Saturday, 3 November 2012

Colour Selections (pre-tender)

Today we were out of the house for 9 hours because of 'house stuff'. First we had to meet with a solicitor to complete some paperwork for the NSW New Home Grant. $5K that will take some of the sting out of Stamp Duty. Looking forward to getting the first of a few rebates!

As we were already almost an hour away from home (and have our tender presentation next week), we figured we would look at the companies Eden Brae works with, to view their selections. The first was the (PGH Bricks) CSR Display Centre at Schofields. The moment we walked in the door we were welcomed (are these blogs going to be about customer service or will they provide any useful info!?!). The lady that helped us was great. She asked who we were building with and after handing us a list explained which bricks came as standard for Eden Brae. It has become increasingly obvious that the 'standard' will almost always be a really crappy option (In our opinion)! 

We have found an upgraded brick that we really like however we are so far unaware of how much it would cost to upgrade. The 'standard' we can tolerate is Mocha. However we do like a few others, which are painted. Chocolatto, Espresso and Vino. Only problem with these is that if you chip it or go nuts with the Gerni a few too many times, you will reveal the natural colour of the brick. If we went with Mocha for example, it's the same all through. If you chipped it, you wouldn't know any better. With the painted bricks you also need to get a mortar finish, that will ensure the natural colour of the (inside of the) painted brick, is not exposed. You'd bring the mortar right up to the edge of the brick. Naturally, this is not standard :) Standard colour mortar is 'natural' which tends to have a slight greying tint to it. You can pay more for off-white or a yellowish tint. After seeing the three, I'm surprised the yellow is not the standard!! CSR let you take samples home with you. Don't be fooled, taking home a free brick is actually exciting. We took home Mocha, Gravel  (before we saw a house in gravel and decided we hated it) and Chocolatto.

While at CSR the staff member gave us a better idea of the colour schemes we could use to go with Mocha or Chocolatto. You need to consider the colour of the tiles or colorbond roof, gutter, fascia, eaves, garage door, porch, downpipes, water tank, side reticulation/portico, window frames and driveway. She wrote down the two schemes we liked, and attached samples to take home with us. Just great customer service. We spent over an hour here. They will also give you a list of houses in the colours you select, so you can see for yourself what they will look like. We were lucky enough to find a house in Oran Park that has the facade we lke in more or less the same colours we like. I think we creeped out the guy living there when we drove past. We gawk at peoples facades, gardens, fences. Be careful of that when you get to this stage! 

Next up we visited the Home Option Gallery. People have raved about this place (It's more or less opposite Hillsong at Norwest). We only saw what they had downstairs. Looked good but I wasn't overwhelmed. Maybe we missed out on the 'good stuff'? Will write more about it when we are presented with our tender. Let's just say there is a very good chance we will be upgrading the stone benchtop in our kitchen. The standard New Cairo is fine but when you surround it with dozens of more aesthetic stones, and you want to do something funky with the kitchen doors, it doesn't seem like the right option. Budget will dictate I suppose. We were in and out in ten minutes.

Lastly we went to DiLorenzo  for tiles and carpets. We had no expectations as we had seen several negative reviews online. Our experience here was very positive. The first lady we spoke to explained how it worked-what was standard for EBH, to look for the 'yellow dot' which indicated our builder, and explained a few of the surcharges. Feature tiles will cost more as they are trickier to lay. Large tiles will cost more as they are trickier to lay. We found a few variations we liked. Glady, we managed to cut it back to three preferences for bathrooms, and the overall floor tile colour (a lot of the floor tiles are also available in an exterior finish, with greater grip). We are planning to do tiles everywhere other than the home theatre and bedrooms. 

bella vista

We had a look at the carpets, the standard builders range. It is pretty ordinary to say the least. I could have made do with it until we were advised the stuff might last you 5 years if you're lucky. She also advised us on the underlays. Ranging from an additional $5m2 to $8m2 (before the builder mark up I suppose?), if you feel this product (top of the range), you will want to get it. It's amazing to feel the difference. Stephen asked what you would get if you went up a range in price. We were shown a range between $40-$55m2. They had one carpet I fell in love with. Now normally I don't care for carpet this much, but this was an environmentally friendly carpet without stain resistant products, it has corn starch in it to keep it clean. The carpet is amazing. You don't need chemicals to clean it, just some soapy water. It's suitable for heavy use, has a lifetime (25yr) warranty, and is so soft. Plus it's Australian made. I will not rest until I have the corn carpet.

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