Monday, 11 March 2013

The Joys of Building Your Own Home #sarcasmfont

You know going into building your own home that it's not going to be a straight forward process, but the heady promise of getting your dream home just the way YOU want it quickly drowns out the 100s of horror stories you are told by everyone from your closest friends (helloooo Clever Baker Friend!) to the random lady sitting next to you at the hairdressers. 

Yeah, yeah, it's complicated, and it will cost way more than we first thought, but it will so worth it in the end. 

It can't seriously be that bad or people wouldn't keep doing it, and doing it more than once (kind of like child birth really).

How else are you going to find the house you really want?

You only ever hear the bad stories, these builder's must get it right occasionally or they wouldn't still be operating.




So off we go to begin our search for the ideal floor plan. Armed with a pretty clear idea of what we DON'T want, it became a quick process of elimination. 
  • No, I do not want the Master Bedroom right next to the other Bedroom's.
  • No, I do not want an open ensuite so I can wave at Mr Bond from the bed while he goes about his morning business.
  • No, I do not want the Main Bathroom at the opposite end of the house from the Entertaining spaces so everyone has to wander through the whole house to have a wee.
  • No, I do not want a crazy useless diagonal wall cutting my bedroom in half to fit a study in.
  • No, I do not want the laundry nestled in between the kids bedrooms so the sound of my front loading washing machine can keep them up at night.
  • No, I do not want a Home Theatre room to be directly next to my Family room that will also have a TV. Cubicle living, much?
Do these designers actually understand the basic principles of living in a house with other people?!? 

As I re-read that I am aware that my issue's seem largely based on sound transference. Maybe I just need to learn to shut the hell up... moving right along.

Mr Bond was reluctant to have to actually visit any of the display homes unless we were certain we liked the layout first, which proved difficult given that you can't really tell what the house will look like from a black and white outline on screen and as savvy as I am with a tape measure, it is impossible to gauge dimensions off a basic sketch. 

Eventually I convinced him to come and look at some homes with me. Knowing that display x was the only one likely to be within our budget, I had no intention of looking at the other much larger ones next door, but when Mr Bond marched in there I just shrugged and followed with a concealed smirk on my face awaiting his reaction.

Now we have a problem.

THIS house is exactly what we wanted, without us even realising it until we were standing in it. It covered everything we had on our wish list and more. The layout made sense. There was doors on the toilets, wall set microwaves away from pesky toddlers, a walk in pantry large enough for me to hide in all day and open, flowing indoor/outdoor transitions that gave us the light-filled, casual, welcoming space we wanted so badly.

So what's the problem?

It's only about $60,000 over budget.


Deflated but determined, I had spent countless hours searching online, visiting displays and updating my comparison spreadsheet in the hope that I will find a more dollar friendly alternative, but try as I might, nothing was coming close.

So what does one do when faced with such a situation? Well, around here we tend to take the head in the sand approach. Go off and have a baby, enjoy Christmas with our family, spend time at the beach, all the while dismissing any questions from our friends about how the house was going.


What house?

Oh yeah, we should probably do something about that.

During that period of procrastination though, something magical happened. The builder completed a new display home with an only slightly smaller version of the home we so desired and suddenly the price was within our reach. Our reach may or may not have stretched somewhat during that time too as Mr Bond we became more realistic about the cost of building such a large home...

But all that time was not wasted. While we were unable to find a suitable layout, we had managed to agree on an awful lot of other vital parts of the building process, like bench tops, paint colours and ducting. Once things finally start moving, we don't want anything to stall due to our indecisiveness (we will have enough delays just with builder/contractor/council issues)

So now we are waiting rather impatiently for our preliminary plans to be finalised so we can submit to council. HOORAY! External colour selections and materials have been locked in, flooring choices are all but confirmed and we hope that all (or at least most) of the variations we wanted to make have already been identified. 

So if anyone is looking for me, you will most likely find me buried under 5000 variations of white and beige paint chips.

Seriously, how are there so many versions of WHITE?!?

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