Friday, November 18, 2011

Tiles and Stairs

So tiles are a funny thing, be prepared for the shock of your life when you get the variation price. To be honest with your bathrooms I'd just go with the standard range and look to upgrade you main floor, bathrooms are much easier to come back to later. Gotta say Kurmond Home standard are pretty good, we were looking at an upgrade to Porcealin but the tilers are just way to expensive.I went into Manago and didn't tell them I was building with the builder (as if I wouldn't do this)

The Maths on our Main Floor Tile
Std Tile = $25/sqm (My allowance)
Upgrade Tile = $32/sqm
Upgrade cost on Labour $20/sqm
Kurmonds Margin = 30%

I have 100sqm so this should be easy right?

$7 difference for tile = $700
$20 labor extra = $2000

So Variation should be $2700+$810 (30%) = $3,510

My Variation Price = $5,190 WTF!@! (Yes I'll ask about them a bit later. I plan to challenge that and see what they'll do)

When I told him I was actually building with Kurmond the story changed big time, oh, ooh, ahh....umm...yeh well Kurmond have to get carpenters back etc so they charge for that. Yeah whatever, Kurmond have to do that even if your laying a standard tile you dicks. Like I said didn't really like there tile company, everyone else has been fair and reasonable, these guys seem like they just want to rip me off and tell me stories how if I was building with Metricon I'd be paying triple that. If you sell tiles to the public, you shouldn't be bumping your tile price up for home builders because you think you can milk them.

With the bathrooms we decided to roll back on the variation. Our total variation for tiles was $14,500 so you can see why, now we just have the $5,190 to look at and I've given up tiling to the ceiling, I plan to ask them for the lot (dye) numbers so I can do it myself after I move in. I got sick of arguing so we decided to pick from the standard. As you can see they look pretty good anyway.

Std range of tiles for Kurmond Homes, actually not to bad.

So I admittedly stuffed up. In the sales process, all my ears heard was "Timber Stairs", yeh thinking to myself, nice wooden polished stairs will look so nice and are standard. I was an idiot. Timber can mean MDF, then carpeted. (As in at least not concrete). So off to the stair people we went, now having to look at making a small change to the stairs. These guys were great.

We're lucky in the sense we have stairs in between two walls so it makes upgrading a little easier and cheaper. What we decided to do was keep the rises painted and put a timber on the actual step only. Having timber rises in our house would have looked to strong seeing we've gone for warm colours and modern coffee colours and tiles. All wood stairs would have defiantly looked odd. The stairs get installed and it's up to the owner to organise to stain them, keep this in mind if you have stairs.

As for the hand rail I went with a rectangle type of rail which will also be put on the wall going up to the second floor, held by some chrome. Again keeping the modern sharp edge feel going through the home. Rails are the standard silver rails, timber balustrade with a chrome ring, these will be painted the same as the walls. I haven't got final quote back yet, but guess by the guy was about $3200, which is good (Hopefully it stays at that). A couple were in there at the time and they had MDF carpeted stairs and wanted to replace them, I was over hearing them and it was about $45k. Ouch!!! Do it upfront I think.

This is the type of look, painted rises and sides, but timber treads, more so because our stairs are between walls, our paint isn't white though.

Our posts. Kept it simple.

Rectangle hand rail, up the top of the stairs and also put on the wall coming down the stairs.

Steel posts, we won't have those circle looking things on ours.


  1. Great update Hep...Couple of months ago, I had checked Delfin's antenna policy and they had advised me that time that, we can place our Antenna or Sat Dish. I had specifically asked coz, I wanted to place Sat dish to get channels from Indian subcontinent. Anyway I will prod them again with regard to this...

  2. Sat dish is probably ok (not sure), but your standard antennas are a big no no according to Penrith Council I was told.

  3. Nice one with the Tiles,
    The Tiles you selected look good, I have porcelain tiles, Looks good and shiny, but they are very porous, you will also need to Seal them, easy to do yourself, but the sealant is quite pricey, about $250 for 100m2.

    you got a good price on the staining of your door (front 1200mm door i'm assuming), and the Translucent upgrades for the windows was also reasonable.

    for your electrical, did you upgrade your lighting and power points or something?? you do know a trick with the power points and how to save 2 - 3 from your allowance, by doing the back to back power points yourself later on. i.e b/t bedrooms you can make one power point face a shared internal wall.

  4. hi Luke,
    you have chosen nice selection of tiles. we did a drive by passed our land we're abit annoyed our neighbour dumped their pile of dirt on our land.. spoke to our builder he said he'll sort it out.
    it's all looking good in there with families moving in. when will you be starting construction?

  5. Stairs came in way under wow. $2,147.20 in total. Interesting to see if Kurmond charge me to paint the rises.

  6. That's awesome, more money in your pocket. Are you having downlights? We are having led lights was tossing over the yellow or led. We got confirmation to start on the 12 December the excitement is back on.

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