Building Belair

What a process it has been to reach today – the day I accept a quotation from project builder, Stellar Homes to build our retirement home – at an affordable price.

One could think I was something of a masochist to not only build a fourth home in my lifetime, but also to demolish a house to do so – for the second time. But experience forges fearlessness, so almost 18 months ago, we hired  building designer David Frazer to design a new home to be built on the same hillside site where we now live in a 1960s cream brick home.

 We fell in love with his eventual design for a four-bedroom home with a double garage under the main roof, which we do not have at the moment. It had a fabulous open-style floor plan with easy indoor-outdoor living.   

This was always going to be an emotional project because husband Olivier had lived in the same house for 35 years and he and his late wife, Colette had raised their children here.  It had taken a few years for him to make the really big move in his mind – to consider removing himself  from the old house and opening up the notion of building a stylish, new home where we could live out our lives.

However, we had time and we engaged David Frazer to handle the important council planning stages, which included engaging a building certifier to hasten the process.  Eventually, we had building approval and three builders tendered for the job – one award-winning boutique builder and two project builders.

So, after a long process of checking quotations,visiting referees and display villages and making adjustments to lower the final price, here I am this very afternoon in Stellar Homes’ selections room.  Sue, Stellar’s senior consultant who has worked with us to achieve an acceptable price is here with  Michelle, client liaison officer, who is handling selections appointments.

Life has revved up to a harrowing schedule and I must fit in the selection process next week, continue to pack up my home without husband Olivier, (who is in France handling his mother’s untimely death), and catch that overseas flight in two weeks to join him.  I feel somewhat pressured. A Qantas A380  seat has my name on it for  August 19.

Floor and wall tiles, sanitary ware, the electrical plan and the “Smart House’’ electronics planning all need to be wrapped up – because ours will be a fixed price contract.  Stellar Homes does not place clients on its building schedule until we have signed off on all selections and price variations.  Only the kitchen selections will be delayed until I return in September.

Yet today has triggered a state of exhilaration and anticipation.

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