I've found reading everyone's build threads really helpful as we have started this process so I decided to write one myself.
We started looking in about October at building a new house. We are now (finally) approved for our loan and have just (today) had formal appointments with Metricon about our colours etc. Our land was meant to be registered by the end of March, now it's looking like the end of May. I'm just hoping the build will start no later than July because then we will have to pay more money as we signed the contract with Metricon in February.
So far, very happy with Metricon. We didn't change much to the Zara plan, we were happy with it. The only thing we did change was to flip it for sun reasons and we enclosed the study at the front of the house. Our sales consultant was amazing and I was said when we were finished working with her!
Our formal appointment for colour selections was so easy today. We had been to Studio M at Robina a couple of times and had a fair idea of what we wanted. Also, we have rented for about ten years (four houses) so have a pretty good idea of what will work and what will drive us crazy! The lady who took us through all the selections was also so helpful. We were done in about 2.5 hours. One group was there before us and was there after we left...and didn't look like finishing up anytime soon. I will post pictures from my mobile below to show our colour choices. The most frustrating thing about this visit was that they don't give you any prices. You are basically picking blindly, even though they give you estimates there is no running total. We will find out in two weeks if the upgrades we chose will all fit into our budget. We were pretty restrained, upgraded our carpet and got a better underlay ($1500) we upgraded oven to gas (around $1800) and put screens on the windows (about $2000). We also added cabinetry into the laundry, but unsure of that cost. Some fun things were added (like the $695 shower head) but they can easily be removed once we get the price variation.
As we left we got the frustrating news that our soil test had come back and it was H2 class and our site had been classed as a P site. We didn't really even know what that meant!! Our site is flat but has been filled and had retaining walls around it to make it flat. The most frustrating thing is that our consultant couldn't tell us how much extra it was going to be. There goes my shower head (and possibly all the other upgrades!). On the plus side - our amazing initial sales consultant had factored into our original contract a slab to suit soil H classification - so we are hoping it's not TOO much extra!
If you got this far - well done! Hopefully I will have better news about the soil/slab costs next time!