So I had the land and needed a house so I did what I do best - I formulated a plan. Yup I was set, my plan turned into a dream and for a fleeting 10 days building a house seemed like fun.
My dream you see was based on Display Homes......
One Sunday after dropping Dad off at the Airport Mum and I went off to visit Mernda (needs to be pronounced Muuuuurnnnnnn 'da for the duration of all of my posts). For most Melbournians that have never considered building , they will probably never have heard of Mernda. This is because Mernda is "new" and by "new" read "middle of nowhere". This is not a bagging session of Mernda but at the moment its not really a suburb, its a paddock containing dozens of display homes and colourful flags directing people to the display homes. Its probably what Rowville looked like 20 years ago - and hey, look at that place now :).
So - up we rocked to Mernda and immediately were completely "wow'ed" by the display homes. Boy have they done new things with design now - there are new rooms for christ sake. The use of space is so much different and there are living area's coming out of the living areas. After the first 5 or so they all roll into each other so you start to get a bit jaded over the opulence. Mum and I started judging them on the size of the butlers pantry and we had a scoring system on the number of couches one could fit into one house (the record was 22 and it was only a 32 square house !!!). We were won over nonetheless and my dream was discovered - I was going to build a display house.
See for me the display house was the perfect scenario. Here I could point to a house, shut my eyes for 10 months and open them again and whoolla a house could be made. They also took care of most of the decisions. Sure I'd have to be involved but it mainly seemed to based on a 4 hour session at a secret location which they made it seem a bit like when James Bond goes and visits Q to pick up the cool things.
So I was all set - I was getting a lovely house, I just had to pick which one. So I poured over the brochures, I ummed and ahhed over layouts and toilet numbers and I made my decision. I was going to build with Henley.
To be fair to Henley they didn't muck me around - it took 20 minutes for them to reject me on all levels. Not only could they not fit the house I wanted on my block (it was 2 metres too long) they couldn't fit any of their designs on my block. They could of easily farted about, led me along and even asked for a deposit and soil test - but they didn't.
Next up was Metricon - I even made a special trip to Narre Warren to check out a particular design of theirs. The rejection with them took an extra day but on the same grounds - my block was too "unusually shaped".
And so it continued.....
Basically if you have heard of a building company - then they have rejected me. Not one of the top 10 big/volume builders !!! and yes I approached 10 builders - would touch my block. Its too hard a shape and none of them customise on the outside to the extent that would allow them to fit a house on my block.
I felt so deflated... it was all just getting too hard so I took the final option - I talked to an architect.
No offence to Architects but talking to an architect was the most expensive 30mins of my entire life. To begin with I went through Archicentre so paid about $1,500 odd for a "design consultation and rough sketches". In essence I got an awkward 30 min chat and then nothing else coz it was pointless for him to do "rough sketches" and I may as well pay him another $3k for usable drawings.
The only knowledge I did gain from the experience was that in his opinion it was going to cost me $500k to build.......
I didn't visit my block, google a builder or even think about building for the next 3 months.....