Sunday, 27 November 2011

Next Steps

The next steps are:
  • Finalising the plans and getting them drawn up so they can be submitted for the planning part of the council process.  This journey, although well underway still has a way to go including:
    • Finalising the conceptual drawings
      • Settling on where we are using masonry/lightweight cladding et all.  
      • Windows and doors! Size, type and placement
      • Designing The roof and drainage
    • Getting it all drawn up and submitted to council!
  • Full drawings for building and plumbing approval
    • Plumbing and electrical layout (as a confirmed nerd you can be assured of Category 6 network cabling everywhere and hopefully lots of ducting that allows for future proofing).  I still haven't settled on the placement of the server / video / sound distribution rack and I'm still dreaming of at least some level of home automation (or future-proofing to allow retro fitting).
    • Structural engineering
    • Building surveyor
    • Energy efficiency report
    • Submitted to council!
By the time we get all this done, I gather if we have any change left over from $15k we should be lucky!  

After all that, what will we actually have?  Hmmm, a few pieces of paper, a few kilobytes of data.  None the less they will be very precious bits of paper and bytes on the disk!  They will hopefully contain the beginning of the realisation of our dream home.  The all important means to convey that vision to those that will make it a reality.

Progress to date

So it is 237 days since we signed and 135 days since settlement.  Put like that it seems we have not achieved very much!

So far we have:

  • Had the block surveyed
  • Had a soil report prepared
  • Had a sandstone retaining wall built (by the developer! got to be lucky sometimes!)
  • Completed god knows how many versions of our plans
  • Got a permit to move the driveway crossover (which is about to expire, ah well, it was free and proved how easy it will be)
  • Talked to three builders
  • Talked to three drafters/designers
  • Made our first house purchase - an oven rangehood
  • Purchased a fridge, it doesn't fit properly in our current place but we just got so fed up with our old one
  • Staked out a few versions of the house on the block
The basic design is now pretty firm and we are hoping to get plans to council before Christmas.  With the planning scheme having recently changed in Tasmania (I say recently, but in theory it happened August 31st I think) it is difficult to find definitive information.  Clarence council are still only publishing their planning scheme and to date that is what I've been using as a working reference.  A designer told me the other day that the setbacks in the new scheme are different.  I've been working with a setback of 4.5 metres off the road sides and 2.5 metres off adjoining properties and a 7 metre height limit.    I think it may now be 1.5 metres off adjoining properties and an 8 metre height limit (but that height limit is drawn at a 45 degree angle from the boundary).  I'll verify and provide links as soon as find the definitive information!

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Our Block

Our block is just around 1150 sq meters.  It is a corner block with approx 1m drop every 4m.

The current driveway crossover is positioned at the top of the block, great for the developer but not so good when you try to get a driveway in that doesn't drop down a cliff.  After much deliberation and advice from a few people we've decided to move the crossover down the block to keep the driveway as level as possible.


Welcome to our blog.

After months (or was it years?) of "looking" at land all over Hobart we finally settled on the Howrah/Tranmere area.  Every time we went driving around looking, we always seemed to end up back there even though we had written Tranmere off as too expensive.  

After getting pretty serious about a block in Howrah and investigating excavation and foundation costs we ended up justifying the extra lands cost at Tranmere to ourselves on the basis that these costs would be lower.  We had a couple of builders look at the block in Howrah and a couple in Tranmere and that sealed the deal.

We made an offer on our first preference but were disappointed to hear we had been pipped by a few hours and the block was under contract.   It was a lot easier to build on than the Howrah block but still had a 1:4 fall and great potential for a driveway from hell.

A sleep disturbed night trying to decide if our second choice was a goer or not entailed.  We made an offer the following day and spent a couple of weeks haggling before we signed on the dotted line on the 4th of April 2011.   At that stage titles had not been issued.   Titles were issued early July and we settled on Friday 15th of July 2011.  

We bought our land at Derwent Shores in Tranmere Tasmania in July 2011.  
Since then we've designed hundreds of versions of our dream.  After playing for a few weeks in an old 3D home design program I took the plunge and purchased Home Designer Pro 10 and got Lester Franks Surveyors to do a contour survey which allowed me to start to get a handle on dealing with the slope.

If you are really keen, you can look at a PhotoSynth of the land HERE or a Panorama HERE.  There is another PhotoSynth HERE.   They take a little while to load!