RumpledElf

Transportable houses

53 posts in this topic

Not exactly very 'alternative' in the grand scheme of things, but you'd be surprised how anything that isn't brick veneer on a slab with huge windows gets overlooked as being weeeeeeeeeeeird.

Anyway, I'm building one of these little suckers. Light weight construction, don't need heavy machinery to dig up a big spot for the slab, but I do need to get rid of a lot of trees to get a big truck onto our land. Tentative quote is $104,000 for a 4 bedroom 2 bathroom 2 living area house with a solar HWS and additional insulation, so they are very very cheap to build and as far as not sending you into debt servitude for a lifetime, they are quite a reasonable alternative. The base price for most of these houses is around the $60-90k mark, the design we have chosen is at the higher end of that spectrum because it really isn't a starter house design, and we are putting on quite a few extras over the base specification. A 3 bedroom place with 1 living area and a 3 way bathroom is the usual project home entry point and it is all more expensive from there up as you tack on extra bedrooms, bathrooms and living areas.

I'll use this thread to keep people posted on the progress of the build. Right now we are at the very very beginning of the process with an empty block of land and a pile of paperwork to send back to the builder so they can come and do soil tests and so forth. And then our quoted price will start going up as we realise how little inclusions they have that we want ...

Unfortunately I don't get a good north orientation on this place. The block runs north/south so the best we can do is have our studio, where we spend the most time, at the front of the house facing north and as few windows as practically possible facing east and west. Keeping costs down means we are limited to a standard design with very minor modifications, and of course it has to fit on the back of a truck :)

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Not exactly very 'alternative' in the grand scheme of things, but you'd be surprised how anything that isn't brick veneer on a slab with huge windows gets overlooked as being weeeeeeeeeeeird.

Anyway, I'm building one of these little suckers. Light weight construction, don't need heavy machinery to dig up a big spot for the slab, but I do need to get rid of a lot of trees to get a big truck onto our land. Tentative quote is $104,000 for a 4 bedroom 2 bathroom 2 living area house with a solar HWS and additional insulation, so they are very very cheap to build and as far as not sending you into debt servitude for a lifetime, they are quite a reasonable alternative. The base price for most of these houses is around the $60-90k mark, the design we have chosen is at the higher end of that spectrum because it really isn't a starter house design, and we are putting on quite a few extras over the base specification. A 3 bedroom place with 1 living area and a 3 way bathroom is the usual project home entry point and it is all more expensive from there up as you tack on extra bedrooms, bathrooms and living areas.

I'll use this thread to keep people posted on the progress of the build. Right now we are at the very very beginning of the process with an empty block of land and a pile of paperwork to send back to the builder so they can come and do soil tests and so forth. And then our quoted price will start going up as we realise how little inclusions they have that we want ...

Unfortunately I don't get a good north orientation on this place. The block runs north/south so the best we can do is have our studio, where we spend the most time, at the front of the house facing north and as few windows as practically possible facing east and west. Keeping costs down means we are limited to a standard design with very minor modifications, and of course it has to fit on the back of a truck :)

I look forwards to seeing how this goes. Make sure you nail them down on the costs and timeframe in the contract. Cost explosions are notorious with builders. Hope it goes well and best of luck!!!!!!!! :clap:

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They do fixed price contracts *after* you have the engineers out and pick all your fittings. As to time - this is going to be slow. That price doesn't include connections (sewer, water, electricity, phone) and the way we save money we'll be doing those in cash. I kind of expect this house to be done after Christmas. We have a baby due in june/july that will stay in our room in the meantime unless it turns out to be immune to the ruckass our anti-sleep toddler can make. Baby bonus will cover the water/sewer connections I reckon ...

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Congrats of the inpending arrival of number two.:clap: When we lived on our first farm it was a two bedroom weather board. When our third was arriving and we wanted our bedroom still to ourselves (we found it easier on Mother and baby. Personal preff) so we set up a little bed behind the couch in our modest lounge room for my son and my eldest girl sleep in the room with bubby (she was old enough to keep quiet). Its amazing where you can fit/hide beds if you need to.

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Lol third actually. The toddler could sleep anywhere but would avoid sleeping at all if she had half a chance, so needs to be caged so she doesn't just bash at the inside of her door for half the night instead of sleeping. Eldest is 9, can sleep through anything and sleeps far longer than the toddler, but has a room full of lego, pens, pencils, paper, books and ornaments that need to be kept away from toddlers and babies. Its us adults who actually have the most flexible options to sleep anywhere, its just a bit weird having your bed in the loungeroom, especially when visitors drop by, and then there's the issue of where you put your wardrobes. We did consider a loft bed for us so we could have the study below, but ended up putting the computers in the kitchen.

The basic problem is we moved from a 150sqm 3 bed 2 living area house with furniture to suit the space available down to this 90sqm house last year because we just got sold on how nice this area is while we were fixing this place up. Most of our furniture is too big for the place despite getting rid of heaps of it when we moved. We have a second lounge suite kind of jammed in the corner behind the tv and all sorts of weird stuff stored in the toddler's room. The house is quite obviously cramped. If I sold all the furniture (which would be a complete waste of money) and bought smaller stuff it'd be better, but still a bedroom short. I think we took 6 months of intermittant furniture tetris on graph paper and deciding what to get rid of before we moved here, we'd written this house off as too small for us long ago.

The irony is my old house has an old couple in it now and don't use two of the bedrooms and the second living area at all, while we are cramped. But we can walk to the supermarket on Sundays and they can't, and we have ADSL and digital TV and they don't. We moved purely for the area, not the house. A totally unnecessary selfish lifestyle decision based entirely on convenience and comfort factors, so it is 100% self-inflicted, its not like we were forced to move here at gunpoint or because of major financial stress or anything. This house costs us over twice as much as the old house (which doesn't say much) and is too small but it is just so nice here we were willing to put up with it for a while.

And it came with a bonus 644sqm of vacant land we could put a bigger house on later. Saved us $50k right there. And for the investor dark side, we bought easily the cheapest house that has been sold here for the last several years so the capital gains has been absofreakinlutely ridiculous, which really helps our case with finance for building and will conveniently mean we own the new house outright when we sell it. Short term pain, long term gain.

Oh and did I mention it is nice here? Absolutely love the area :)

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Not exactly very 'alternative' in the grand scheme of things, but you'd be surprised how anything that isn't brick veneer on a slab with huge windows gets overlooked as being weeeeeeeeeeeird.

Anyway, I'm building one of these little suckers. Light weight construction, don't need heavy machinery to dig up a big spot for the slab, but I do need to get rid of a lot of trees to get a big truck onto our land. Tentative quote is $104,000 for a 4 bedroom 2 bathroom 2 living area house with a solar HWS and additional insulation, so they are very very cheap to build and as far as not sending you into debt servitude for a lifetime, they are quite a reasonable alternative. The base price for most of these houses is around the $60-90k mark, the design we have chosen is at the higher end of that spectrum because it really isn't a starter house design, and we are putting on quite a few extras over the base specification. A 3 bedroom place with 1 living area and a 3 way bathroom is the usual project home entry point and it is all more expensive from there up as you tack on extra bedrooms, bathrooms and living areas.

I'll use this thread to keep people posted on the progress of the build. Right now we are at the very very beginning of the process with an empty block of land and a pile of paperwork to send back to the builder so they can come and do soil tests and so forth. And then our quoted price will start going up as we realise how little inclusions they have that we want ...

Unfortunately I don't get a good north orientation on this place. The block runs north/south so the best we can do is have our studio, where we spend the most time, at the front of the house facing north and as few windows as practically possible facing east and west. Keeping costs down means we are limited to a standard design with very minor modifications, and of course it has to fit on the back of a truck :)

Good luck with your choice! (I'm being sincere not snarky) I was brought up in a transportable for many years of my childhood - they can be a cheap and workable option. Ours was perched in a very unlikely location and required a bloody good driver to get it in situ. Lots of trees and fences had to come down for ours, too. But it worked out well in the end, all the trees and then some were planted back. Well placed trees can make up a lot of the difference for a poorly oriented house.

Don't skimp on any and every form of sound insulation would be my only tip.

With more than a couple of people, transportables can get kind of overly intimate. It is not a matter of space, so much as building materials without decent acoustic properties. You don't want to hear the kids every minute, and as they get older they won't want to hear you, either... :blush:

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Don't skimp on any and every form of sound insulation would be my only tip.

With more than a couple of people, transportables can get kind of overly intimate. It is not a matter of space, so much as building materials without decent acoustic properties. You don't want to hear the kids every minute, and as they get older they won't want to hear you, either... :blush:

This one has a generic 'modern' villa house layout. Every other builder has an almost identical floorplan. Some of the more 'country' transportable floorplans are obviously meant for holiday homes, most are designed for really wide blocks. I can see the logic behind having the master suite so far away from the kids.

Bloody impossible to get the floorplan off their site without putting up with flash and all sorts, but here's a house and land package they're selling, with floorplans. That computer rendered facade is horrible, when they are actually built they are really pretty, there's dozens here. We won't be picking twiddly facade features for ages yet.

http://www.realestat...=o&id=105619635

The average modern brick veneer house just has two bits of 1cm thick plasterboard for each internal wall too (and no, I don't like that either lol) It might be the timber floors that cause noise. We have to have insulation under the floor (there goes $3000) so that might help.

And I have a LOT of trees in pots to replace any we cut down :) I've been taking cuttings and growing seedlings for the last year. I have a potted knee-high forest. Kind of realising I have way too many so I'm waiting for it to get cold so I can plant some in the paddock behind my old house.

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This one has a generic 'modern' villa house layout. Every other builder has an almost identical floorplan. Some of the more 'country' transportable floorplans are obviously meant for holiday homes, most are designed for really wide blocks. I can see the logic behind having the master suite so far away from the kids.

Bloody impossible to get the floorplan off their site without putting up with flash and all sorts, but here's a house and land package they're selling, with floorplans. That computer rendered facade is horrible, when they are actually built they are really pretty, there's dozens here. We won't be picking twiddly facade features for ages yet.

http://www.realestat...=o&id=105619635

The average modern brick veneer house just has two bits of 1cm thick plasterboard for each internal wall too (and no, I don't like that either lol) It might be the timber floors that cause noise. We have to have insulation under the floor (there goes $3000) so that might help.

And I have a LOT of trees in pots to replace any we cut down :) I've been taking cuttings and growing seedlings for the last year. I have a potted knee-high forest. Kind of realising I have way too many so I'm waiting for it to get cold so I can plant some in the paddock behind my old house.

Looks like a good layout for the house - genuinely livable, for both kids and adults. I'll take your word about the facade, it really isn't at it's best in that pic...

BTW, I'm hanging out for the break (autumn rains) too, I have a lot of plans for the garden and no extra water to make them happen. Even water-wise gardens need a drink when they are young.

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Perhaps not as inexpensive but they look pretty good (quoted at around 60k last year):

http://www.pakcontai...20products.html

If they were closer to 40k I may have bought one while the FHB vendor grants were on last year.

We looked at getting a container pre-converted to an office last year before deciding to build to solve our one-room-short problem. You can get them secondhand on Ebay for $5-10k but they're a bit rough when they are used.

Hell, you can buy entire HOUSES on Ebay for that price but you need to relocate and install them yourself and good luck getting finance ... worthy of its own thread, that is :)

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Since this is a vague update thread and I'll be posting on it for the rest of the year ...

SA Water turned up the other day unannounced to put in a meter.

The builder wanted to know exactly where to put the house so off we went to get a Google map reference for them as requested (only to find out that Google has since forgotten all the numbers on our street and it is virtually impossible to move that little marker around - don't worry, we worked out how to do it) and went out with the measuring tape to figure out where to stick this house. They wanted us to indicate on a bit of paper where to put a rainwater tank, among other things.

So down to Elders we went to look at the tanks they have out back. Last time we went tank shopping was for my old house, which had space constraints on where to put a tank as the house is quite close to the fences. Not so this time. We got to wander in and go "hey, that one looks really big but not stupidly huge, lets get that one" and have picked out a 22,000L tank for $2700. The bigger they are the cheaper they are per litre, but the big ones are designed for farms.

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i'm just jumping in here randomly and throwing the thread off topic (woohoo) but i am a bit of a fan of prefab houses (not the same a transportable, but not entirely different either).

have rellies in the RE and construction business in japan and, if you have a house built in japan, prefab is without a doubt the best way to go. quality control is much higher, much more testing going on--in the most earthquake prone area in the world, this really does matter quite a bit. i don't know about aussie prefab/relocatable homes but if they are done in the same way, with extensive testing of the product beforehand, standardisation of the parts and so on, that would be a big plus in my book. i would rather that than a hung over/drunk/stoned tradie trying to hammer together bits of wood on a friday morning. more oversight (hopefully) in a factory environment.

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I don't know about testing, but they are built stronger and braced better to survive being moved on the back of a truck. I've seen some shockingly shoddy on-site construction in my time that I doubt would actually survive being moved.

Out in the real world, now we're waiting for soil tests. Our sales guy quit before we were 100% signed up and threw a spanner in the works, they're running around like chooks with their heads cut off trying to make up for lost time for us now. There's more bad builder stories than good ones out there ...

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OMG building a house is slow.

We're still waiting for soil tests. Builder rang up asking lots of obvious questions that they should really know, given how many houses this builder has built in this town. Are you on sewer? Do you have mains gas? And then the less obvious but no less strange questions. Have you pegged out where the house is going to go? Uh, no, don't you do that? Has there been any fill on the site? No clue. What size rainwater tank are you getting? Ah, an easy question - 22,000L, 3.5m diameter. Is there any rock in the ground? Er, isn't the soil test supposed to show that? Is the gate to the property locked? What gate? Where do you want the driveway? Well let's see, we want the house 2m from the fence on one side and 6m from the other side. Cars don't come less than about 3m wide. YOU work it out. Amazingly the sales guy did manage to get that one on his own.

Obvious question back to the builder: you haven't actually sent anyone out to the site yet, have you? Well, no, but we still need to ask all this ...

Not holding my breath we'll get this house by Christmas, which is fine as we need a 40% deposit for the place and despite the median here skyrocketing lately I'm not sure we've got enough equity to do it (the hazard of having 3 mortgages), so we're going to have to chip in Costello's baby bonus to top it up. The block we're building on is very small for a country block - about 640sqm - but it has a water meter and all services passing, unlike most other older infill blocks for sale, but they sold an identical sized block with a shed but no water meter 3 doors down for $55k so that goes in our favour. Land here has been on a slow but steady increase of late while the price of completed houses has gone beserk. This means there is a LOT of building activity here as $50-60k for a decent block of land in a nice town holds quite a bit of appeal, apparently. We met some people the other day who had moved back here from some years away and couldn't believe the number of new houses.

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Soil test guy is outside as we speak.

Considering we paid for him in March and he turned up looking a bit lost, without our phone number, no idea where the house was going to go so he could drill, and only got told to come do it yesterday, it makes you wonder how builders work ...

Here's a terrible photo of a bloke with a 3m long drill on the back of a landcruiser, doing his best to avoid the two savage hens in the chook run behind him.

holeguy.jpg

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And we have contour plans too!

Next thing I'll find an amenable broker that will give us a mortgage. Bit of a risk we're running, signing contracts and putting down deposits without loan preapproval ...

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Here's a terrible photo of a bloke with a 3m long drill on the back of a landcruiser, doing his best to avoid the two savage hens in the chook run behind him.

Did you put him to task raking up while he was waiting for the drill to do its thing?

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Did you put him to task raking up while he was waiting for the drill to do its thing?

Hehe no, that chook run is bigger than your average Adelaide backyard I reckon (its about 100sqm), the poop is spread too thin to rake up :) I have to relocate the poor things when we build.

The surveyors were afraid of the chooks too. What is it about chooks? They are garbage guts on legs, if you walk near them they rush at you with a hungry look but I didn't think it was enough to scare grown men ...

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Hehe no, that chook run is bigger than your average Adelaide backyard I reckon (its about 100sqm), the poop is spread too thin to rake up :) I have to relocate the poor things when we build.

The surveyors were afraid of the chooks too. What is it about chooks? They are garbage guts on legs, if you walk near them they rush at you with a hungry look but I didn't think it was enough to scare grown men ...

Chooks are fine, but I have had more than one rooster that would draw blood given half a chance. Particularly the back of your legs, they prefer to attack you as you are leaving, brave lads that they are.

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Chooks are fine, but I have had more than one rooster that would draw blood given half a chance. Particularly the back of your legs, they prefer to attack you as you are leaving, brave lads that they are.

Bah I got headbutted in the ankle by a possum about 30 minutes ago. Nothing like that, cooking steak in the dark and something goes donk on your leg.

Nah I wasn't scared, am tough and all.

(I squealed like a girl)

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OMG, a bunch of council workers sauntered past today and asked where we want the driveway :jawdrop:

Seems all this wet weather means they can't do their other jobs so small ones like ours make the top of the list!

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Cheap, creative & Transportable! smile.gif

LOL that's classic :D

At least on that price you can do it cash, transportables are very hard to finance. Our only option is to hold the builder at arm's length (by forking over a fairly hefty deposit) until the house is actually built, and then immediately financing it as an ordinary purchase rather than a construction loan. For all that we're in a property bubble, I don't have enough equity in our other two houses + the land to get the money first.

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In a burst of amazing speediness (ie, I emailed our sales guy and asked why they are so quiet) they've said they're sending out tender documents and want $2000 before they can let us pick colours or take it to council for approval.

Did I mention earlier that this is a slow process? Most of the time is the admin department of the company resting on their laurels though.

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In a burst of amazing speediness (ie, I emailed our sales guy and asked why they are so quiet) they've said they're sending out tender documents and want $2000 before they can let us pick colours or take it to council for approval.

Did I mention earlier that this is a slow process? Most of the time is the admin department of the company resting on their laurels though.

Well if it's taking so long, you still have time to look at a few more design options? :)

http://mblog.cimolini.com

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