Our final major appointment was colours, which is basically where Wisdom roll up any other decisions we need to make that weren’t covered in your other appointments. So internal and external colour/material choices are the main focus, but this is also the time to bring up all the little things you overlooked – insulation, tapware, appliances just to mention a few. Don’t expect them to be able to provide you with prices on the spot but you can add everything into the quote then say no to what you can’t afford when you get the variation!
Wisdom provide you with the colour selections document beforehand so you can review it and it gets you thinking about all the decisions you will need to make, but in reality on the day it was quite easy to work through once we had our external colour choices decided. We knew we wanted a Colorbond Monument roof, so we followed that through for anything that used Colorbond colors for consistency. We also knew we wanted to use Austral Freedom bricks, so everything else pivoted from that.
We were forced to change anything timber to Merbau instead of the standard treated pine/maple options. This is because Merbau is a hardwood and takes longer to burn, so it’s rated for building with a BAL rating. Anything we selected that was an upgrade is marked with a (*)
Roof/Gutters/Fascia/Window Frames/Roof Capping – Colorbond Monument
Bricks – Austral Everyday Life Freedom
Render to Balcony Projection – Taubmans Oil Shale
Weatherboard Cladding – Taubmans Tabby
Garage Door – B&D Timbercoat Merbau (*)
Front Door – Hume BFR8 in Merbau with Quantum Walnut stain (*)
Front Door Hardware – Lane Pull Handle Combo (*)
Balcony Posts – Merbau with Quantum Walnut stain (*)
Balcony Door – Hume JST1 in Merbau with Quantum Walnut stain (*)
Driveway – Bluestone coloured concrete
These are all the samples together from our colours appointment.
I was little hesitant about the wood colours as the colours look very saturated next to everything else but I found this picture of our garage door with similar bricks on another new build blog and I think it will be fine. Their colour selections look similar to ours which made me feel more reassured. I wish we could have afford nicer bricks like those!
I did my best to put all the colours together over one of our elevation drawings in photoshop…we just have to wait a year or so now to see how accurate it really is!
And I took a few photos of our bricks and colour samples in daylight when I got home as I was nervous we had picked our render and cladding colours under artificial lights, but it all looked fine thankfully!
Walls – Taubmans Tahira White
There weren’t really many internal decisions to make as cabinetry and flooring are already taken care of on day 1 with external suppliers. We had already included sliding robe doors in our tender, but we opted to make the one in the study white opaque glass instead of mirror doors which we picked for the back bedrooms to make them feel bigger. We debated picking a different white for all our woodwork, but we plan on adding a lot of feature walls and changing room colours once we move in so in the end we decided to save ourselves the $600 fee and just still with the same!
One thing we did find is Wisdom don’t upsell you, so if you want to upgrade something, you will need to ask for it. They supply some upgrade information in the welcome USB from, other options we heard of from the Homeone forum – such as changing the tapware with other options from Reece. So think about everything beforehand and head in prepared with a list so you can ask about everything else you might want.
Requested Upgrade Quotes
Flyscreens to all openable windows – this will be necessary as part of our BAL requirements anyway but we thought it was a good idea to get them quoted on the very small chance we don’t end up with a BAL rating.
B&D Auto-lock – this is an extra deadbolt that automatically locks on your garage door when you close it, making it much more difficult to force open from outside
B&D Icon door upgrade – this includes the auto-lock functionality, plus a quieter, better motor and weather seals around the whole door. We thought we look at the difference in price then decide which one we want. Especially as the garage is right under the master bedroom and my husband goes to the gym before I even get up in the mornings.
Tapware upgrades – If you want to change any plumbing fittings, you have to provide Wisdom with the Reece codes so they can quote it all. We have asked to quote changing all our tapware to the Phoenix Vivid Slimline range, our showers to the Methven Aio range (this is my luxury item…I saw these showers and that was it for me. Ive been back 3 times trying to talk myself into something cheaper but I just keep coming back to them) and our kitchen sinks to the Franke Impact Black undermount sinks.
Note: I spent so much time looking at the Reece website, but always came away disappointed that everything was so expensive and only one or two ranges for each brand. It turns out they only list their exclusive ranges on their website. If they stock a range from a specific brand, there is a good chance they also stock the rest of that brand’s ranges if you go in store and ask. None of the Phoenix Vivid ranges were on their website, so I got all the codes from the Phoenix website of the pieces I liked (after googling them to check out rough pricing form other suppliers to make sure they were in our price range!) and then popped into my local Reece on a Saturday morning where the sales consultant patiently looked up all the corresponding Reece codes, plus the prices for me. I found that pretty much anything on the Phoenix, Caroma and Dorf website was available when I asked at Reece. Expect the prices to always be RRP – I only had one item come up cheaper than RRP. We’re hoping Wisdom will get trade prices though.
Mirrors – we increased some of the bathroom mirror sizes way back at tender. By this point, I wished we had made all of them bigger so we asked to have our ensuite and upstairs WC mirrors quoted as well.
Wire shelving – I really liked that Wisdom put wire shelving in their linen closet as it allows better air circulation, but I also hated it in the bedroom robes. So we asked to quote the upgrade to white melamine for the three minor bedroom robes
There are still a few minor appointments that we have to complete before we’re done and dusted with selections:
Stairs – Because we closed off a wall between the staircase and the front living room, we have to have an appointment with the staircase company. Normally basic upgrade requests can be done at colours if we hadn’t closed off that wall. I went to meet with them on Friday and was in and out in 10 minutes. We don’t have much money to spend here so all we have requested is changing our balustrade to glass instead of metal posts and a mitred hand rail (which means the rail is a continuous line instead of vertical posts sticking up through the hand rail) – this is an example from a Wisdom display on the south coast. We’re going with a clear stain and maple wood as it’s a bit cheaper and should coordinate with our furniture.
Air Conditioning – This is outsourced to a company called Ultra Air. They arrange a phone meeting with you to discuss the upgrade options unless you really want an in person meeting, in which case you can combine this with your day 1 selections. I said a phone meeting was fine. We’re still waiting on this one but expect to spend about $6-7k to upgrade to the next model of AC unit and individually zone most rooms.
Alarms and Home Theatre/Networking – This is outsourced to a company called Sentinel Alarms. Again they will arrange a phone meeting to discuss anything you raised during your electrical appointment (for us this was home theatre speaker cabling, a potential patch panel for all our network points and alarm upgrades).
They called the next day – but were given my husbands number. He’s too busy at work to deal with it and took another day to even tell me they had left a message. Anyway I called them back on Friday and had a good chat with Rachel. She was really informative about the options we had asked about. We have opted to upgrade our alarm sensors to pet friendly ones which basically means small animals and kids won’t set off the alarm but an adult will. That was a $50 per sensor upgrade. We also took their cabling option for our back speakers in our home theatre which is $180 to run the cables and put in sockets.
We’re still debating over some additional options to disable the alarm – either a second keypad in the garage or remotes similar to a garage remote.