It is very important to go through all of these documents when you get them. Keep all your correspondence, notes, details of colour choices etc with you when you're doing this. We found that there were many things that had either been changed or omitted from the time we were at Tender to the time we received the documents. It also pays to check things a few times when your CLE changes (as ours did twice).
The changes and omissions were very frustrating, because it really meant that we couldn't trust any of the documents and really had to look at every little detail. This also meant numerous trips back to the display home and Spectra to make sure we had model numbers etc correct.
There was a long chain of emails back and forth between us and our CLE to ask them why things had been changed or omitted, how our selections could have changed within a matter of days when we hadn't asked for anything to be changed, and how they could change things without telling us. There were several doors that we wanted as CSD that were confirmed at Tender that ended up not being possible (for structural integrity). But our CLE never explained why these things had been changed, and that was annoying.
During the Tender process it really hit home that we couldn't let the builder run the process - this was our house and we had to make sure we were getting what we wanted. It's not that Carlisle were overly pushy or anything. There were just moments when we felt like they were saying 'she'll be right mate' but weren't willing to understand how important some of the changes were to us.
There was also the issue of finalising our electrical requirements. Our contract with Carlisle would onlly include lighting and power points. All other wiring, TV points, phone points etc was to be provided by Carlisle's electrical partner, Argus Technologies.
Drawing up our lighting and power point configuration took a lot of time. Included in our considerations were:
- How many lights per room?
- Downlights or batten points?
- Do we need any noggins to allow for ceiling fans or feature lighting?
- How would we switch these lights?
- Do we need any two-way switches?
- How many power points do we need in each room?
- Does the kitchen have enough power points?
Anyway, after a few weeks of emails, long nights of sorting through information, and a few packs of Post-it Tabs, we finally got everything sorted out. We went back into Carlisle's office to go through the Tender documents again and signed them there.
Another step closer to site start...