Need help. Cheapest council-legal dwelling?

Discussion in 'Designing, building, making and powering your life' started by DJ-Studd, Mar 3, 2012.

  1. DJ-Studd

    DJ-Studd Junior Member

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    Hi all,
    Tough times at the moment..... more on that another time, but...


    I need a solution for the cheapest dwelling I can build/buy. To house 5. I'm locating it in what is now a Bushfire Management Overlay.

    Every dollar counts at the moment.

    Unfortunately I do not see how I will obtain planning/building approval from council for a simple earth structure.

    Thanks for any input!
     
  2. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    What are you planning to build?
     
  3. DJ-Studd

    DJ-Studd Junior Member

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    The smallest, cheapest legal accommodation for the 5 of us. I'm partially attracted to buying a used portable, however they would need to be retrofitted with insulation.

    Building in NW central Vic

    Edit: my sole aim is dry, warm accommodation that is legal. We have lost our house due to banks and I am currently living in a shed while the girls live away with the in laws - not an ideal situation.
     
  4. purecajn

    purecajn Junior Member

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    Dunno about your area. I went to the local City/Town Hall and simply asked what was the largest building that I can put on a piece of property that I didn't have to worry about "building codes." Different for diff areas and lot sizes. Our largest is 400sq ft with 13' walls. Curious what it is for your area.

    You may be able to put more than one so that would make it easier for a large family. This one is only 89'. It'll give you ideas for something bigger https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SbRvsWuWNUM
     
  5. DJ-Studd

    DJ-Studd Junior Member

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    Somehow I am afraid there is no such thing here, we are a nanny state where everything must comply in some form or another! I will certainly check with the council when I get a chance though.
     
  6. purecajn

    purecajn Junior Member

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    Remember that codes between a house on a trailer vs stationary foundation will normally vary greatly, so check between the two as codes (or lack there of) may be too your advantage. Also, make sure they know the building will not be hooked up to city utilities. This frees you up from alot of codes. Even check if there are any building codes covering tree houses.
     
  7. Grasshopper

    Grasshopper Senior Member

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    Depends on how much money you have .

    Up here you can live in a tin shed its not legal but its not illegal either.
    Technically you cant live there permanently but no one really checks if you come and go.
    In a worse case scenario they could if they wanted to cause trouble.
    but
    There is always an engineer who will sign a piece of paper that says its all legal for $5000.

    Different councils have different rules
     
  8. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    g'day dj,

    dunno where you are?

    but here in qld the cheapest dwelling is a steel shed on an approved slab, these are generally available from shed builders not home kit builders.

    we are at the finishing stages of building a 6mX9m with 3meter lean to scillion roof patio full length.

    talk to the shed builder, ours is approved habitable A1, as i see it A being the building structure, 1 being the slab, sheds are A10.

    len
     
  9. aroideana

    aroideana Junior Member

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    Sheds are great and usually very affordable , especially if you can get some mates to help with the slab . A seperate bathroom/kitchen wet area is best . Some councils have minimum size requirements , but I have seen a clever way to get around this with 2 tiny rooms joined by a verandah met 'under roof' size needed . Most people do not need 'Mcmansions'
     
  10. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    should have mentioned if you get an owner builders certificate course is on line around $200 or so bucks that will save heaps as has been said you will need to get a certifiable slab designed and engineered, and the shed house has to be an approved habitable dwelling plan. then after slab laying your the builder so to say.

    wife's going to do the online course so any future structures patio carports should be more affordable with the help of others.

    len
     
  11. PeterFD

    PeterFD Junior Member

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    Hi DJ

    I don’t know anything about the by-laws in Australia, however your need to put a roof over the heads of your family, and your preference for an ecological solution struck something of a cord.

    Here in France we have some pretty tough rules and regulations, however I was reminded of one family that achieved exactly what you are trying to achieve and ended-up with a grant to help complete the work.

    Essentially, they installed a Yourte for their family, adapted to provide a small shower, toilet etc. Not only that, they installed the Yourte on land owned by the local commune.

    The law concerning such matters moves very slowly here in France, unlike public interest which soon reached the local population, the local press, and eventually the national press.

    It is interesting to note that the emphasis was always on ecological housing, low energy, protecting the environment etc,.

    Towards the end of last year, with a couple of inches of snow on the ground, the family and their Yourte were visited by the French Minister for Ecology who gave her full support for the installation.

    The last I heard there were several Yourte’s installed and a log cabin – all with the blessing of the French government.

    Perhaps one of those occasions when the problem became the solution?

    From the answer’s you’ve received so far, it would appear that you may well face problems whatever you do.

    So, how radical are you feeling???

    Very best of luck,

    PeterFD
     
  12. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    if in qld, keep in mind the $10k home builders grant, by the end of april one needs to have a contract to build going, and by then end of august if not finished be able to fill in form of intent to claim the grant.

    len
     
  13. Lumbuck Thornton

    Lumbuck Thornton Junior Member

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    Building Restrictions - a possible stopgap

    Check your title to see if there are restrictions put on by the developer at the subdivisions stage. There may be easements and roads you have to watch out for. There could be restricted areas for buildings (building envelopes) already specified on the title and similar limitations for where wastewater systems go - particularly if you are in a drinking water catchment. Town Planning has restricted new buildings on agricultural land in some areas to stop sprawl, interference with viable farming and excessive land costs for agriculture.

    How large is your shed? Could the shed be used to store a shelter you move around your garden for best solar aspect. It would only need to be in the shed when you are not there, at night or during rain. This might get around the need for a permit - its on wheels. It would make good use of the garden during hot times. The shed can stay a shed with no windows needed or other alterations that might cause problems or need approvals. If there was room for bedrooms in the shed as well then they would not need any windows - you close your eyes when asleep. Most of your time is spent out in the garden or in your moveable sun shelter. Just put the toilet etc in the shed unless you are going compost.

    I have been trying to work out the lowest cost comfortable shelter for a human and the cheapest ones would probably be renovated cars or really light framed units that rely on the shed or shade tunnel when it is windy.

    Just a thought at this stage. See my albums and other threads for more details.
    It might help fill the gap or just be temporary but my guess is that this will start growing on people.
     
  14. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

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    G'day DJ

    In every instance prior to constructing a (legal) dwelling in Australia, one must first ensure that there are no statutory planning restrictions in place. You mention in your situation that there is a BMO (Bushfire Management Overlay) affecting the site, but fail to mention the zoning or size of the land. The latter may prove to be prohibitive, too. Of course, it may be that the site you have chosen is free from any planning restriction at all, and that you are indeed able to (legally) commence construction. Either way, if you need a hand interpreting your local government Planning Scheme, please feel free to contact me for some free advice.

    Concerning the dwelling you may eventually build/place on site: In Australia, all (legal) dwellings must meet with the standards of the BCA (Building Code of Australia). The BCA sets the required construction standards for all domestic structures in Australia. In the case of a dwelling, this structure is known as Class 1a building. A shed, on the other hand, is known as a Class 10a structure, and as you can imagine, there is a big difference between the two in terms of building requirements (standards of construction). Furthermore, should you indeed wish to build/place your proposed dwelling on land affected by a BMO, then you are going to have to ensure it meets further (BCA) standards.

    One very cheap dwelling option (relatively speaking), is to purchase an older-style school portable building, shift it to your site, and retrofit it to meet Class 1a objectives and standards. These types of structures can often be bought for around $5,000. Some people buy two or three of them, 'join' them together in a modular-type fashion, and end up with a very comfortable dwelling.

    I hope the above has been of some help to you, and once again, please let me know if I can be of any further assistance with your statutory planning requirements.

    Cheerio, Markos.
     
  15. Mudman

    Mudman Junior Member

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    Build yourself a small strawbale cottage, 4 walls and a roof, use the earth on your land for the render and floor, tin roof.
    Build a small out building for wet area stuff.
    With the 5 of you working you could finish really quick.
    Strawbale is also a bush fire approved material.
    Have a look what they did in Mexico, used local materials and built basic but beautiful houses for $500
    https://www.caneloproject.com/about-us/
    All the best
    Kurt
     
  16. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    yes before you take charge of the property, have your legal do all sorts of searches with council and gov planning and with major utility co's that they don't have corridors through you property if there are those high power lines there is a distance corridor from them that you can't build in, your solicitor will check for covenants and what building code restrictions there may be, also check with local enviro dept. see what preservation restrictions they may have with certain habitat, also in the time before going unconditional that time as long as you want we go fro 21 days with the option to extend, do your soil tests for toilet and building here they cost just short of $1k.

    no matter how romantic in the end you can only build and live in the type of dwelling the council approves. anything out of the mold adds to costs and delays.

    up here we have the due diligence clauses all we need to do is add that to the contract before we sign this allows for an out and using it means you don't need to add lots of clauses.

    anyhow this time around our shed house is nearing final time. they approved everything we wanted including we had asked soil engineer to submit septic plan.

    len
     
  17. jeremy

    jeremy Junior Member

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  18. DJ-Studd

    DJ-Studd Junior Member

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    Hi Markos,
    thank you for your reply; I always find your posts on here to be most informative.

    The property in question has a number of titles, with one title being in excess of 40ha and zoned farming (FZ).

    We are looking seriously at a used school portable at the moment, as per your suggestion.

    The property is located within the Mt Alexander shire. Are you able to perform a BAL assessment, or alternatively would you be able to recommend somebody who can?

    Will be in touch, thank you.
     
  19. DJ-Studd

    DJ-Studd Junior Member

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    Hi Kurt,
    thanks for your reply. This is exactly what I was planning on doing. The problem however is council approval. The upside with a portable classroom is that it is not a permanent structure, so in theory fewer permits etc are required. We do not require a planning permit for a dwelling on our property, but would require building permits, bushfire permits etc. The downsides of course with the portable is cost and a lack of insulation.
    We'd like to build a decent sized (low rainfall, need area for water capture) straw bale dwelling in years down the track, but for now the priority is a cheap and habitable shelter.

    Hooroo.
     
  20. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Maybe you could put a layer of straw bale and cob around the outside of the portable class room?
     

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