Monday, 16 September 2013

Colour Selections - HOG

Another appointment we had was our general colour selections for the house which included anything else other than plumbing, electrical,kitchen, landscaping.

We had to choose our external colours quite quickly so they could be used as part of the approval process through stocklands. For this we had to firstly visit PGH Bricks in schofields and run through with them the colours we wanted to go with. I didn't really find them too helpful. We pretty much told them what we liked, said that we didn't want to do anything other than standard and the lady we had just wrote it all down. She didn't offer any guidance or anything, which i was hoping for even though i knew what i wanted its still nice to listen to other ideas, and as long as it was standard i may of been willing to change my mind.

They set up a little display as per below so you can see all the colours together. If you head to a previous post about external colours, you will see some more info on what we have chosen Click Here

At HOG we had Sarah to run through the external selections with. She was so nice, and offered some really good opinions and guidance. We had to choose the eave colour, the colour of our front door, whether we wanted off white mortar or natural mortar, what type of finish we wanted - we went with Ironed. I wanted the flushed finish but this is an upgrade for Eden Brae. Actually, they dont even recommend it, apparently they had some quality issues and sarah said if we wanted to select it then besides paying extra we would of had to sign a form to say that EBH are not responsible for the outcome of the work - so with that in mind we declined and went with ironed finish instead.

To finish off externals we had to also choose what colour our rain water tank was, downpipes, electrical box aswell. We chose the same colour as our gutter - monument. We also opted to upgrade our clear glass on the front door to translucent, and also changed the handle to the omni trilock handle. A massive big handle to go with the massive door that hubby wanted.

The internal colours appointment was a lot more involved as i couldn't be prepared as i was with knowing what we wanted for externals. First of all we went through the wire shelving in the WIP - REALLY NOT AT ALL impressed that EBH only offer wire racking in the WIP - i have never eer seen this in any house i have been into! stupid standard inclusion and something i think they should atelast offer is basic melamine package. For us to upgrade our WIP was going to be $807 - uuummm no thanks! we will stick with the wire and get something done post handover.

Wire shelving in the linen press im ok with, so that will stay. Wire racking in the robes also not a fan! surely EB could step up and offer this as standard like masterton do! it looks so much better when you walk into a house and see a proper built in with the proper shelving and not just a basic wire rack. We will update our robes to some decent shelving, racks and drawers post handover. The credit we got back was minimal, so for now we will leave it all in and atleast we can hang our clothes when we move in, just in case money is tight and we can update straight away it will serve its purpose.

We chose all our handles. there were only about 3 too choose from. They were ok. Nice enough. Gainsborough "Liana" are the handles we have through out as part of the luxury upgrade.

We chose all the privacy locks, cavity slider pulls, door stopper, deadbolts, patio bolts, upgarded the size of our mirrors in the bathrooms to one piece that filled the space from vanity height to line up with the tiling on the shower. The ensuite comes with 2 mirrors for each basin, we changed this to one big mirror instead. We also discussed the fly screens and will get pricing on the superscreen for the front entrance to it looks nicer than the diamond grill ones. We need a screen on the front due to the BAL19 rating.

We then moved onto paints. This was hard. all the colours looked the csame under the light. I had agonised for weeks over the paint colour. You are limited to only certian paints they call "2 coat paints: a brochure received at tender listed the paints, and once we remove all the yellow tones, and the really dark ones we were left with maybe a dozen to choose from. All of which look the same of a piece of card only an inch square. I had to try and block out what they looked like at HOG and run with the ones we picked at home under natural light. In the end we chose the taubamns Marble Mist, and Tahira white for the skirtings. I have since painted a canvas with the 2 colours, and even though the Tahira White looks too white atleast its neutral so it will go with everything and its something that can be changed easily so im not fussed at the moment.

Paint colour with our flooring and our carpet colour. It has a grey tinge to it, hint of green in the colour too, which should tie in nicely to the sarsen grey laminex for the kitchen. I went to bunnings and asked for the code to see what the undertones are, i wanted to make sure we didn't have a yellow undertone. The Marble mist is made up from Raw umba and Orcha, they are both relaly earthy colour the raw umba is a relaly dark green, almost black, and orcha is an earthy yellow. Seeing it with my flooring i love it. I have no second thoughts about it at all.

This photo gives you an idea of the sarsen grey kitchen cupboards, essastone Crystal chalk bench top, the timber look panel represents the flooring, and then the paint colour. Looks nice and neutral and the floors will be the feature.

Once all the colours were selected we then waited a couple of weeks for EBH to email through the PCV with all the pricing. It would be great to get the pricing straight away as its a long time to wait when all the other pricing comes through so quickly. And any major change you want to the prices that come through then take another few days to a week to receive the new quoted price. Its a long drawn out process. Then because the PCV's are raised, you have to sign them, but then you have to write another email to say you want them removed and another PCV is sent through with the removed items. The paperwork/admin side of things is crazy! Ima highly organised person and it still did my head in, i ended up getting a folder to put all the paperwork in to kee it in order as there was paper everywhere.

I try to subject each email appropriately as i find looking for something later on is a pain if the subject line doesn't detail it properly.

Almost 3 weeks on and im still questioning things through HOG that i need clarification on before confirming. Yawn! its getting boring now - i just want to move onto the next stage.

To summarize the colours appointment if we take out the kitchen and plumbing selections we did on the same day then the colours was a good 4 hours all up, it goes so fast though so it doesn't feel like you are there for that long, its a really long drawn out day, and i went in fully prepared, new our budget (not that it mattered because prices weren't given on the day) i knew the look i wanted which helped. God help those people that walk in having done no research at all, it must take them hours to choose. 

I also thought i would get more guidance from the colour consultant. I was under the impression that they help you choose colours that compliment each other, run through trends and give you general ideas, there was none of that, the classic line of the day was "oh its your house you have to ive with the choices" OR "its all new, no matter what you choose it will look nice".

More random photos, just because i can! lol.............

Internal Doors Through out painted in Tahira White - Upgrade

Changed laundry door from standard sliding door to this glass door, translucent glass

Shower screens for both bathrooms 

Omni Trilock Handle Upgrade
Updated Driveway

Driveway finish - COVE

Driveway Colour options - We selected Gunmetal

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Kitchen Selections

Eden Brae use a company called Kitchen Culture to do all their kitchens. This was an appointment through the HOG gallery. We were greeted by Alex on the day and she will be the consultant that draws up our kitchen plans and answers any queries that we have. We didn't want to change the kitchen around too much, and everything was to remain as standard. Normal cupboards, no fancy soft closing drawers etc.

We added in overheads cupboards at tender due to the Display options that we discussed with EBH. We paid $1000 for a kitchen upgrade package which gave us the essatone 20mm benchtops. I wanted to add waterfall edges to the island bench as well. The chosen stone was Crystal Chalk.

One thing we did discover at tender was that the kitchen promo only included the New Cairo and the New sable Luxe as the only 2 choices in the stone as standard. So not only do you pay for the upgrade of the stone, then if you dont like the standard stone colours you are stuck paying for another colour option - not very good advertising i dont think, EB should be letting their customers know it only includes the 2 stone options so there are no nasty surprises.

I then found out that the house plan standard width bench is only 800mm wide, even though EB display home is 900mm and NO ONE ever had told us otherwise, not even during the walk through to discuss the upgrade options, was not happy about this what so ever! and was slumped a $270 charge to change it to a 900mm bench width.

We then discussed 2 tones - i wanted to have laminex SORELL on the barback of the island bench to break up the colour a bit but at over $500 to do this they can forget about it! I don't know why they charge this! but its robbery! Ripping off customers! 

We made our cutlery drawers wider - from 450 to 600mm and this was just over $100, i think a worthwhile investment. My cutlery drawers are way to over crowded.

We were offered a poly matte finish for $3000 - forget it! or even a silk finish on the laminex instead of the natural finish. A really nice finish, and means the strip edging is only 1mm instead of 2mm but it was over $1200 so passed on that. Past on pot drawers! those things were way to over priced! just standard all the way for us thanks! i wasn't going to spend up big on upgrading things that were 3 x over the industry standard pricing

We will be putting in our own dishwasher after hand over, and also our own oven aswell so we didn't have to worry too much about those (although appliances is discussed with cooks plumbing)

The Cooktop i had changed from gas to the ceran 900mm cooktop. Not much choice, and ill probably hate cooking on it! cheap and nasty brands! its a baumatic cooktop. Hopefully atleast it will heat up and do its job ok.

KC went on to charge us $88x2 for a sheet of extra melamine to simply be placed inside the over head cupboard for future LED downlights - RIPPED! was not happy, and when asked if they could reduce it or atelast throw in for free they wouldn't have a bar of it! disappointed.

We wanted to extend the over head cupboards as we have raised ceilings in the kitchen. $700 mind you! had to pick my jaw up off the ground - get out of town! i could feel my heart palpitating by this stage, i was just over it! id had enough and wanted the appointment over!

Next was the bathrooms, we upgraded to stone in the main bathroom "crystal salt" and stone in the ensuite "crystal chalk" We left the cabinets as standard. Anything too fancy and they charge you for it! A bank of drawers in the ensuite was $350 - uuumm no thanks ill just buy a $5 basket at the discount shop and put everything in there!

Im glad Alex was pleasant to deal with, she answered all our questions, and was apologetic that she couldn't move on prices! i had heard the prices would be expensive, but when you actually sit down and go through it all you really get shocked at what they charge! its way above industry standard and i feel really lets EBH down - they should be monitoring this more closely if they cared about their customers and not let KC charge so much! Or its the fact that there are too many hands in the mix - the joiners fee, HOG %, KC % , EBH % no wonder the price adds up when everyone is wacking on their commission for it

Anyone that hasn't signed the contracts yet or still at tender try and get as many prices as possible if you want to do big changes to the kitchen. as from above you can see we didn't do hardly anything at all and the costs all add up very quickly. Upgrading to stone is the biggest expense, but in my opinion stone is timeless and will never date so its a worthwhile investment. It was one thing i always wanted in my home, and pretty much the only luxury upgrade we went with in the end. But i had my heart set on it from the beginning.

The WIP will just have standard crappy wire (i mean really Eden Brae!!!) shelving and once we save some cash will get a proper fitout after handover! the cost for the melamine shelving through EB was $800 - uuummm no thanks! not for 4 shelves.

Not part of the kitchen selections but ill add here was our choice of splashback. We went with a greyish tone 20x600mm tile. less grout lines, and a neutral colour that hopefully wont date (well not too quickly anyway)

Our Internal Paint is Marble Mist and Tahira White skirtings

Flooring will be Karndean Loose Lay VInyl Tasmanian Wattle or similar

My Inspiration for my kitchen was the 
Porter Davies Drysdale display home

Kellyville Eden Brae Drysdale Display home
We have the raised ceilings in the kitchen like the display home above, hopefully that will create a sense of extra space within the home, as the rest of the ceilings are a standard height. I love the 3 pendants hanging over the island bench as a feature. Cant wait to start hunting for some little pendant lights to hang in this space

Other Upgrades

The only thing that i dont like too much about the natural finish of the laminex is the strip edging, and every single home we saw where a light colour door was used, you could see the dirty line between the edging and the face of the cupboard.

 Here are our colour chosen, Pretty much doesn't show it properly though - lol - close enough i guess!

The best image i could get of what our colours will look like together. From top left - Sarsen grey Laminex | Essastone Crystal Chalk | Woodlook laminex to replicate our flooring and below it is our wall paint "marble Mist" and skirting colour "Tahira White"

This is just to show the benchtop and the sarsen grey with the sorell colour that i wanted for the barback until KC ruined that dream with an obsurb upgrade price!

Our kitchen Sink will be the clark Monarco - its long about 1200mm which i wasn't keen on, it will take up so much space on the bench. But then i put my practical hat on and it will be the better choice for piling lots of dishes up onto it - and believe me there always seems to be heaps!

The upgraded choice was the clark Quarto a beautiful sink, more square in design and about $130 to upgrade. but the drainer section was smaller than what i have now and that was the only thing that made me decide against it. The undermount sinks are over $500 so that was something that i didn't even consider.

 Sink comes with this groovy chopping board and strainer. A nice little inclusion that will defiantely come in handy!

Phoenix Vivid SInk Mixer upgrade. The Goosneck Irwell Yukon is the standard inclusion but i didn't want a sink mixer that really stands out on the island bench. So i have gone with a standard size sink mixer, just one that is a little bit nicer looking. Its been really hard to choose this! I hate that i cant see it and touch it and use the handle to make sure im happy with how it works - ah yes! no wonder im stressing out about things when i worry about how a sink mixer will work!! 

Just to show you the floors to complete the post. Here are some different options in colours, but the loose lay is the one we want and it doesn't come in the huge variety of colours.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Pretty much over Internals now

So 2 weeks ago i was all pumped and really excited to be choosing our internals at HOG, and now the process has dragged out and im over it. We have pretty much finalised all our internals now. Kitchen is done, Electrical is done, Tiling is done, a few more decisions with plumbing (who would of thought choosing a kitchen sink mixer would be so hard). 

Its been one heck of an experience, and one im not ready to experience again anytime soon. Prices are way too high on most things which just leaves me feeling deflated, all the work sitting there looking at products and you wait for the prices to come through and they are too high! such a waste of time really.

I will be writing about each internal appointment once i have some more time on my hands. I think there are certain things that people need to realise before choosing to build with Eden Brae. The companies that are associated with them through HOG need to take a good hard look at how badly they are ripping customer off. Mostly the whole experience has been really disappointing  They don't budge on price , don't throw in any freebies or favours. Its almost like they have the attitude that they have your business and prey on peoples emotions to want a perfect house at hand over that they feel they can charge what they like. There is no competition so they don't try hard to win your business over.Everything comes at a cost! I can count more times that i have been annoyed in the past 2 weeks than happy - so that says a lot about the process, no wonder im feeling so deflated right now. 

The only good thing i have to say is that the staff are lovely to deal with, they respond to emails quickly and offer a high level of customer service, its not their fault they have to hand out they exorbitant prices - they are only doing their job, atleast they do it with a smile "oh no sorry we cant offer an $80 discount" - spending 300 thousand on a house and they cant even offer an $80 discount to make me a happy customer and perhaps even consider recommending them to friends and family - ill be writing about this discount later on! let me tell you i was not happy!

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Settlement Day - The land is now ours!

The land is offically ours! One less thing to have to stress about, although now that the block is nice and clean we will be hoping that no one decides to take the opportunity to dump any rubbish on it!

For a while we didn't think that the developer would clear the block for us, but they came through with the goods in the 11th hour and it it cleaned only hours before settlement!

At Two O'Clock today we received the phone call from our conveyencor to say that everything had gone through and it was officially ours!

A great way to kick off the weekend! Bring on site start! im eager to get the ball rolling now and get through these internal selections and get our final plans drawn up.