Thursday, March 31, 2011

We have a move date!

This time next week we will no longer have a vacant block of land - because our house is due to be moved onto it NEXT THURSDAY! This will quite possibly be the most exciting part of the whole process for us (ok for me anyway, can barely sleep with anticipation!).

We have had a stressful week dealing with banks and finance (if only we could do this without their involvement), which explains the lack of posts from me as I have just not had my heart in it. But receiving word today that the house will be moved next week has perked us up considerably!

I really have no concept of the logistics of moving a whole house 100kms from one place to another, and can't wait to see it happen. The basic plan is that the house is cut into three pieces, loaded onto trucks and then driven up the highway (with flashing lights escort - much to the delight of my boys). I have had nightmares of watching the whole house tumble from the trucks as they attempt to offload it, but I am confident that the movers will not let this happen!

I will be photographing the whole process of course, assuming it will be light enough as they begin the move in the middle of the night. Stay tuned!

x M

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

House Plans

Now that they have been approved, I'm happy to be able to share our renovation plans. They were a long while on the drawing board, but we feel we have designed a house that will be comfortable, homely and most importantly will grow with us (those boys of our aren't getting any smaller!). Let me know what you think!

x M

Original Floor Plan
We are really not changing that much of the original floor plan, as this was the reason we really loved the house to start with. One of the bedrooms will become a bathroom / powder room, and a dining room will be added off the kitchen (see plan below). This will become the top floor (essentially living area). When the house is raised, the built-in area underneath will be mainly bedrooms. We are also adding a garage and extending the deck to wrap around the house from the front verandah to the back. We won't be short on living space!

Top Floor

Ground Floor

Front and Road side Elevations

Back and Neighbour side Elevations

Time for a happy dance ...

Yes, you guessed it - the elusive council approval is finally ours! Hurrah! Sending lots of gratitude to the council man who decided to get our paperwork off his desk at long last.

Feeling very excited, and unexpectedly nervous, now that things are moving in the right direction.

We just have to wait another two weeks while the removal company organise permits to relocate the house, and then it will finally make the journey up the highway and be "planted" in it's new home.

And now the real work begins ... after I finish my happy dancing!

x M

Monday, March 21, 2011

The block

This is the 1/2 acre block of land our little house (still haven't thought of a name) will end up on. It's an old photo, and a few of the trees have been removed now, but it gives you an idea. The flat building pad is to the right of the picture, mostly out of shot, and this is where the house will be. It will be quite elevated, especially the upstairs living areas. The left hand side of the photo shows what will be our backyard. We have a corner block, with neighbours only on one side. Opposite us is rainforest which is a lovely backdrop. The road is local traffic only and very quiet. Can't wait to live here!

x M

Sunday, March 20, 2011

What's in a name?

While I'm trying to ignore the fact that it will be another 3 weeks (at least) before our house can be moved to the block, I have been thinking that it needs a name.

I keep referring to it as "our little house", but I think it deserves something more dignified! It is sometimes called "the shack", and on days when I despair of it ever being ready for us to live in I have been known to refer to it as "the hypothetical". None of which would look great on a plaque outside the front door!

So we have been tossing around ideas for naming our little casa. Should we call it "Creed Cottage"? Bit naff though, and decidedly unoriginal to use our surname. Should we try and include the name of the street where it was originally built - "Welsby House"? Sounds a bit too grand for the likes of us. Hubby likes the idea of using the letters of our names to create something ... D M A O ... DAMO? MADO? OMAD? ADOM? I think not.

So for now I am stumped (which is more than I can say for our house, if you'll pardon the pun!). Will keep thinking, and we are open to suggestions from the blog world of course.

x M

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Council and government departments - wherefore art thou helpful civil servants??

Council contacted us again ... and this time they need two letters from us before approving our plans. Apparently they require a letter from our neighbours-to-be confirming that they have no objections to us renovating an old home next door, and another from us stating that we will complete the renovation within a specified period of time (8months). I had a bit of a grumble about whether this was really necessary, and then dutifully wrote the letters. The neighbours have signed theirs and so we will submit them to council tomorrow. Hopefully this will be the last hurdle, but I won't be counting my chickens (or even my eggs at this stage)!

In other news, I have been trying to get some more research done on our little house. The Dept of Land and Resources were somewhat helpful, however I don't think it was quite worth my trip to their Nambour office, nor the $13.50 fee. I had a current title search done on the block of land in New Farm that our house was originally built on. All this told me was that it had been bought by a corporation who have now combined a number of blocks and built retail space (including a Coles supermarket) on the land.

One interesting piece of information it did reveal is that water and sewerage were connected in 1928, so our little house must have had an outhouse if it was built before this date, as we suspect. In order to get any more useful information, it looks like we'll have to do a historical title search. The lovely lady helping me at the Dept did everything she could to persuade me that this would be far too costly an excercise, and for what? I don't think she quite understood my obsession with our house's history.

In the meantime I have spoken with a lady at the Brisbane City Council Archives, who is happy for me to visit their office and they will help me with further research (for no cost!). Apparently it may be difficult without first having the name of the owner of the land before the house was built, but I'll take my chances and see what we come up with. At least she sounded enthusiastic, and even appreciative, that I wanted to delve into history!

I am hoping my next post will have "woohoo!" in the title - please council, you've given us enough grief already, get that "APPROVED" stamp out!

x M

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Must be patient ...

Council contacted us this week. Surprise surprise, they want us to submit more information before they grant our approval. According to our certifier, they need a building and pest report and an engineering report on the house in it's current condition. What could they possibly need that for? They have all the reports and plans for the proposed renovations. Revenue raising perhaps? Hmph.

They also requested photographs of the house, which I was happy to provide, despite being slightly embarrassed by the one of the back of the house which sports some special "anatomical" graffiti! Hope they won't be put off by that ...

Our certifier is confident he can argue that we do not need to provide the requested reports (at least not all of them), which will save us some money and more importantly TIME. If anyone has friends in council, now is the time to let me know!

x M

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Some "before" (ie right now) photos

Here are some photos of our house, as it currently sits in a building yard awaiting the big move to our land. It's been very unloved recently and is showing the signs of it's age, but we will be making it bright and beautiful again soon. It has great bones and some really lovely character features - my favourite being the cut-outs over the internal doors. We'll be replicating those downstairs (somehow). The kitchen is special isn't it?

x M