I was bereft after CJS Construction let us down. I really didn’t know what to do. My brother, an architect with his own studio in Hamilton, kindly offered to help out, and over Christmas and the early part of the year put together a set of plans roughly based on the Lockwood design we had already liked. the results were amazing: a small house with the ability to extend easily in the future, clever use of the slope to create a garage.
Mike, being the smart guy he his, encouraged us to run the plans passed a quantity surveyor. QSes can p[rice a house plan to within 10% of its cost. The bad news was it came out about $100,000 more than we can afford. Even taking out the $300 toilet roll holders (a big galvanised nail would do me…) it still came in far more than we could afford. I’m deeply grateful to Mike for the work, and he has a GREAT birthday present coming, but the cost of an ‘architecturally’ built house is beyond us. The main costs were in labour – simply putting the building together.
The realization, that labour is the enemy (and its not often I say that) put me back to plan B. Kitsets. One of the other kitset companies we had been looking at seemed to have a long history, quite a few buildings up, and good feedback on the process. Even better, Wildwood: the franchise holder hadn’t been bankrupt. All the groovy new modular housing companies seemed to be run by people who had financial troubles in the past, and we were just not OK with risking that.
Much to my delight, they didn’t laugh at me, but quickly produced a plan. A few iterations later we have a set of plans we are really happy with. The costs are in our range (just)
and are almost ready to be sent for consent.
We are yet bend a blade of grass on the section I bought almost a year ago. The broom has grown, but that’s about it.
The designer has told us that we may be able to do the consents the week after next. We have a valuer looking at the property as well, and once that’s in we can get a final go-ahead from the bank. I reckon we might be in by Christmas….