Building: Boutique Homes Victoria – Airlie 38

So my husband and I are walking down the path of building a new home.  I would be lying if I said it has been a joyous occasion – the soil hasn’t even been turned and many a tear has already been shed.  So many of my friends and family have trod this path, and they all have similar stories.  At first visiting display homes is exciting – but then after two weekends  the “novelty” wears off and the kids are over it, and lets be honest so is the hubby!!!  I remember being a teenager and visiting houses for over a year with my mum and siblings – ahhhhhhh, just build the house already, any house will do, I just want my own bedroom!!!  So after driving across the state we found our home.  I’m not going to call it a “Dream Home” – as that would involve a mega sized house with cleaners and cooks and a trainer – and of course a quarter for them all to live in!!!  It would have a pool with water slide and swim up bar, a couple of tennis courts (one for the adults and one for the kids), actually lets have two pools while we are at.  The Theatre room would be a full sized cinema and there would be numerous spaces for entertaining and relaxing.  So while we wait to win lotto for the “Dream Home”, we are going to build our “Family Home”.

When we first started looking we found plenty of homes we liked, some I was drawn to by the facade, others the floor plan and some quickly got cut from the list when we sat down and studied the plans. Initially, we were going to extend our existing home, but after working on the plans we just couldn’t quite get what we wanted.  A lot of people told us to knock down and start over… so to cut a long story short, that’s what we are doing.

The home that ticked most of the boxes with minimal changes (as changing the plans costs money) is The Airlie – by Boutique Homes Victoria.  The downside is the floor plan we are building doesn’t have a display.  Both displays are the Airlie 33 and we are building the Airlie 38 with an extension over the garage creating a ‘Grand Master’ – making the home 41 squares.  We won’t know our ourselves in this large home!


Some of the main points on our list were:

– Wider garage:  lots of the garages were only 5.5m x 6m – this size garage might fit two cars in it, but good luck opening the doors with children, and where are you going to store the bikes, prams, lawn mowers, christmas tree and all the other garage stuff???  (And my husband doesn’t even have many tools.)

– Walk in Robes:  I wanted WIR’s for the children’s bedrooms as I had one as a teenager and my siblings didn’t.  It was the best.  So much space and it’s easier to keep it neat and you can actually use the whole space.  No trying to squeeze things under the wardrobe frame to make use of the space towards the roof.  AND for me – I wanted a huge WIR – think Carrie Bradshaw.  I love clothes and hats and have dreamt of the day when they can all hang neatly with a nice little space between each item.  My friends know I am a little obsessive compulsive when it comes to clothes.  I fold them perfectly, put them in colours and lengths etc.  (I blame working in retail as a teenager and using a ‘folding’ board. lol)  My Walk In Robe, or in this case, my Walk In Room (either way WIR) will have just the basic fit out to start – one rail and one shelf.  Down the track I hope to fit it out properly. (squeal with excitement)

IMG_1287 IMG_1304

–  Walk in Pantry:  I keep my pantry like my clothes… It’s going to have a sink and all.  So exciting to be able to see all of my groceries, without feeling like I’m playing a game of chess or jenga.  The juicer can stay on the bench, but it’s hidden from the main kitchen. yeah!!!  Who knew a pantry could be so exciting?

–  A Sewing/Craft Space:  I have sooooooooo much craft stuff.  But I find it hard to use it when I can’t access it easily.  My own little crafty paradise!!!

–  A Mud Room:  This is quite American, but we wanted a space where the school and sports bags can hang and dirty shoes can come off.  We wanted it to be in a concealed space so we don’t have to look at it – it never looks tidy, but I wanted it to be accessible – I know I will be searching for notes and lunch boxes when the life chapter of school starts next year.  OMG – I going to be a school mum!!!

–  An Office:  Hubby wanted his own office.  We saw a few displays where the office was off the master.  We really liked this idea and it suits our lifestyle.

–  Rumpus/Theatre/Formal Living/Formal Dining :  We wanted a room downstairs where it could be whatever we wanted it to be.  We figure as the children grow our needs will change too.  To start this room will most likely be a rumpus, when teenagers possibly a theatre and maybe one day a formal dining – now that sounds nice!!!

– Entertaining Space:  We like to entertain and wanted a great outdoor/indoor space. With this house being built in Melbourne it really needed to work both indoors and outdoors.  To start the outdoor space is very basic.  We will extend this space and build in a BBQ down the track.  A pizza oven has been suggested and I imagine some nice comfy lounges and a sun bed.  During the cooler months the back of the house is nice and open and will be great for entertaining, especially around our giant island bench.

So these were the main things on our wish list – there were certainly a few more but at some stage the “B” word (budget) has to come play.  Sob sob sob.

We do our colour selection next week… it’s finally a step forward, in a long drawn out process… and we haven’t even got to council yet… ahhhhhhhhhh.

Anyway, all good things come to those who wait…. so here is the floor plan…  What do you think?  What was on your “Wish List” when building a new home?  Has anyone built with Boutique Homes Victoria – I would love to hear from you.



18 thoughts on “Building: Boutique Homes Victoria – Airlie 38

  1. Hi, I hope your build went/is going well! I love the parents retreat area you have included. We are also looking at the Airlie 38 (knocking down our house) and wondering if you have been satisfied with customer service and quality of construction of boutique. Many thanks 🙂 and good luck.

    • Hi Amy. Firstly sorry for the delay in replying. Our build hasn’t started yet (insert sad face). We have had a few dramas – mostly to do with council and new requirements that came in just before we were ready to submit our application. We are a knock down re-build too. What council will you be dealing with? I may be able to provide you with some help if you come across Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) requirements – thats been our nightmare. As for Boutique – I have a mixed review… Our sales consultant was great, but our pre-start lady (who did colours) was terrible… But she has since left. We did get lost in their system and weren’t told she had left (or maybe even fired) until we called as we hadn’t heard anything for ages. We should have been given a new pre-start consultant but somehow we weren’t. We were then given excellent service by our new consultant, and she has given us faith in the company again. (I was very frustrated for a while). We have just demolished our house and new soil tests and a new site survey have been ordered. So hopefully they happen soon. Still not sure how long until something actually happens on site from Boutique… initially told 4 weeks to site from demolition, but latest correspondence said 6-8 weeks (insert another sad face) Hope that helps – happy to assist with anything else.

      PS: Are you building out over the garage? Can’t wait for my giant Walk in Robe. The ‘dream’ of living in the house is the only thing keeping me going…

  2. Hi.
    We have found ourselves (almost) deciding on the Airlie38 as well.
    Looking at your plans I see quite a few changes. Can I ask did they whack you a lot of $$ for those?… and how did you fit a bath in the ensuite??
    We are also moving the alfresco to next to the kitchen, ours will be like yours just flipped. Are you having stacked doors out to the alfresco? I wonder if it will be squeezy right up next to kitchen. Its so hard to imagine when they don’t have a 38 on show!! We saw the clyde display only..Thankyou for your pictures too.
    One of the sales guys there just dropped into the conversation an extra $45,000 for “site costs” ???!!
    Seems like everytime we talk to someone from Boutique things keep getting exposed and $$ added on.
    Love to know where you are up to now and how fast/slow its moving along. Thanks

    • Hi Rebecca

      When I saw the Airlie 38, I just knew it was right. We also liked a few Metricon and Urbanedge designs but the Airlie just ticked most of our boxes. I had all of our changes included with our sales consultant so there wasn’t any surprises but as most of them were structural we felt we needed to do them with Boutique.

      As for the bath – that fits and comes with the Grand Master option. You can see this option on the website. I think it only works with the Airlie 38. The Grand Master option gives you a huge Walk In Robe (one of my requirements. lol) and gave my husband an office space. This was achieved by putting a wall in where the Master Retreat is (design feature of the Grand Master). Having an office/study space was something we liked that a couple of other builders were doing and was important for my husband. (and that’s where he can hang his sporting memorabilia so I can shut the door and never look it)

      We wanted bifolds but we had to start cutting a few things, so we went with the stacking doors. We took out the support column which is very expensive to do, but we wanted the indoor/outdoor areas to be seamless. Also a few friends have done this and it really makes the space. We also paid for the doors to be recessed into the concrete. This means there is no ‘step’ over the door frame – it is all level. (indoor and outdoor)

      It’s hard to imagine the space without a display. I was really disappointed when they built a second Airlie 33 and not a 38.

      As for site costs – ours were what you have been quoted. It seems to be the norm for knock-down re-build. And I’m happier to know upfront what we will be up for rather than later. We have had lots of family and friends build, so we knew where the costs jump. We wanted a real quote from the beginning, and I have been thankful that so far Boutique have been transparent. We had most of our upgrades included before we went to our colour appointment.

      As for where we are now… well it’s quite the drama. We are still waiting for council to come to the party. They have approved the house design but it’s new requirements that are our hold up. It’s very frustrating. Check with council if you have to meet ‘Water Sensitive Urban Design’ (WSUD) – and pray you don’t. Not only are these requirements a complete joke, it is costing us a fortune to meet. Boutique are learning on the way with these requirements too, but unfortunately for us we are the Guinea pigs.

      Sorry for the essay, feel free to private message me if you would like more information. I

  3. Thankyou so much for the detailed reply.
    We actually has a tour of a 38 today which is nearly finished. Unfortunately we realise we have to go down to a 33 otherwise we will lose 2 trees which we love and too much garden. But we are happy that we had the option available to us. Unlike the Costa Rica which is only available in one size.
    Thanks for giving us the heads up on the recessed window step over thingy… my husband was right onto it with the sales guy. Great idea.
    Looks like we will also be doing grand master, the WIR is just not adequate otherwise.
    It was actually good having two hours with a Boutique guy to get some explanations and ideas.
    Will be watching your progress. Good luck with all the council dramas!

    • We are also looking to knock down rebuild in the east of melbourne, and looking at the Airlie 38 with build over garage. I’m keen to see a photo of the front of the house once established as am only imagining this from the plans to date. We also want to preserve as much garden space and trees at the back but am also hoping the narrower width will allow this on the sides as well (our block is 16.5 wide)

      Looking forward to your updates

      • Hi Nick – I can’t give you a pic as yet…sadly we still haven’t started. But once it does start I will certainly be uploading plenty of pictures. We have no real yard left – it was a tough choice, but the little bit of extra side yard helped with our decision. Also having a HUGE park and sporting fields two doors down made it not as scary to lose our backyard. Our width is only 14m, so that extra 2.5m will be wonderful on your block. We are praying we start in the next few weeks – otherwise our dream of Christmas will look unlikely. The whole planning part took sooooo much longer than I ever dreamt. We signed a year ago. Keep me updated with your progress!

    • Unfortunately our build has not begun… It is breaking my heart actually! Still dealing with council – no start date in sight. How are you going? Thanks – Joanne.

  4. I am keen on the same layout as yours too Dapple Grey and am shocked that building hasn’t started yet but am I right in assuming this is a council permit issue not Boutique Homes.
    Can I ask what council you deal with – we r within Bayside Council who are notoriously difficult, in fact many builders won’t build in our area as a result so for us the main thing is to find a house that fits within their guidelines.
    Am keen to follow your progress – thanks 🙂

    • Hi Helen. I honestly thought we would be getting ready to move in, but we are only getting ready to start… (Next Thursday – we got our start date today!!!)
      Yes, you are right in assuming council is mostly to blame, but at the same time I think Boutique could have better processes in place for the issues that seem to arise from building in built up areas. We also had many pre-start consultants which didn’t help. But to be honest, I think these types of problems happen with most Volume Builders. (this is when I wish we went with a private builder, but you hear horror stories about them too) We are in The City of Moonee Valley, which I believe to be a tough council also. Do you know if you have any overlays, or does Bayside require you to meet Water Sensitive Urban Design requirements? WSUD was a complete thorn in our side, and sadly we aren’t even finished with that – we have to build a rain garden and supply a maintenance program for all the WSUD features within 30 days of moving in. Ahhhhh – I don’t want to be thinking about rain when we move in, I want to be decorating and enjoying our new home!!! My advice for you would be – speak to council, then speak to them again, and again… Find out exactly what you need to do. We followed council’s advice, but spoke with a complete dud – she had no real idea (which we didn’t notice at the time). She neglected to tell us so much information we needed to know, which I think would have reduced some of the delays. We have never built or extended before, so had no idea on what the requirements were. In regard to Boutique, get everything sorted with your sales consultant. Get everything you want included and priced with them. I found the salesman so much quicker to respond and to get answers from. Don’t sign or pay until you have everything you want/need. As soon as you sign things get slow pretty quickly. We visited the colour showroom with our sales consultant and had heaps of things priced in before our actual colour appointment. And for knock-down re-build, I would just expect a two year turn around, anything less will be a bonus. If you go in prepared for a long drawn out process it might not be so stressful??? It has certainly been an emotional roller coaster ride for me (and we are only about to start the actual build) Good luck, and I am happy to answer any other questions. The Airlie is such a great floor plan!!!

      • Thanks for replying – am keen to follow your progress.
        We have an unusual situation in that we have sold and have a rent back agreement for 2 years. So we need to find a ‘knockdown’ to buy first. There’s nothing for sale at the moment so just waiting for spring and in the meantime decided I would get a really good idea of what we wanted and cost so that when we do actually buy we can get started ASAP. I’ve been to Porter Davis and Metricon but the Airlie 38 room sizes for bed 2, 3 & 4 are a bit bigger due to the layout – PD & M rooms are all tiny (3mx3.1)
        I want to know what the cost will be – no nasty surprises. I have already factored in 20k to demolish plus $45K site costs. Just need to lock in a price for the build, permits, power connections, driveway.
        Good luck and keep us posted 🙂

  5. Hi Dapple. Great design you have there. I’m also a fan of this house design. Can you privately share me via email the cost you paid for the house? I’m doing some budgeting on my side. Thanks!!!

    • Hi Kevin

      Boutique were very transparent with the costing and with so many options it really would be worth just contacting them. There are a million different options you might want, so just ask. Compared with some other builders they were very upfront to us. We had most of our extras costed in before our colour appointment so we were fully aware of the total cost for the most part. Good luck,

  6. Hi Dapple,

    Any updates on the house? Its been some months, you must be almost in??
    We are building the airlie 30 and just reached lock up…..hurry up!

    • Hi Peter – sorry for the late response. We are in – and have been for almost 11 weeks – blogging dropped away with home set up and normal life. I always said I wouldn’t do that – but I did. Sorry. Are you in your Airlie 30?

  7. Hi – we are currently looking into and pricing the Airlie 38. Just wondering if you had any tips or suggestions on what to ask – and what are definite things we shouldn’t forget. How is the build cling along?

    • Hi Jo – We are loving our Airlie – we have been in for around 11 weeks now. My favourite things are the extension over the garage to give a large walk-in-robe, and then we made the retreat a study by closing it in. I love our kitchen – it’s amazing. We closed in the entry door from the hallway into the pantry and made it a linen space, which gave more bench space in the actual pantry. We recessed the sliding doors in the lounge area into the concrete, so when we build our deck it will all be one level. We also created a mud room in the laundry which I love, keeps all the school and kinder bags out of sight. Oh and a double shower head in the main bedroom ensuite. It really is an amazing home, we love it.

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