Brooks Reach Building adventure

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

One year later …

Tomorrow marks the anniversary of getting the keys to our beautiful home, so i thought it would be fun to do a short post on what it’s been like living in beautiful Brooks Reach.

Brooks Reach CollageAs you can see, Brooks Reach is stunning; especially at sunset (or sunrise if you’re really keen!)

We’ve met a few more of our neighbours. The park is a great facilitator for this with well maintained grassy areas and bbqs perfect for a weekend get-together. A group of people from the estate all met together just before Christmas for nibbles and a further ‘getting to know you’. This was all arranged on our awesome forum thread on Homeone. Including all the lovely people we’ve met around Brooks reach there are also these regular inhabitants:

Duckies

There’s ducks, possums, bats and even a few snakes in the woodland reserve area. Just be careful of that during the summer months out here in Horsley; snakes and redbacks. Yikes!

A few weeks after we moved in we had our landscaping and driveway completed by Glenn (let me know if you’d like his details).

DiggerRetaining wall

Driveway

And our fences were installed by Made to Measure Fencing (you can find them on facebook. Steve is a great man). The winds have been pretty strong and noisy particularly over the last two months. We’ve been using ‘white noise’ to try and help us sleep through the night.

Our beautiful lillypilly tree is also growing. I can’t wait for the one out the front to really take off and provide a bit more privacy to the place too.

We celebrated our first Christmas in the house. It was lovely to see so many people with wreaths and Christmas lights up around the estate 🙂 Such an awesome family-friendly place.

But I think the most exciting news so far is that this December we will be welcoming a beautiful new addition to our family!

BABY!!!

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Additional quotes (Third party)

I thought I’d put together a blog post to share all the additional quotes Hubby and I have sourced to complete our home building experience. We have sought quotes for:

Blinds/Flyscreens
Driveway
Carpet/Tile
Air Conditioning (ducted)

We will also need to source quotes for landscaping including decking, retaining walls, fencing and turf. The contacts we have established so far are: http://www.turfco.com.au/products-services/buy-turf, http://www.cobbittyturf.com.au/index, http://www.iturf.com.au, http://www.paperbarkland.com.au/contact.html and http://www.harboursidelandscaping.com.au

Blinds/Flyscreens

Wynstan
Flyscreens: 12 standard flyscreen with normal fibreglass mesh $540 less 10% discount = $486 installed
12 flyscreens with aluminium mesh (level 1 rating) $648 less 10% discount = $584 installed
12 flyscreens with fire mesh stainless steel (level 1, 2, 3 rating) $948 less 10% discount – $854 installed
*These quotes are based off standard colour flyscreen frames
We ended up putting a deposit down on our flyscreens/shutters with Wynstan on Thursday 27th June. Paul gave us a 10% discount on everything which is a great saving!!!
For $1600 we are getting
12 9mm flyscreens (black) with aluminium mesh
1 sliding screen door (black) with mid rail and aluminium mesh
1 hinged screen door (black) with midrail, lock, aluminium mesh, door closer and bug seal
Panel Glide blind in Mercury Snow (translucent)
Shutters and supply + install $8364
7 sets of hinged basswood plantation shutters in ‘Antique White’, 19 door panels with 89mm width blades

Kresta
Quote for PVC venetians in ensuite + bathroom, panel glide blind for meals room and cellular blinds for other rooms here.
Quote for Roman Blinds + PVC blinds for bathrooms
Bed1 – Roman Blackout BASIC GRADE 1 FABRIC = 362.00 + $10.00 ( fitting) = $372.00 – 40%off
Bed2 – Roman Blackout =223.00 + $10.00 (fitting ) = $233.00 “”
Bed3 – Roman Blackout =223.00 + $10.00 (fitting) = $233.00 “”
Bed4 – Roman Blackout =223.00 + $10.00 (fitting) = $233.00 “”
Meals – Roman Non-Blackout =280.00 + $10.00 (fitting) = $290.00 “”
Family- Roman Non-Blackout =386.00 + $10.00 (fitting) = $396.00 “”
Meals Door- Nothing
Media – Roman Blackout =386.00 + $10.00 (fitting) = $396.00 “”
Ens-Ecowood PVC 50mm =242.00 + $10.00 (fitting) = $252.00 “”
Bath- Ecowood PVC 50mm =204.00 + $10.00 (fitting) = $214.00 “”
Quote for Shutters/PVC shutters
Bed1 – Timber Shutter – $984.00
Bed2 – Timber Shutter – $589.00
Bed3 – Timber Shutter – $589.00
Bed4 – Timber Shutter – $589.00
Meals – Timber Shutter – $816.00
Family – Timber Shutter – $1310.00
Media – Timber Shutter – $1179.00
+ a fitting and check measure charge of $ 66.00 for all shutters
Bed1 – PVC (Alicore) Shutter – $937.00
Bed2 – PVC (Alicore) Shutter – $561.00
Bed3 – PVC (Alicore) Shutter – $561.00
Bed4 – PVC (Alicore) Shutter – $561.00
Meals – PVC (Alicore) Shutter – $777.00
Family – PVC (Alicore) Shutter – $1248.00
Media – PVC (Alicore) Shutter – $1123.00
+ a fitting and check measure charge of $ 66.00 for all PVC shutters

Bayside Doors (Plantation shutters, Flyscreens and sliding door) Quote

Shutters Australia Quote
Thank you for the opportunity to quote on your house plans for plantation shutters. I have priced for Kiri painted plantation shutters. Kiri is a hardwood highly coated in polyurethane and resistant to heat. Kiri is a plantation grown timber we manufacture ourselves.
Price is inclusive of GST and free installation. You have a lifetime warranty on installation and componentry and a three year warranty on the paint finish. Should you wish to proceed with ordering a deposit of a third of the total is required and a check measure by our installers will be arranged to re check the measurements, colour selection and layout will be finalised at this visit. The balance is payable once installation is completed. We also have a showroom in Castle Hill should you wish to see our products on display, but I am aware you are south of Sydney and may be a fair way for you to travel.
Shutters are approximately 8 weeks from the time of the check measure.
Please do not hesitate to call or email me if you have any questions.

South Coast Floor Coverings
Fauxwood Shutters with install included was priced at $9063.00

ARK finishing touches (the original Quote from the company Clarendon uses)

Driveway

We sourced local driveway companies through various means including serviceseeking.com and using this list I found on the Wollongong Council website. It has all the certified concrete contractors in Wollongong region.
When contacting the various companies about driveway quotes we made sure to include a copy of our rough Landscape Plan as well as the most up-to-date layout of our lot. We This is the email we sent out:
“The width of our proposed driveway is about 5.7 m and the length from the garage to the street is about 5.5 m. We’d need crossover-to-kerb included and anything else needed for a driveway to a brand new house. We’d also like a path from the driveway to the front patio, my rough estimates puts that at a quarter-circle shaped path with the circle’s radius being about 1m.
I’ve attached an initial plan of the house of the block that we were given by our builder and the landscape plan that shows a more easy to see drawing of what we’re after. We’re no longer having them install the letterbox, so there’s no need for the curve in the driveway as they had in the site plan. The site plan is useful for measurements but the landscape plan is useful for design.
We’re also open to suggestions about other concreted areas that might improve the look/functionality of our yards, but at the very least we’d like a formal quote for the driveway and path to entry in both stencilled and plain concrete.”
Landscape plan watermark
This is the type of driveway we’d like in CCS pewter or similar
driveway patternDriveway sampleconcrete_brick_border_fs

Driveway Quotes

Fassone Concreating: Yvonne: Yvonne@fassoneconcrete.com.au Quote
Wilsons concreting & Resurfacing: Shane: scwilson161@live.com Quote

Leisure Coast Concrete Constructions Pty Ltd ANTHONY TOZZI mail@anythinginconcrete.com.au
Quotation for concrete driveway and council crossing
Price for Stencilled concrete is $6,980 + GST
Price in Plain Concrete is $5,840 + GST
This price includes:
submit a council application;
excavation to the driveway and council crossing;
supply and place one layer of SL72 Mesh;
supply and place 100mm thick concrete to the driveway and path and 150mm thick for the council crossing;
supply the stencil, colour and sealer for a stencilled finish.
This price does not include to removed excavated debris from site.

TOTAL CONCRETING Anton D’Amico totalconcreting@hotmail.com Quote
My name is Anton D’Amico and I’m the managing director of Total Concreting. If you can give me to the weekend I’ll have something typed up and sent to you. I understand that at this stage your most likely looking for quotes to satisfy your bank so I’m happy to prepare one for you. However please know that an accurate quote will only come after the home is constructed and a design can be conceived. Here at Total Concreting we are excellent at designing shapes, lines and finishes to suit the decor of the home. Take a look at the digital flyer attached and you expect your quote by the weekend.
Thank you for contacting us and if there’s anything we can do to aid you in your construction please don’t hesitate to call or email me. Kind regards, Anton. TOTAL CONCRETING – 0400003237

People we contacted but didn’t get formal quotes from (there are about 20 others I haven’t posted here. If you want our complete list please let me know):

Craig Callahan ccccalla013@gmail.com
At this point it is a little difficult to give a formal quote,what i see is you have about 50m of concreting to be done out the front,witch will cost approx $4,000 -$4,500. You may like to consider concrete at side of house or a garden shed.It would be in your favour to contact me when the job is near ready.

Concept Concreting: Vinnie concept@streettalk.net.au
Vinnie sent an email with LOTS of pictures and the info below. We emailed him back and provided him with our number but didn’t hear from him.
Thank you for email please give me your phone number as I have a few questions to ask you, I really need to see the job site as to make the quotation more relevant meanwhile here are a few examples of some of our jobs. Please keep in mind the finish you pick will effect the quotation If you would like to see any finishers let us know and it won’t be a problem to take you to any job we’ve done. Please reply if you get all the pics as I changed the files size. Scroll down all the way to the bottom Please call me Vinnie on 0418603001 and we’ll arrange a time if you want to see any jobs. Call me anytime if you have any other questions. Regards Vinnie 0418603001

We posted a quote request on Serviceseeking.com.au and found the below quote to be useless!
$4,500.00 – $12,000.00 for JOB #649210 – Concreting | Horsley
It depends on size color stencil or plain concrete and also excavation and tipping fees if you have a plan please forward to sho75875@bigpond.net.au thanks gordon and sue 0427351120

Gary Heiler flashflooring.au@gmail.com – Gary just sent us a flyer, essential a form letter
Hi Gary from flash flooring here.
Flash flooring is a new age flooring company offering you an alternative choice to the run of the mill floors. Our floors will impress and outlast all traditional floor coverings. Fast becoming the “in” floors of the 21st century.

Magic Concreting info@magicconcrete.com.au – We contacted Magic again but never heard back from them
We work on a sq mtr rate for concrete work Plain concrete is priced on $68 per sq Colour concrete is priced @ 90 & stamped or stencil is @ $100 plus site preparation & tipfees. would be best to have a look when house is nearly done hope this helps you. cheers lee (magic concrete)

Carpet & Tiling

South Coast Floor Coverings Quote We have chosen to go with South Coast flooring for both our tiles and carpet. We have made arrangements for them to be onsite for a check-measure once the skirting has been laid. The colour of our carpet will also be liquid silver, not loft.

Original quote from Accent Carpets, the company Clarendon uses. Quote

Amber Tiles Quote

Air Conditioning (ducted)

We knew early on that we didn’t want to pay $10,500 for a dodgy brivis system from Clarendon so we contacted a few local companies and decided on T.C air. The other companies we contacted were: http://www.alpineaircon.com.au, http://www.rapidcool.com.au, http://www.coralair.com.au, http://www.illawarrawollongongairconditioning.com.au, http://www.seabreeze.net.au

Chris from T.C air and his family are lovely and we’re so happy to be supporting a local Illawarra business. Though we did pay to have 3 phase power installed to the house we are only going with a single phase unit. Chris estimates that if we went with a 3 phase system we’d be saving around $20 every 500 hours the unit runs. This is the original Air Con quote and this is the Invoice we have submitted to our bank. You can see that there is a special on which makes it a tiny bit cheaper than we initially thought. WIN!

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Apparently no one wants us to have a driveway!

It’s true. Or at least it feels like it. No one wants us to have a driveway.

Building your own home (especially your first one!) is meant to be a grand adventure, but at the moment we’re experiencing a lot of frustration – all over a little driveway!

March 10th we visited our lot to prep it for site excavation. We found this little surprise:

tree Wollongong Council had planted a tree at the front of our lot. Normally it wouldn’t be a big issue, BUT it has been planted right where our future driveway will be. We have had our house AND landscape plans sorted since January 2012. Our plans had been approved by Stockland (our developer) and Local Group (the company responsible for our Complying Development Certificate) prior to this tree being planted.

So why was it planted? We have no idea. I mean we assume that it’s to beautify the area, though it would have been nice to have been approached by council OR Stockland before they decided to plant a tree here. It’s also frustrating too as we don’t know what type of tree it is AND as part of our developer guidelines we need to comply with we have to plant TWO native trees in our yard post build anyway. FRUSTRATING!

We have been following this issue up with council and Local Group over the past month. Council’s feedback was ”Normally the removal or relocation of a street tree is considered as part of the DA process. If approval is granted appropriate conditions will be attached to the DA consent such as the following condition. “Compensatory Street Tree Provision  – Prior to the issue of an Occupation Certificate the developer must make compensatory provision for the existing street tree required to be removed as a result of the development.  In this regard, a mature plant stock of the same maturity and species shall be placed in an appropriate location on the road reserve.” As your dwelling was approved as Complying Development you should contact the Private Certifier appointed for the construction of your dwelling house to ensure all necessary approvals have been obtained including the street tree removal.”

So the next step was contacting Local. We sent various emails as it was something we needed to have in writing. After no response and several days passed, B called and spoke to Karen at the Wollongong office. She said that they had received our emails and that the person responsible for our CDC had been on site and done an inspection but had then passed our file back to her without letting us know anything. Karen said she would put it back on his desk to prompt a response (he could have at least called us though, right?!)
Again we waited. Another week passed and B called again. After 8 minutes on hold he was told someone would call him back shortly. Eventually the CDC man called and his response was that:

  • whether we remove the tree now or later it won’t hold up construction process.
  • removing the tree won’t be problem with him or Council as he is the one to sign off on the compliance of the lot and it doesn’t bother him if we remove it.
  • he suggested we could try and move it if we wanted but he didn’t think it would survive transplanting.
  • we can plant a new tree if we like, but we do not have to.

So i guess that’s some good news, though now we have to try and get it in writing from him. We don’t want to pull it out and then be hit with a fine or told we had to replant it or something.

External Drainage Installed
On the 12th April the external drainage for our home was installed. This included a 450mm storm water pit to the front of our house.. Right where our driveway will run! No one wants us to have a driveway!

stormwater pit FRUSTRATING!! So we actually knew that Clarendon would be installing a stormwater pit as it was part of the hydraulics report but we didn’t know where it was going to go as it was never indicated on any of our plans. The picture doesn’t show the location but it’s to the left edge of where the driveway will be poured. What we want to know, and what we’ve brought up with Clarendon, is why is it installed where the driveway will obviously be? Why were we never asked about where we’d like it to be, or at least told or shown on a plan that it would be installed there!!

Not only will it look ugly but it’ll make the price of pouring our driveway go up as extra care will need to be taken when pouring/stencilling etc. We will also need to ensure the drain is safe to drive over and if not, potentially pay to upgrade it. There is also the thought we may even have to have an ugly curved driveway to compensate. The fact the drain is so visible and near the front of the lot will hurt re-sale value too. I understand of course that it’s good for our driveway and lot to have the drainage but our frustration is just that it’s not in an ideal location and there was no communication with us about this!

B has tried talking to the SS but he said it can’t be moved and ‘it shouldn’t affect our driveway’, though we have visited the lot a few times now after the pit was installed and we are pretty sure it will. Whilst visiting the site we also noticed the sewer inspection outlet had been raised considerably.Sewer Inspection Outlet

The SS advised that it can be raised or lowered and we are even allowed to put a bird bath or something easily moveable on top of it. No real issues there. I think it’s just raised at the moment so they don’t damage the area surrounding it during the build.

We were going to measure the distance of the stormwater pit in relation to the garage today BUT (in good news) our frames were delivered yesterday so that prevented access. Aren’t they beautiful?!!

frames; blog

Frames

 Frames

If the rain holds off next week they should take 2-3 days to install 🙂 Bring on lock up stage!!!

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