Well, I'm rather surprised at Ainslee's efficiency so far - Ainslee is the sales rep from Lyndhurst we spoke to the other day.
As promised, she emailed up a 6 page PDF file with the major options and changes that we've requested from Sunday - not bad after seeing her just 1 day ago!
Most of the options listed are relatively easy to interpret and understand. The quote was quite comprehensive and also included tiles to downstairs ($8500), carpets to upstairs ($8500), evaporative cooling ($5000) and a few other things which we will probably do after completion. In summary, from a base price of $284k, the estimate quote is about $350k. Again, this is just for the house, no site costs or external things like driveways or decking.
Other options we're unsure of - the $600 wine rack above the fridge, the $5500 modification to ensuite, and $2500 "KDHW" upgrade to the stairs. We'll take a day or two to review things and get back to Ainslee about that. Tina isn't sure of the larger ceilings downstairs and upstairs, but I'm 100% insistent on getting them - high ceilings win bigtime! The cost to add about 15cm to the ground and first floor is about $3000, and for taller doors another $2000 or so. Still, this is definitely one thing you must do during construction - pretty difficult to add higher ceilings after completion!
I did decide to eliminate the $1300 riser for the home theatre room though - I think I can knock it up myself with about $100 of particleboard and some tools which Tina's dad has. The plan is to further customise the HT room after handover, with suede effect paint, sparkly lighty things and floor lights, motorised curtain and .... well, I can dream, right? :)
One big thing I have an issue with is with the large island bench. The standard layout is an "L-shape" bench, with a promo upgrade to stone tops. How can the large island be $8500 more?? Sure, it's a little larger, but not all that much larger...
Anyway, today at lunch, went to the bank to draw up a couple of bank cheques - one huge one and one small one. Tina's job tomorrow is to drop them off at the lawyers in the morning and settlement is due to occur at 1:30. I've booked off 2-3pm so I can go to the agents to pick up the keys - how exciting!
Will try to update tomorrow with post-settlement pics of the ol' house, though it'll be dark and electricity isn't due to be connected until Wednesday.