Wednesday, September 17, 2008
builders are draining and they cost too much. this is my opinion. and through no fault of their own, they are not in love with your design the way that you are. they don't hurry themselves because they want to see it built. they don't want it as bad as you do. so i've been sitting around on my hands waiting for prices and responses. but i think we have found one...
second meeting this morning on a cold and rainy site. we located the service points and discussed footings. we discussed how to go about building it and what it is going to cost. and i think we have found the right builder for our situation.
nothing is signed yet and we have to speak to our bank man again, but i think we might be looking at going forward sometime before christmas. which would be brilliant.
next stop is the money man...
Friday, August 8, 2008
i feel like the house is now in the hands of people who have more important things on their plates and our project is not being shown the love it has recieved up until now. of course, that is only because it is our project and it's the most important thing int he world to us. and we have gone with a big builder who understandably regards our job as a small one.
so to stave off boredom and to reconnect with the project i have been so intimate with up until it went to the builder, i have been sketching the interior spaces to try and get a feel for it and convince myself it's still a good design!
prices are due back end of next week, so until then, here's my scribbles. note the simplified cabinet on the wall in the living room (this one has the cabinetmaker stumped - it's made up of 26 boxes of 4 different sizes in 5 different colours). i've also included the beautiful sofie refer lights that we are intending to use in the dining area and over the breakfast bar.
a view towards the study, without the study. open doors give a view to the wysteria-covered carpoert and the laneway beyond.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Sunday, July 6, 2008
the target is $2000/sqm with not a lot of wiggle room at all! can't wait to get into it.
zac and i have just booked a europe trip for feb, so i want to get the house rolling so we have somewhere to move back into!
Thursday, June 26, 2008
there was one question about setbacks and overlooking and our ingenious solution to avoid the full height screens the whole way around our roof deck. we have decided to push the balustrade on the north side of the house back to a 7.5m setback, thereby avoiding any kind of screening. it really doesn't mean we can see less of the neighbours' yard, but that's what the codes allow for, so that's how we will play it.
meantime, the builder told e yesterday that despite handing over documents for costing 2 weeks ago, he hasn't had a look at them yet! he's been on holiday in bali! well, i'm having dinner with his boss soon so i plan to lean real hard, talking up the pros and ease of the project and how it can slip easily into their busy schedule.
will let you know as soon as we have any info at all.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
i am hoping he can price it for the most part and hand it back with a list of items remaining to be costed...i don't know the process...this is the first tender i've done!
we are trying to build for $2000/m2 which comes to $186,000 budget. it has no give in it at all. i'm actually just slightly terrified that it's going to blow out a large amount and we will either need to re-specifiy the whole thing, build it ourselves, or redesign it. crap!
will post as soon as we have any information back.
all the boxes ticked, all conditions met. this is my first building license so i'm hoping that that is all they need from us. that and a whole heap of hard-earned.
at the last minute, after receiving our aluminium quote, we changed all the windows and doors to timber. we are hoping this might save us a bit of money as we can be a bit more clever in the design. aluminium came in at 35k plus, so i'm going to lean on our joinery carpenters to come in a bit better. zac has always wanted timber doors so we might just push ahead with them now anyway. when i figure out how to load plans and drawings well i will post some new elevations.
Monday, June 9, 2008
i'll attempt to complete my specification and supply schedule for the builder tonight so i can sit down with him and not look like a complete tool. i'm very scared that i'll forget to add something like a dishwasher and get caught out in 6months time when it's not in the documents and the bank won't give us any more money...which would suck...
as soon as the BL submission is in (this afternoon? if zac can get out in his lunch break to sign the application form) and as soon as the specification is complete, i'll post a list of some of the features and maybe some new interior elevations. fingers crossed.
Monday, May 19, 2008
so that means building license is looming. i spent the weekend playing silly buggers with internal elevations and lighting design, which doesn't help get us through building license but is fun...i'm going to go draw a section now...
Monday, May 12, 2008
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
apart from the standard bits about cross-overs and what-not, the only condition we have had placed upon our project is a matter of screening the roof deck. this isn't so bad. we can tweak the design a bit to accommodate everyone's concerns and still maintain the spirit and usability of the deck.
i am, however, going to approach our neighbours and discuss it with them also, because i think we can come to a better arrangement than what has been described in the approval. let's hope they get into the spirit of mutually-beneficial design!
so it's through and now i can start blogging again. we have just started getting some prices from windows and doors and screens and what-not, so we are working up an idea of the direction we need to proceed in. as soon as possible i will submit building license drawings and then sit down with our builder to figure out what he needs from me. that'll be exciting. i think we may still be on track for a house by Christmas. fingers crossed...
Friday, March 14, 2008
need to get a wriggle on and have my drawings ready for tender. we want to get this done sharpish and try to be in by christmas and summer. zac seems to think that it's not a cool idea to put a blow-up kid's pool on the roof for summer lazing...i seem to think it's a fantastic idea and am planning on also adding truckloads of beach sand for additional summer-fun-ness.
1 week more...fingers crossed.
Saturday, March 1, 2008
this sketch is the most recent thing i have for the interior of the bathroom/laundry, viewing from about the point of the laundry cabs (check the plan to see how it works):
concrete floors, tiled and painted walls, opening to roof skylight, in-floor grate for the shower drain, sliding door into the bedroom through the cabinetwork, no shower door, just a little screen to stop the majority of water spilling out...i wonder if i can get blue glass for that screen, to match the tiles and cabs...might be a big blue room...will need to colour-coordinate toilet cakes to match...
Friday, February 29, 2008
a little annoyed that it has taken this long (mostly at myself for trying to subvert the system, a little at the suveyors that drew up the lot 5 years ago and couldn't manage to track down the drawings 4 weeks ago), but that's now by-the-by. this is going in to council on tuesday and it is going through, dammit!
t minus 3months, 3days and counting...
Thursday, February 28, 2008
well, a few weeks ago whilst looking for kindred spirits, blog-wise, i stumbled across the 100k house! chad in philadelphia, usa, is building his very own apartment-sized house for 100k (twice as tall, twice as big, twice as costly, and presumably twice as water-proof and comfortable as the old 50k house)...and he is keeping a very up-to-date and detailed blog while he does it. so link on over and take a look. it's a very sexy little building and has some great drawings and images in the albums. and his architects - ISA - are impressive too.
...this blogging thing is fun...
therefore i can augment my existing planning application (which have been on hold at council for a month already...the project has at least been given a council reference number, which is exciting, i guess) and submit it to join the rest of the drawings. then wait for approval...or otherwise...they say 3months but i'm hoping there won't be too mcuh deliberation and it might be a bit quicker. we'll see.
in the meantime i will press on with my construction set of drawings in preparation. i'm sure plenty of issues will come up in the meantime. i've already found 2...
the footprint is in the vicinity of 93m2, but the roof deck allows for about 150m2 of outdoor living/entertaining area. 93m2 is more than enough for 2 people to inhabit very comfortably, and the living space alone is bigger than most flats and plenty of new apartments.
so it's open plan living/dining/kitchen, with a couple of moveable kitchen benches to allow for different capacities or scenarios. then there's a small study nook with beautiful northern light from behind. from there it's into the wc/ensuite/laundry with its skylight chimney, massive shower and communal basin. through into the bedroom which is vast and which i'm sure will incorporate a small lounge area when it's done. there's a full wall of cabinets and wardobe that conceals the ensuite and bedroom sliding doors behind. then back through the big slider (the jo pickup door) that also acts as the door for a storage cupboard accessed from the study side. that's the tour. it only takes a moment. as i have more interior sketches i'll post them to see how the inside feels.
the north facade is all sliding glass and operable louvres with a beautiful big eave to keep the joint cool. this glass opens on to the vine-covered carport and the big slab deck and shade tree. around the corner is the access stair to the roof. and down the walk to the mailbox.
the engineer called it 'cute'. i'm going with 'compact'. or 'succinct'. it's going to be beautiful.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
look at the size of it! like 10 people can brush their teeth in it at once! that's a lot of teeth brushing. you could probably have 10 people flossing there too...not at the same time...you'd have to have some sort of rotation system...
so yeah. big sink. big shower head. presumably standard size toilet. a robe hook.
i'll see if i can track down an interior drawing or sketch so that the full glory of our enormous basin can be basked in.
so that's nice and simple and easy to incorporate into the drawings...in fact it hasn't changed much from the planning application drawings...which means tender-able drawings can't be far away...lord, i hate drafting...
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
there's something subtely, and sometimes overtly cannabalistic about architecture with its constant and ever-distilling practice of 'reference'. let's ignore, for a moment, that this house has a phillip johnson idea at its heart, and instead...um, well, let's just ignore it. i like the results that come from design cross-polination - shoes and artists, clothing and product designers, art and architecture. the apartment house is mostly driven by budget and heated compromise, but i believe in the benefits that can be achieved through mixing architecture with just about anything else. to that end, zac and i approached one of our favourite artists/designers - jo pickup - to enhance the house with a couple of integrated pieces.
jo works with ink and textile and screen-print and produces some amazing stuff, so we were very glad to hear she was up for mixing it up with some architecture. at this point there are 2 ideas on the table - the first is pretty straight-foward and entails screen-printing the 3 interior doors to create some huge 'murals' (i'll try and post some sketches of the interior spaces and where these prints would go); the second is to produce a privacy/shading/indicator strip on the glass facade by turning a design into vinyl transfers to be stuck to the glazing. i had to stand up and argue this one on the grounds that yes, it could be done (coincidentally, after the conversation i spotted a similar application on a work by one of my favourite architects, andrew maynard) and that yes, it would look awesome. having won that argument it'll probably be scuttled by the budget, but it's a moral victory...the internal doors, though, are definitely a go. if i can't actually integrate with art, then i'm at least going to allow the house to be a canvas for it.
so jo and zac and i need to sit down and work out what the plan is, and i have to be able to convince the builder that he needs to allow lead time for pretty screen-printing of doors. when jo has an idea of what she is going to do i'll ask her if i can post it.
so far we have pretty much nailed down appliances, sanitary, lighting, stone for bench-tops and a mature tree for the courtyard. but of course that will all change next week, if not when we see something sexier, then at least when the final quotes come through!
in the meantime i am working up the lighting plans and the cabinets for the kitchen (i keep forgetting to locate a rubbish bin...), and trying to figure out what a 'burnished' concrete floor looks like. if anyone knows where i can see one i'd be most grateful for the information.
on it rolls...
Thursday, January 31, 2008
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
so this is the little bit of earth that zac and i now own. it's a very strange thing to realise that you are in possesion of a bit of 'the earth'. of course there are all kinds of people and regulations that tell you what you can and can't do with it, but still...i know it's a corny sentiment but when i first stood on it i had a sense of responsibility and respect - that this was a piece of ground that i would need to treat well and take care of it...well, like a caretaker... it's a blank slate and i'll try my best to do something worthwhile with it, but after that i have to pass it on to the next person. is that what everyone else thinks when they get land? anyone else? anyway, here are the stats:
241sqm, inner suburban perth, subdivided rear lot (it's an old backyard) with right-of-way access. it's on a hill with a nice landscape-ish slope to it, and has some very close, very character-y neighbours. my favourite part is the dinky path down to the letterbox at the front of the old house. it's a long way to walk to pick up our mail in my y-fronts, but still, it's cute.
so that's the site. i'm looking forward to tearing into it with a bobcat.
this is a blog about a small house. a small house that is going to be built on a small block for (hopefully) a small amount of money. it's small like an apartment, hence 'apartment house'. it's also having a bit of a difficult birth at the moment (both this blog and the house itself) - it has taken me two days to get this first post online! i'm going to avoid any further exposition at the moment, in preference for actually getting something recorded.
so that means that THIS is the first post, which means that i am going to have to go backwards to cover events and incidents that have already occured, as well as going forward as new events unfold. don't worry, it'll be just like a david lynch film!
things that i will be coming back to:
- the block
- the sketch design
- the block party
things that happened today which are still too irritating to be recorded in a coherent fashion:
- the submission of planning application
so unfortunately, instead of some grand, clever first post, this is all i've got. don't be too concerned - it will get better (at the very least because there are pretty pictures to attach!).