On Tuesday afternoon we went down to Narellan again to Wisdom’s head office. We spoke with our customer service man about our highly irritating list from the DRP and marked up our plans with the changes we need to make.
Here’s what we’ve ended up with.
- We added a dotted line on the plans marking where the timber fence (yes, timber, it must be wooden, Colorbond is practically illegal here) will go. This is despite it being a landscaping issue, not a house plan issue.
- We shaved a bit of concrete off the driveway, as requested, but added 6.25 m2 of extra concrete at the back door, as requested.
- Cladding on the eastern wall above the garage that wraps around the corner on the northern side.
- Cladding on the second story of the western wall that returns around the corner of the southern wall 2 m and returns right around the northern corner.
Northern wall. Faces secondary street.
Western wall. Faces primary street.
- The parapet has been brought out in front of the wall a little bit.
- Window hoods were added to all the downstairs northern side windows. We’ve left hoods off the top story because they will be shaded by the massive eaves we’ve had to add. We also left one off the downstairs study as it will be shaded by the parapet but we’re pretty sure the DRP will still want to put a hood on it.
- The ensuite window (upstairs) and the powder room window (downstairs) on the northern wall were changed to larger awning style windows to match the western side of the house. They were also changed to clear glazing (instead of frosted) so they do not look like typical bathroom windows. Pretty sure you’re going to be able to see the toilet through them. I guess that won’t be typical experience after all.
- Added a slimline window (600 x 1800 mm) to the eastern wall of the leisure room.
- Added a slimline window (600 x 1800 mm) to the southern wall of the home theatre.
- Added a slimline window (600 x 1800 mm) to the southern wall of bedroom 2.
- Added a slimline window (600 x TBA mm) to the eastern wall of bedroom 4.
- Added a slimline window (600 x TBA mm) to the eastern wall of the upper lounge. This window is to replace the ridiculous requirement to frost the existing awning window. The slimline window must be 1500 mm off the floor for it to be clear glazing.
Wisdom sent the revisions through to drafting and estimating.
On Friday, James had a nagging feeling that it still wasn’t going to be good enough to get pre-approval from the DRP. He decided to call the DRP again himself and talk it through.
The DRP is supposed to be a panel (as the name suggests) but so far it seems like there is just one man doing all the work. James pointed out to him that there was now only one room left in the entire house that has an external wall without a window. He asked if that was intentional, or whether the DRP had (God forbid) made a mistake and forgot to add it to the list? Of course, the DRP had left it out by mistake and now we have to add another slimline window to the eastern wall of bedroom 3! So, in all, that’s 5 extra windows added and 3 existing windows changed.
Also, the DRP guy didn’t seem convinced that we’ve addressed the corner enough, even though we’ve done everything on his list. He offered to have a look at the sketch with the proposed revisions and give a verbal approval before we have the plans redrawn. Excellent idea! So, James called Wisdom and asked for them to make the call to the DRP, provide the DRP with the sketch and talk through what other things we might need to get pre-approval. The Wisdom guy we have agreed, and said he would make the call right away.
When James called back in the afternoon to see what the verdict was the Wisdom guy back peddled. He said we should just wait until our plans were redrawn and then send them in for preapproval without talking to the DRP. What the hell??? Obviously, the Wisdom guy had absolutely no intention of calling the DRP and hoped we wouldn’t check that he had. Liar liar pants on fire.
Anyway, now the Wisdom man has confirmed to us that he is, in fact, a douche bag (we had our suspicions but now it’s formally diagnosed), James will ring the DRP himself on Monday. He will work through our changes with the DRP man until we can get that precious verbal pre-approval before the plans are redrawn.
I have a feeling this could have been so much easier if Wisdom had even attempted to help us meet the design guidelines in the first place. It’s not like we didn’t ask.
I hope the chat with the DRP on Monday goes well. Short of sacrificing our first born child, I’m not sure what else we can possibly do!
In case you’re interested, here is the link to the design guidelines in all their glory.