Sunday, September 27, 2009

Helping an Owner Builder

Spent the weekend in a little town outside of Bairnsdale, where some family are building their own house. They have had the land for around a year and have been through the process of gaining building and planning permits. At this stage, the land is cleared of almost all trees, which most likely happened when the land was zoned and the remaining unwanted shrubs and trees have been burnt up under a starry night with a bottle of potato vodka. The owner, my uncle and aunt in law, love it out there and have set themselves up with a small caravan and shed with toilet. The aim is to build the entire house on their own and likely save a load of money that would otherwise gone to a company that mass produces poorly designed and constructed houses. Thus far, all the concrete stumps have been sunk and the bearers fitted. The part we got involved in at the weekend involved fitting the joists at even intervals onto which the yellow tongue floor will be fitted. While the method of construction and materials are entirely different from what we would like, it is fascinating to learn about the process and more importantly to see it happen and get involved. Its a relief to see that anyone can build a house, saving money and making sure you get what you want. We will no doubt be visiting again soon and flexing our owner builder muscles as we prepare for our own project.

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