Tuesday, February 23, 2010

where are we?

Alright it took me while to update my blog.

What to say, I was just enjoying the Australian summer.

As for our building Adventure, this is what happened in the last few months since my last update.

December 2009:

After pushing the builder to make a start on our site, we finally had the excavation of land in the first week of the month, followed by piering & finally the slabs by the 17th of December. That was just a week before the Xmas holidays & 10 days before our deadline to meet the First home owners (FHOG) requirements.While I was happy in the end, I was disappointed with the builder in leaving things to the eleventh hour.

January 2010:

Not much happened in January as the builders were enjoying their holidays & around the end of January the Frames were delivered & finally the frames went up by the beginning of February.

February 2010:

After the frames went up in early February, Sydney was blessed with some much deserved rain for a couple of weeks which has to date stopped our project. The building supervisor called me yesterday to advise that the brickwork will start by this week. So fingers crossed again....

Friday, November 27, 2009

When do we start...?

Its been 4 weeks since Bank provided Wisdom with the final approval to start construction & 2 weeks since we finalised all paperwork with Wisdom, yet there has been no site start.

With less than 3 weeks to go before the Xmas break, I don't know what sort of work could be done before the break. Hopefully in the weeks to Xmas, if we can get the slab done I'll start believing in Santa Claus.


Saturday, October 31, 2009

Floor plans

Here it is...the floor plan for our home.

First Floor..

Ground floor..

It looks like we are about to take off the ground as the pegs were out last week, we dont know when. However happy to see some progress after six months of looking at an empty land.

more to come...

Saturday, October 17, 2009

When one door opens...one closes.

Well...its been a while and I have quite a few updates. 

The last few weeks have been eventful in that we are now very close to start our construction. After finalising our color selection, Wisdom forwarded our plans to the Ponds review panel on the 20th of July, after 2 weeks they returned our plans as they required certain kind of window  coverings as our upper storey Lounge window was overlooking our neighbours & certain definitions on the landscaping plan. After almost 4 and a half weeks our plans were finally approved by the end of August. 

Then our plans were submitted to the local Blacktown council, once again after a 4 week wait our plans were approved by the end of September. Last week, our bank valuation came good and so we can get the necessary paperwork completed in another 2 weeks to get ready for a start in early November.

While we wanted to celebrate yesterday for our progress so far, then came the bad news (not so bad). Our present residential unit has been sold and the new owners want to move in straightaway (can't blame them...after all its their new home).  So I have another 4 weeks to move out and stay in another apartment for further 6 months when our new home is getting constructed.

but still I cant complain, it could have been worse.

Whatever happened.... happened for a reason.

Happy Diwali..!

Monday, July 20, 2009

When you pay peanuts....


This week we finally got our landscaping plans organised and forwarded the same to Wisdom this morning. Wisdom in turn has already advised us that the plans have been forwarded to the design review panel.  Was impressed with both my Landscaping designer & Wisdom in the last week, for my LS designer to charge a minimal fee & to keep her word in getting the plans ready in the promised time frame & with Wisdom with their prompt communication.

But my big problem this week has to be with my Solicitor.  He charged us a minimal fee (much less than the industry norm) but getting in touch with him has always been a nightmare. On the day we were required to pay the initial settlement of 5% towards the land, I reminded my solicitor about the due date & asked him to extend the due date by a week. However he finally got the settlement done on the right time & date & forwarded me the entire paperwork for the same. On the settlement paperwork, I came across adjustments that amount to approximately $1500. While I was aware of adjustments for $750, I needed more info on the remaining amount & so I called the Solicitor and requested for an explanation but till date I havent received any.

If I get a chance to redo the whole experience, I would rather pay some more fee & get a solicitor who is more professional than my existing one. 

When you pay peanuts... you get Monkeys!

A cheap lesson learnt....

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The cafe

The cafe
This weekend, Me & H went to meet our colour consultant to finalise our colour selection for the house. We wanted to choose a brick colour that is neither too light nor too dark. Moreover we didn't want to spend extra money to upgrade the range of bricks available to us from the builders inclusive range. Finally we zeroed in on a brick that was called "latte". A coffee coloured brick was just the beginning.

With the brick finalised, we went on to choose roof, windows, Garage doors, gutter, fascia, etc. H selected a roof tile to match the brick which is called "Chocolat". Then for window frames, the colour that we choose was a beige to match the brown theme. More coffee & flat white colours were chosen for the fascia & gutter. My decision to pet name my home as "the cafe" came after H decided on Kitchen cabinets & splash-backs as they were called Cappuccino & espresso respectively. Surely I cant choose a better name than the Cafe, can I?

With my landscaping plan expected to arrive this week, Wisdom will hopefully be able to submit our plans to the Design review panel @ Ponds for approval.

more to come on the cafe...

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Thanks for visiting my blog.

My name is Bala. This Blog is to share my experiences in building our first home, look back at it on a later date to walk down the memory lane & finally I' ll have a story to tell my grand kids!

Me & my wife, H decided to build our first house rather than buy it off the market because we thought the difference would be similar to the attachment that one may have towards a knitwear that was bought from the shop and the other that was knitted by oneself.

We paid deposit for a plot of land at the Stream place in the suburb of Ponds, NSW a few months ago. Then most of the weekends were spent on visiting display homes, calculating the building costs, budgeting...increasing the budget that is, reading & listening to all the horror stories of dodgy builders, crappy building practices, etc. Finally after a bit of research we settled with Wisdom Homes to build our house and signed a contract to build a 30sq double storey home at a competitive price. I have to mention that so far our experience in dealing with Wisdom has been a pleasant one. These guys seem to be quite professional in their approach and friendly to deal with.

With our land finally settled as of last week and the building contract signed, the next few weeks will go in choosing the colours, bricks, tiles, windows et al. Then the plans will be submitted to the Ponds estate for a review before submitting to council. Overall my guess is that the construction wont begin until late September09.

 Over the next few weeks I will try to post some photos of the land, building plans, colour selection details etc for all to share my joy.

More to come....