On 10-11/01 we had the fitting-out session with DaVinci. This was thouroughly enjoyable experience, particularly after the surprise we had with the planning permission.
We had 2 days of hard work with DaVinci’s architect, going floor by floor in the house ands asking questions of each feature, room etc.
Starting from the beginning, we knew the house has a number of default bits that are included:
- Tiles on the ground floor
- Carpet thing on the stairs and the top floor
- Fittings for the bathroom
- Number of sockets in a room
- Default wiring
There are also things that are not included
- Solar panels
- Integration with rain water tank
In the first day, the architect explained how the process goes:
- First day we go mainly for aesthetics (floor covers, door handles, knobs etc.) and heated surfaces
- We process floor by floor, we see what can we change, what not.
- Second day, we go for electrics and finer details
For each change we make, the architect will take notes and will build a new quote.
We started with the basement. We ended up changing the layout in the basement to merge a room and a future shower in a bigger room. We moved the utilities in the utility room and we designed it to be bigger.
We saved some money because we’ll have one concrete wall less. The new bigger room will be my new multimedia room! Woo-hoo!
Moving to the ground floor, we got the kitchen isle a bit bigger. DaVinci won’t do the kitchen for us, but it’s nice to know we’ll have larger surface to put things on :)
We added a new window for the small bathroom and that was about it layout-wise at this point.
We then went to see tiles. They have quite a bit of range for tiles and we chose a gray-brown-ish one to put on all the ground floor.
The first floor was quite a bit of headache, because I had an idea about a bathroom, but it wasn’t too good (not enough height in one place).
We changed a bit of walling (instead of a window). We kept the bedrooms as they are.
Laura wanted to add parquet in all the floor (with the exception of the bathroom), so we went to pick up something that will still be OK with the tiles from the ground floor, which will also be present in the bathroom.
A side-effect of picking wooden floring is that we needed to change the stairs. The new ones will also be wit hthe same finish. That’s going to be nice!
So my idea of a bathroom didn’t work. We changed the shower location from the window to the door, we continued and picked up the taps and shower (we’ll have to see what’s the offer).
We’ll need to pick up a stand-alone tub. That’s going to be fun :)
I’ve learned that:
- There are a lot of options for taps, for sinks, for showers
- Showers are “normal” and “thermostat”. The Thermostat shower doesn’t have the mixing thing where you fiddle with hot and cold water. Instead has magic to do that :)
- You need to ask what is the original price of the “provided by default item” and how much it’s going to cost to get the new one. You dont feel it, but you’ll get a 50K extra very easy.
The second day was with much less items. It was basically:
- Wiring (electrics, lights, networking)
- Connections to the outside (rain water tank, gates, garden lights…)
- Security (cameras…)
First, we started with positioning electrical sockets. For this I was somewhat prepared. I asked around and the mantra seems to be: There’s never enough sockets!
So we went room by room and added sockets. I think they’ll sill not be enough, but we have some useful locations like open area, corridors covered.
Then, it was time to say where lights will be placed. I’ve decided that for quite a bit of the house we’ll have rail-based lights, mostly spots. I’ve also decided that I wanted a KNX and DALI -based approach in the house, because I want to be able to collect data and play with it later on.
The devault approach is that KNX would practically double the number of wires run throughout the walls. DALI also would add to wires. The initial toll would be a 30,000 EUR extra drain. When I’ve explained there are more KNX/DALI topologies and I wanted to be able to put in first dummy switches/lights and “enhance” them later, the problem seemed even more complicated…
Ms. Menk, our architect was very kind to talk to a specialist for us and the solution was very simple: we’d need a wire to connect all switches (KNX, one wire per floor) and normal cabling for lights, with 5 wires instead of 3. Quite simple! – I’ll wait to see the quote for that though!
Once we picked up the lights, we got back to heating, since I’ve mentioned KNX. The heating is the one thing we really need to do it in KNX from the beginning. I’ll have to dig for KNX thermostats and other KNX bits.
The house will be the brain of the property, but will need to control also:
- the gate/buzzer
- the rain water tank
- the lights etc. in the garden
As these are not done by DaVinci, they can only put connections out. We spent a bit of time to see what we need and where it’ll be.
All houses these days have security. bells, whistles and other things… These are for us to know :)
We’ve learned some things now:
- There are always interesting things and unknowns. The smart house, tiles, fittings are only a few things.
- If you have great ideas, have als o a large wallet :)
- Ask “how much extra it’ll cost us” for a rough estimate
- You get a quote at some point. You can buy things yourself and you’ll get a credit (deducted from the price of the house)
- If you’re doing the same, your questions will certainly be different. However, you can use this to see what to expect.