Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Installing toilet!

     We have been given permission from the council to install the composting toilet before the Complying Development Application has been approved, which will make the next step of being approved to live on the land in a caravan so much quicker. It should be pretty easy to install the composting toilet, as it is a self-contained unit which we just plonk on the floor and have a drain going out the wall. Also we need to install a vent pipe going out of the shed roof, it will be interesting to see how we manage to cut the hole for that to go through! I think we bought one of those old-fashioned hand-drills for other property jobs, so that should come in handy... The drain going out the wall can either go into a plastic container to catch the liquid or can drain into a trench which has slotted pipe, drain matting and gravel.
     We also have to install a greywater system for the caravan sink, which will involve a grease trap and a trench with slotted pipe, drain matting and gravel. This means lots of digging! We can't get our tools up from Sydney anytime soon so we have to buy more *sigh* The good news is that the local hardware store can source anything we want from Casino or Lismore and deliver it to us for a very small delivery fee. So now we are trying to organise and coordinate getting stuff delivered to the property while we go down there for a visit, a bit tricky since once we leave Bris it will be hard to communicate with anyone.
     Another job we need to do is try to fix the dodgy driveway a bit, just enough to make it ok for non-4WD vehicles to drive up for our deliveries! Here's hoping it doesn't rain, cos that makes the clay really slippery :( Also I want to mark the trees which we are going to get knocked down, pretty much all of the ones within the 33 metres from the house zone, but maybe we will keep just a couple, as long as they aren't close enough to fall on the house in a storm!

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Council Application !

     So we had to wait OVER TWO MONTHS to get the plans from the kit-home company, if only they had told me that it would take so bloody long from the start, then I wouldn't have been on the edge of my seat the entire time. I could even have taken a holiday!!!
     But the good news is that we finally got them (had to wait a few more days while they fixed a bunch of GLARING MISTAKES such as saying that there was a fibro shack on the property, I don't know where they got that crazy idea!!!
     So the next step, put in the council application. Turns out the guy I have been dealing with is away for half a week. No worries, I will contact the other guy I have been talking to  - no wait, he is also away for half a week. Gah!!!!!!!!
     So I rang them on the day they got back, to make sure they had received my many many many emails (with even more attachments) and he said yes, he was printing them out at that very moment. :) And then he got back to me with a price for the application, which means that it is all starting to officially be processed :)
     I have this crazy notion that we won't have to wait the normal 20 days approval process because our application is quite small and simple. I am sure that will certainly lead to sadness and disappointment.
     So FINALLY we have gotten to one of the steps in the process which I thought was going to be at the very START of this whole adventure. Of course now it is time for lots of unexpected annoyances to jump up in our faces and prevent us from getting to the part that is the ACTUAL building of the house. Wish us luck!
Here's the floor plan :)

Wednesday, 2 July 2014


     We have power running along the road across the front of our block, so you would think it would quite easy to get connected - well, not when it turns out that it is High Voltage power lines. That means that we have to pay $19,000 for a transformer to be installed on the power pole by the road, and THEN pay for another pole by our front gate, trenching up the driveway, another pole next to the house, and a power box put on it. That's $25,000 according to our quote.
     I haven't even bothered getting a quote for how much it would be to have the electricity connected from the power box to the house, and all the wires, power points and light sockets put in. I have bought a couple of 'garage solar lights' from Bunnings, which is a light on a 2 metre wire to the solar panel, for only $12 it is a bargain but it is also quite dim. I have also bought a few $2 solar lights from Kmart which have been quite useful in the caravan, perfect for a bit of reading before bed. So I think we might be sticking with that system for the house proper cos it's going to turn out a lot cheaper!
     We are going to get gas set-up with those big bottles, which we can use for a gas stove and also for instananeous gas hot water. I would love to get those solar hot water evacuated tube thingys, but I don't think that would be sufficient hot water on its own, and it seems silly to pay twice for two systems that both only get partially used. I have a camp shower which I haven't tested yet, but I am sure the time will come. The hard part is finding pure sunshine on our block, cos it is covered with so many trees! I will probably also just leave some black ag pipe lying on the ground with water in it and see how warm that gets - that's a type of solar hot water!
     So we will have to figure out how to charge up the power tools we will need while building the house - we are going to get a small solar system so that we can run hubby's sleep apnea CPAP machine, the internet server, and our laptops - the most important things, so hopefully we can charge up cordless drills and what-not from that. Otherwise our neighbour has mains power, so I could ask her if we could charge up some stuff for a small fee, or better still, figure out some kind of bartering. Maybe baby-sitting, as there are two kids living there?
     The real reason that we want mains power, is that hubby is building a 3D printer, and those things use a lot of electricity, what with generating heat (that's very power hungry) and running for days continuously at a time. We heard from a local that there may be a Capital Gains Scheme which would cover most if not all of our electricity connection costs, but all of the authorities claim that such a thing does not exist. Well I will keep pursuing it, but I won't hold my breath!