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Hybrid house in Clunes (Vic) – your thoughts…

Home Forums OVER THE BACK FENCE Property Tales Hybrid house in Clunes (Vic) – your thoughts…

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    Our council told us that we could build with lego bricks as long as it met building code requirements. I must say that our council is pretty good about alternative building materials. We have had more problems with our local suburban council!


    I once went to a lecture about House Design done by Peter Lees. I was impressed with him and bought his book. He seems to know what he is talking about. He may be able to help you get Council approval also.


    Hello Mel

    Thanks for your thoughts.

    I also bought Peter Lees book, but decided that it wasn’t what I was after. (I swapped it for a book on Solar power installation) :tup:

    While his designs are great, he doesn’t do curves. That’s why he can offer his plans at a inexpensive price – they are generic, with just a few changes to be made re windows, doors etc.

    The consultancy I am utilising runs strawbale workshops regularly. The gentleman that runs it is an experienced builder in strawbale and a designer/draftsman/ subject-matter-expert. His assistants are the building surveyor and structural engineer who are also strawbale knowledgeable.

    As long as I build in accordance with the final plans/specifications, and have the building surveyor check the progress at the appropriate times -and is satisfied- then all will be good.

    I doubt I’ll have too many hick-ups with the council, because as penny mentioned earlier – as long as one builds within the guidelines of the regs… they are not overly concerned.

    (Hepburn Shire has several strawbale residences – so not totally ignorant … which IS surprising )




    Hi Andre,

    Plans look great – I’m looking forward to seeing some construction pics.



    Well Andre I found the thread. :wave:

    I do so love your house plan, the curved roof sets it off wonderfully, now I will look forward to seeing the added verandah. I like a verandah to be lived in as a part of the house, something I have never managed.

    So in answer to your earlier question as to what to do after the ‘dream’ is built……just live the dream Andre.

    Take care.


    Wow .. it’s been over three years since I posted this :jawdrop:

    Ok .. getting a tad more excited..

    I made slight changes to the plan, basically widening the house slightly to include a third bedroom upstairs.

    I’ve been speaking with ‘the consultancy’:

    I have a draftsman awaiting the word to draw up my plans. (I’m awaiting funds .. as always) Once that’s done, the engineer can get cracking to make sure the roof will stay on, and the house won’t fall down; also have building surveyor thumbs-up for the earth floor. The good thing is, once plans are drawn up and given the tick-in-the-box by the engineer and surveyor, the local council can say little – even the earth floor :tup: Happy about that.

    So, to the costings:

    You might note from the design, it’s not your average house. It isn’t even you average strawbale house! You might also be aware that the price of anything NOT normal gets higher and higher.

    Soil test and Land Capability Assessment cost $1100

    A rough quote to put a physical termite barrier is approx $4500 (I do this myself, and they check and sign-off). (Approx 215 sq metres floor)

    I’m looking at $15,000 – $18,000 to get everything drawn up, engineered and stamped by council.

    Once the final floor plan is drawn up (after lots of back-and-forth discussions) ‘the consultancy’ will then redraw everything in layman diagrams. This is lots of extra drawings, bringing every item down to a me-speek-no-techo level.

    So far, all that had to be changed:

    I will need to incorporate rolled steel members, instead of timber, because of the stresses and strains of the curves.

    The good side:

    Earth floor – that can save me anything from $20,000 – 40,000 (no concrete, or reo etc).

    ‘The consultancy’ do tell me they think the house, done properly, will look magnificent (their words!) 😀

    … watch this space.

    Oh, and I’ve been advised, my DD intends to have her 21st there! That gives me 20 months …. hmmm


    20 months …..time to extract digit(s) 🙂


    Sounds very exiting Andre.

    Tassie Tiger

    G’day Andre long time no speak 🙂 Wow 3 years certainly slips bye. My plans for becoming a working grey nomad are on track(at this stage) so if you are still looking for some extra hands to lift and carry I will more than likely be over that way early in 2013.




    Sounds like a plan, TT

    .. and even if not .. come camping for a couple of days … or whatever takes your fancy 😉

    Tassie Tiger

    Thanks for the invitation Andre :clap: When will you be on site?




    Hi Andre,

    Great model, have you considered contacting the team from Grand Designs Australia?

    With an unconvntional design and construction methods I am sure they would be interested in filming your build


    Thanks Simo.

    You bet I have! I’ve also notified the various people involved that I intend to get it on Grand Designs Australia.

    I’ve got a few preliminaries to do first; mainly ensuring the floor plans are done, and the building permit has the thumbs up, then it will be full steam ahead.


    Can’t wait mate.. now we are in Ballarat, I’ll be able to help when I can get out there.. There is also a great Permie group that I’m sure would love to help up , with “Workshops” and the like…


    Exciting times ahead for you Andre. You will put Clunes on the map, having it on GD :woohoo:

    It will be very cool to see it finished.. (I know, it’s not started yet ), but it’s been in the pipeline for sometime now 🙂

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