Finally, after what seemed like insurmountable valleys limiting our ability to move forward with the design stage of our home, we reached the peak. Working alongside an engineer and a pragmatic creative daughtsman thrilled to be designing an alternative solution.
We are required to use a structural engineer and Geo-tech engineer, both relatively new additions to the code of compliance list, since the 2010/2011 Christchurch earthquakes, and both have hefty hourly rates.
Without even breaking ground, we figure we will have spent approx $15,000 to achieve code compliant plans, not including the fees for council approval. This is not unique to us, it is a normal process, in fact this cost is at the lower end of the scale, considering we are building an alternative solution, requiring some engineering to meet compliance.
Rather naively we didn’t anticipate needing to find this kind of money at the beginning and we can see how this stage of building contributes to un-affordability. Honestly, if we didn’t have support from family at this point, there is no way we could have moved forward with this, as we struggled to find anyone prepared to share information at a reasonable cost.
On the other hand, we hope that we will benefit further down the track, through design, alleviating costs in other areas. Will keep you posted on this, fingers crossed.
This process has shown us there is a need for folk to access building designs now including engineering at reasonable costs. We can see how in doing this it will certainly benefit those, like us, with limited resources who either don’t want to contract to the burden of large debt or can’t.
It is our intention to make available our entire plans, at a reasonable cost, (once completed) in an effort to free up information sharing to support solutions for affordable homes.
While we wait for this stage of the building process we are offsetting our time, by building and designing our food forest, with 20 fruit trees already planted, not including the berries, we will never have hungry children. With Spring almost upon us, we need to do as much as we can in the garden before building commences. No doubt all our time will be consumed with this once we start.
We are stoked to have this opportunity and look forward to helping other people achieve the same, with our story and information. We always welcome advice, be sure to keep in touch. We will continually update the website as we progress, with as much information as possible.