Friday, 19 July 2013

Colours, Kitchens, Carpets

Think we have signed off on all interior stuff now. My brain is dead from all this decision making.
We upgraded the carpet and opted out of the tiled floors in non-wet areas as we found we could get bamboo floors done for over $2000 cheaper than through Di Lorenzo.
We changed the layout in the kitchen to include an island bench and upgraded to polyurethane doors.
For the electrical we added lots of powerpoints and bayonet light fittings. We will change the bayonets over to LED downlights after handover. Our investigations into pricing showed  we could do this for approx $70 less per light fitting than if we used Clipsal.
We upgraded the aircon to Actron ESP plus with 7 zones.
Wisdom's landscaping quote came in at $33000. Apart from the driveway we will either do the work ourselves or go directly to contractors for each component. Landscape companies charge more because they subcontract the work so have to take their cut as well as paying the subcontractors.
So far we have exceeded our provisional allowances in our tender by nearly $15000 and we aren't finished yet. Ouch. Need to get hubby working harder.

Horrible Hydraulics

So far this has been the most stressful part. We used the Hydraulics engineer recommended by Wisdom and were advised that we needed 8000L retention and 1000L detention so we were going to need at least 2 tanks and a small underground bladder for overflow to stormwater. Small block big house, big problem trying to fit above ground tanks in.

This is the only thing holding us up from lodging our DA with council. We tried to sort this out with Wisdom at the beginning of the year so it would not delay us, but in Wisdom's usual style if it gets too difficult they aren't very supportive. So we got to the point where we were forced to deal with it as we need to lodge our DA. So we have done all the research and phone calls to get the necessary info about compliance and council rules, not the builder who will be taking a huge amount if money from us.

We have one side of our house that has a narrow setback and this is where we want the tanks. At the widest point on this side we could fit 1 x 3500L tank but we were told that the rest of this side was too narrow to fit tanks as they need a 45cm setback from the boundary. So we found many other options such as tanks that are so narrow they run along your fenceline or underground trafficable poly tanks. Wisdom would not accommodate any of these and said we had to go with their supplier, who only do aboveground colorbond tanks, narrowest being 55cm, and it had to be 45cm from the boundary so the only way to fit another tank in would be to put it in the backyard. We don't want anything on the other side of the house so we have clear access if we want to bring anything large into the backyard. They did offer an underground concrete tank but it needs such deep excavation that we would would have to pay for extra piering on the house.

Finally we spoke to our council, which Wisdom could have done, and found out the rule about locating the tank 45cm from the boundary only applies if you want to comply without the need for a DA. Since we are submitting the DA for a new house with tanks included we don't need to comply with the 45cm rule and we can include a statement supporting our chosen location for the tanks in our Statement if Environmental Effects. Too easy, but not for Wisdom!