The following is our record of the development of our project at French Farm.
We started the project in 2004 when we signed a Sale & Purchase Agreement to purchase the 5.7 hectare block at French Farm subject to us being able to obtain a Resource Consent to construct a dwelling on the property.
We engaged an Engineering Geologist (who probably shall remain nameless unless the bribes are big enough) who wrote advising that it was a difficult site, recommending that we did not proceed with the purchase!! We had to explain that his brief was not to tell us about the problems, but just to concentrate on the solutions. He then advised us that he wasn’t the man for our contract as we would need a Geotechnical Engineer and sent us an invoice for $1,800. We had already signed his pre-engagement contract so paid the invoice but wondered if he should have told us he couldn’t do the job before inspecting the property and invoicing us.
We then engaged a well known Geotech Engineer (who shall also remain nameless, same terms as above) who spent hours of his time, and thousands of our dollars turning a relatively simple house building exercise into a major, and very costly, exercise. We sacked him and moved on.
We then engaged an amazing Geotech (whose name is Laurie Richards, no bribe required) who visited the site and proclaimed it “an amazing site” and expressed an appreciation of why we would want to build there. We knew we finally had the right man and that we could proceed with our dream.
The photos and videos show the development of the site, from bush clad hillside to the initial track and bach, proceeding to the trials and tribulations of preparing the ground for the foundations, the preparation of the 13 shipping containers which would provide the framework for the house, the craning of the containers onto the foundations and the work required to provide the finished article.
The house is not complete, nor habitable yet, but we are a lot closer to realising our dream home and I will continue to update the blog as future developments occur.