What we’ve optioned so far

Posted by | Posted in Planning | Posted on 19-03-2010

So I thought I should elaborate on what Maria and I have optioned for our Ascent 2500 build so far. Burbank have given us an options list that I coded into an Excel worksheet (with list validation, auto-updating calculation formulas and conditional formatting – I’m a computer programmer by trade so I can’t help but do things like this!) and we used this when selecting our structural additions / modifications to the base plan last week.

Since we’re building in the Aurora estate, there are some options that are not included in the base price of the Ascent 2500 as listed on the website. Things like water tanks, 7 star energy efficiency additions (double-glazed windows, for example) and driveway / letterbox additions are added to the base price and raises the price considerably. I suggest for those who are building in the Aurora estate to keep this in mind. The difference in price was so great that we had to question it with the Burbank rep – but what she said to us made sense.

Here is a draft of the standard plan from the Burbank website.

Our plot of land is pretty much a north-south orientated one, with the front of the house in the south and backyard in the north. Our cross-over on our plot is on the left, so we didn’t need to flip the front-part of the plan (the delineator is the imaginary line from left to right that makes up the back wall of the garage, WIR and ensuite) but to conform with Aurora’s rules and regulations about air movement and living area positioning, we had to flip the back part of the plan (laundry / living room onwards). This means that the laundry, kitchen, meals and al fresco is on the right side, and the living room and bedrooms on the left.

According to the Burbank rep, most people have chosen the Ontario facade, however we liked the Artico more. Here’s a mockup of the Artico:

Again the Aurora rules and regulations come into effect here, one being that at least one front external wall (I believe a side wall can be used if on a corner block) needs to be rendered. I personally don’t care much for render, as the render will crack through the drought that Australia seems to constantly be in, but as Maria and I didn’t know about this rule until we were putting down our deposit with Burbank, and we had jumped through so many hoops to get financing under control, I wasn’t going to pull the pin over a little rendering rule! The porch and centre window walls will be rendered, leaving the garage and the far right front wall in brick veneer.

The other structural options we elected are:

  • Living room option with feature cut out in wall (option C) – the opening from the standard living room layout is reduced by approx 50%, the lower wall is stretched out and a 180mm cut out is included.
  • Broom cupboard to laundry (option F)
  • Alternate kitchen layout (option J) – this is the most drastic change. The kitchen sink is moved from the island bench to the west wall (benchspace is also increased), refridgerator is moved to pantry side, kitchen window is enlarged and pantry is reduced from two-door to one-door with extra shelving.
  • 2-way light switches for family and meals – I have these in my current home and it’s a real time saver.
  • External power point – I thought this would be quite handy
  • Door to ensuite – the standard plan has just an opening between the ensuite and master bedroom, which we thought would be quite odd. It’s not listed in the options list from the Burbank website for some reason, but when we queried the Burbank Aurora rep she said it was an easy change.
  • Steel lintel & brickwork to all windows and doors, including garage door – this was a somewhat expensive addition but well worth it IMO as it’s impossible to do later, and I’m not that much of a fan of fibre cement sheets.
  • Sliding robe doors for bedrooms 2, 3 and 4 – having normal doors take up a lot of space when opened. We’re going to try and get them mirrored too.
  • Microwave space, kitchen bulkhead and open shelf above fridge additions

We’re a little wary about costings for brick and rooftile upgrades – we have found a few brick combinations on other established homes that we really like, but have no idea what category these brick and roof combinations fall in until we get our appointment at the Edge. Aurora-based Ascent homes come with category 3 bricks, but I have no idea what this means.

We also want 900mm free-standing oven/cooktop and range, so we’ll have to account for that in our budget too.

Comments posted (2)

The 900mm free-standing oven/cooktop + range will set you back around $1800 if I recall correctly.

Yes, you are correct. Because we are building in Aurora, we get a $5000 luxury upgrades voucher; this will be used for the cost of the 900mm appliances, among other things.