Posted by Chuq
Our building adventure (well, the second one) is only just starting - so I thought I would post a summary of where we are now, before things really get started!
A little history - our current house was also a build. We purchased a house and land package in 2001. Never again! A house and land package always feels like you are building someone elses design, not something for yourself. We did make several changes of course - I think everyone who builds does - but there were so many things that as young, first time builders, you just don't pick up.
In October 2009 we bought a 1006 sq m block of land in Lenah Valley. We love the location - very close to my work and the kids' future school (20 minutes walk / 2-3 minutes drive), about 10 minutes from the city and 10 minutes from Emma's parents. It's at the end of a cul-de-sac, has great views of the mountain, and if we place the house correctly will have water views as well. It gets a lot of sun as well.
We've been planning the house for a while (well, I have), but when we spoke to our architect in November we still weren't 100% sure of what we wanted.. one thing is for sure, if we got all that we wanted it would be costing us more than we could afford!
Our original plan was for a 5 1/2 bedroom house with large open plan living area, two studies, separate multi-purpose room, home theatre ... our rationale for the number of bedrooms was a master bedroom, three childrens rooms, and the other 1/2 was actually a guest room that was bigger than your average room and could sleep 4-5 people. The two studies were a "his" study, which was were all my computer gear was located, and "hers" which was a combined music teaching room, sewing room and storage for Emma's business.
Needless to say reality has kicked in and consolidation has occurred! We aren't budging on the multi-purpose room though. The room will be accessible from the living area and viewable from there as well, due to a series of internal windows. It will also be mostly soundproof. The intention is that it can be used as a children's play area, a quiet reading room, a homework room (children's computers will be in there) or a music practise area.
The house will be built to passive solar design principles, to make the most of the large amounts of sun that the block gets. The plan is also to have solar hot water, photovoltaic solar cells, and varies other eco-sustainable thingies.
Our current house has very much been a work in progress most of the time we have been here - to start with, we had no floor coverings, no decks, no concrete driveway, no fences (the three blocks around us were vacant), no gates, and in about 1/4 of the house, no plasterboard walls! The idea was to build a "finished" house this time, but it might not happen - but we've decided we are not skipping the floor coverings this time!
The intention is to start building in maybe a year, and be in the house a year after that. Fingers crossed!
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