'We needed to change homes in the second half of life, and had the opportunity to build our first totally new home, if we could find the right prospect.
We had been warned over and over about the time run outs, cost run outs, and falling short inevitably of expectations raised in this sort of deal so were reluctant to move in this direction until we visited the Tasbuilt display home at Westbury, where we hoped the address of “Integrity Drive” meant something.
Immediately we liked the Sheridan Display home as its size and disposition and easy access suited owners in our situation and the idea that what you see is what you get. The workmanship was clearly superior, the decor excellent and the design was one that was transgenerational and would not date. The concept of a fixed irrevocable price for the building period was not lost on us.
It seemed sensible to believe that this would be our last home, and although we decided to have the home as displayed down to colours, flooring and curtains, we tweaked it a bit for our own needs and expectations. Vital doors were made wheelchair friendly should that need arise, toilet seats and benches adjusted in height to suit tall persons, bathrooms all accessible to disabled persons.
It was to go on a sloping site, overlooking the Tamar River, but with the back level to enable easy movement if difficulties arose. Some room sizes and partitions were altered to our needs and furniture, a storeroom was designed to go under the front, as the house had been built on a sloping block with the front elevated, matching the level back. An office in the display home was enlarged to form a substantial attached workroom.
We had great freedom to arrange the internal fittings, but contractors with whom Tasbuilt had faith and experience proved up to the mark, kitchen fittings and appliances organised, bathroom fittings similarly, and we entered the modern age with complete LED lighting, solar hot water system of modern design and 29 solar generating panels, verandahs all around, twin front steps, an adequately prepared site with extensive levelled area and large carport space with BBQ all reachable by a servery direct from the kitchen.
The now newly tweaked price seemed reasonable, particularly with the confidence that this was it!
The hassles of Council permits, building approvals, fire department approval, engineering reports and so on were all organised without stress on us, and flowed smoothly after the contract was signed and deposit paid. We checked out the contract with solicitors and had it tweaked, but the general opinion was that it was, if anything, too lenient to the buyers!
Once started, all performed as planned, with timely reports and photographs sent during a remarkably quick on -site construction, and visits to the site were encouraged, and any deviations from our understanding quickly settled and rectified.
At the same time, now mid wet and soggy winter, the site preparation was done, ready for installation and in due course cleaned up with rough access and land levelling leaving final landscaping paving and road works for us to complete later.
Assembly day was quite fun for we owners knowing that the builders carried the insurance, and a local phenomenon, but all went together seamlessly, both literally and metaphorically in one day. The external verandahs, underneath storeroom and skirting and painting followed, external plumbing and electrics and other services installed and we were in.
The building all took place within the contract period, apart from a delay when the verandah railings became temporarily unavailable from China, but did not interfere with habitation and other site work.
The clean-up was excellent, and a great deal of pride taken with the finish. There was a very good touch up and detailing team available to make sure that there were no scratches.
A builder friend thought that the building was of excellent construction and the roof structure way ahead of regular standards. It is unique in design with lots of internal space under the roofing and good access.
We had a fully insulated home, it was superb in summer, and now holding up to the cold beginnings of winter without any heating other than the built in heat pump and two panel heaters set critical junctures. We will install a portable flueless gas heater requiring no electricity at all as an insurance should there be a major power outage in winner.
In retrospect would we have done anything different?
Basically we would not have changed our arrangements and would be delighted to go with Tasbuilt again if the need arose. We would have made a few different decisions about light fitting positions, and if we had thought of it would have had wood or composite window frames instead of aluminium frames to perfect the insulation.
The house is a pleasure to live in, done within budget and time frame and a remarkably pleasant and stress-less adventure.
We would agree to show our home to anybody interested in following in our footsteps.'
J.S, West Tamar