Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Massive post: A beginners guide to Building with M!

I've been feeling a bit underoccupied lately, now that we've done all the major thinking and decisions with building the Nolan, so I've decided to start compiling some useful basic information for those thinking of building with M - there's a few of you out there, I know! I'll also break this up into chunks and post it on the Homeone forums for more people to contribute to. So, take a deep breath and have a read through!



Go and check out all the M displays that you can. See what floorplans appeal (or not) and you should be able to find at least 2 houses that you could see yourself living in. You’re able to make changes to the floorplan, so the house doesn’t have to be perfect as you see it (of course, changes cost money, but maybe not as much as you think).

When you find a floorplan to start from, get the sales consultant (SC) to give you a walkthrough. If they’re any good, they should be able to point out everything that is nonstandard (which is most things!) and what is.

$1000 secures your base price of the house, paid to your SC. Note: From this deposit date, you have 150 days to make the final contract unconditional – this includes such things as land settlement, demolition, finance approval etc. If not, the clause allows for an increase of 0.5% of the contract price (not base house price!) per month of delay.

After initial deposit, M will do a site survey and soil test.

At your preliminary contract appointment with your Customer Service Consultant (CSC), you’re presented with siting diagrams and initial floorplans. If (like us) you want to make changes to the floorplans, best you do them even before the initial deposit stage, so you can give them to your SC, and they should be drawn up for your prelim contract. However, at our prelim contract we had done maybe half the floorplan changes we wanted, and submitted further changes at this point.

As a rough guide, modifying our Nolan wasn’t that expensive for what we gained;
- laundry redesign (move door and add walk in linen) about $700
- powder room redesign (enclose WC and sink in one room, feature windows) $500
- ensuite redesign (swap toilet and shower, making huge shower) $500

When you’re happy with your prelim contract, cough up another $3000 to get the final contract drawings done.

Studio M colour selection, electrical and tiles – see the next few posts for info.

Final contract – despite what your CSC may say, there still is room to fine tune changes at this stage without penalty. We changed the internal access door handle, the kitchen sink and a few other things here as a “pre construction variation”.

M then will apply for your building permit, and have 30 days to start construction from the date the building permit is approved.


Be well prepared, as you’ve gotta choose EVERYTHING for your house at this appointment! See as many M display homes as you can, take photos and make notes of what you like.

Everything from tiles, bricks, mortar, doors, windows, paint, kitchen, cabinets, vanities etc needs to be picked.

Visit places like Austral/Boral/Selkirk Bricks, and get their lists of houses built using their bricks. Also grab a few sample bricks of the ones you like!

Some rough guidelines on pricing upgrades (submit your upgrade prices and I can add them to this list!)

- Vinyl wrap $4000
- 2pack (not available anymore?) $6500
- ABS edging $100+
- Upgrade handles – highest category about $500
- Upgrade 20mm to 40mm ceasarstone $500
- Tiled kickers $50
- Upgrade doors to Balmoral-2 approx $100 per door?
- Big pull handle and roller lock to front entry door $400
- Trilock approx $170+
- Privacy locks $25
- Upgrade to KDHM treads (stained wood stairs, no carpet) $2500
- Stainless steel balusters $1000
- Upgrade to Cat4 Austral on Nolan 41 $4500
- Off white mortar on Nolan 41 $900
- Flush mortar on Nolan 41 $300


Check the standard electrical plan carefully – there’s the bare minimum included! Electrical appointment takes 2-3 hours, depending on how well prepared you are. As usual, best advice is to print out the standard floorplan and mark in everything you want prior to the appointment. M will also email you a full pricelist of everything prior to your appointment,

Rough upgrade prices
- Double electrical powerpoint $61
- External junction box for light $50
- Wall, floor, step light point $56
- Downlight $46 (and if this is a “new” downlight point, add about $56 for a “ceiling light point” first!)
- Two way switch $50
- Three way switch $100
- IXL 4 lamp $500
- 4 star gas heater upgrade about $750
- Zoning for heating about $350


M have unfortunately reduced their tile range as of Aug 09, so there’s not many standard tiles. You can go to Beaumont Tiles in Oakleigh anytime for a stickybeak – the current standard range is marked by little blue dots on the tiles.


  1. T&T, great beginners guide do a appreciate it. We are building a Nolan 45 in Bentleigh. We are not as advanced as you guys, however that works great as we can gain much from you guys being a few months ahead of us. Cheers and good luck.

  2. Guys - great write up. This post recommended to me via the "You might also like" at the bottom of a more recent thread but I must say, it deserves a bit more attention than that. ;)

    This is spot on for our experience too with Metricon. While I can't say it's much different than many other builders, it's definitely worth noting the extra expenses and rigid timelines you must adhere to when building your own home.

    Nice work!

  3. Hi, thanks so much for putting together this blog! it helps newbies like us who are just about to sign the pre-contract and start building the Liberty 42. I was wondering if you know of a spreadsheet/tool/book that lists out the building schedule, and appointments/decisions that we need to be make. Basically something to help us plan? Mei

  4. Hi Mei - once you leave your first deposit, M should give you a book which explains all the timelines pretty well, that's what we used as a guide. I think everyone's experience will vary in terms of time, appointment order etc, so it's best to just take it as it comes!



Related Posts with Thumbnails