A lot has been happening over the past couple of weeks with our Back House project, so I thought that it was time for another update.

TraderVic and I got very excited when four builders turned up early in the week and they all worked like Trojans and lots of progress was made!

A number of people have asked about the construction techniques and materials that we use here in Australia.  

Well, here goes with a bit of a potted history with the disclaimer that I don't know a lot about building - lol!

In the very early days of the colony, the houses were literally just slab and bark huts with a stone chimney and, of course, as the pioneers spread out from Sydney Cove, this is what people first built across the country, using the materials at hand. As their families grew, they would just add an extra room on the back.

As time went by and the wealthy landowners (known as Squatters) built themselves fancier homes they would build in local stone or even, sometimes imported the materials from England.

Such as Werribee Mansion built in the 1870s in the Italianate style.

Earlier than this, though, the discovery of Gold in 1851 brought wealth to a lot of country towns and Melbourne became known as Marvellous Melbourne  and eventually many beautiful homes and public buildings were built in brick and stone.

During the time of Federation (1901) and into the 1920s many homes were solid brick construction though not all, weather board construction was popular, too as it was a cheaper option.  Much of Australia has a mild climate, so solid brick homes are not always necessary nor are basements or pitched roofs (no snow), although most homes here have pitched roofs as we cannot get over our English roots.

In the period between the two world wars, the California bungalow style swept much of Australia - we have a similar climate to California and people wanted a more modern and less formal style of living.

These were mostly weatherboard construction.

Post World War II, there was a baby boom and large housing estates were built with largely brick veneer construction during the 1960s and 70s.

This is the style of home that I grew up in, considered quite a modest style these days.

Today, homes are being constructed in a variety of styles and materials ranging from traditional (Georgian two-storey homes were all the rage several years back, for example) to cutting edge.

Our back house is going to be constructed by light-weight materials - color bond steel and concrete sheeting with the big steel beams giving the support that is needed for the two floors.  The framework has been constructed off site and then delivered as large pieces that just need to be put up.

The color bond will be black like this home below.

This is a very popular option for modern, architect designed homes at the moment.

Our front house (which will eventually be our forever home) will be brick and rendered concrete sheets, with a 1930s Art Deco twist, as that suits the area that we live in. Although it won't be a full waterfall Art Deco home like the one below.

I hope that you have enjoyed my very potted history of home building in Australia!

Now, just for those who are wondering what on earth I am talking about with my Grand Designs, here is some background:

As I have mentioned to you all previously, TraderVic are embarking upon a major building project - we are building two brand new homes on our very large block here in Eaglemont.  This will eventually necessitate pulling down our family home and replacing it with a brand new "dream" home for TraderVic and I.  This will be the Front House.  As our block is so large, we are also building another home in the back yard whilst still living in the original house.  This is called the Back House and is being built first.  I am hoping to document this grand adventure every week. I hope that you enjoy sharing this journey with me.

If you want to read previous posts on Grand Designs Eaglemont: The Two House Project, please click on the link/s below:


P.S. Please don't forget to check on my Winners post to see if you are a Girl's Nest Giveaway #6 winner. Just click on the image below.  I have yet to hear from three of the winners - Joy from Days filled with Joy, JHM from Needleworkers Samplings and Tiffany from Tiffstitches A Blog, I have contacted all three in the best way that I can (not everyone has an email listed on their profile) but if anyone has better contact with them, I would appreciate you letting them know that they are winners.


RJ said…
I can see you continue to be very busy building...what an awesome project. I have missed visiting with you but I have been very sick the past two months. So I'm delighted to be here tonight. I have lots to catch up with but will view all your past posts. Have a lovely weekend. RJ@stitchingfriendsforever
Margaret said…
Loved seeing the progress, and thanks for the history lesson too. Very very interesting! So your houses will both be fairly modern style houses then? So exciting!
marly said…
Interesting! That house looks to be huge. I wasn't expecting to see one so large!
Kaisievic said…
ooops, I forgot again to make that darned first comment so that I get subsequent ones emailed to me - I am so fed up with Blogger and this issue!
Brigitte said…
That was really interesting to read about the history of house building in your country. Isn't it amazing how differently house building develops in different countries?
Thanks for all the pictures and details.
Vickie said…
wOw! I LOVE those homes you are doing!!!!
Wow, it's a wonderful building! In our country the house is built in a different way.
Barb said…
Great progress!! I love history so I enjoyed the history lesson about houses in Austrailia!!!!
Shelly said…
You did a fine job with the history of home building and styles in Australia. Looks like your two homes are going to be beautiful. Can't wait to see them finished. Thanks Kaye!
Julie said…
A lovely read about the history of differing houses, I saw a few I wouldn't mind living, the art deco one especially.
Ariadne said…
Thanks for talking about buildings and how they are built.It was very 'constructive"!AriadnefromGreece!
deb said…
Wow, that looks like serious progress! I appreciated the house building lesson and the supporting pictures - fascinating.
That was very interesting! It's funny how some of the houses are very American in their look while others could be lifted straight from the UK (especially the 1960s/70s one).

Personally, I like Werribee Mansion, I've always wanted a house with a turret!
Bethan said…
Such an interesting post - thank you. Your grand design is progressing so well! It's been a while since I've checked in on blogs and it is a great leap from the posts in the ground I last saw! x
Astrids dragon said…
I love seeing the progress on your house, so exciting!
Von said…
This is so exciting to be building a new home, something I've put a lot of thought into, but don't think it will ever happen, lol! Looking forward to catching up with all your posts!

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