Our eco building project . . . stage one is go!

Back in July,  I was wondering if we’d ever get started.

. . . a few months later . . .

We’ve ditched the building loan idea, scaled back our expectations and found a different builder.

Early on, we discussed with our architect, Nathalie Curtert, the possibility of staging our project:  fixing our leaky, mouldy unventilated and dingy 70s bathroom first, and then moving on to the glorious sunny, open-plan kitchen/dining room with actual inside-laundry room (not lean-to cubicle). Nathalie responded with a beautiful plan which accommodates that possibility.

12 months later, we reluctantly realised that staging was the way to go only way we could get started.

We could use our savings/tax return/family tax payment (gotta love that middle-class welfare, well maybe not in a macro sense, but for on mini-micro economic scale it is a boon!) plus a small short-term loan from a generous brother and not need to deal with dithering, demanding banks and actually get going with something. Plus, fixing the bathrooms would add value to our home which would mean we could refinance to do the next stage without all the hoo-haa around constructions loans (they’re awful, avoid if at all possible).

So, back we went to the green builder only to find that $30K had turned into over $40K and it wasn’t going to happen all over again.

What a saga.

Tip: you may love your green builder but putting your precious project out to tender can be the best thing to do.

We found another builder. Maybe not quite so green but practical, a great communicator and pretty much spot on with his quote even including the contingencies covered by the first quote. Happy to do grey water piping, insulation, double-glazing on the skylight, suggesting ways we could save money (what the heck!) but still maintain quality and the outcomes we were after.

That was about two months ago and after six weeks we are getting to within a week of moved back into our home today with (almost) two (definitely) brand new, modest-sized, water-efficient, light-filled, well-ventilated, locally-produced-almost-everything beautiful bathrooms for our gang of six!

In the coming weeks, I’ll be sharing some details what we’ve done to make our bathrooms sustainable. But for now, here’s what we had and what lay beneath and a sneaky peek of what the after looks like!

Have you got a green building project you’re working on, dreaming of or have completed? Love to hear your experiences!

 

Our old bathroom with the benefit of a camera flash. Never was it this bright.
Our old bathroom with the benefit of a camera flash. Never was it this bright.
The leaky, mouldy shower.
The leaky, mouldy shower.
What lay beneath . . . Dr Seuss-style vinyl bathroom wallpaper uncovered during demolition. Eek.
What lay beneath . . . Dr Seuss-style vinyl bathroom wallpaper uncovered during demolition. Eek.

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Our glamourous Australian-made bath!
Our glamourous Australian-made bath!

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