We got the new tender today. Time for a little background: we love the idea of having an al fresco area outside near the family room and the rumpus room. It would be great for parties, or even for a summer barbecue. We asked Masterton about it, and got a quote from them fore around $20,000 for it. This was all before we'd remembered to ask about the ceiling heights and selected our façade.
But we think we have found a cheaper alternative. We're yet to get some quotes, but we're going to talk to whoever pours and stencils our driveway and see what they can do in terms of a concrete slab as a base for our al fresco area. Masterton would pour the same kind of slab as they do for the house -- one designed to bear the weight of a house or structure on top of it, and that's not what we're going for here. We're still not sure what we're going to do for a covering over that slab, but we don't need to decide that straight away.
So... changes we requested and are included in this latest tender:
- a 900mm oven instead of the standard 600mm version,
- removal of the spa bath in the en suite, replaced by a double shower (sheer indulgence on our part, and one our salesperson has included at no extra cost),
- swapping the sliding doors from the rumpus room (which is going to be our TV/media room) into the family room,
- adding double sliding doors between the rumpus room and the rest of the house,
- added an under the stairs storage area (aka "Harry's room"),
- 2700mm ceiling heights on the ground floor instead of the standard 2400mm,
and a few other items, like a larger capacity solar hot water heater. The standard was a simple 135 litre tank. We're a growing family, and we already use a 315 litre tank. It's no small stretch to see that the standard tank was not going to be sufficient.
All in all, our variations have increased the total tender from $290,000 to $299,000. We were pleasantly surprised by some things, like the 2700mm ceilings -- this is going to cost more in terms of bricks (extra rows), extra paint, you name it. That little detail only cost us an extra $5200, and we were expecting it to be a lot more.
We're off to meet with Masterton tomorrow morning to answer a few more questions. Then it's off to the bank this week to see if they'll loan us the money to do all this.