The tender appointment was one of the most horrendous experiences ever had. When we initially signed up with the sales consultant at Mernda they assured us that we would have no problems building the pool shell before commencement of the home, providing the pool was two or more meters away from the building/slab. Anyway, they do not allow us to build the pool unless they cover it by an engineered designed cover. We don't have an issue with that, but we can only do it through Henley and to do this they are charging in excess of $7000. What a load of hogwash!!! Our only option is to add it to the tender or build the pool after handover. We were later advised by the pool company that access would be an issue and the costs would be a lot more. We are no longer building our dream pool.
A further $4000 was added to our tender for a retaining wall that Henley decided needed to be there. Our total site costs are now in excess of $50K. Most of these costs are provisional as the house is still standing and has not been demolished. The additional costs are for spotters due to the power lines being on our side of the road, traffic management (for a street that has no more than 10 or 20 cars driving past it each day) and OHS. We have no more than 1.2 metres of fall on our block. They are so exorbitant when they charge site costs for a knockdown.
Henley were not flexible with a request to change the facade a little. We also showed them pictures that we took of other Henley facades that were changed quite significantly. They did not budge.
Some costs that were quoted by the sales consultant were incorrect and doubled at the tender appointment. At our colour appointment we were quoted $70 to upgrade each mixer. At tender this later changed to $220 per mixer.
A standard option to increase the meals by 1 meter in length and the TV room above on the 1st floor by 1 meter costs $3921. Because we chose to increase the bedroom instead of the TV room, Henley found it acceptable to charge an additional $3000 on top of the $3921. We questioned why and the response was that it was not a standard tick box option. More hogwash I guess.
Anyway, the moral to my story today is; GET EVERYTHING IN WRITING WHEN VISITING THE SALES OFFICE. If we had items or wish lists approved by the sales consultant and her manager in writing, then we would be saving lots of money and still have our lovely pool.
We were so disheartened that we asked for our tender to be rescheduled. We needed the time to revisit the items and add and delete as necessary.
Welcome to building with a volume builder... Cheaper price = compromise... something we also discovered at our tender appointment. We didn't get our dream home, we got their home with some expensive permitted changes which is the biggest compromise we all have to make going with a big builder. Go back and see the rep ( preferably when their busy-like a saturday-) and ask why things cost more at the tender than they had indicated. Ask them to estimate the cost again with all the changes you would like to make. Ask around the other builders' displays re their policy with pool construction.. might give you leverage with your builder i.e "builder x has a similar design to ours, but they will only charge us $3000, is the pool cost flexible?" Never know what you can get by asking. Best of luck and don't lose heart.
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