According to our brilliant and talented Architects (and office Neighbours) Mani the site measure was the most curious and intriguing they have ever done. The two ladies braced themselves amongst the debris of our resident squatters to measure the existing house, so now we have a beautiful existing floor plan to start with. An intriguing part of the journey was that the house wasn’t actually open for inspection during the pre-Auction sales campaign so we had to work on the basis it was likely to be a complete structural re-build.
Our trusty friends at Next Address furnished the valuation report so we had a good grasp of what we were getting ourselves into from a value/budget perspective.
This step – the Site Survey and Existing Floor plan - helps us understand and document the homes past and prepare for the concept planning stage. During a visit to Barry street we were intrigued and delighted by how much the kids (Charlotte, Logan and Parker) enjoyed the novelty of the hills hoist! Who knew old was once against new....
At this point in time we are spending a lot of time thinking about how we spend our time in our home. We have had the tape measure out examining our existing furniture and using masking tape to mark up the dimensions on the floor to get a sense of the space. One example is in our dining room where we have decided to create a slighter larger area. Why you may ask? Many of our family and friends are quite tall so with ten people around the dining table it can be pretty cozy. With this is mind we decided against built in chairs and a more traditional (luxurious) space to host our family dinners.
Whilst preparing meals we are thinking about what’s important in the kitchen as we both love to cook – two separate ovens or one large one is currently the hot topic of debate. Vicky did a survey amongst her friends using Facebook and asked for people to contribute ideas about the things they love in their home. It was a pretty cool breeding ground for great practical ideas and things we hadn’t thought of given we had over 60 responses!
Some of the Ideas we have incorporated into the Architectural brief from our survey include:
We also celebrated the final financial settlement of the property which could not have been made possible without the tireless work and sheer determination of Rod Stelling and the team at Tradies Finance. Post the Banking Royal Commission it is pretty tough in general to get finance and being self-employed, purchasing an uninhabitable property, having 6 x company directorships….. yeah wow, we had the trifecta of challenges. Rod made it happen despite all the odds against us and previous owners, the O'Brien family, being exceptionally kind and gracious as we worked through this.
The next step for us is to do a 3D walkthrough of the Architectural Designs which will help us understand the flow of the space and gives us the opportunity to adjust the design as we need. Then it is skates on to get it into our friends at Moreland Council, to wait in the queue to for Town Planning Gods to open our file… and then we eventually we’ll get some feedback and get a sense of what we need to do next.
For Town Planning the big ticket items for our decision making centre largely around:
For us this means a good opportunity to snap up bargain windows and doors that we can then reverse engineer into our plans (given they are yet to be set in stone). Vicky has become a Facebook Market Place super stalker and has snagged a stunning entry door set in stained glass – perfectly on period according to Ben for $400! The catch of course is that we needed to use some of our chippies to take it out of it’s current residence in a Glen Iris home about to be demolished. We met the gorgeous Diana and Tony at their Pre-Demo sale and they unearthed 4 Vintage Glass doors (most likely Art Deco era) which also came home to our storage shed. Importantly for us this the time is NOW, before we get our Planning Permit, to shop around for doors and windows (perhaps incorrect orders, demo sales or just super cheap online sales). Once we have our permit in hand however the position of doors walls and windows is fixed by Council and its expensive and time consuming to make changes.
Our quest to restore the beautiful O'Brien House continues.....