We have decided this is the week!! We will make our decision on our builder and lock it in. At this stage its between Henley Homes and Dennis Family Homes.

Both are offering great standard inclusions and lots of extra luxury inclusions. Henley successfully confused us on floor coverings, by saying the ensuite, bathroom, laundry has standard tiles. If you just glance over the inclusion list you'll realise that carpet is not included and tiles to the rest of the house is not included. (have to read the fine print).

The same is with Dennis Family Homes, they have a current deal that includes carpet & tiles for a price, but that ends this week. After that carpet & tiles are extra!

So very important note: READ THE FINE PRINT!! The luxury inclusions always look great and shadow the inclusions that kind of matter the most!!

Stay posted!!


Further research on Ashford Homes

Posted by Cath Swan |

On further study well into the hours of early this morning, I found a few threads that disturbed me about Ashford homes, but I wanted to really read what other customers are saying as there isn't much about Ashford in reviews i've searched.

I found this thread on Homeone a home building resource website with some good customer conversations about their build process.

If you can take the word of a customer, then it appears that Ashford homes is a nightmare after you sign on the dotted line.

I'm beginning to wonder if there are any builders out there that actually do a good job and complete it when they say they will? Whatever happened to being a 'man of your word'?

Research will continue!!


Ashford Homes

Posted by Cath Swan |

Ashford Homes is a little known builder gaining more notoriety. Under the umbrella of 'Home Australia' it has been building across the country for 30 years with different company names in each state.

Ashford are custom builders and although they have standard plans, basically anything can be re-designed.

They are on the upper end scale of price and don't offer any 'specials' or upgraded inclusions, but what they do offer appears to be quality.

In our quest to find a builder, Ashford Homes is on our short list.
Expect to be updated.


Corner block & Custom builders

Posted by Cath Swan |

Custom builders are great if you have a specific idea of plans for your home. If you're happy to just go with the standard plan, any mainstream builder will help you out.

But what if you need to move walls, add a room, or fit the plan to your block? Something we have learnt along the way is that if you make too many changes to a standard plan, you need to check that you are still eligible for the luxury upgrades so many builders include in their advertising. If there are too many changes to standard plans, it's then classed as a custom build, and you may lose the luxury inclusions.

We have a corner block, its around 19m wide and 32m long, its a 600m size block. Not huge but not tiny either. But because this block is on the corner, we lose a couple of metres of the front corner.

So whatever plan we choose, it has to fit on the block with the garage to the left and enough room for the corner.

The other thing that is a requirement for having a corner block at Laurimar, is we have to address the corner. Which means that whatever facade, windows, render etc we have on the front of the house, has to carry to a certain percentage of the corner and side. This can make things a little expensive, we have to allow about $3000 to our budget just for the corner treatment. Ultimately it will look great, but it's also finding a plan that has a good corner layout to fit our particular block.

For us we are looking very hard for a custom builder who will help us to build our home and not shoot us if we want to change the plan a little. As for luxury inclusions, you don't get something for nothing, so my advice is to always read the fine print and make sure you are aware of all costs hidden or not, because luxury inclusions will have to be factored into the overall price somewhere.


The Land Has Settled

Posted by Cath Swan |

Our land in Laurimar has settled!!!

What a good feeling to know our land is approved and settled. This happened a couple of days ago, and Saturday we went out to see if the for sale sign had a 'sold' on it. Still no sign, but it was quite a liberating feeling to know this little piece of land now belongs to us.

Houses are going up very quickly around us. When we first looked at this block there were no other houses in the estate, now they're all going up very fast.

I think the time it's taking us to find a builder, we'll be some of the last to build in the estate, but I guess the perk of that is that we won't have to live through the noise of houses being built next door. (sorry to our new neighbours)!

I continue to breathe sighs of joy, everytime we visit Laurimar. It is such a beautiful estate, and they haven't even finished developing the lakes and parkland yet. It will be a very beautfiul place to see my kids grow up.


AVJennings, JGKing....

Posted by Cath Swan |

AV Jennings have been around for a very long time, I remember as a young girl moving into a rental home built by them that was only a couple of years old. Everytime the AV Jennings ad came on TV we would sing to it and be happy that we lived in one. It was a nice place to come home to.

With those memories in mind I of course have been interested in looking at 'AV' as a prospective builder. Their display homes are of course beautiful, with many designs to choose from. But are they still as good a builder as they were many years ago?

As in my previous post, we checked out 'Product Review' for anything on Av Jennings, and disappointingly it wasn't pretty. The same old story of bad salespeople, follow through, and taking ages to complete a build.

But to put things in perspective, the volume of building a company like AVJennings would have probably equates to only a few negative experiences, and 'Product Review' probably only attracts those who are bitter and twisted about their negative building experiences, and those who are very happy with their new home forget to mention their happiness and continue on with their lives.

JG King is a builder we're currently looking into. The idea of building with a steel frame compared to a timber one is interesting in itself. I was told by a friend that building with timber means a wall can never be perfectly straight, depending on the type of timber etc, and the actual builder whether your wall will be vertically perfect. But steel is steel and its only ever going to be straight. The downside to steel is you can't nail a picture hook into the timber frame, but apparently they give you special hooks for steel.

On the above 'Product Review', they had lots of reviews, and surprisingly were on average quite positive. A few niggles, and a few unhappy customers who swore to never build with them again, but after reading so many other builders, JG King actually look angelic.

Will continue to look JG king over more thoroughly.


Product Reviews..

Posted by Cath Swan |

A site we've found very useful, but also enough to put you off building, is a site called 'Product Review'. There you can find practically any builder on the market and comments from customers who have dealt with them. And believe me it is not pretty.

Builder after building company is spread across this site, with tales of shoddy workmanship, contracts and red tape that take months, desolate building sites, and promised dreams never delivered.

I think maybe the building industry needs to take a good hard look at themselves and deliver what they promise. After all building a home is one of the most major decisions you will make in your life and surely it should be a much calmer experience.

It seems that with most of the reviews of building companies the incompetence comes from salespeople that don't tell you the whole truth, through to the builders, and then back to the sales contact staff once construction has started.

If I could find a building company that was consistent from start to finish I would write endlessly about them, and I know that people talk, which would cause more business to come their way.

One thing I know, you treat people badly they will talk, but if you treat people with kindness and give them more than what they want, they will also talk... very well!