Making It real
My story in attempting to bring a new housing type that improves affordability, livability & community resilience
Images of the house before demolition
Before I get onto the demolisher, I need to share my experience with the utility companies, namely the NBN. They should never complain when people give them a bad rap. Apart from a pretty antiquate website, it was not too much pain to register to have the power and gas supply cut off. That only took around the 2-3 weeks without a charge. The NBN, on the other hand, requested over $200 and they took the longest time to physically remove the connection, almost 6 weeks to get there. And the fairness in that is where exactly....?? Yet that was marginal when I compare it to the demolisher.
I am sure many have a similar trade experience where they promise the world and follow the rules. Yet this changes when they are on site. They simply do their own thing and tell you that you do not know anything. "I've been doooing disss for tirty years maaate, yoou knoow nutding". In short, instead of pulling individual sections of the old house down by hand along the neighbour's boundary, they used heavy machinery which they initially agreed that they would not use. This created unnecessary anxiety for my neighbour and lead to numerous heated discussions with the demolishing group. That was not fun. They were also meant to provide me with a certificate that they had the house inspected by a hygienist for any asbestos before pulling things apart, as is required under the Environmental act. In the beginning, they repeatedly told me that they could not start until this inspector had made the visit. This delayed the project by 6 weeks. So, when I asked for the certificate upon completion, they asked me what certificate...in other words, they were not waiting for anyone. Arrrhhhhh!!! Lucky, I knew that house had only a single, non-friable short asbestos pipe but that was not the point. Why can’t people just follow through with what they agreed with?
So, in the background, I was waiting for the bank loan to come through, and I needed my neighbour to sign off on a works permit notice. Covid was just heating up around this stage, which meant that it would be tough to get an inspector to undertake a dilapidation report of my neighbours' internal walls. At one point I was looking at the prospect that I might have to delay the commencement of construction for close to 2-3 months or until Covid was no longer an issue to allow the inspection to occur... a hands-in-head moment. Thankfully, we could, and my neighbours were very accommodating, allowing the inspector to complete the report. (thank you) Now surely, we could start..."could we"?
By May 2020, after 4 months after signing the contract...we got there but not without a few hip cups, like the tree root that we discovered was snuggling under my neighbour's front veranda wall.
A property expert with over 25 years experience working across both private and public sectors, predominately within the housing space.