I’ve discovered our house is on what builders call a black road.
Our house is around 50-60 years old now, and needs some major repairs done soon. A new roof, new plumbing. We have a garage that will fall down when the next major wind blows though. Plus a huge tree in the front yard that has one branch alive and the rest is totally dead that needs to be removed. (We have to thank covid work restrictions for this. Otherwise we’d have been leaving the house in the dark and coming home in the dark and not really noticing that most of the tree didn’t have any leaves.)
That’s not even mentioning the interior, which hasn’t been painted for a long, long time, and our cream carpet isn’t exactly cream any more.
Here in Australia it’s as common to knock down your house and rebuild as it is to renovate.
“Let’s find out how the rebuild and renovate prices compare,” I suggest. “At least we’ll know rough figures, then.”
So we go looking at houses to build.
Ouch. Prices have effectively doubled since we last thought about doing this. I think I’m living in the past.
Then there’s the extras. “You’re on a triangular block. Our standard houses won’t fit, so we’ll have customise.” Extra. “You want a lift?” Extra. (We were expecting that one, but we have old knees, and stairs are a problem for both of us.)
The biggest extra? “You’re on a busy road. We might not build in your street. I’ll have to check. Let me get back to you.”
One person outright said they wouldn’t do it. Another said they would, but it would add costs. At least $50,000 for traffic management.
The problem, apparently, is that on a busy road like ours there are restrictions on the hours that builders can block off the road for deliveries of materials. Most times you can block it off from 7:00am and go all day, but for a site like ours, it’s only 9:00am – 2:00pm. This cuts into the hours you can organise things like concrete trucks, and delivery of building materials.
Compounding that problem, we’re on a T-junction, and if the builders block off the road, they need people manning stop signs on the main and side road while deliveries are happening. All of it adds to the price. Who knew that traffic management would be a deciding factor in whether or not a builder would choose to build your house or not?