Tuesday, 30 August 2011

The Story So Far

31st August 2011.

For my Family and Friends to follow and in the hope of helping others through the process of knock down rebuild in heritage sensitive areas. I have started to blog our journey to build a home for ourselves and 3 children.

In May 2010 we bought a very small triangular shaped, 242m2 block of land in a back laneway of Summer Hill, Sydney in the hope of building a small home for our family.

                             Here is a picture of our block with the two story house on it. ;)

The block:
-has a previous expired DA and is classed Residential 2a (this means we can build on it).
-It has 6 old garages on it which will require demolishing.

Choosing Cosmopolitan Builders was easy as we wanted a builder who was environmental and built small homes which would fit on our irregular block. Affordability was an issue as we are on a single teachers income. They ticked all the boxes.

The next few months were spent doing the usual building design, colours etc etc. In November we attempted to lodge our DA but was rejected. We organised a meeting with the heritage advisor in February. He gave us much advice and the plans were changed again and again as we bounced back and forth with council until we had a plan (that looked nothing like the original) but Council and the heritage advisors were happy with.
Hurray for Cosmopolitan. They quickly made numerous changes for council without charging extra.
It was now the end of May 2011.

Submission to Council
We lodged our DA and notification happened in June. 3 neighbours wrote letters of objections and one door knocked and did a signed petition.
Feeling absolutely crushed, our neighbours already hate us.
Looked into selling the block, its not worth this much trouble.
I visited an excellent RE agents/property developer who spent 2 hours going through what to do and told me not to give up we were almost there.

JULY 2011....
We went back and forth with the town planner to Cosmopolitan architect changing the plan more to suit the neighbours requests ie lowered the house as it is 2 story, it is now dug in a bit, windows are now sash hung frosted etc. We even had to change the paint/brick/roof tiles. It killed me that I have to have Terracotta, Sydney Red roof tiles...they are a revolting colour of orange. But we also more desperately want a home for our family so I will paint it pink with purple spots if council requests it.

                                          This is what our block looks like at the moment.