Owner Building Our Dream Home

Our house building adventure has begun. Yesterday earth works started and with the convenient location of our new block, E and I were able to watch between naps.

We’ve lived in our rental here for almost three years and for the whole time the block behind ours has been for sale.

535m2 of battleaxe back block, with only a peach tree, for sale for waaay more than what we thought it was worth.

block pre cutSo, when 4 months ago, a friend mentioned to us that he thought it’d be perfect for us to build our first home on, we started looking at it with different eyes.

Conveniently, this friend also happens to be a draftsman, and one who recently owner built his own home. We started to talk about what we could fit on there and what we could afford.

diggerWe decided to owner build. This means that we will manage the building schedule and take on all the responsibility and liability that would normally fall on the general contractor. As I’m at home with E, and we’re so close, I can manage the trades and deliveries.

Owner building comes with some intense reactions, people freak out, tell us that it’s going to cost 20% more than we’re planning, seem to think we’re going into it with no idea. But we’re so lucky to have our friend the draftsman, who’s been amazing and supporting us every step of the way. And my parents owner built their own home only 12 months ago in the same area, so they have some great contacts and wonderful tips.

our familySo far we’ve had to:

  • Apply for an owner-builder permit. (We need this to apply for our building permit)
  • Get plans designed.
  • Earth works to level the block.

Next steps:

  • Retaining wall will be built this coming weekend. 
  • Wait for first permit and apply for building permit.. 


13 thoughts on “Owner Building Our Dream Home

    1. I think it’s going to be wonderful to watch E grow up in this house, like you say, so private and safe.

    1. Nancy, a battleaxe block is a back block, with no road frontage. So our access to the road is via a 10 m long driveway.

  1. What an exciting time. I agree that with you being so close (next door!) you can definitely owner/build which should save you some costs. It’s amazing to me how such a perfect-looking building block could be on the market for so long – it must have meant to be for you! xx

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