For those following our progress, I just wanted to say that we have now signed the Tender Document (Yes we are going to be building with PD) and we have our Tile, Colour & Electrical appointments over the next 2 weeks followed by signing of the Contract a week or so later.
For those who are thinking of building with PD and have some concerns after reading the various posts on here I would like to take this opportunity to offer some advice.
1) If you have a specific question, try and locate the best person to answer it. I know that your CSA is the first point of contact (and by all means contact her first) but in parallel try and find the best person within PD and ask to speak to them as well.
To offer an example, we had some concerns about the actual design of our slab (as we are building something slightly away from the standard) and although we found our CSA helpful, she obviously did not have the relevant experience to satisfactory answer our questions. To overcome this, we asked to speak to one of their Engineers and although we were initially told that they were all busy, after some discussion we were finally able to speak to one.
Although the converstion with the Engineer only lasted 5-10 minutes, we were left feeling much more confident about proceeding with our build as our questions could be answered straight away without the need to go through a 3rd person which runs the risk of the information being unintentially distorted.
In regards to lack of prices at Hopetoun, which is an issue for most people, how we dealt with it was as follows:
1. Firstly, we visited Hopetoun on 2 seperate occasions (during the weekend) and reasonably accurately managed to select most of what we wanted upgraded. As a side note, for anyone not familiar with Hopetoun yet, please do not leave visiting there until your colour / electrical appointments. You will create unnecessary stress for yourself !!
2. During the same weekends, we also visited National Tiles and was able to get a feel for what tiles we liked. Although, pricing is available from them due to the number of people who are there at the weekend you may not get much time to speak to a member of staff. However, you can easily select the tiles you like on your own and before you leave, politely ask how much (roughly) they cost. With this info and the floor plan of your home (which you can get from your Sales person) you can reasonably accurately calculate the cost of your possible tile selections prior to actually having your official appointment.
3. For of the bigger upgrade items as well as any structural items we wanted changing, we communicated this information to our Sales person who was able to update the initial quote and give us an idea of price. As an example, although we hadn't chosen our exact brick, we were confident that we wanted to select one from a particular category, so as a result was able to get a price in advance.
4. For the lesser expensive items which we wanted to upgrade (Doors, Window Glass, Benchtops, etc) we communicated this information to our CSA prior to our Tender Appointment. These items were then included on the Tender contract so we had an actual figure. From Tender onwards, structual changes cannot be made but all other selections can be altered if necessary.
We now have our Tiles & Colour appointment approaching in the next few weeks, and (with the exception of the wall colour and a few small items) have our chosen selections already prepared.
Hopefully then, unless prices have changed a lot over a few weeks, we should have a reasonable idea of what we are expected to pay prior to our contract and if our budget cannot stretch to that amount at least we will have time in advance to make a decision rather than wait until we attend our contract appointment.
Hope this helps...
it sounds like we are on similar timeframes as you, as we have out colour, tiles electrical and contract appointments all next week. This is to try and keep us to a January site start. I like your idea of getting prices prior to tender, too bad we missed that one
I'll be interested to see how your appointments go over the next few weeks and see if our experiences are similar.