Brooks Reach Building adventure

Come with us now on a tale of the mighty house building.

Kitchen Spec

Our kitchen meeting was part of our first Clarendon Create appointment but I felt it needed it’s own post as it’s such an important part of our home.
The kitchen has always been my focus during the house hunting and now building process. Thankfully I have an incredible husband that has supported my kitchen-crush during this whole time. A promise of never ending brownies may have also helped!

Our kitchen will have 3m long stone benchtops with a breakfast bar extension making the island bench even wider. We will have a 900mm gas cooktop, canopy ducted rangehood and 600mm electric oven. We will eventually have a side-by-side fridge/freezer with a filtered water point. WE HAVE A HUGE WALK IN PANTRY! We haven’t picked out tiles yet as our builder is making us wait until construction is under way (who knows why!) but they’ll be a light colour like this:ZIRVE BEIGE (MARBLE) - Tile Sample from QQ

We describe the feel of our future kitchen as open and earthy with the green and brown tones. One of the best upgrades we made was our kitchen sink to be a double bowl sink. Best $15 upgrade I think! Of course we had to source specific models and ask for a price on all the items we wanted, but that wasn’t too much work. We also upgraded our oven to a newer model too for a small fee.
Branden’s Grandma & Poppop gave me some money towards my KitchenAid that I’ll purchase as a house warming gift to myself when we move in. I’m thinking green apple KitchenAid Green Apple Artisan or possibly Cobalt Blue (B’s fave colour is blue) Cobalt Blue KitchenAid. The hubby will probably spend his gift money on electronics or something for the theatre room. Boys and their toys!

The original quote for upgrades came to a total of $12,970!!!!!! *wide eyes*. We just couldn’t believe the cost for some of the items. We didn’t get a quote for the tepanyaki built in cooktop with wok, I think that would have been neat but very expensive. We would have loved to have SMEG appliances too but agreed we could upgrade to those later once we settle in and save for those kind of things.

Below are the items we had quoted (with approximate figures):

  • Craftwood bulkheads above cabinets (between ceiling and cabinets) $420 Did not get this upgrade (Essentially it’s a fake wall so you don’t have to dust above your cabinets. How silly)
  • Provide matching door colour above canopy rangehood $192 Did not get this upgrade
  • Matching door colour bottoms to matching side of wall cabinets either side of rangehood $190 Did not get this upgrade
  • 300mm depth extra overhang to breakfast bar $400
  • 20mm thick stone benchtop, pencil round edge $4000
  • Laminex crystal gloss melamine doors/panels (Espresso) $2100 Did not go with this upgrade
  • Brushed aluminium laminated kickboards $420 Did not get this upgrade
  • Lamanix metaline splashback (including behind rangehood), Champagne Perle $2600
  • 1 x bank of 2x pot drawers righthand side of underbench oven $220
  • Soft closing drawers – $820 Did not go with this upgrade
  • Soft closing door hinges – $384 Did not go with this upgrade

*Microwave provision removed
*Aware that our fridge door will not extend fully due to wall cavity.

Our total for upgrades/changes etc came to around $6000

This is our beautiful kitchen plan

Kitchen drawing

Splashback: Laminex Metaline Champagne Perle champagne_perle splashback You can’t tell from the picture but it is a soft green colour that hs a subtle gold fleck through it. So pretty.

Benchtop: Quantum Quartz New Diamond white New Diamond White stone benchtop

Kitchen cabinets: Wilsonart Chocolate O547 Morro Zephyr 4846

Cooktop: westinghouse ghr95s – 5 burners baby! GHR95S-14700
Oven: POR667S POR667S-14158

Sink: R175 MK II double bowl sink R175 MK II double bowl sink

rangehood: WRF900CS-6286 – Canopy Rangehood WRF900CS-6286 - Canopy Rangehood

The colours will end up looking something like the below design sample (The design is different though)

Envisage Kitchen design

Up next: Clarendon Create pt2 (internal colours, alarms, bathrooms and other not so exciting things)…


The beginnings of our home .. Clarendon Homes meeting.

(continued from previous post here.)

B & I rushed over excitedly, discussed the lot specifications and confirmed we’d paid the initial $1000 deposit to Stocklands. Deb had the initial plans and paperwork ready to go when we got there.

We decided on building the ‘Kenthurst’ (Clarendon have since renamed and slightly tweaked the plan now being known as the ‘Kentville 24’.) Our 4-bedroom home would be 23.54 squares; 218.70 sqm with a break down of the ground floor 182.886 sqm, garage 33.89 sqm and porch 1.95sqm.

The original floor plan .

Because we signed our paperwork and paid Clarendon $1000 that day, we saved over $9000 with different promotions and packages that Clarendon were running at the time. We got the ‘Lifestyle Plus’ extras which is said to include $21,000 worth of extras. See brochure here. Now because we also paid a deposit on that day and the land will be fairly flat (less than a metre fall) we also qualified for the ‘Smart Build’ promotion saving us $4000. In total a savings of $13,000. We were glad we had done our homework and knew what our budget was and that we wanted to go Clarendon. I think it would have been really easy to be pressured into signing something right away for fear of ‘missing out on the promotions’. While we know we got a great deal that really suited our needs, the truth is all builders offer different promotions throughout the year – So if you are looking to sign with a builder in the near future check out what else is being offered and if the builder of your choice isn’t offering as much as another builder, use that to your advantage and persuade them to throw it in as a means to get you to build with them.

On the 7th we also collected the following documents from Clarendon Homes:

  • Draft floor plans for our home to be built on our specified block of land
  • Brooks Reach Clarendon Home & Land flyer for the Kenthurst (which detailed some of the inclusions in out package)
  • A ‘Siting instruction’ for how our house would sit on the block of land
  • Clarendon Residential Group Privacy Statement
  • Clarendon Homes Construction Journey timeline
  • Clarendon Residential Group permission agreement for sign erection on construction site – This means Clarendon are allowed to have signage on the site as the build. It is not necessary to agree to have signage during the build, but we figure it will help keep Clarendon accountable and if any passers-by happen to notice dodgy things going on in the lot they can inform Stocklands/Council/Clarendon right away.
  • Clarendon also presented us with the ‘initial estimate’ – around $450,000 (inclusive of land and house). Right away we noticed there were a few errors in the document. Deb instructed we take it home and email back any errors or issues we had.

Here are some of the costs we had in our initial estimate:

  • Gallery façade: $5,900 (this was meant to be a free inclusion and was later rectified)
  • Automatic door opening unit for double garage: $720
  • 6.5 HP single storey AC, Brivis system $10,600
  • Melamine shelving to all robes:  $1,000
  • Double vanity in ensuite (we were later instructed our bathroom layout/size did not accommodate for a double sink. We were also told at our tender meeting a double sink would be around $1,200 not the $500 originally quoted to us by Deb.)
  • Rheem intergrit HWS $650 (control pad not included in this price)
  • Hills security system $1,420 (4 zones with 1 voicenav, 3 passive infrared detectors, 1 internal siren, external strobe and horn siren, power pack and battery back up.)
  • Stone bench top $1,500 (Actual price was $3,710 PLUS $396 for additional 300mm overhang for breakfast bar. We were really disappointed with the initial ‘estimate’ we were provided.)
  • Robe to bedroom 4: $500 (we discussed this at tender and indicated some of the plans we had showed it was included so we got it for free.)

Plus additional site costs that did not indicate a breakdown at this point.

After studying the initial estimate we emailed back our concerns to Deb and she essential just told us to take note of those things and we can clarify those at the Tender meeting. Looking back now there are a lot of things we should have got in writing that day. That’s something throughout the whole process we wished we knew from the beginning. We lost landscaping, privacy locks and various other items that were promised but never included as we didn’t have them in writing.

Woot! We’d signed the initial paperwork for our new home.

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