Thursday, September 16, 2010

In the absence of progress..

So its now Thursday night - and no tradies were spotted at the house today :(

Jason drove by yesterday and confirmed the frames had indeed been delivered (they were scheduled for Tuesday), yesterday the weather was not on our side but I was hopeful today would see the start of the frames going up. Oh well , maybe tomorrow!

So - in absence of anything too exciting to report I though I would do a post on some of the process that has seen us arrive at this point the build.

We started looking at display homes in November 2009 and very nearly went with a  single level house with another builder before stumbling across an ad for Metricon on the paper. We took ourselves out to Kellyville Ridge and instantly fell in love with the Laguna.

On the way out we briefly discussed prices with a sales consultant (we had our then just 1 year old son in tow on a hot Summer day) and based on what we were told I discounted the house thinking it was out of our budget.

Jason, being ever the optimist ( I think of myself as more of a realist than a pessimist ;) ) decided we should look into it further and that the base price of the house was indeed within our reach. I should mention that before this point we had even had plans drawn up to extend our 1950's fibro house before deciding that knock down rebuild was a much better option for us.

So, this time without our son in tow we took another look and sat down with a Sales consultant to go through the nitty gritty. We pretty much paid our $1000 deposit there on the spot and started the tender process.

Anyone at the every beginning of this crazy process should spend time walking through any house you like with a sales person and have them explain what is STANDARD and what is an upgrade. Guaranteed most of what is on display is an upgrade. Some expensive, some not. At the time we were given a document ( Displayed Option List) that had every upgrade shown on display listed and priced and we went away, decided what we did and didn't want then came back a week later and told Metricon exactly what we wanted in our tender. This was quite a lengthy process during which I asked lots of questions and had them explain a lot of the upgrades listed in the document.

Once we had decided what to include and exclude, we were given a 'Preview Estimate', and the tender process began. This was on December 6th, 09.

If I knew what I knew now - I would have spent MUCH more time thinking about exactly what we wanted and just had everything added in - that way we could have gone through later and deleted anything we decided against.

However, I wasn't that wise to the process and thought of LOTS more to be added in later, at tender stage, which wasn't a huge issue. Also, in my defense, it was really hard to know what changes/upgrades/modifications could and couldn't be made, and exactly what Metricon offered.

In my opinion this is an area where Metricon lets itself down somewhat. I've read on other blogs that Henley has a huge book you can flip through showcasing what upgrades they offer, which sounds brilliant. I feel that Metricon could improve by offering better customer service and support in this area which ultimately could earn them more money!

Anyway - back to the process/timeline!

We received a letter on January 19th, 10 from Metricon informing us that our Tender Presentation appointment was scheduled for Feb 10th. Things obviously move slowly over the Christmas break - meaning 2 months would have passed between our initial deposit and Tender meeting..
However before we got to that appointment Metricon advised us that we needed to meet with our Council for a Pre-Lodgement Meeting to discuss rear setback and a few other small issues. Having this meeting could mean saving time at a later date if council rejected any elements of our plans so we organised that and had to wait a few weeks until a meeting time became available.

As it turns out the meeting went really well and there were no major issues we needed to attend to, just a few minor things that needed adjusting.

We finally had our Tender Presentation on March 15th. This step is a long but important one! You basically sit down and go through every single item you have chosen to be included in your house. From memory it took about 3 hours, and at that stage I had done a lot more research and reading and had quite a long list of items I wanted to be quoted on.

Many emails and phone calls later we went back to Metricon head office and signed our contract on April 21st.

Usually after signing contracts you head over to Studio M (Metricons in house design/colour/fixture studio thingy) and choose Exterior Colours. We werent informed of this however and werent booked in to do so and had to make an appointment to come back the following week to do that.

So by then it was April 29th - almost 5 months since paying our intial $1000 deposit. How time flies!!

Over the weekend I will go into more detail about the upgrades we have chosen and the issues some of those have created..

For those of you still with me at the end of this massive post - thanks :)

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