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.

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