Deciding on a plan

So Plans are funny things. I guess our thinking was that we had a few things we knew we wanted and had to be included in our house. These were:

  • 2 bathrooms upstairs (including our ensuite) and a full bathroom down stairs.
  • At least 4 big bedrooms and a study
  • Big kitchen with plenty of storage
  • Decent sized laundry
  • Double garage with storage
  • Lots of storage
  • Good sized outdoor entertainment
  • and not a boxy looking frontage

We also knew we wanted stone bench tops in the kitchen and bathrooms.

But that was really the extent of our thinking of what we wanted.

Having looked at 100s of different plans we ended up deciding to go with the Armadale 42 by Clarendon Homes going so far as to pay the first $1000 to have the plans drawn and sited on our block.  The plans for this house looked like this: (available at

Armadale 42

Unfortunately when we saw it on the block, the house was too big! Back to square one, but at least we knew how close we could push the sizes of the house and still have some room on our block. So after some more discussions and reviews of plans we found one that we liked – The Madison 39. To be honest, we liked it better than the Armadale and with a few modifications we had the plan for our new home!

madison 39 original planSo this was the basic plan we went with but then we made a few changes to really make it what we wanted. what changes did we make, well we went with a Madison 39 in a sapphire finish, with a diamond finish kitchen and then made the following changes:

  • Added the Gallery Façade
  • Made the garage 75cm wider
  • Removing the study and the powder room to make the walk in pantry, butlers and laundry bigger and to have access from the garage straight into the laundry/butlers/kitchen.
  • Shrunk the size of the front living room to make it more of a bedroom size and added a full bathroom into the space.
  • Opted to change the kitchen to have a U shaped kitchen and moved the sink to have it looking out over the back yard with a window that can be used as a servery window.
  •  Added a ‘grand alfresco’ out the back
  • Some window changes

So we ended up with this:

Our madison 39The house is much bigger than we ever thought we would build but when our main ‘want’ was big bedrooms, everything else gets bigger by default.


Deciding on a builder

So the more you look into something, the more you find out that you don’t know half as much as you thought you did! Just to let you know, there are plenty, and I mean plenty of ‘project home’ builders out there!

A quick google will point you in the right direction to find some ‘display villages’ and being in Brisbane there are plenty around each with some of the main builders at each but also a few smaller/lesser known project home builders.

We have spent a lot of Saturdays and Sundays driving to Rochdale, Northlakes/Mango hill/Capestone and Yarrabilba, Springfield and even out to Jimboomba. Actually we also popped one down at the gold coast after flying back from an Asian holiday in July 2014!

In the end, after about 9 months in total of looking, the company with the best plan that suited most of our requirements was Clarendon Homes. After considering all the different plans in February 2015 we decided to take the plunge!

Clarendon Homes