Building A New House
Sep 29, 2018 5:18 pm
We are super excited about our new house we are building with Better Built Homes in (North) Kellyville NSW.
I am creating this topic with the intention of collecting our building experience.
We began looking for houses in the Hills area around mid last year, and visited several builders in display centres with the intention of finding a land and house option. We came across a builder who was offering a land and house option. We were not convinced with the builder, but realized that we could potentially buy the land and then select a design and builder separately.
We subsequently purchased a corner lot in August 2017 (which was supposed to settle by end of 2017), and started hunt for a builder and a house design which appealed to us. We went through several builders, and saw a lot of designs. In fact we were on the verge of signing up with Clarendon for their Boston 34 design, but last minute we decided to hold on and search for other designs. For some reason we were wary of going with a large builder.
We came across the design of "Amber Rose 35" on the internet, and liked it a lot. Its builder "Better Built Homes" was a limited volume builder, but surprisingly had a large number of excellent reviews. My wife was convinced they were worth checking out. So we set out to see their display home in Oran Park and meet their sales rep on Fathers' Day 2017. Neel impressed us with his style and presentation. The BBH inclusions were generous, and above all we loved the house design. Even though our land was not yet ready, we had a draft engineering plan for the site, and signed up with BBH to do the intial assessment and tender presentation. Neel gave us a rough estimate of the costs based on assumptions. Jeff presented the tender in Oct 2017, and we found the costs were in line with our inital assessment. We found the BBH team were flexible in giving us time and options to change or modify their original design. We met Emma in November with the plan presentation. She dealt with us patiently, and always promptly responded to my queries around cost estimates for something or the other upgrade we had in mind. We subsequently booked-in electrical and other internal appointments and finally met with Mel for internal selection appointment in early March 2018. We had a great experience with her in going through the selections. We found the experience enjoyable, not pushed around.
Parallely, our land finally registered in late Feb 2018, and Emma (our pre-construction coordinator) began arranging our surveys and 149. This process took time as it was a greenfield site and there were delays in getting information from a lot of parties like Sydney Water. I feel a lot of time in April and May was wasted on this, not necessarily the builder's fault. Finally in early June we got the submission plan. There were additional costs due to site and new BASIX requirements (such as upgraded bushfire rating, additional soil extraction due to slope, rainwater garden & accompanying retaining walls, bigger size rain water tank etc). BBH wanted us to get our own landscape plan which they would use for DA approval. Our case was finally sent for CDC approval in Mid June, and we signed the HIA contract in June end. In July, we submitted the driveway application to the council, and provided unconditional bank loan approval to BBH. The CDC approval finally came on 30th July!! We were provided with the final set of construction plans, and the construction was then scheduled to commence from 27th Aug 2018.
Last year on Fathers' Day we signed up with BBH, and this year on Fathers' Day, we saw work start on our land - such a terrific feeling
Meanwhile, Better Built Homes has continued to receive good reviews from other clients, and fingers crossed we are anticipating a good outcome at the end of it all.
Amber Rose 35 (Urban Gallery facade)
Construction commenced in:
End of August 2018
Re: Our new home construction journey with "Better Built Hom2
Sep 29, 2018 5:25 pm
Re: Our new home construction journey with "Better Built Hom3
Sep 29, 2018 5:28 pm
Re: Our new home construction journey with "Better Built Hom4
Sep 29, 2018 5:32 pm
Ever since we knew construction had started, we make it a point to drive to our site every weekend to see if we can catch a glimpse of action. On one such visit, we pleasantly found the guys working on the site, pouring our foundation. A site to behold
And the week after...
For so many months we waited for this moment....and now we could see our house taking shape.
Re: Our new home construction journey with "Better Built Hom5
Sep 29, 2018 5:37 pm
Soon after the base was set, we were informed that framing would start. And sure enough, we saw the house taking shape on our next visit.
The speed of work is really impressive.
Re: Our new home construction journey with "Better Built Hom6
Sep 29, 2018 5:57 pm
Framing had started less than two weeks back, so I was not expecting them to complete it for another few days. But then two days ago, we received the invoice for framing stage! So of course today we went to the site....and saw the structure of the house welcoming us!
One of our new favourite pastimes is to sit down with A3 sized prints of the house plan and just pondering over it. It was great to finally see the ground floor rooms taking shape. After today's visit, we realised a few things which are not very apparent on paper maps:
- that we are going to have steeper than normal driveway.
- that because of the slope of the land, we may have to plan some kind of smart desgin / retaining wall arrangement for our backyard. It's going to be exciting!
With the Labour day long weekend coming up, not expecting much work over the next week.
Re: Our new home construction journey with "Better Built Hom7
Oct 07, 2018 12:03 pm
Our customer service rep Renee sends us weekly updates - every Friday afternoon. This week there was no afternoon update, so we were a little disappointed. With the short week and constant rains, we were kind of prepared to hear no work was done. But late in the evening, sure enough, her update was waiting in the mailbox! Plumbing rough-ins have been completed, and weather permitting they will start bricking in the coming week. Very excited to see the bricks delivered to our site. Fingers crossed the weather Gods will be kind to us in the coming few weeks .
Re: Our new home construction journey with "Better Built Hom8
Oct 27, 2018 2:16 pm
Not much progress in the last few weeks due to the heavy rains in Sydney. Brickwork finally started last week, and it was good to see the external walls starting to appear.
Brickwork should continue for another few days. While selecting this brick we were worried it may be too dark - didn't appear to be the case. Happy with the selection
Re: Our new home construction journey with "Better Built Hom9
Nov 07, 2018 10:55 am
It was such a beautiful sight to see scaffolding up last week! The brickies will continue their work this week. Very fascinating to see how our house is shaping up.
Re: Our new home construction journey with "Better Built Hom10
Nov 20, 2018 12:25 pm
Bricklaying finished last week!! Exciting to visit the site and look around. We are really happy with the choice of brick colour. Work on roof (fascia, gutter, top) starts this week.
We're hoping that the roof gets finished before the Christmas shutdown.
Re: Our new home construction journey with "Better Built Hom12
Jan 08, 2019 1:48 pm
Happy New Year 2019 everyone!
We are back after a long overseas vacation. Work on roof was completed last month while we were away. Bricks have been cleaned, solar panels and whirlybirds installed too.
After cleaning, the bricks look nice. The timber posts on the balcony stand out. Originally we were in two minds whether to go with tiles or Colorbond. Tiles would have given the house a more traditional look, however we are equally happy with how CB roof has turned out. Overall we are really pleased with the house exterior.
Work on internal rough-ins and linings will start next. Looking forward to it.
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