but what about the bricks?

peripat 5 December 2009 31

Am thinking of moving to Canberra, and sure the sunsets and fresh air are great, but where can one live there that isnt a dreary suburban house made of sickly coloured bricks?

Is there any wood? mudbrick? any creativity?


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georgesgenitals georgesgenitals 7:47 pm 06 Dec 09

deejay said :

Not much that I’ve seen that’s affordable, I’m afraid. Canberra developments are on the ugly side, for the most part, unless you can afford a nice little 1930s number in Ainslie or Yarralumla.

If you want character homes, and aren’t afraid to commute, look at Goulburn, Yass, Bungendore, Murrumbateman, and Cooma. Goulburn and Cooma are the best for amenities.

Queanbeyan has some fantastic little red brick homes tcuked away in quiet streets, but its as expensive as Canberra these days.

peripat peripat 7:40 pm 06 Dec 09

Thanks for this array of responses…much appreciated…gives me a good overview and I had a good chuckle too 🙂

trix trix 6:33 pm 06 Dec 09

Thanks for the actual answer, wycx.

That sucks – you’d think they’d come up with a quota of 10% of blocks to be private development or something, i.e. for the owner/resident. It’d certainly lend some diversity to these horrible new suburbs.

deejay deejay 12:33 pm 06 Dec 09

Not much that I’ve seen that’s affordable, I’m afraid. Canberra developments are on the ugly side, for the most part, unless you can afford a nice little 1930s number in Ainslie or Yarralumla.

If you want character homes, and aren’t afraid to commute, look at Goulburn, Yass, Bungendore, Murrumbateman, and Cooma. Goulburn and Cooma are the best for amenities. In most of those places (and depending on the size of your car), you’ll save a lot more money on housing than you’ll spend in petrol, too.

wycx wycx 11:17 am 06 Dec 09

Surely everyone thinks you can do a better colour of brick than the ex-gov house brick colour? The govt worked really hard to choose the ugliest colour they could.

trix: If I remember correctly the ACT govt will be releasing a small number of individual blocks in Molonglo for development, but the ACT govt requires you to have everything done within two years. Not so good if you want to do it slow, correctly and without loads of debt.

(In the recent past one or two developers were caught with a bit of land that was well over the two year mark, and I suspect that it was the first time the ACT govt bothered checking in a long time)

qedbynature qedbynature 10:52 am 06 Dec 09

there’s a few camping grounds, you could live in a tent 😉

trevar trevar 9:28 am 06 Dec 09

You may be lucky enough to find a gem, but most likely, as has already been said, you’ll have to build it yourself.

There are some interesting houses described here: http://www.canberrahouse.com/

astrojax astrojax 6:03 am 06 Dec 09

canberra’s famous red bricks are quite fetching – dreary? how?

anyway, if you aren’t so keen, render and paint lime green or something…

sepi sepi 8:45 pm 05 Dec 09

Here’s a concrete and weatherboard number. Twice as cheap as the yarralumla one, and more than twice as ugly!
http://www.allhomes.com.au/ah/act/sale-residential/92-macarthur-place-oconnor-canberra/1316742871411

sepi sepi 8:06 pm 05 Dec 09

O’Connor has some streets of cute wooden houses or ‘tocumwals’, with wood fires etc. they cost a mint though, as lots of people like them.

Yarralumla used to have some weatherboards, but they are mostly pulled down for units these days. You wont’ buy any house in yarralumla for much short of a million anyway.

Ainslie has a few tocumwals, a few interesting houses (owner built, older and new), and some god-awful train carriage type weatherboard places. Ainslie also has Canberra’s only stainless steel house.

Personally I’d prefer a nice original 30’s style red brick place in Ainslie if I had my pick.

Petrov’s place in griffith came up for sale a couple of years ago – that would class as interesting. Heritage listed though, so you are stuck with a fairly ordinary 50s type place, in a street of more modernised mansions.

TAD TAD 7:36 pm 05 Dec 09

A house near me was built with purple rendered polystyrene. Give me boring bricks any day.

rosebud rosebud 5:42 pm 05 Dec 09

No. It is 95% dreary and brick, There is the odd house or two that is rendered and there are the ancient fibre and concrete houses built for the working classes and the families of the military, but that’s about it.

I-filed I-filed 5:22 pm 05 Dec 09

Bricks are made of clay, dear. And if you think the colour of Australia’s red clay is sickly, go tell that to someone in the Outback. Hopefully you’ll get the Wilson Tuckey treatment in response. I wish you a speedy return to whinge to the Cosmic Waste in Nimbin (Smacktown). We Canberrans will settle down to our creative, academic, political, subversive and other happenings of excellence, and will manage just fine without you!

bd84 bd84 4:08 pm 05 Dec 09

the horror of it all, houses built using bricks!

Houses in most cities in Australia are built using these brick things. Being a younger city than most, there are not many houses built from weatherboards in Canberra. I’m sure there are plenty of small towns in the surrounding NSW region that we can deport you to if you dislike it that much. But then those towns will probably have houses built from boring bricks too..

anonymous gungahlian anonymous gungahlian 4:04 pm 05 Dec 09

It depends on what would you classify as a dreary suburban house with sickly coloured bricks.

Hells_Bells74 Hells_Bells74 4:03 pm 05 Dec 09

Murrumbateman isn’t so far Trix. My mate built a nice place on a small block with innovative blocks (I can’t recall more sorry). Whole thing very cost effective, got to do what he wanted all along. Not sure what’s left though?

trix trix 3:38 pm 05 Dec 09

A few of the inner South and inner North suburbs have some nice older houses, and there are a -few- architectural gems dotted around. But if you’re looking for sustainable architecture, or even the interesting or innovative kind, you’re mostly SoL. Particularly in the cookie-cutter subdivisions, where the houses come in varying degrees of shoddy and boring.

As a question to Canberran natives, when more land gets released for development, is there any that actually gets released to anything other than commercial developers? I would love nothing more than to buy a land parcel and build what I like on it (within regulations, of course. It’d be a shitload better designed for the climate – what’s with building houses without eaves in Australia?). The only land parcels I ever see are for around places like Yass. I don’t want a 10 acre block in the whop-whops.

deye deye 3:26 pm 05 Dec 09

I’m sure there is some wood houses somewhere, you would want it to be very well insulated though. I have seen mudbrick, there is definitely some creativity here and there. The best bet though is to build your own.

One day I want to get a house built by these guys http://www.unicornhouse.com.au/ but to my design.

p1 p1 2:15 pm 05 Dec 09

I assume that you are moving from Nimbin, and haven’t been in a large town (let alone a city for a few hundred years. Canberra has nice suburbs (unless they were built in the last ten years).

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