At a time when the average house price in Melbourne has hit $313,000,
one young woman has built herself a mudbrick home in the city
The owner was
inspired to become an owner-builder after visiting friends in
country New South Wales who rented a small and primitive cottage
in the bush.
This 27 year-old
is not alone.
The Vicorian Building Commission says the value of domestic building
in Victoria is now running at around $5.7billion a year and 28
per cent of that is done by "owner builders"... for
a total economic value to the state of $1.59billion a year.
do not necessarily do the work themselves, but they co-ordinate
the tradesmen and take responsibility for the job.
laws owner-builders must take out insurance to protect buyers
if they sell their homes within 6.5 years of building.
house was built as a dual occupancy development in the back yard
of an existing house.
The owner spent $2000 on foundations.
A friend with carpentry skills helped build theframe, she had
roof trusses made to her specifications, then she bought mud
bricks from Eltham and laid them herself in five weeks.
It cost her about
$7000 to reach "lock-up'' stage.
Her 6 metre x 4 metre house has an open-plan kitchen and living
area downstairs, with a bedroom and bathroom in the roof space.
The loft ceiling
was lined with papier mache, which was time-consuming but cheap,
environmentally friendly and offered great insulation.
and old church windows, picked up for $90 each from newspaper
classifieds, are features of the cottage.
It has a corrugated
iron roof housing solar hotwater and solar electricity panels.
The bulider wanted her house to be self-sufficient inas many
ways as possible.
She bought a gas fridge and calculated that if she went without
a hairdryer and toaster she could generate enough solar power
with a small $2500 system.
Some people had
trouble coping with a female owner-builder.
When this owner biulder was designing and building her kitchen
benches and cupboards, one salesman told her to send her father
in with the measurements.
time I got respect was when I walked in with my workclothes completely
covered in mud,'' she said.
"I love living in a small house.
I never lose anything and it's easy to clean.
I just have to learn to keep my junk to a minimum.''
Liberty Parade, Bellfield 3081 Victoriai Australia