-----In 2004 we bought a falling-down house and 30 acres. This blog documents our progress-----

Monday, April 28, 2008

taking the storage plunge

We put this off as long as we could, but have now taken the plunge and rented proper storage for all our "stuff" back in Australia. Dad really kindly had been storing it in my old bedroom, but they needed the room back and it had got to the point anyway that nothing more would fit!

Dad got us a great deal on a 4x3 unit which is well cooled and ventilated, not to mention secure, and already fitted out with shelves. It is perfectly located too, not far from Dad's place in Mitcham. Although our contract is monthly, he agreed a fixed price for a year.

Here's some photos, judging from the amount of empty space, I think this was taken early on in the moving in process. :-)

storage unit - 6

storage unit - 4

storage unit - 3

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Aerial shot

Dad sent me an aerial photo of our property that he was given by the council. He asked me to mark on it all the things that we ultimately want to build, so they can see how it would all fit together long term.

I'd done a rougher version of this before using Google Earth but this time I was careful to copy across the precise outline of both the new and old houses, and to get them in the correct relative positions. Click image to see full size:

what amherst will look like in 10 years

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Town planning for Talbot

I was looking at the Central Goldfields Shire website today for info about the planning rules and discovered a mention of Talbot in their news. Woohoo!

Apparently they are in the midst of an "Urban Design Framework" review. I'm not sure what it means, other than that I would guess there is a chance we might see some upgrading of infrastructure as a result. It's also a signal of how much it is growing: I presume they wouldn't invest in a 6 month long review otherwise.

It looks like they have finished the initial analysis of opportunities - will update as I learn more. Very exciting. :-)

talbot town planning

The image above is a screengrab from the announcement. I couldn't resist posting as it has some cute photos of the current town. You can see the full announcement including links to download the PDFs here.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Our house in miniature

Ta da... The first sighting of the model for the new house which is currently winging its way across the oceans to us.

model for new house

I'll take more photos from every angle when it arrives but couldn't resist sharing this sneak preview.

I love it. :-)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

hello to neighbouring bloggers

So the world is a small place. I've just stumbled over a site by some other folk building a house not far from ours... who ironically enough come from the UK originally. Perhaps the Talbot vortex really does have some magic to it...

Anyway, hello Colin & Alex, and good luck with your house (de)construction. :-)

Sunday, April 20, 2008

A flurry of activity

The past week has seen a lot of activity relating to Amherst but it's of the frustrating kind, as currently there's little to show for it. In brief:
  • Eric finished the scale model of the new house and is planning to post it over next week. He also sent the plans to a second structural engineer to solicit a quote, given that the first guy he sent them to hadn't yet responded.

  • On Friday Dad met with Norm from the Central Goldfields planning department to get the ball rolling on applications. He's applied for the building permit for the old house, and got the forms for the planning permit which will be needed for the new one.
  • While up there, Dad also met with a local guy called Mr McKay, a local building surveyor and engineer who was recommended by the council, to commission detailed soil tests. Apparently he'll take soil samples from 7 sites and it will be around 2 weeks before the tests are made. We need two reports done: a Land Capability Assessment and a Soil test for Foundations.
  • Dad made contact with the guys at Septech. Once we have the soil test results and the detailed site plan, they will visit the site and prepare a quote. Once we sign off on it, they'll then prepare the documents needed to get the sewerage treatment permit from the Council, which is required as part of the planning permit application.

  • Dad has arranged alternate storage facilities for all the furniture and architectural salvage odds and ends we've been sending back. Until now they've been kept in my old bedroom but the next shipment is about to arrive and there's no more space - and besides, Dad & Vida need their room back. Dad got a decent deal on a 4 x 3 m room at Storage King in Mitcham, so in the short-term we'll be moving it there. Ultimately however, Dad is looking into the cost of getting another container up at Amherst. His idea would be to put a temporary roof with insulation over the top to help keep the heat down, then it would be secure dry storage for all but the most heat-sensitive items.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

latest floorplans for the new house

It's floorplans galore at the moment. Hot on the heels of *finally* getting the finished plans for the cottage, after nearly a year's hiatus we now have revised plans for the dream house being built next door.

Here's roughly how it all fits together, with the cottage and dream house - along hopefully with a shed for Dave - helping to create an almost fully enclosed "secret garden" area. We're doing up the cottage first to live in before starting on the dream house:

amherst layout

Now focusing on the dream house...

Here's the ground floor:

ground floor plan

The Study will double as a Dining Room for big occasions like Christmas.

The Study/Reading room wing is now bigger and more clearly separated into rooms. We did this partly to get extra wall space for bookshelves, and partly to make it easier to convert to a bedroom, if God forbid we ever had to sell or found ourselves incapacitated and unable to sleep upstairs. I'm still not 100% certain on the placement of the doorway between the study and reading room though.

Here's the second floor:

second floor plan

The dressing room is much bigger - it's now a proper room rather than a large walk in closet. It's also had the positive side effect of making the bathroom bigger too. :-)

In case you're wondering why only one bathroom and not ensuites... This was a deliberate choice. Should we ever have to sell, the configuration is such it would be easy to add/convert to ensuites. But, for us we didn't see the point in sacrificing space to multiple bathrooms that we'd never use.

The other major change is the addition of the front upstairs terrace that Pete suggested, accessible by climbing out the window. I want to make the windows with big sills so you can prop a cushion on them and sit half in the room, half out.

And of course, the upstairs storey of the reading room.

Finally, here's the various profile views:

North: looking down the hill towards the dam and orchard:

north view

West: this is the view you'll see as you get to the end of the driveway, thus arguably this could be considered the "front". I love the way the profile looks now with the tower in.

west view

South: this is the view from standing midway in the 'secret garden'. It's not complete because it doesn't have the tower shown, but you can imagine the shape. I love how the bath will be in the upstairs bay overlooking this.

south view (part)

East: there are two versions of this, first what you'd see from the outside:

east view v2

and second, a kind of cross section view of it:
east view