Saturday, April 28, 2012

Thunderbirds are GO!!

Wooohooo!! The changes to the ground floor have brought the costs down to budget and this means we are GO!!!!

It also means I get to keep the upper floor design EXACTLY as I wanted it, with my galley kitchen and breakfast bar, reading nook, four bedrooms and MASSIVE walk in wardrobe.

I also (fingers crossed) get the $10K QLD Building Boost Grant which will cover my council fees, design fees, town planning fees, survey fees, soil test, hydrologist... probably won't...

But who cares, after 16 months I FINALLY have some tractions.

So I'm off to the valley to celebrate!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Race to meet the deadline

We are racing against the clock to get the plans and contract finalised in time to apply for the Queensland Government's $10,000 Building Boost Grant which expires on 30 April.

The problem is, since the Council advised us that we need to raise the lower level another 800mm, the additional costs of bringing in fill and more steel have put us over budget by $30,000. The advice we've had is to reduce the floorspace by 30m2. They'd suggested redesigning the upstairs by taking out a bedroom and the back alfresco and basically reducing the roof area.

Proposed Upper Level to reduce floor space

This is the suggested redesign. There's a number of issues I have with this.

  • There's no alfresco which I think is essential for homes in Brisbane. There is scope to add this at a later date, but half of it would be blocked by the kitchen.
  • When you come up the stairs and turn into the living space, the first thing you really see is the vanity and the toilet. On the other design it goes into the kitchen.
  • The linen cupboard opens out to the study space. There's no room anymore for a desk.
  • For resale value in the area, a four bedroom is definitely better than a three bedroom. 
Lower Level

I'm hoping this solution is better. Taking out part of the lower level. Completely. (The part in red). No floor, just down to the ground. The reason is that you can always add that space back in later but by reducing the roofspace, you couldn't add a bedroom back in at a later date.

Because we are in a flood zone, no habitable areas can be on that lower level. It's only classed as storage, so even though some people add bedrooms and rumpus rooms in these spaces, if you were to sell it down the track, you can't advertise any of those spaces as habitable rooms. So the bedrooms on the upper level (out of the flood zone) are the only ones counted officially.

Taking out this amount will reduce it by about 24m2, possibly not enough to reduce it by 30K, especially given there's no change to roof space, but I can probably take some inclusions out.

If anyone has any other ideas about reducing the floorspace or costs, I'd love to hear it.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Decorating Dreaming

While I'm stuck not being able to do anything with the house I'll just continue to dream of all the beautiful furniture and decor I'll be able to furnish the house with.

I've been posting them all to Pinterest, but these are my favourites.

Monday, April 16, 2012

House Update

I haven't posted anything about the build for a while because NOTHING is happening!!! Basically the Council has come back and asked me to raise the lower level of the house a further 800mm to achieve "flood mitigation". This is based on the Temporary Local Planning Instrument that the Council brought out directly after the flood to make it easier for people affected by the flood to raise over the 8.5 metre mark.

Unfortunately in my case what it also means is that they are playing it safe with all new builds and in my case there is a discrepancy with what my town planner and hydrologist says the flood levels are, and what the Council are saying they are.

Basically Council are taking the highest level of the floods from both creek and river flooding, but my hydrologist is taking it from the river flooding, which is the major source of the flooding.

It's not a black and white case, but rather how the code has been interpreted and because it's a new code and this is the first case, then it's a test case.

This is not great news for me.

Raising the additional 800mm would cost $29,000 because of the amount of additional fill needed to achieve that height for the garage.

I don't want to increase the budget because I think I would be overcapitalising, so we are trying to find a way to reduce the footprint of the house. It's very difficult because the design as it was is EXACTLY the way I wanted it.

Stay tuned...

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Art Deco Inspiration

I'm in Napier, New Zealand at the moment - the Art Deco Capital of the World! I LOOOOOOVE Art Deco everything - furniture, fashion, architecture. I'm completely in my element.

Napier was almost completely flattened by a earthquake in 1931 that measured 7.8 on the Richter Scale and they rebuilt the town completely in 2 years in the modern style of the time, Art Deco.

Characterised by geometric patterns, sunburst symbols and angular patterns and shapes, everything in Napier has been beautifully preserved, in part because of the quality and craftsmanship of the time.

I'm drawing an incredible amount of inspiration from my surroundings, but unfortunately Art Deco won't suit the modern home I'm building. I am planning a retro style though and I think these Art Deco postcards would suit. I might get them framed and perhaps they would work in the study or downstairs lounge.

We went on an Art Deco tour today. The history was amazing and we learned about the stories behind the town and the architecture. Here are some more photos. Enjoy :-).