Login Now to remove this and all advertisements (GOLD and SILVER members)
Not a member? Register Now for free

Building a Home

samh004

Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 1, 2009
Messages
19,135
Solutions
7
Points
1,560
Qantas
Platinum
Virgin
Red
It seems everyone is building a home these days, there's perhaps nothing else to spend money on, so @frankie and I have decided to do the same. We almost bought an existing house, but the building and pest didn't pan out for us so we opted to withdraw the offer. After more searching and touring some display homes, we ended up deciding that a new build would suit us much more than an old build with unknown problems.

Our land settles next week, just a small block (14m x 30m) as I have decided that I'm not good with garden upkeep over the last 5 years at my current home. We've also chosen a single level house, which means we're losing a lot of the land to the back but we feel the layout inside will be nicer. This all plays into not having a big backyard though, which means less work for me.

IMG_3232.jpg

The builder is Brighton, as we liked their floor plan the best, and we've already locked in the layout with a few changes (butlers pantry, larger walk-in-robe). Our first design/colour meeting is this week. They also had some good inclusions at the time we signed the contract.
 
Last edited:

samh004

Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 1, 2009
Messages
19,135
Solutions
7
Points
1,560
Qantas
Platinum
Virgin
Red
I think the floor plan is important, but don't want anyone to get too caught up in the details that we're building a 4 bedroom house and there's only two of us (plus two greyhounds). It seemed unless we really downsized to a cramped tiny house, there wasn't a lot of savings to be made by reducing the number of bedrooms... or living rooms.

Screen_Shot_2020-07-07_at_11_11_26_pm.png

As mentioned, we had some changes made, and these are noted on two different drawings currently.

images.png

A flipped image (our garage will be on the right, instead of the left) of the expansion to the walk-in-wardrobe, made possible thanks to the removal of a hallway linen closet (relocated to the laundry broom closet instead).
 

samh004

Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 1, 2009
Messages
19,135
Solutions
7
Points
1,560
Qantas
Platinum
Virgin
Red
One of the things we really liked about what Brighton was offering were the two levels of inclusions, Studio and Gallery. I'm not sure how we ended up with the Gallery range, but some of the features to look forward to are:
  • Flooring: a range of tiles or timber laminate throughout the homes main living spaces (we are unsure which direction we will be going yet as we do have two greyhounds with long nails who like to run, not walk), tiles to wet areas and carpet to bedrooms/media rooms.
  • Solar: a free 6.5KW solar system installed with the caveat that you buy power from a certain provider (Powershop) for the first 5 years (note: nothing stopping us from using our own power provider straight away, but we don't benefit from the solar for 5 years).
  • Kitchen: 40mm Caeserstone (quartz) island bench and 20mm to the rest of the kitchen in a range of colours. Tiled splashback. All cupboards are soft close. Walk-in-pantry off the butlers pantry (incl. sink and power). Free upgrade to Fisher & Paykel appliances including a 900mm freestanding gas cooker, canopy rangehood, microwave with trim kit, a double dishdrawer and a bonus matching fridge to complete the look. I'm told gas is the way to go – even though I just finished learning induction!!
  • Bathrooms: 20mm Caeserstone (quartz) again, semi-frameless showers with tiles and recessed shelves and a double vanity in ensuite.
  • General: ceiling height is 2590mm, Clipsal iconic switches throughout, Colorbond roof and a 4 Zone Reverse Cycle Ducted Air Conditioning unit is included.
Of course, there are always things that aren't included as well, that we'll also have to look forward to the cost of buying separately. Some of these are:
  • Rear landscaping;
  • Fencing – though told we can offset this by sharing the cost with our 3 neighbours when they build;
  • Blinds/curtains covering windows – if we don't want to be on display.
 
Vinomofo is the best wine deals site on the planet. Good wines, real people and epic deals, without all the bowties and bs.

Recommended by the Australian Frequent Flyer

love_the_life

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2012
Messages
6,497
Points
1,120
Congratulations - it all looks fabulous. Hope the build goes smoothly for you two. Looking forward to hearing and seeing more. Love the design of the home - separate secondary bedroom area is great. Can shut off areas you don't use often.
 

samh004

Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 1, 2009
Messages
19,135
Solutions
7
Points
1,560
Qantas
Platinum
Virgin
Red
Congratulations - it all looks fabulous. Hope the build goes smoothly for you two. Looking forward to hearing and seeing more. Love the design of the home - separate secondary bedroom area is great. Can shut off areas you don't use often.
Probably great for kids, but unsure we want to leave our dogs unsupervised in that area of the house too often ;)
 

p--and--t

Established Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2008
Messages
3,420
Solutions
1
Points
985
Qantas
Bronze
Virgin
Red
Congrats. Always exciting going through a new build.

Have you given any thought to incorporating a panel of glass blocks in the garage wall giving natural light most of the day and night (sun/moon light)

Most builders don't incorporate enough powerpoints to cover all the areas you might want to put a stereo, appliance or plug in a vacuum cleaner etc. Much cheaper to get it done as a part of the build than retrofitting later.
 
Last edited:

samh004

Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 1, 2009
Messages
19,135
Solutions
7
Points
1,560
Qantas
Platinum
Virgin
Red
How you given any thought to incorporating a panel of glass blocks in the garage wall giving natural light most of the day and night (sun/moon light)
I wish I'd thought of that before locking in the design a couple weeks ago. I guess you mean like these ones? Home - Glass Brick Company

I believe there might be quite an expensive charge to modify the design after it has been locked in, even for something that seems trivial.

That said, like many AFF members I will need a wine storage spot and we had tentatively chosen two walls of the garage for this purpose, as we only have one car, but some bikes (e-bike) and wine that we'd like to store. Less light is probably better for that, but I take your point that natural light is infinitely better than flicking a switch.
Most builders don't incorporate enough powerpoints to cover all the areas you might want to put a stereo, appliance or plug in a vacuum cleaner etc. Much cheaper to get it done as a part of the build than retrofitting later.
When we were signing contracts they suggested we allow for at least $5000 of electrical changes in the cost, so we did. We can already see where most of this is going to be eaten up, such as replacing standard light batten holders with down lights and in a few spots upgrading a single double-powerpoint to two with/without USB... or as we have already discovered in the garage, a single-powerpoint to a double-powerpoint. We definitely want to get electrical right the first time!

Something I am already contemplating is whether or not I should turn the media room into a home theatre with projector – and thus put power points in the appropriate places for when I can afford a projector (such as in the middle of a wall at the top) along with appropriately sized HDMI cables that connect to nothing. They'll cost a fair chunk of money and do nothing for a while, so it's something I have to justify.
 

samh004

Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 1, 2009
Messages
19,135
Solutions
7
Points
1,560
Qantas
Platinum
Virgin
Red
If you have plenty of time to spare there is a pretty good summary of prompts in post 625 of this thread View topic - Things you forget - summary page 32 • Home Renovation & Building Forum
That's quite extensive! Thanks.

We had our first 'open studio' appointment today where we were shown basically everything that is standard. This gave us some good ideas to start with and we feel we've already got some idea of the direction we will be going, both inside and outside, as far as choices go. Unfortunately, the next appointment where we lock in our choices is not for over 4 weeks... but that should give us time to think and hopefully not go mad. Below are some of those ideas.

Pale-Eucalypt.jpg
Pale Eucalypt for the roof/garage door

p-LX-ColourCollection-Terril-RGB-1200x1200-LR.jpg-748Wx748H.jpeg
Terril Natural for waist high cabinetry in the kitchen

exposed_tiger.jpg
Holcim Tiger for the driveway
 

p--and--t

Established Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2008
Messages
3,420
Solutions
1
Points
985
Qantas
Bronze
Virgin
Red
a single-powerpoint to a double-powerpoint.

I can never fathom why on earth builders still think it is ok to install single GPOs. the difference in cost is a couple dollars with no additional labour. To replace them later (with licenced electrician) can be hundreds.
 

samh004

Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 1, 2009
Messages
19,135
Solutions
7
Points
1,560
Qantas
Platinum
Virgin
Red
I can never fathom why on earth builders still think it is ok to install single GPOs. the difference in cost is a couple dollars with no additional labour. To replace them later (with licenced electrician) can be hundreds.
There are a few exclusions we have been left scratching our heads over... but I guess it's all part of the process to charge the client more. Not sure it will lead to a more favourable review at the end though... the more penny pinching they are.
 

Lynda2475

Established Member
Joined
May 1, 2009
Messages
1,622
Solutions
1
Points
585
Qantas
Gold
Virgin
Red
can never fathom why on earth builders still think it is ok to install single GPOs. the difference in cost is a couple dollars with no additional labour

And in lounge rooms they need to be putting quad points in at a minimum to cover TV, Sound Bar, PVR/Chrmoecast, Router, Modem etc
 

blackcat20

Enthusiast
Joined
Jan 7, 2011
Messages
11,980
Points
1,520
I can never fathom why on earth builders still think it is ok to install single GPOs. the difference in cost is a couple dollars with no additional labour. To replace them later (with licenced electrician) can be hundreds.
Thank goodness I married a sparky!

Can definitely recommend extra power points. Particularly in the kitchen, and on the ends of the island bench. Standard seems to be one power point for the entire kitchen.

Consider soft close drawers if they arent included. Only our pot drawers are and I wish I'd had it added to others now that I have a toddler who likes to get her fingers jammed.

We've got laminate flooring and it holds up fairly well to dog claws, though it does chip if you drop things on it. I have a bad habit of dropping saucepan lids side on....
 

samh004

Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 1, 2009
Messages
19,135
Solutions
7
Points
1,560
Qantas
Platinum
Virgin
Red
And in lounge rooms they need to be putting quad points in at a minimum to cover TV, Sound Bar, PVR/Chrmoecast, Router, Modem etc
We had already thought of this. As standard they will allow for two antenna ports through the house (our choosing where); so the current plan is that the main living space with dining, living, kitchen and access to the outside space will have a simple TV and sound bar setup, only taking free-to-air. We'll probably use our existing Smart TV, but if we bought a new one in the future, the apps that are now bundled should cover the gamut of internet streaming services we'd be after. As such, we'd only need the standard double-powerpoint behind this TV.

On the other hand, in the media room – as my mind slowly whirls into the dream setup with a projector – we'd be looking at cables and power pre-installed on opposite sides of the room to plug and play the projector when we got to that stage. This is where I'd plug in game consoles, Apple TV's and other assorted IOT-devices.

I believe the NBN will arrive into the garage, and I have no issue setting up a router with a mesh-network throughout the house starting there.
Can definitely recommend extra power points. Particularly in the kitchen, and on the ends of the island bench.
Island bench (power points) are definitely something we are considering. Unsure if we want them on the end (and sitting out) or hidden under the breakfast bar – what are your thoughts on placement? I believe the kitchen already comes with 4 plugs (two at each end) and the butlers pantry comes with an additional 2 plugs. We've slowly added to our collection of devices that draw power over the years and currently have:
  • Toaster
  • Kettle
  • Nespresso machine
  • Milk frother
  • KitchenAid
  • Sous Vide
If I've forgotten anything, this means we've already run out of ports... I guess we do have a vacuum sealing machine but I wouldn't necessarily use that at the same time as the Sous Vide, more like one before/after the other.
Consider soft close drawers if they arent included.
All cupboards and drawers are soft-close, house-wide. :)
We've got laminate flooring and it holds up fairly well to dog claws, though it does chip if you drop things on it. I have a bad habit of dropping saucepan lids side on....
That is good information to know... now I just have to consider the colour! Decisions, decisions. :p
 

blackcat20

Enthusiast
Joined
Jan 7, 2011
Messages
11,980
Points
1,520
Island bench (power points) are definitely something we are considering. Unsure if we want them on the end (and sitting out) or hidden under the breakfast bar – what are your thoughts on placement? I believe the kitchen already comes with 4 plugs (two at each end) and the butlers pantry comes with an additional 2 plugs. We've slowly added to our collection of devices that draw power over the years and currently have:
  • Toaster
  • Kettle
  • Nespresso machine
  • Milk frother
  • KitchenAid
  • Sous Vide
If I've forgotten anything, this means we've already run out of ports... I guess we do have a vacuum sealing machine but I wouldn't necessarily use that at the same time as the Sous Vide, more like one before/after the other.

We have ours on the ends of the island, and they each have 2 USB plugs so that we dont lose valuable plugs to phone chargers. So total of 8 plugs and 4 USB ports in the kitchen.

(and sorry if this duplicates, it seems to have eaten my post)
 

moa999

Enthusiast
Joined
Jun 23, 2003
Messages
11,511
Solutions
1
Points
1,200
can never fathom why on earth builders still think it is ok to install single GPOs. the difference in cost is a couple dollars with no additional labour.

Profit from variations.

Along with the electrical cabling, think about home networking. Where's the NBN entry point? Where will router be.

Common these days seems to put much of this in the garage. In which case I'd want at a minimum network points in the Office, Entertainment Room, Family Room, Activity Room - basically anywhere you might want a TV/Computer in the future, plus probably have an AP in the Activity Room to provide coverage to the rear. Much better than mesh if you can do it at this stage.

On Gas/Induction, if that Gas stove is the only gas appliance then better to go induction and save the costs of gas install and monthly service charge. If you've also got gas hot water then different.
 

samh004

Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 1, 2009
Messages
19,135
Solutions
7
Points
1,560
Qantas
Platinum
Virgin
Red
Along with the electrical cabling, think about home networking. Where's the NBN entry point? Where will router be.
I believe the entry point will be garage, and thus that's where my router will live. If it's elsewhere, I also wont mind, so long as it doesn't live in the bedroom with its flashing lights keeping me awake!
Common these days seems to put much of this in the garage. In which case I'd want at a minimum network points in the Office, Entertainment Room, Family Room, Activity Room - basically anywhere you might want a TV/Computer in the future, plus probably have an AP in the Activity Room to provide coverage to the rear. Much better than mesh if you can do it at this stage.
When you say network points, do you mean ethernet ports? If so, I can't actually recall the last time I used one and none of my current computers have the port available... would need to buy an adapter/dongle. As most other IOT-devices can run on wifi, I'm not sure the value in paying for cabling? Could go either way with mesh vs. range extenders, whatever works best for the house. Certainly don't plan to plug in a house phone either. ;)
On Gas/Induction, if that Gas stove is the only gas appliance then better to go induction and save the costs of gas install and monthly service charge. If you've also got gas hot water then different.
I had been worried about the service charge for gas, as mentioned, but the appliance is a freestanding over/stove and it's a large one (900mm wide) so I have been swayed to the fact it might be a useful (free) upgrade to take up over the standard options. I can't tell you how often I have run out of space in my standard 600mm oven.

That said, I do know it is possible to upgrade to gas hot water and would be open to the possibility if the consensus is that it makes more sense? As I understand it, there's a line to the house, so no chance of running out of gas in a large bottle like I have seen elsewhere. Our current electricity bills (with electric hot water) come to about $250 a quarter, but we do have a modest solar system as well. As the new build will come with a free 6.5KW solar system, I'm not sure the cost to heat water is going to bother me too much if using electricity, but I am open to others input, having never considered it myself before.
 

Hvr

Enthusiast
Joined
Jun 27, 2007
Messages
10,425
Solutions
2
Points
1,335
Qantas
Platinum
As such, we'd only need the standard double-powerpoint behind this TV.


Double that at a bare minimum. Always better to have a spare than to be putting in power boards.

Also consider the height of power points. As you get older do you want to be reaching down to the grown, no matter how infrequently?

And that leads into other things, consider if the house set up would suit you in 20-30-40 years time as your mobility decreases.

Determine what height you want things such as the basin, kitchen benches etc. If you're slightly taller than a very short person then you always have to bend over. Since this is your for ever home you want it set up for you.

I know that with my bathroom renovations 2+ years ago ensuring that the basin was set up for my height is awesome.
 

p--and--t

Established Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2008
Messages
3,420
Solutions
1
Points
985
Qantas
Bronze
Virgin
Red
  • Toaster
  • Kettle
  • Nespresso machine
  • Milk frother
  • KitchenAid
  • Sous Vide

Cordless landline telephone charger/stand
Mobile phone charger
Microwave
Spare plug for mix-master/handheld beater
(not our place, but some) Small TV/monitor to watch the news while cooking or look up recipes
 

Community Statistics

Threads
86,600
Messages
2,099,729
Members
53,907
Latest member
nhandinhbongda
Top