The week leading up to our contract signing and pre-start appointment was honestly, the most stressful, time consuming and mentally challenging. Having 6 days to read through a contract, see drafting and specifications was cut short with taking on last minute extra shifts at work and caring for mr. 7 month old who has two 40 minute naps a day. It was quite a challenge and combined with my usual broken sleep, stress and waiting for emails it was both mentally and physically demanding. The morning of our appointment I had a massive headache from the night before but thankfully a panadol and coffee pre, our pre start appointment worked.
First was the contract signing, it is a standard H.I.A contract which gave us a little less of a worry and the colour, electrical and upgrading can and will be added after the contract in variations. Keep in mind structural variations are locked in at P.W.C. stage so you can’t obviously move walls or change facades. After we were content withthe contract it was signed. We filled out a little survey whilst our copy of the contract was getting bound and the nerves undid a little .
Next, the interesting and fun part of the appointment; colour selection in the Palette Showroom! This is where we pick out our colours, flooring, laminate, door handles, toilet haha the works!
Before the appointment I feel that we didn’t prepare much for this appointment in terms of visiting product showrooms. I did order some Caesarstone and Polytec samples and check out the Hynes showroom but did most of my research online by screenshots of kitchens on Instagram and looking through other building blogs of Boutique Home builds. They were so helpful and allowed a basic colour scheme to form pre our appointment. My partner wasn’t that interested in coming to the appointment prepared. But we did agree on the facade render, bricks, tiles and to have tiles in the living areas and floating floorboards to the bedrooms. We wanted to stick to tones of black, grey and white so this did allow us to breeze through the appointment without swapping and changing too much. Also we tried to stay in category 1 as its our first home and we were happy with these options. However, we did upgrade the main flooring and passage to Cat. 4 porcelain tiles as we thought this was a much better option as opposed to floorboards. I get scared they will swell, especially if there is a fridge leak or something when someone is not home.
We also upgraded the kitchen with a pull out rangehood for more top cupboard space and a cleaner look, an undermount sink and wider bench top. All handles and locks we chose as standard as well as bathroom accessories as we are on a tighter budget. Considering that it’s our first home we tried not even to consider looking at another category unless we weren’t satisfied with our standard included choices. Our front door was however an upgrade as we both felt that a wider entrance was important. As we did this, we lost the sidelight so chose a door which would let in light. We will tint this later and was even advised that it was cheaper to buy the film and D.I.Y… I got better at contacting schoolbooks by year 12 so we will see how we go otherwise I will get a professional.
Here are a few of our selections, keep in mind, the iPhone camera doesn’t do the product justice and you always have to see in real life, different lighting etc…
We were done, did add to our fixed price which we expected and had a quiet allowance for. You can cut corners but we felt the upgrades were necessary and would be quite difficult to change down the track. We also had quite a few amended documents passed back and forth after the meeting so make sure everything is documented correctly and speak up if you are unsure. Personal choices post the colour selection week…will cost you, even if the house hasn’t even begun so have a good think and try and visualise.