cupboards to the kitchen, even opted for a large doggy door and a few other nice to have additions, then a week later we got the estimate...............$18k..............OMG...................., seriously looked at the electrical plan, as that was $6k, went with the bare minimum and cut it down to $2k, did away with all the tiling in the kitchen & laundry as the 'additional tiling' was ridiculously priced, so decided to have no tiling, as trying to match the tiles a year down the line would be near enough impossible, I will tile the kitchen & laundry as funds allow after we move in, we managed to cut the $18k down to $10k, we can live with that as it's our FHOG! Easy come easy go, oh & by the way, the builder was going to charge us $400 to 'upgrade' our front door, the door we chose is available at Bunnings for $280, the robbing gits should only be charging us for the upgrade, the difference in price, not buying it and fitting it :mad:,

 

I have learned one thing from this exercise, do the equivalent of 'Pre Start' with the sales agent 'before' you sign up with the builder, we got away with murder in the early stages, they gave us loads, once I paid my $3k deposit and signed up with them it all changed, I will remember that for next time.

 

We are also having a smart wiring starter pack installed as we live on a fibre estate, and TV, Foxtel & Internet is delivered to your house from a pit in the sidewalk, it also future proofs the house for NBN when it eventually arrives in about 20 years, you should think about this if you are living in the sticks, as you will have NBN before Perth & the suburbs.

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Gosh - its sounds like it could easily become very overwhelming!! I have already started making a list of things we need to remember like the TV point thing but I hadn't thought about the phone/internet point!

 

Roughly how long do you get from receiving the "Pre-start Bible" to actually having to sit down with them and confirm you choices?

 

 

The sooner you do it the sooner things get moving, pre start hold up final draughting, and that holds up building, your contact should have a time line in it, which is more of a rough guide, all your pre start options are added to the contract as a variation to the contract.

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We had about two months from getting the pre start pack to the pre start meeting. I was lucky that being away so much my wife was the one who did a lot of the traipsing around. As Druid says, there are a lot of things that can add up quickly with little upgrades. Our place was a total included package with lots of things up graded such as big rain shower heads and luxury taps. Even a massive freestanding bath in the on suite. But we still spent several thousand at pre start. Our time line is as follows.

Deposit paid to builder 5/11/13

First plans recieved and pre start folder 20/01/14

Plans submitted to shire 18/03/14

Pre start meeting 04/03/14

Scheduling completed by builder 02/05/14

Ground works commence 08/05/14

Concrete slab laid 23/06/14

 

Yesterday the plumbers put the sink wells in, connected the water to the mains and laid sewerage pipes. Hoping the bricks will arrive in the next few days and brick work can start hopefully end of next week.

 

There is a place in Subi called Homebase expo which run a lot of courses including one on how to make the most of pre start. My wife did it and while expensive for what you get (I think it was a couple of hundred for 1 day) she did find it useful and it does explain a lot of legal stuff.

 

One big tip to remember is to do all communication with the builders via email rather than telephone so that you have a written back up if needed.

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Loving all the advice guys - thank you! I think I'm going to print them all out and highlight all the bits that we need to remember so I can add them to my list!

 

We seem to have had a slightly different (?) experience of the signing up process with Redink, in that all our meetings to discuss designs etc took place at their offices so we were able to look round the pre-start room and see what we would be getting as the basic package. As a result before signing up we had already added a double size shower (with double plumbing), larger bath to the main bathroom, upgraded entry door to double width, pet door and moved and extended the kitchen, including additional cupboards and essa benchtops.

 

Also included in the offer we took was an additional 600mm oven, a dishwasher recess with plumbing and power, the dishwasher itself, upgraded range hood (although we think we may still upgrade to an island version), 4 zone, 10 outlet aircon, solar hot water and upgraded handles and light switches.

 

Our settlement date has just been moved back to Tuesday so rather than plot clearing I think we are going to start looking round - will definitely check out homebase VS.

 

Had the soil sample done yesterday which sounded a bit more positive than I thought it would be. They got down to 3m with no large rocks and the bore sample was sand and soil with clay at about 2m. The guy said that was pretty good for our area and one of the best he's done there for a while.

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Your package sounds similar to ours this is the deal we got http://www.homegroupwa.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Resort-Series-55K-August-2013.pdf

 

But got them to throw in a couple of extras such as semi frameless showers - wanted frameless but was too expensive. Got a better aircon system and extra thick stone bench tops. Didn't get solar, but did get two sink wells - make sure they put at least one in. Some doesn't include any and charge a couple of grand each.

 

We did an upgrade for the pet door, but they only charged us $280 for that and the glaziers wanted about the same for us to do it when we moved in, so happy with that. They included a double width front door as well for free, though the oversize handle cost me $500.

 

We changed a lot of our design which cost a fair bit as it involved adding a lot of structural work - we have made the entire back of the house glass as there are views to the back.

 

We also reduced the size of the scullery to allow for the guest bathroom to be increased as the original design didn't have a bath. Also increased both our bedroom and bathroom. Then probably the most radical was to turn two of the bedrooms into a single room that is an art studio.

 

Oh, one tip. If you are having a home theatre with double doors, get the doors fitted so you can't see between the joint between the two, otherwise when you are in watching a movie you will have a band of light streaming through.

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Exciting times Nikki.

 

Why I would recommend now is you spend some time at the block with a tape measure looking at where windows and things are going to be so that you can amend anything while you have time. Also, go in different times of day so you can see how the sun is on the block and get a feel for where things should be.

 

The next big thing will be pre-start and I think it will be very similar to ours as Redink used to be part of the same group - it was owned by one family and there was a family bust up and the group split forming the Scott Park group and Home Group.

 

The pre-start is great fun, but hard work. You will get a huge folder that has everything to chose from. Literally everything that is included in the house build from the kitchen sink to the roof and bricks. They will probably have a selection of things at their showroom as well so you can see what things actually look like. Ours had the internal door selections, stone bench top selections and various others. But, you will need to trawl round tile shops, laminate shops (the tile shops do swatches of the laminates, but their tiny, but you can get much bigger ones from the laminate shops). Wall paint will probably be dulux and if you get in touch with them they will send a4 size swatches of colours you are interested in. The pre-start folder will state which tile shops and other suppliers you can chose from. Also, if you go to the roofing companies you can get samples, likewise bricks. In our garage now, we have a selection of the bricks, path and drive stone and all sorts of other things.

 

Once you get the detailed plans, think about the electrics. They will have put in an allowance for one socket, one light, one light switch per room and one telephone point per house. So, what we did was to put colour coded points on a copy of the plans showing where we wanted everything. The pre-start details will also state how much a light, switch or socket costs, so you can calculate what the costs are going to be before the meeting.

 

It is a good idea to have a lot of the cables put in conduits so they can be added to later easily.

 

Also, look to see if you need a conduit putting under the drive so that retic can be run under it. Most houses do. It costs, but worth it.

 

With the electrics remember to plan for things like where you plug in a dishwasher. Allow a double socket at the fridge in case you later have separate fridge and freezer. Think about where your Internet will go.

 

When you get the addenda - this is the document that will come with the plans and lists everything and the costs check that at least two soak wells are included. This is how the houses drain in wet weather. Some only include one and can have flooding issues as a result.

 

Think about if you want a gas point outside if gas is available to the property. Likewise water.

 

Get plenty of power points in the garage so it can also be used as a workshop or something.

 

If you are having a home theatre then remember to ask for a tv point in there and where. For example, we are having it half way up the wall. Same with bedrooms. We have a tv point in each.[/quote

 

D and SIL say thank you!!!

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Be careful with soak wells, they are not mandated as yet by the shire, so I didn't want to pay the $6k to have them put in, I did a lot of research and many hours trawling the home building forums, it seems that if you elect for the builder not to install soak wells you literally sign away any ground works guarantee you had in the building contract, any subsidence you may have in the future & it's prove to be caused by rain water/ drainage run off, will not be covered in the builders guarantee.

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Your welcome Ross

 

A few more tips:

Remember time. You need to devote some to it. Check what is happening during the build as errors will be made - a neighbour just realized his plumbing is all wrong in his build. We were supposed to have a sand block layed and have been charged for it but it wasn't. We visit daily and take pictures. Also you will have a series of meetings to attend. One with the site supervisor at commencement of the brickwork then others with the sparky, tiler and various others.

 

Building inspector. You can hire them to do independent inspections and many people do at key stages such as pad down, bricks to plate height and others. We can't afford that but will be hiring one at completion. A friend built and was very happy and couldn't find any faults. Then the building inspector came in and found three pages of faults.

 

Soak wells. As Druid says, they are important and not necessarily done as standard. Ours are included in the cost but the house being built round the corner hasn't had them even though it's the same builder. We only found out about them because the house two doors down didn't get them and regularly floods.

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Your welcome Ross

 

A few more tips:

Remember time. You need to devote some to it. Check what is happening during the build as errors will be made - a neighbour just realized his plumbing is all wrong in his build. We were supposed to have a sand block layed and have been charged for it but it wasn't. We visit daily and take pictures. Also you will have a series of meetings to attend. One with the site supervisor at commencement of the brickwork then others with the sparky, tiler and various others.

 

Building inspector. You can hire them to do independent inspections and many people do at key stages such as pad down, bricks to plate height and others. We can't afford that but will be hiring one at completion. A friend built and was very happy and couldn't find any faults. Then the building inspector came in and found three pages of faults.

 

Soak wells. As Druid says, they are important and not necessarily done as standard. Ours are included in the cost but the house being built round the corner hasn't had them even though it's the same builder. We only found out about them because the house two doors down didn't get them and regularly floods.

 

 

Whats a 'Sand block' VS?:confused:

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If there are issues with the block such as limestone boulders, then they effectively raise the area of the house by putting a sand block down - they simply pour builders sand down in the shape of the house and then compact it. It can be a damned expensive process - the neighbor had to have a dozen truck loads brought in.

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If there are issues with the block such as limestone boulders, then they effectively raise the area of the house by putting a sand block down - they simply pour builders sand down in the shape of the house and then compact it. It can be a damned expensive process - the neighbor had to have a dozen truck loads brought in.

 

Ta, you're right, sound expensive.

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