Sunday, March 21, 2010

Construction has begun

It's been more than six months since my last post. In between we've had months of thumb twiddling time as we waited for a start date and made the last of the changes involving the finer details.

No more am I allowed to ponder any detail. Well not true. I am. But it's to my detriment as I can't make any further changes.

Long story but finally dirt has been excavated (Mar 8th), piering done and plumbing pipes went in (Mar 11th) and concrete poured (Mar 15th).

Four days later drainage pipes were in and more excavation with more soil used to fill the front of the house and driveway. Was a shock to see heavy machinery on the slab only four days after been poured. Spoke to the Site Supervisor and he said that this was normal and there was no choice because of the fencing around the block and limited room. Frames should be delivered later this week and already we've had a replacement SS. So much for that bottle of JD we gave the first one. Wonder if I should call him and ask if its already been opened haha.

Moving back in time..
We had a new Customer Service Administrator appointed to us late last year and she has changed my perception of building. We would be pre-construction if we'd still been lumped with the previous CSA. A new dawn arose when our phone calls were answered. Emails were responded to the same day. Correct information was sought and then passed to us with progress reports along the way. Astounding.

We were really dealt a Joker with the first CSA. Months were wasted on incorrect information and lags in communication. The average time between us getting a response from email/phone call was two weeks. Even then at times the information was not correctly researched so was either misleading, incomplete or ridiculously far from the mark. We ended up going up the management change to resolve the "Kitchen Saga".

Too painstaking to go into the details about it but eventually we were told we could not relocate the standard kitchen cabinetry into the Walk in Pantry and Laundry even though originally this was ok'd. We had to go back to the drawing board and weeks passed dealing with Home Option Kitchens, the council and Eden Brae. All the kitchen cabinetry ended up being used for the island bench with a 90cm set of soft close servery drawers, dishwasher allowance, double bowl sink, and bin drawer. We still had to pay a design fee and a few hundred for the two tone colour choice and hardware upgrades.

After handover, the rest of the kitchen will be installed. Possibly Ikea flat pack although their cabinetry won't accommodate our 70cm oven. We've used a high end kitchen company to help us with the overall design (ended up similar to the kitchen pictured). They all do free design consultations so I made the most of this service. You should too if you're building. Does take time (I spent around 4 hours at one appointment). They ask the right questions and have the technology to show you a 3D image which HOK couldn't. Also HOK make minimal effort, charge exorbitantly and even lumped a design fee on the quote which I found laughable. Our HOK meeting lasted 40 minutes and that was stretched out because I asked lots of questions.

Back to the future..
The moment of seeing a bulldozer on our untouched block of dirt was indescribable. WOW moment lasted all day for my 3yo who finally got close to the construction machinery he talks about everyday. All those days of blurry eyed checking of contract details, hours of online research, squeezing things into the budget that was already bursting at the seams and tear-your-hair-out miscommunication with the builder that took weeks to resolve, all melted into the background.

Afterwards we played in the excavated area where our boys' bedrooms would be. We now
can take the back seat, and watch the home we have in our minds appear in pieces at a time.

And try not to look at any more floorplans so I don't get the urge to plead for another variation. Never mind the
Eden Brae charges. Divorce papers may be served.


  1. Hi Have just found your blog via H1. Sounds like you're having as much fun with EB & HOK as we did.

    HOK were/are a joke as far as pricing. I call it theft! When we got the quote after SEVERAL weeks, I first laughed then went into shock. Suffice it to say that our kitchen is basic. We just refused to be held to ransom.

    EB & its suppliers certainly know how to gouge as much money from their customers as possible.

  2. I complained to HOK management and the person who was supposed to be assisting us was apparently demoted. There was a chain of complaints about them.

    Still didn't help us though because we were left stranded in the middle with a ridiculous quote for a badly designed kitchen.

    We didn't want to give them a cent extra as well. But we had to pay a few hundred to upgrade the hinges on the drawers. Even that really went against the grain.

    Electricals had dodgy quality downlights and were charging if I remember correctly around $100 a pop. We're getting our own put in after handover.

    Looking forward to the end result so we can move on. Did you have issues during the construction process? Did you use an independent property inspector (Tyrells are paid to look after EB interests)?