After visiting dozens of display homes across Greater Melbourne last year, we finally decided on “The One.” During our many months of searching, we discovered that no display home was perfect. But then again, no house you buy is going to perfect, either. All houses have compromises and trade offs, unless you have a bottomless pit of money, which we don’t. With than in mind we wanted to get as close to perfect as we could. And I think we did.
Allow me to present the home we are building….
The Brookwater by Porter Davis.
When we first visited this display home (it was the first one we ever saw) we were immediately “wowed”. At that stage we were not pregnant with our 4th baby and we weren’t sure if it was too big. But we were impressed; it was hard not to be.
We visited many other display homes throughout the year by various building companies, but we always came back to this one. Still, we had some hesitations. For one, each bedroom comes with an ensuite and we found this a little excessive. I grew up in a family of five girls and we (mostly) happily shared the one bathroom. I reckon it’s a rite of passage in a big family to fight for your time in the bathroom. It promotes sharing (fighting) and bonding (sibling warfare) but apparently LOADS of people like individual ensuites. Who’s got time to clean all those loos?!
The Brookwater is also one of the few volume homes that include 5 bedrooms plus a study. It also has multiple living zones, which was a huge drawcard for us. As many of you know, I have a very big extended family, so we really wanted a house that could accommodate all those bodies. Plus, we love entertaining and so it was important we build a house that would make entertaining a breeze. If only the butlers pantry came with a butler. They really should throw one of those in too!
- 5 bedrooms
- 5 ensuites (but we have chosen to remove two)
- A study at the front of the house
- Multiple living zones across two stories
- Big kitchen with Butler’s Pantry. YAY!!
- Rumpus room
- Family room
- Formal lounge
- Teenagers retreat, and
- Alfresco area.
Ideally, I would have preferred a single level family home, but we couldn’t find one that would fit on our block. Plus, it would have meant losing a bedroom. And while I am happy for our kids to share while they are young, ideally I’d like them to have their own bedrooms later on.
The footprint of the house is quite big, which doesn’t leave us much of a garden. Much as I adore sprawling gardens with hidey-holes for kids and lovely green things called trees, we decided it was more important to have space inside. Plus, we live in an area surrounded by parks and nature trails, and while not the same thing as your own private garden, it’s a good substitute.
Another compromise is that by going with a volume builder you can’t modify things greatly. The floorplan comes with a few variations and you are locked into the one you choose. That said, we have been able to put in extra doors, move and remove windows, add a wall and remove two ensuites to create a central bathroom upstairs.
Word of advice:
Do not attempt a new build with a newborn. That is all.
This week the house on our block is being demolished and building will begin in early May. Porter Davis guarantees an 8-month build time. We need them to deliver on this as we’re being kicked out of our rental right at this time and I don’t fancy the idea of being homeless and having all our stuff in storage. Been there and done that and DON’T want to do it again.
In my next post I will tell you all about our time at World of Style. An experience that was both fun and frightening. So many decisions!!!!
Have you ever renovated or built your own home? Are you thinking about it? Let me know all about your experience and hit me up with any questions below. I am only too happy to share my details of our experience.