Monday, 29 July 2013

Flooring Decisions - or lack of decisions

After recent discussions with friends on how unhappy i was with the EB builders range of ceramic tiles and that we couldn't afford the Italian 60x60cm Porcelain Tile upgrade that i wanted a friend suggested i check out the vinyl flooring as an option for post hand over laying.

I looked on the web for some possible brands, i had 2 friends lay Karndean flooring and PolyFlor Explona flooring and were really happy with the results, suggesting they would never consider anything else as a flooring option for their homes. Reading through forums and talking to carpet retailers i quickly realised that there wasn't really anything too bad about the vinyl. They look fantastic, are supposed to be easy to clean and are defiantly durable. They are of commerical standard too which is great. The only downside i can see is that being a wood look i think they will show the dirt and dust a bit more just as a standard wooden floor would. And the vinyl doesn't have any thermal properties unlike tiles that soak up the heat and help to warm a place up in winter. This could also be a plus though as the vinyl isn't as cold and as hard to walk on in winter, yet still cool underfoot in summer.

The past week i have visited all the local carpet and flooring places in the area. I checked the harvey Norman Allure, Karndean, Polyfor, Allura and Inovar.

The Invoar "Spotted Gum" is a beautiful plank but i think a little bit too orange for the look that im after. And after taking samples home from harvey Norman we didn't like their texture in the planks although the colour was right. For karndean i first loved the walnut a gorgeous grain, and it looks so real you would think it was wood. I borrowed the walnut and Lancewood but when i got them home in natural light relaised they were nt the colours for us. Then after a 3rd visit i borrowed the Melbourne Larch, Tasmanian Wattle and the Antique Kari. At the moment we love the Melbourne Larch. Im amazed we both agree on the plank. I thought we would be having battles over which colour to go with. Its a nice warm yellow tone, with a bautiful grain thorugh it, but not to dark. I think this colour will hide the dust well and the dirt too.

The look we are trying to achieve is something like this. A light, Bright and airy home that has a really warm cozy feel about it. I know this sample is real wood, but the planks do look real so if we can get close enough to this ill be happy. Certainly feeling a lot more at ease about this decision than trying to choose tiles for the home. The planks can easily be laid. and then if we want to replace them in years to come once the kids are older we have that option. its a huge thing to change if you put the wrong tiles down. And i really dont like how the ceramic tiles chip so easily either. I would be devasted if something was dropped and it chipped a new tile in our home.

Here are some of the samples of the Planks that i have viewed over the past week
This is a sample of the Melbourne Larch | Karndean Plank
Image on the left shows the tone better

Bottom - Inovar "Spotted Gum"
Right - Allure "Vintage Oak"

Left - Karndean "Walnut"

Starting from Far Left of screen
Spotted Gum - Inovar
Tasmanian Wattle LL - Karndean
Melbourne Larch - Karndean
Antique Kari - Karndean

We have our plans

Finally we have our plans ready! Some last minute changes meant we had to wait another week, and then when Eden Brae had promised to send them through they still weren't ready so we had to wait a few more days. It was so exciting to see the plans with our names on it. feels real now. Another few rshed days of getting the kids to bed so we could look through the plans. I had to go through everything, im so paranoid i will miss something and this was the last opportunity to make any structural changes before EB proceed with the approvals. Any changes made from now on will cost us $$$ to make it happen. So obviously we don't want to be wasting money making changes that can be avoidable by checking them properly now.

Only a handful of things needed to be amended which is good, although still stressful. There were some last minute heated emails through to EB tender presenter. I really can't believe that we have to make a decision on how we want our "dream house" to look in a matter of weeks. In may we didn't think we would build and had never even seriously looked at a display home before and here we are 8 weeks later trying to sign off on a plan within 48 hours and we are expected to know what we are doing and what we want! the decisions are all very rushed. Perhaps its better for people who have built or people that study these things for years trying to work out what we want.

I've spent so many nights already on the computer researching and chatting to people on forums, and to family and too friends trying to figure out what we should and shouldn't have as part of our plan.

Already for this we are sacrificing a few things that we just an't afford or cant fit onto our block. This is ok! i hope! our house will be gorgeous when its finished! and hopefuly the things we have sacrificed on wont seem like such a big deal anymore.

Im starting to get really excited now. Colour selecting is the next big thing on the list! many nights ahead on the web, on pinterest and looking through magazines for inspiration  So much to think about! i just want it to be perfect and harmonising without being to plain and boring. There is a fine line here. I hope i don't cross it and the interior becomes boring for modern standards.

Here are our plans

Monday, 15 July 2013

Contract Signing Delayed a week

A very frustrating week of playing the waiting game. EBH not returning my emails, phone calls and SMS's was frustrating to say the least. I was just about to complain to management about the lack of communication when i finally got in contact with them and after a week of waiting i have all the answers that i need.

We made some last minute structural changes, which have been given the go ahead and the plans need to be re-drawn. This has pushed our contract signing back another week - that is if we get our plans by the end of the week. I want to allow a few days to be able to go over them and check them properly and make sure the changes we have requested have been documented correctly.

EBH ensure me the level of communication will pick up - it better be otherwise im not oging to be happy! i dont like the fact we are making the biggest investment of our lives and they can't even return a phone call or an SMS to polietely say my message is received and they are looking into it.

We also met with the conveyancor on Friday. Helen from "Explorer's Conveyancing" in St Clair. She was lovely explained everything we need to do, but our hands are tied, we cant exchange on the land until we have signed the building contracts.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Making decisions is so hard

I have been to Di Lorenzo 5 times now and i sitll can't decide on a tile that i love. With most of the house tiled i really want to get this right! Ive worked on the budget and because i want waterfall edges on my kitchen bench tops and a few other nice upgrades to the house i can't afford to have the porcelain tiles. yet everything i like when i look at a tile ends up being an Italian porcelain tile and at $100 sqm just for a tile + the $37sqm extra we have to pay its about a $10,000 upgrade which just is not doable. How many more times will i go to Di Lorenzo before i decide on a tile that i will like.

The external decisions were a little easier, we both liked the standard brick option "Mocha" so no upgrade costs there, although we want off white mortar so i think around $300 upgrade charge on that one. We like the monument guttering and most likely dune fascia and garage door. Haven't seen the range of window colours as yet.

Carpet - i know what colour id like, and i think we will end up doing this after handover, we can get the upgraded carpet and 10mm underlay for the same price that EBH will refund us off the price of the house which is a nice saving.

I have an idea on the kitchen colours. So far looking at Crystal chalk essastone and possibly moleskin cupboards, id like a feature panel on the underside of the island bench too. just dont want my deicision to be "dated" in a few years time so im trying to think plain and boring and add my colour with accessories. I have no idea on the splashback options

Im looking forward to the HOG days, although i hope im prepared enough to make them as fun as possible. Paint colours im sure will be another hard one! its really hard to choose paint when you dont get to see it on the wall.