Tuesday, 25 September 2012

The Land is Ours!

We now own a large piece of dirt!!!

Our Lawyer advised us that Settlement occurred last Friday. We also obtained Section 149 Certificate, which provides information on how our property may be used and the restrictions on development. As far as I could see, there are no problematic restrictions. The land is also not excluded from the operation of State Environmental Planning Policy 2008, which means complying development may be carried out under the Policy. One thing that pleasantly surprised us was that the land is not recorded in Council’s records as bushfire prone land, which is in contrast to the bushfire report provided by the Developer (Stockland). I called Council, which advised me that although our land is close, it won’t be affected. This is a big relief (I hope). The next step is to contact Metricon and ask them to remove the bushfire item from our Contract and reduce the price accordingly.

We requested Internal Selections and Electrical Appointment (3 + 3 hour appointment) as soon as possible for family reasons, and luckily Metricon was able to provide us with an appointment this week. We visited the display house at Freemans Ridge last weekend and spent over 5 hours discussing electrical items! We have more decisions to make and have been spending some time every day before our appointment.

We followed the lead from Jess & Ryan (Nolan 45) and asked our Studio M consultant to provide us with the Colour Schedule (lists things that we would have to make a decision on in the appointment) and the Consultant emailed us straightaway the document. Thanks also to Birds Nest blog that provided suggestions for electrical appointment, which we have taken on board.

We are excited and equally nervous for the big day at Studio M!

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Registration of Subdivision

Source: www.stockland.com.au

Last week-end, we received notification from Stockland that the plan of subdivision, within which our new home site is located, has been registered. We expect Settlement by the third week of September. We have formal bank approval; so, I hope everything goes to plan.

Two weeks after we signed the Contract, we paid the 5% deposit. At the time of signing, there were a few errors in the drawings which we asked Metricon to address, in addition to requesting a few changes such as converting some hinged doors to sliding doors, adding sound screen batts to some bedroom walls to protect against noise pollution and insulation batts to entire garage floor ceiling so that the upstairs bedroom flooring immediately above the garage is shielded, adding timber look floating laminate flooring throughout the house (in lieu of the Promotion that offers laminate flooring only to main living areas), adding a recycled tap in addition to the two standard taps Metricon provides and adding/modifying a few windows. Metricon raised a post contract variation totalling about 6K and sent us the updated drawings reflecting the post contract variation.

Four days after Metricon lodged our plans and colour schemes for Developer Approval, we received notification from Stockland that our application for Full Design Approval has been approved according to the Design Requirements for Brooks Reach. Yeah! We are glad to have had two significant events happening within a week’s time.

A number of people from Metricon have so far been managing a sequence of events from the initial discussion of plans to following through on getting the updated drawings. We have been fortunate to have some good people manage our case right from Sales Consultant (RH)->Design Manager (YD)->Contract Presenter (MS)->Customer Support Team Leader (JO’D)->Customer Support Coordinator (SY), and I am relieved to see that it has been an efficient process so far.

We now await Settlement, so we can get some documents from Council that Metricon requires to proceed to the next stage of our pre-construction phase.  

Sunday, 9 September 2012


Now you would ask what is it so exciting about windows that they are worth reading about and seeing in a post?

Well, when we were exploring display houses, we realised we liked different designs of windows. We wanted to make sure that the window designs we liked were possible to be included in the house we selected (Phoenix). So, I took pictures of windows and measure their size and showed to our consultant. A while ago, I read a blog by a Metricon owner, who lamented that the kitchen window he ended up with was not only shorter than the one he saw in the display house (although he apparently requested the same display house window in the kitchen), but the window had an architrave around it).

What you mostly see in display houses are non-standard windows – they are made of a different material (timber instead of powder coated aluminium), in addition to being longer, shorter, smaller or bigger. So, it becomes difficult to visualise how the standard windows would look like in your house.

The moral of the story here is do your research – measure the size of the window and know the type of the window, including the terminology used to describe it, before requesting it to be included in your house – as the size and type are unlikely to be allowed to be changed once you sign the Contract.

Here are pictures of windows we selected, contrasted with what we saw in display houses.

These are timber 'Armadale' style awning windows to front elevation. We initially asked for the same window height however in Aluminium, but were advised that sweeping and vacuuming would become difficult if the windows are located so low; so, we chose to accept 1800 mm H x 2400 mm W windows that are standard.

These are the standard windows you would get in the upstairs front elevation if you choose Plantation facade (standard in Phoenix). All our doors are 2340 mm H, except this balcony door, which aligns with the height of the windows. 

These are 3 x 1800 mm H x 500 mm W timber awning windows; We get 3 x 1800 mm H x 600 mm W Aluminium awning windows as standard.

This is the inside view of 500 mm W windows in the Phoenix display house.

These are 2100 mm H x 3000 mm W feature timber fixed mullion picture window with three fixed panels. We get 1800 mm H x 2650 mm W feature aluminium fixed mullion picture window with three fixed panels at an additional price of $750 (in lieu of same size sliding windows).

The splash back windows are 686 mm H x 3000 mm W fixed horizontal feature aluminium window with square set plaster reveals to side elevation of Kitchen. We get the same window (however 2710 mm W) at an additional price of $460 in lieu of 514 mm H x 2710 mm W similar type window that is offered in Imagine Promotion.

These windows appear 514 mm H that are typically offered in promotions.

These are 686 mm H x 1500 mm W fixed horizontal feature aluminium window with square set plaster reveals to side elevation of Butler's Pantry. We get a similar window however 1570 mm W at an additional price of $610 in lieu of standard wall.

These are 1200 mm H x 1800 mm W aluminium sliding windows that comes standard in bedrooms. 

These are 514 mm H x 1500 mm W aluminium sliding windows that will be in Children's bathroom. The window cannot be any higher because of the Outdoor room / Dining room roof line below and cannot be any wider due to the location of the shower.

Checkout the window above and below. These are horizontal windows that not only provide visual appeal, but also privacy in bedrooms. They seem 514 mm H. We asked for 686 mm H fixed aluminium windows in children's bedrooms in the rear elevation to take advantage of sunlight in the East (in addition to 1.2 m H x 1.8 W standard windows in the side elevation). We also requested long fixed horizontal windows (different widths and heights) in the Garage and other bedrooms.