Starting with a blank canvas should be an exciting prospect, however I found it to be somewhat a daunting experience at first.
Overall, the size of the property is 617m2, so its a relatively decent size.
In 2016 we engaged a surveyor to create a site plan for us, and to ensure our fences were in the correct locations.
Unfortunately the surveyor tragically passed away before I was able to ask him whether he used grid north, magnetic north or true north for our plan.
I downloaded a ‘True North’ compass app on my phone and aligned it on my fence, and was able to rotate the plan to the correct orientation for true north.
- A north-west orientated block.
- Maximum temperatures up to +45.6°C.
- Minimum temperatures down to -3.7°C.
- Be sympathetic to the surround historic buildings in Stawell and adjacent primary school.
- Hot westerly sunsets over summer.
- Cool southerly winds.
- Gradient (Drops about 800mm from north-east to south-west).
At first, my instinct was to try and align a concept along the back fence.
We then hired Talina Edwards in early 2016, an architect from Ballarat. Talina offers a service called Site Review. This affordable service allows you to pick her brain, and then determine whether you actually need an architect.
Our budget at that time would probably not be sufficient to deliver an architecturally designed house the size we wanted, so it was great to tap into Talina’s knowledge.
Don’t let the block of land dictate the orientation of the house.Talina Edwards
Probably the best advice I got from Talina was “don’t let the block of land dictate the orientation of the house”.
Talina also got me in contact with a guy in Ballarat who was looking to construct his own Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs), and this was the beginning of a long rabbit burrow.