A few years ago having a land line phone was a must have have………….. but is this still the case?
We have always had a land line phone but both of us also have mobile phones. Really the mobile is the most reliable way for people to get in contact with us.
About the only people who call on the home phone used to be telemarketers. When we went on the do not call register the telemarketers disappeared.
Now its just the Indian call centre scammers telling me they had detected a problem with my computer’s Window operating system. Sometimes I string them along for a while before I tell them I have a Mac, but they are still annoying.
Having recently joined Skype (with call costs of less than 3c a minute to an English Land Line) we now hardly make land line calls anymore.
If it wasn’t for the fact that my mother, who doesn’t have a computer, and occasionally phones we wouldn’t need a phone at all. A data line with a single socket at the wireless router would easily meet our needs.
Most developments have some sort of design rules placed on the blocks they sell. For our last house the only rules were;
Only one house to be built on the block.
All side and rear fences must be green colorbond.
No second hand houses to be moved onto a site.
As far as we were concerned none of these were any problem.
Some developers guidelines however can be very stringent which can add considerably to the cost of your build and limit what you can do with the block.
Examples of Developers Guidelines include:
Minimum and maximum size living space.
Minimum setbacks from each boundary.
Facade must not be entirely brickwork and bricks must be single colour.
Limited choise of external paintwork colour.
Specified Roof colour, material and/or slope.
All houses must have minimum 450mm eaves.
Fencing must be masonry or timber.
Garage doors set back from front facade.
Landscaping must be finished within 6 months of occupation.
All outbuildings (sheds) must be constructed using the same material as the dwelling.
Restrictions on which builders you can use.
I’m not saying this is all bad. Lots of people like these sort of rules as it prevents their neighbours building anything outlandish and spoiling the look of the street. Just make sure you are happy with the developers guidelines before you sign on a new block!
Did your developer have any unusual guidelines?
See Restrictions for more limitations on how you develop your block.
If you go back 20 years most houses had proper eaves but now they are less common. As I travel around I sometimes see new houses with eaves on the front facade but non elsewhere which I think looks weird.
If you are thinking about Eaves on your new house here are some advantages and disadvantages.
The eaves keep the rain off the walls. As well as improving the weather proofing this helps improve the thermal performance of the walls in winter.
They will shade north facing windows in summer while letting the winter sun in. (This effect is negligible for windows facing in other directions and only about 50% effective for full length windows and patio doors)
Appearance. I think they give a more finished appearance and the shadow line adds interest.
Cost. A typical cost is around $60/m2 so 600mm eaves all the way round a typical house can add around $3,000 to the cost. 450mm eaves will be a little bit cheaper.
You can’t build as close to the boundary which can be important if you have a narrow block.
As for me my previous house had eaves but my last house doesn’t so I have a foot in both camps. I didn’t mind the look of the design without eaves and I’ve built a pergola on the north side for shading.
Are you for, or against, having eaves on your new house?
When researching about installing agricultural drains you will find some books recommend that you place a geotextile in the trench before the initial gravel and then wrap the geotextile over the gravel afterwards. Its something I used to do.
You can also buy agi pipe with a geotextile “sock’ around it like this:
The idea is that the geotextile prevents the gravel,or the pipe getting clogged with fine materials.
I DO NOT recommend this as practical experience has shown that what happens is:
If you wrap the gravel with geotextile the geotextile actually collects all the fine particles on its surface and gets clogged up stopping the water getting to the gravel and through into the pipe.
If you wrap the pipe and put the sock around the pipe its only the very fine particles that get through the gravel but they then get caught in the ‘sock” in front of the slot blocking the pipe.
It far better to just go for a 10mm or smaller gravel surround. Any fine material that gets through the gravel will be that fine it will easily pass through the slot and get washed down the pipe.