Prestart Meeting Round Up

It has been a hectic and productive few days in Perth for my “pre start meeting” with  our builders.  Here is what I’ve been up to:

Day One:

1.  First meeting with the Webb and Brown-Neaves interior designer to decide on house exterior colours including paint, roofing, garage door and window frames.  (I’ll write a separate post about all my selections, inside and out, next week.)  We also reviewed and made a few small changes to toilets, sinks, tap ware and door furniture.  I selected a rather lovely white porcelain sink for the laundry instead of the standard stainless steel.  I am told the price difference is no more than a couple of hundred, but I will post again when I have a full list of variation prices.
2.  I dropped into EcoOutdoor to check out their cobblestones.  Their show room is quite inspiring for landscaping so I think we’ll be back there again when the time comes for us to make our front garden beautiful.  I asked for help to select a product for the floor of the home entry/patio that would compliment a cobblestone driveway.  The lady on duty recommended a “French patterned” stone of similar colour.


What do you think?  I’m going to make some more mood boards with all the exterior colours together to see how it looks.  The alternative would be wood, to match the decking at the rear of the house.

3.  I visited the Caesarstone showroom to view some large samples of my favourite colours and to chat with staff about the elusive “Calacatta classic” Caesarstone that I have my eye on for the kitchen.
Calacatta Classic Caesarstone.  Source: Caesarstone.
Calacatta Classic Caesarstone. Source: Caesarstone.
This new “colour” is due to be released in “early 2014”.  I can’t yet commit to it because there are no samples available yet and more importantly, the price is not yet known.  The lady at the showroom guesses that there will be a price rise for the latest colour compared to the currently available colours in the same range.  Luckily, we have some time up our sleeve, so this is one decision to postpone.

4.  I picked up some brochures and colour swatches from Solver paints.  Our interior paint colours will be selected from this range once the house is nearing completion.

5.  I met with my “pre start consultant” and an enthusiastic trainee to review and make small changes to the plans and addenda, clarify some questions I had and create an electrical plan for all the powerpoint locations.  The result of this meeting is two lists – a list of potential variations (eg. wooden rail balustrade, a hiding place for a Roomba in the laundry, a cobblestone driveway, ceiling recesses for automated blinds) for our consultant to price up for our consideration and a list of items that I need to follow up, such as the voltage requirements for the pendant lights that I will supply, the dimensions of the gas fireplace that we plan to purchase and the dimensions of our chest freezer to ensure it fits in the laundry.

6.  Collapsed in a heap of sleep.

Day Two:

1.  I visited Myaree Ceramics accompanied by WBN’s interior designer.  Instant relief!  This showroom has plenty of modern tile options AND the exact same tile that I used in my kitchen mood board.  Actually, it is not glass as I had thought, but porcelain.

Splash back tile.  Vogue Grigio $104/sqm.

Splash back tile. Vogue Grigio Gloss $104/sqm.

Within an hour, my no-mucking-about interior designer and I had selected all the tiles for the laundry,  bathrooms and kitchen and had matched them with grout colours.  Phew!

2.  I wandered through Home Base Expo in Subiaco.  It’s a permanent exhibition of local suppliers of building materials and home fittings.  You can pick up brochures, but on a week day at least, it is unmanned by any one with product knowledge.  I wanted to view some gas fireplace options but there were very few there so I’ll have to do some more leg work.

3.  I visited our block.  It was no surprise to find our neighbours making full use of our vacant land for their knock-down-rebuild.  They are progressing nicely but they are going to have to move swiftly now if they are relying on easy access to the rear of their property.

Some one else's building action.

Someone else’s building action.

4.  Collapsed in a heap of sleep.

Day Three:

1.  I had a meeting at Intelligent Homes to prepare plans for television, telephone and data points, intercom to the front gate and home security.  I’m not particularly literate when it comes to technology so I was a worried that I wouldn’t understand the necessary lingo for this meeting but I begged the consultant to tread lightly and he did a wonderful job of explaining what was required for the house to be all wired up for modern technology needs.

That’s almost it!  (I’m going to a fireplace show room on my way to the airport today.)  There is plenty of follow up to be done and I promise pictures of my tile and colour selections soon.

Fence me in.

My personal favourite and probably the least practical, least useful, most expensive, most difficult to maintain!

My personal favourite and probably the least practical.  Photo from Glamour Drops.

The question of front fencing came up.  Firstly, we want to budget for all our house-related costs and secondly, there was a fleeting thought that we could get council approval for the front fence at the same time as the house.  But, in breaking news, council have already granted planning consent, and I’ve since discovered we don’t need council approval for a front fence unless we want to vary from their standards.   In any case, I spent the past week trawling the web and roaming the streets in search of front fence inspiration.

Here’s the situation:

  • We are going to use the front yard as a back yard.  It will host a little veggie patch, the compost bin and space for the kids to play.  It also has to accommodate the usual driveway and front door access.
  • We are thinking of a fence and gate that keeps the kiddies in and strolling dogs out.
  • I love fence designs that include wood.
  • My husband fears years of his life will be dwindled away maintaining a wood fence.
  • The City of Mandurah has somewhat complicated front fence regulations that I don’t entirely understand.  (I’ll include them in the fine print, just in case any of those engineery or drafty-type people are reading and feel like having a go at explaining the details to me.)
    Probably the best match with the landscaping design planned for the canal side of our house.  This garden is designed and constructed by Tim Davis Landscaping.

    Probably the best match with the landscaping planned for the canal side of our house. This garden is designed and constructed by Tim Davis Landscaping.

    Not wood.  Plain and simple, for showing off the garden.  Photo from

    Not wood. Plain and simple, for showing off the garden. Photo from Factory Direct Fencing.

    A lovely and interesting mix of materials, kept low.  Photo from

    A lovely and interesting mix of materials, kept low. Photo from Patrick Gheorghiu Architectural Design.

    A simple fence, glammed up with a piece of metal art and plants.

    A simple fence, glammed up with a piece of metal art and plants.  The work of Sustainable Garden Design Perth, photo from Houzz.

     

The fine print:

Excerpt from The City of Mandurah’s standards for residential fences:

  • No part of the fence (including footings) is allowed to encroach into the road verge.
  • A front fence that exceeds 750mm in height is not permitted within a 1.5m x 1.5m visual truncation on each side of any driveway where it meets a front boundary. This truncation will not be required provided the driveway and crossover is wider than 6 metres and a footpath is not located within 1.5 metres of the front fence.
  • Any portion of a front fence that is higher than 1.2m must be visually permeable. 
  • The maximum acceptable height of a front fence is 1.8m. Piers/posts (with a maximum dimension of 500 x 500), may be incorporated in the fence up to a maximum height of 2.1m.

And here’s a reminder of how the front of our block will look:

Driveway 4.8 m wide and not much room between the driveway and the neighbour's boundary for the truncated thingermeejig.

Driveway 4.8 m wide and not much room between the driveway and the neighbour’s boundary for the truncated thingermeejig.

OUTspiration

While visiting some Webb and Brown-Neaves display homes near Perth, I was impressed by the landscape gardening around the homes.  All these gardens were designed by Tim Davies Landscaping.  Since we think the guys and girls at Tim Davies have great taste, we’ve asked them to design part of our garden too.  (More on that another time.)  Here are some pics of some of my favourite outdoor features.

Plant me a lemon tree, and I'm yours.

Plant me a lemon tree, and I’m yours.

There can never be too many places to sit.

One can never have too many places to sit.

Herbs planted outside the kitchen.  (I love the rusty look, but does it mean iron fortified herbs?)

Herbs planted outside the kitchen. (I love the rusty look, but does it mean iron-fortified herbs?)

Garden layers.

Garden layers.

Pools don't have to be big.  Less to clean, less to heat.

Pools don’t have to be big. Less to clean, less to heat.

Nicely hiding the pool equipment.

Nicely hiding the pool equipment.

A sunken garden at the "Pagoda".

A sunken garden at the “Pagoda”.

What is it about the shape of that pot that is cool?  I will put my succulent expert (A.K.A. the second little pig) to work.

What is it about the shape of that pot that is cool? I will put my succulent expert (A.K.A. the second little pig) to work.