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PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 4:49 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 4:48 am
Posts: 4
Location: yarra ranges
I thought I share my owner-builder experience with you, someone might learn something from it.
My partner and I bought a beautiful north facing block of land in warburton five years ago, and two years ago my father ¨lent¨ me enough money to build the first stage. It was important to him to see me in my own home, so he advanced my me inheritance.
I am a woodworker and my partner sews, so we both work from home.
We had enough to build a workshop with a loft for a living space, and the plan was to build the house later once we were living on site, no longer paying rent, and once we had the equity of the workshop to get a loan.
We went to a local architect, and he put our ideas into a great plan.
We put in our planning application back in october 2007, and waited.
Finally a letter from the council to say that they would rather that we just built one building (a house with the workshop underneath). We explained that that wasn´t what we wanted to do, and why it wasn´t what we wanted to do. We answered all the questions and waited.
We received another letter, the planning officer couldn´t make the decision, it had to be heard by the council. I went to the meeting, the council took about three minutes to decide that we could go ahead and build but with a fairly lengthy list of conditions.
The permit was issued in october 2008, but no approved drawings have been issued so we are still not allowed to start.
We have been plugging away for months answering the questions (mostly relocating a driveway to retain a tree, revegitation and tree protection zones).
When applied for the permit we had enough money to build and be living rent free in our own home (ok, a loft, but OUR loft).
Now, nearly two years later, most of the money has been spent on staying alive (nearly $25000 in rent since then, and my business has suffered with the economic downturn) and we are in real danger of missing out on the first homeowners grant.
Now I am looking at using the money left to get the earthworks done and lay the slab. While I build the retaining walls I will save enough for the timbercrete blocks, and while I lay the blocks I will try to earn enough for the next stage, And so on......
I could live in a tent, but I need the workshop to earn a living, and I can´t afford to pay rent and a mortgage while I build.
I have gone from being able to build and be living rent free in my own home, to being barely able to begin.
We are waiting to be allocated out fourth planning officer as the other three have left to continue with their lives.
I wish I had never started and feel sick when I think about it


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 1:04 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 2:46 pm
Posts: 320
Location: wycheproof
im so sorry hugh you guys must be bald by now :(
but you sound very strong its been on going for 2 yrs and your still hanging in there
stay strong and remember why you started this in the 1st place you will get there it just may take longer
dont let the buggers get you down you have the true fighting spirit you need to be an owner builder and once your home is finally finished you will know that its all worth it and you have taught others through your experience
good luck for the future
:D


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 10:15 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2008 12:04 pm
Posts: 61
Location: Darwin, NT
Can you live in a caravan while you build your loft? I know it is not ideal, but I know plenty of people here have done it. Another thing you can do is to rent a demountable while you build. It is cheaper than renting and at least you would live on your own property and that will save you in petrol and time going back and forth. Hang in there... it will be worth it at the end.

Regards, Ari :)


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 6:47 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 4:48 am
Posts: 4
Location: yarra ranges
we live about five minutes from the block,
It is walking distance from town, low density residential, and they are a bit down on ¨bogans living in caravans¨.
i need the workshop, which is the basement of the house we are renting, to make a living
The last email from the council ´suggested´ that we might not be able to put in a water meter, and might need overhead power lines from the underground pit that is already on our block because any disturbance to tree roots would be unacceptable.
One of the precious tree that is holding us up blew over on the weekend, so bring on the storms.
Once the house is built i would be allowed to cut the trees down according to the proposed bushfire measures.
.go figure......


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 9:06 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 28, 2008 2:27 pm
Posts: 30
Location: Dandenongs
Hi Hugh
Loved that bit about the tree coming down in the recent storms; similar to the council I'm dealing with in trying to put a shipping container on the block - can't even put it on a cleared part in case it harms some of the native vegetation. Offered to transplant anything - no can do! Maybe they need to talk to the local 'roos and tell them not to eat/harm indigenous vegetation? Seriously though, neighboring lots are 95% cleared, everyone is concerned about fire risks so why are you [and me] finding it difficult to get permission to clear/tidy part of a block?
Good luck & stick with it!!!


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 7:24 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 4:48 am
Posts: 4
Location: yarra ranges
yeah, the block is over the road from the bus depot (overlooks it).
they cleared, leveled and paved the whole site......
once again - go figure


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 1:59 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 21, 2008 8:22 pm
Posts: 14
Location: Bendigo
I am over councils aswell. They have told me aswell I can't put a shipping container on my block because it is considered unsightly. Also, if I want to build a small 3m by 3m shed i have to pay over $500 and get a planning permit because there isn't a house on there yet and it's for storage.
Oh well.
Sorry hugh, i shouldn't complain after your story!
Your doing very well to hang in there.
I'm thinking of using timbercrete too. Keep us informed about how it goes!

Melissa


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 Post subject: Dont give up
PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2009 6:16 am 
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Joined: Sat May 13, 2006 12:48 pm
Posts: 31
How you going mate

I also have a block in Warbie am an owner builder :) and have had lots of dealing with councils

Let me say its been very stressfull but in a couple of years I will have a nice house in of the most prettiest towns in Victoria(and u can get good coffee there) so dont give up it will be worht it

The problem with our council is that they cant think outside the circle and have a high turnover of staff

Pm if you want andI will give you any information I have and that Ihave learned over the last few years


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 Post subject: Dont give up
PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2009 6:25 am 
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Joined: Sat May 13, 2006 12:48 pm
Posts: 31
How you going mate

I also have a block in Warbie am an owner builder :) and have had lots of dealing with councils

Let me say its been very stressfull but in a couple of years I will have a nice house in of the most prettiest towns in Victoria(and u can get good coffee there) so dont give up it will be worth it

The problem with our council is that they cant think outside the circle and have a high turnover of staff

Pm if you want andI will give you any information I have and that Ihave learned over the last few years


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