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Tales of the travels, trials and triumphs as we explore Australia in a converted bus
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Motorhome Travels - November 2011

04/11/2011

This has been a very different few weeks for us. We are far more used to diving and fishing that meeting with engineers and building inspectors. For those who have missed the last update, we are currently stopped on our block of land at Mt Perry in Queensland. We have decided to build a shouse(this is a shed-house). It would be fairly simple to just purchase a steel shed and erect this on the block - but, this would not allow us to stay on the property. Council rules clearly state that you can not live on a block of land that has no council approved class one dwelling (I'm fairly sure every council in Australia has these rules, but whether they choose to police these rules is another story).

To avoid any issues, we have decided to (at build time) convert one third of the shed into a class one dwelling (a house). This is nowhere near as simple as it sounds, not only have you got all the complexities, permits and certifications required to erect a shed, you also have a major issue where shed manufacturers have no concept of the requirements to construct a class one house.

The shouse site and view - [Click for a Larger Image]
The shouse site and view

We think we have navigated our way around this mine field and now have a plan. One of the things that will be very interesting at the end of this is to calculate how much money we have spent buying steel and concrete verses what we will spend on paper, permits and signatures. To date we have spent over $9,000 and all we have to show for that is two small holes in the ground (where the soil samples were taken), and a big pile of paper.

We do have the engineering drawings for both the shed and the footings/slab and the design for the waste water system is due here on Monday. We hope to have the kitset delivered in early January next year and have it erected by the end of the month. So as you can tell, it is going be a very busy Xmas here.

The taipan that came to visit - [Click for a Larger Image]
The taipan that came to visit

All of this has been a big change for us and quite a steep learning curve - if all goes according to plan we should have a livable shouse and a workshop to complete maintenance on the bus - all at a fraction of the cost of the first (fully built) estimates we received. (of course if it goes really badly - we will have a big pile of steel, some holes in the ground and no money in the bank (and perhaps a hernia or two)).

To try and boost the (tiny) budget, we have been working hard to secure some additional website design and SEO work. We have just finished a website for the guys that did a great job of moving our shipping container from Western Australia to Mt Perry. Anglia Container Services do Container removals and what is known as You Pack Removals where they deliver a shipping container, give you time to load it then move it to where ever you like (they also have containers for sale.) Check out their website - we think it looks great (and we can personally recommend their service!).