Once we signed our sales quote, we received a phone call from our ‘Building Coordinator’. As I mentioned in my last post, we never heard from our sales coordinator once handed over. The building coordinator introduced herself, and advised us that we would be getting a letter emailed through to us with information about what would be happening next.
This letter included a confirmation of the floorplan and facade we had chosen at the sales stage, as well as a tender appointment date and time. It also mentioned the things that would affect this tender appointment. It noted that if there were any major changes, our tender would be rescheduled.
The last part of the letter was the company profile for one of three different Porter Davis supplied surveyors. Note that a surveyor is different to a building inspector (the surveyor issues the building permit and occupancy certificate, as well as passing particular stages as compliant with the building regulations, however they are paid for by the builder – a building inspector, I feel, is much more thorough, issues you with a detailed report and more likely to work in your best interests given you are paying for them), and we have chosen to appoint Darbecca as our building inspector to check every single stage of the building process. Porter Davis gives you the option of Checkpoint, DJM or Advance Building Strategies. We chose Advance for no reason other than it had the least bad reviews online.
We took the opportunity to write down as many things that we wanted to be changed as possible before the tender appointment. If you want to be extra-clever, you can send through this list ahead of the appointment (as much time as possible), and if you are lucky they’ll add those changes in ahead of time.
This appointment goes for the whole day (and you’ll need it), and goes through the ‘tender document’, which is a list of all your site costs, structural changes and extras you have added on at this point. They will explain to you each point of the process, and add in changes as you request them. It is important to note that you won’t be able to change anything structurally (i.e windows, doors, layout changes, water points etc.) after this meeting. Make sure you are thorough in what you check, as we found rouge gas points and waste points added when we never actually requested them.
Here is a list of the notable things we added (and their costs):
- 4990mm x 6100mm alfresco $13,700
- Grand family/galley option $27,900
- 450mm eaves to the upper floor of the house: $2,940
- 1000mm extension to garage width: $2,514
- Laundry chute $1,700
- 2100mm x 2400mm colorbond roller door to the rear of the garage ILO standard door $103 (this surprised me!)
- 700mm x 3000mm boutique square set window to the kitchen as spashback $1,143
- 2250mm x 5400mm boutique stack sliding door ILO standard $3,894
- 990mm window returns on the games room $2,387
- 90mm dwarf wall to ensuite shower (apparently you can’t have a niche on an external wall) $231
- Brivis Promina evaporative cooling $6,770
Our tender presenter was EXTREMELY slow and not very good with the computer, so be prepared for a frustrating and mundane day…. There is a lunch break (and restaurants around – we went to a nice Italian pizza place), but some others took their own lunch and skipped the lunch break to use the time to go through their tender document.
One last important thing: there will be a lot of things that your tender presenter will tell you is “a World of Style thing” or “not to worry about, this will be fixed later” or “something you can’t change (like our garage downpipe being hard up against the roller door)” – take note of all of these things and the responses, and email to your building coordinator afterwards for confirmation. At worst, they will confirm what can’t be changed, at best, they will have it changed for the contract appointment.
Once you have finished with your tender appointment, they will book in your World of Style appointments. Hot tip: if yours is two days, book them a week apart, and if it is one day, book it on a Friday. They give you two days from the LAST appointment to confirm everything, so you do not want to be at work stressing over getting changes etc. done in time.