Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Internal Colour and Electrical Appointment-3

Update on Electrical Plans and Variations

After exchanging numerous emails amending, clarifying and fixing errors, we finally signed off on our electrical plans and variations. Our electrical variations totalled just below 11 K. When considering that our house would be 44 Squares, we think we did spend OK (some Metricon customers have spent about 16 to 20 K for a similar sized house).

Following are the prices of some of the items we selected:
  • Batten holder: $40
  • 2, 3 or 4 way switches: $50, $80 or $240 respectively
  • Double Power Point: $45
  • Few different types of outdoor sockets: $80 approximately
  • Power supply to Island bench (for easy access to toaster): $110
  • Free-to-Air TV point: $75
  • Pay TV point: $80
  • Phone socket: $90
  • Data/Phone (Cat 6): $115
  • Speaker cable provision / Blank plate: $110
  • TV conduit provision (for wall mounting TV): $115
  • Ducted exhaust fan (provision, unit and installation): $300
  • Sunshine 6600A Heat-Fan-Lamp (2 heat lamps): $450
  • Wiring only for ceiling fans: $40
  • Timber noggin (for mounting moderately heavy pendant lamps): $10
  • Junction box provision: $75
  • Pre-wire for future doorbell: $150
  • NBN (National Broadband Network) conduit provision: $380

See pictures below on how the conduit and NBN equipment respectively would look like.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Internal Colour and Electrical Appointment-2

I was hoping to receive the costing on our internal selections, so that I could post the details on the blog; however, the Studio M manager sent her apologies a few times in the past week for not providing the costing. Apparently, there are a few items the Estimator is waiting a quote for from their supplier as they did not provide all the items he had requested. So, instead I will report on our electrical consultation in this post.

Our electrical consultation was held on the same day as our internal colour appointment. We met a lovely lady, M, from Vaccaro Group. M was professional and explained to us the basics of the ‘musts to have’ and ‘good to have, but can be done later’, so that we do not stretch our budget very far. We had a budget of 10K to spend, and the variations did not deviate much from that figure. We spent a little over three hours and completed most of our selections at 5 PM when the computer froze! Thanks to the System’s auto save feature (which was actually annoying, as it saved every 5 mins), we did not lose any data. M advised that she would email me us our selections, which then provided us an opportunity to review at leisure. Note Metricon/Vaccaro’s standard policy, which is “Electrical selections and plans are to be finalised and signed off on the same day as your appointment”; so, we were pretty lucky to get some time off to review. We took our electrical plans last week-end to Beacon Lighting to make our actual light selections and sought their advice on many items. I emailed M our amendment requests after reviewing the electrical plans.

OK, now to the actual selection process: As you can see in the picture in this post, the system they use allows us to clearly see the approximate locations of switches, batten holders and other electrical items we ask for.  Note that the height of all lights switches is approx. 1050 mm above slab level; all external junction box for future wall lights are 1800 mm AFL (above floor level); all light points above mirror to any bathroom are 2100 mm AFL, while all GPOs (General Purpose Outlet / Socket Outlet), commonly known as power point, are 300 mm AFL. So, if you want at any other height, you would need to specify them.

We love down lights (D/Ls), but were anxious about the prices. Reading from other blogs, I was under the impression that CFL D/Ls lights provided by metricon are about $105 each, and I was wrong. M clarified that halogen D/Ls are $105, 11W CFL D/Ls are $125 and 11W LED D/Ls are $200. When I heard the prices I almost fainted! So, I asked M’s suggestion, and her solution was to get Batten Holders at this stage for $40 each and then get them converted to future D/Ls. A week before our electrical appointment, I enquired with Beacon Lighting on LED D/Ls, and they were having a promotion on LED D/Ls (30% off second light and subsequent ones). So, yesterday we went to Beacon and chose LEDlux 11W 600 Lumen Brushed Chrome D/L Kit that was priced $60 for the first one and $42 for the second light. I also contacted an electrician recommended by Beacon (as we do not have any sparky friends), who charges $30 to install a D/L. So, the approximate cost of having a LED D/L is $40 for the ceiling point (that comes with a batter holder and a bulb) + approx. $50 for LEDlux 11W Led D/L + $30 to install it = $120. We ultimately selected 25 LED D/Ls via Beacon, which is a saving of $2000 ($80 per D/L x 25).

There were a few other items that were ridiculously expensive (eg., metal cover plates that were $15 each, as opposed to about $5 if you were to do it post hand over); so we stuck to the standard ones. All light switches are Classic C2000 style, with the exception of Kitchen and Pantry glass splashback switches and sockets, which are Clipsal Saturn Espresso Black, approx. $140 each; and double power point on kitchen island bench, where we selected Black C2000 style for an additional $10.

For tricky places that required recessing the lights (lights in niches in Entry;  lights under Over Head Cupboards in Kitchen; and lights on walls in Stairs), we bit the bullet and purchased lights via Metricon/Vaccarro, so that they can be responsible for installation of those lights.

With the exception of 2 light points (batten holders) in Portico (for future D/Ls), 1 light point in Balcony (for future D/L), 1 wall light point on Garage (for future wall down light) and three batten under eaves (for future double spot lights), we asked for 3 junction boxes for external lighting, at a cost of $75 each.

There are many more items on which I wish to write; and I will continue those in my next post on electrical selections.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Internal Colour and Electrical Appointment-1

We had our internal colour and electrical appointment on the same day this week. It started at 9:30 AM and finished at 5:30 PM. It was not overwhelming, as we did our homework prior by visiting display houses and having several bed time discussions!

Both the internal colour and electrical selections were a fun experience, although we felt that the internal colour selections process was a bit rushed. It was neither the fault of the Studio M Consultant nor ours. We had the Studio M manager itself as our consultant, who was very knowledgeable and helpful with our selections and provided her wisdom on which ones to upgrade through metricon and items we could consider upgrading ourselves post hand-over.

We were quite detailed in our selections, and we provided a modified kitchen cabinetry design for the consultant to pass on our rough drawings to the drafting department.

We think we did not go crazy with the internal colour selections. The Consultant said she would email us the selections (along with prices) in a week or so for our review.

As there are so many selections, I will write about them in a series of posts rather than rush through one or two long posts. This post is on internal paint and stain colours.


Hog Bristle Full Strength for internal walls; Hog Bristle Quarter Strength for Architraves, Skirting, Ceiling and SOR 5 internal doors

Feature Colour 1: Dulux Mid Night Secret similar to this one 

Feature Colour 2: Dulux Eastern Gold

Architraves: Double Pencil Round 67 x 18 mm

67 mm architraves are those ones that surround the window

75 mm Scotia Cornice

Intergrain Rich Chocolate Stain for Stairs and JST 1 internal doors

Hume JST1 timber internal doors (in rich chocolate stain) with transulescent glass for master bedroom, pantry/laundry, study, guest bedroom (sitting), ensuite and PDR

This is Charcoal stain, we will have a shade darker than this (rich-chocolate)

Pantry/laundry internal doors

Internal doors to Study

HUME Sorrento SOR 5 internal doors to remainder of the house

Staircase: Maple treads and risers, in rich chocolate stain finish,with stainless steel balusters. The handrail would be rectangle and continuous instead of curved; and there would be no newel post - see picture below to get an idea (however, will not have semi open treads like the one below as they are very expensive!)

The stairs will have a P35 control joint in lieu of standard MDF cover board.