Hi, I’m the author, Jade, and that’s James.


We are twenty-something first home buyers / first home builders / first time bloggers. We reckon reliable information about how to build a house is pretty hard to come by, so we’re tying to share as much as possible of our experience with you. Hopefully, it will help us both.


11 thoughts on “About

  1. Eddie

    Hello Jade & James,

    I hope you are well. By way of introduction, my name is Eddie. I’m about to build a house with Wisdom Homes in South-West. At this stage, I just placed a deposit in early December and hopefully the tender presentation could be held in mid-January 2014. Currently, I’m living in Blacktown where is very close to Bunya.

    I really love your blog and the details of information you share (e.g. number of days, breakdown of the cost/quote, recommendation and etc.), also the way you present with personal expression. I reckon your blog is the best for home build and will highly recommend everyone especially the first home builders to first read and bookmark your blog. Your experience and the information can really help us to avoid mistakes, to estimate the cost and to set the budget. I went through your blog this evening, your information has already answered most of my questions (e.g. administration) in the list that I collected in the past month, which was planned to raise in the tender presentation. Thank you.

    I created a couple of threads in HomeOne Forum, focusing what to expect in the home building and in each stage. I share what I learn and gather the latest information of builders from people, hopefully it could help everyone to choose/compare/bargain.

    Well done and all the best in your home build. I’m looking forward to read your new posts and to see your sweat home built in the next few months.

    Happy New Year!!

    Best Regards,

    1. Bumblebees Post author

      Hi Eddie,

      Thank you for introducing yourself and all your lovely compliments. I’m positively beaming!
      Congratulations on kicking off the early stages of your build. I hope your admin process is much quicker than ours has been and that you don’t have silly developer requirements to manage as well.

      My recommendation for you is to ask for as many things as you can think of to be included in your first tender presentation. It has been very hard to just get a “quote” for an item here or there and it takes at least 5 working days if we do manage to get it. Try and get as much added into the tender as possible. It will be very easy to say no and take the things that you don’t want back out, but very hard to get it in there in the first place. They will tell you that you can do it all later. You can, but you have the most bargaining power before you sign the contract. I wish we had have persisted and made them quote for everything up front.

      I’ll keep an eye out for your HomeOne Forum threads. If you’re looking for another place to ask people for help or share ideas then try http://bungarribee.com . It’s a forum hosted by people building at Bunya and although some of it might not be relevant for you a lot of it will be. They are lovely people who are really keen to help answer questions.

      Of course, feel free to ask lots of questions on here as well!

      Happy New Year! Best of luck with your tender presentation,


      1. Eddie

        Hi Jade,

        This is a very good tip. I should now prepare a list of upgrades (must have, nice to have or not important) and throw to them in the first tender presentation.

        Many thanks!!


  2. Susannah

    Hi Jade,
    I just came across this whilst I was searching for some minor detail of our build.. as we too are building a Cornerstone 26. (But in a different estate).
    It felt somewhat reassuring that we weren’t the only ones that Wisdom (mind my french) f*cked around for ages… from a quick read of your blog it looks like you too enjoyed their wonderful administration team.
    I had their number on speed-dial, the team and their managers recognised my voice on the phone. We ran into an extremely poor representative at tender stage and escalated our issues to his Sales Manager who was probably one of the rudest people I have ever met who had no problem blatantly lying to my face.
    It was a fight every step of the way. Funnily enough I never received one of their feedback survey’s you mentioned! wonder why….haha
    We started the process in Feb 2013…promised we would be in our house by Feb 14.
    It took us until mid August 2013 before our plans were ready to go to the panel and then council. They couldn’t get their act together to save their lives. Engineering plans that were changed incorrectly, ‘updated’ without any changes and the back and forth that goes with it. (And I can hand on my heart promise that we reviewed and signed everything within 48hrs of receiving it so I know we weren’t the delay)
    We finally broke land on 31 Jan 2014 and are scheduled to be in our house end of July 2014. All in all, a very frustrating 17month process.
    The house build goes quickly compared to the paperwork side of things. We have what I have been advised by others as one of the most experienced site supervisors Wisdom has on their books, and he too acknowledges the struggle the clients go through just to get to him at the build stage.
    At the end of the day, we will have the house that cost a lot more than it should, took a lot of pain and frustration getting there but it will be the house that we wanted and that we will make a home and stay in for a very long time (because I am never going to build ever again!!)
    Goodluck and enjoy the fun part of your journey…

    1. Bumblebees Post author

      Hi Susannah
      How wonderful to meet someone else building the same house! I’m so glad you’ve left a comment.
      I’m so sorry you’ve suffered the same trials as we have. So disappointing. We were also promised a year turn around. Should have known it would be too good to be true.
      Unfortunately, the trials are continuing for us. There has been a stuff up with the location of the meter box and we’re fighting a $3k bill to move it. 😦
      Also, I just wanted to ask you about your plumbing for the upstairs bathroom- at the moment the plumbing for us looks like it comes down from the bathroom and then runs across the downstairs dining room and then through the pantry to the ground. I’m worried that they will just box it in and there will be a weird box running across the dining room ceiling. Did they do that to you?
      Keep in touch!

      1. Leanne

        Hi Jade,
        Even though we are building a modified Trinity33, they did the same thing with our plumbing when they could have easily run it down the back of house. We now need a bulkhead in our downstairs bathroom over r the shower which will reduce the height of the heigher ceilings we paid for and make the shower seem claustrophobic. We are also putting sound insulation around the plumbing so when we are in the dining roon or kitchen and someone flushes a toilet upstairs we don’t have to listen to it. Another cost we weren’t expecting due to poor planning by Wisdom. Do not pay to move the meter. Go to Fair Trading first and get some advice. We have done that on a couple of occasions and they have been very helpful.

      2. Bumblebees Post author

        Hi Leanne,
        Thanks for your comment- I’m so annoyed that they did that to you too! I’ve heard from heaps of people now with the same problem. Why don’t they just make allowances in the plans for these things? The sound insulation is a great idea but I can’t believe they made you pay for it- especially since you’ve paid for the higher ceilings.

      3. Susannah

        Hi Jade,
        Yes it difficult to find another Cornerstone to see what it actually looked like in real life rather than just on plans!
        I saw but didn’t take note of the implications of where the meter box was until our landscaping appointment on-site last week, when I was told that the fence needed to be pushed back 2m to allow access to it. We are on a corner block and as such, that was taking away from my backyard which I wasn’t impressed with because there was no logic used in its location or discussion about it (I probably would have paid more $ to move it to the other side of the house)… lose my temper was what they got, but resolved with a strange looking fence that allows a little path access to it.
        With regards to plumbing, you have made me think about that! From memory I haven’t seen the plumbing run down that way, i’m pretty sure ours is down from the bathroom through the laundry cupboard (As 2/3 of the ‘tall’ cupboard I had installed is taken up by a box that I think has ducting and I would say this pipe work). I reversed the kitchen/ dining room set up, so the stacker door is where the original plans would have the kitchen sink. Therefore the wall you are talking about with the Pantry is actually a blank wall so they cant hide anything in it.
        And If you are getting ducted air conditioning installed (as we did) ask them where the ducting is going to go from the upstairs roof to downstairs… because you will say goodbye to some good wardrobe space as that is the only place they can hide it!
        Im off to go and look at my plumbing! haha

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