Thursday, November 17, 2011

Variations - anyone want to buy a Lung

I tried to prepare myself for this, I knew it was coming. Like walking into a dark bear cave knowing a bear was in there but you're being pushed in with your hands tied behind your back, being served as lunch.

Early in this process I researched variations, it seemed to me the average was about $20,000. You needed that much no matter who you were if you were looking to upgrade the "must do" items. Things that are so hard to do later that you almost have no choice. For example putting a porcelain tile in now might cost $5,000. Replacing your tiles later in the whole first floor might cost $20k-$30k. We saved hard for years and had $20k.

For those following my blog know though that all came crashing down when the bank reneged on our loan after it expired. Valued at the full price in December when we paid our deposit, re-evaluated June 16th this year, 10 days after it expired at 20k less. We kept saving from December though, and stillare to this day as we knew this was coming.

Problem is.......we don't have 20k.

Guess what, the variations so far (bare minimum) is at 18k. Anyone want to buy a lung?

So now we're not to sure how to handle it, we're doing our best to make sure we get everything and to be honest I think we'll get there somehow, you always do somehow. If your're building be prepared for this, it will make things much easier. Knuckle down and keep saving too.

As for a general update our house is council approved and we're just waiting on our construction certificate. The variations are all being finalised and we should be able to start building in the coming weeks if Kurmond Homes are ready.

Kurmond have still been fantastic for us and are doing their best, they still feel a bit under resourced at times though. Some of their suppliers are their weak point. Tile contractors are frustrating, not happy with the variation price at all. Probably more so because my old man does Kitchens and Bathrooms so I know I'm being ripped off.

Electrical was about what I thought but there seems to be a huge lack of knowledge with the Fibre to the home (FTTH) at Jordan Springs and with all the builders. For those who didn't know, Jordan springs is a FTTH estate and if you buy in Jordan Springs you must install it for your services. You're not allowed to have a TV Antenna on your roof at all, you must run your TV through the FTTH cable.

Speaking with a few people yesterday it appears Delfin and the government are having issues. Some people have moved in to Jordan Springs and have no TV, no phone and no internet. The sub contractors for the builders seem to have no real idea either. Trying to explain what I wanted was liking speaking chinese. I knew more about it then the contractor and to be honest that worried me. The deal in the past was that no matter who you were building with at Jordan Springs you had to use Open Networks to install everything who had experience doing this. They're now out of the picture and it seems like the builders can arrange it all now. That's ok but I'm not sure I'm getting the right thing which is a bit scary.

Oh well, if you have any questions let me know. I'll do my best to answer them. Once my variations are done I'll post them all up to.


  1. hey Hep,
    been following you a while,
    can you enlighten us what makes up your list of variations, just curious to know?

  2. Hi Luke,

    Thanks again for your update... your blog is very informative. I see you collected quite a few followers over the time you're blogging :) Good on ya! We are at the same stage with Kurmond as you guys and fingers crossed they'll start construction for both of us soon, that would be awesome.

    Have a lovely weekend!

  3. Thanks guys. Dalim I'll do a post on variations, still waiting on stuff to come back. I'ma bit picky on things but got to say Kurmond are reasonable and they're base stuff isn't bad at all. Here's some stuff for now - this being the stuff we're going with. We're waiting on internal house variations. Tiling to the ceiling in the bathrooms was a bit expensive. $1500 per bathroom. Haven't appreciated tile quotes 100%.

    - Provide upgrade for bricks on front façade to be finished in Maroka, in lieu of standard brick finish. $620.00

    - Provide upgrade to Translucent windows for the Bathroom, Ensuite & W/C, in lieu of clear glass. (Total of 3). $172.00

    - Provide upgrade to Translucent Laminate to Front Door XN5, in lieu of clear glass. $45.00

    - Provide upgrade to XN5 Front Door finish in Taubmans Jarrah, in lieu of standard paint finish. $43.00

    - Provide upgrade to Colorbond finish classic cedar in lieu of standard colourbond as per tender. $395.00

    - "Provide upgrade to Main Floor tiles to be Porcelain, as per appointment at
    Manago Tiles on the 01/10/11." $5,190.00

    Staircase Estimate $3,500.00
    Electrical - Kurmond $3,505.00
    Sentinal Alarms (Alarm, TV and FTTH Stuff) $2,392.50

  4. Thanks Luke, Sorry got the name wrong before,

    I think your porcelain tile upgrades are a bit expensive, For the Staircase does it include GST, if so sounds about right.

    not sure about Sentinal Alarms, i think the FTTH stuff is overrated, because no one really knows what the standard is, and as you have mentioned before, you have providers going in and out of deals with developers,


  5. Hpe's my nickname - yeh just posted another update about tiles. I tricked the Manago tiles guy then told him I was there for Kurmond appointment, have a look at what happened.