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Dream house plans: The time has come…we think
When I think back to when we first started talking about renovating Dido’s old house that we had inherited, it seems like a lifetime ago. In many ways it was. Those day dreams we had of living by the beach in our old stone house began before we spent 2010 traveling Europe.
Now, while 2010 is not exactly a lifetime ago. It was a time before our baby donkey was born, it was before we actually packed up and left all of our family and friends behind and it was long before the small renovation of an old house turned into a very expensive re-build.
After spending the year traipsing around Europe, we returned back to Australia with plans. We’re moving to Croatia we announced. That news received mixed responses from our family. Fabulous! cheered some. Are you crazy, what will you do there? asked one friend.
Will you live there forever?
What a cool idea.
What will you do with all of your stuff?
Will you come back?
Watch out, builders there are not honest!
You wont make it, you’ll be back.
I know someone who tried that and hated it.
My next door neighbour’s, cousins, best friend moved back as they did not like it
People will rip you off…….
The advice from most was to not go. In fact we spent 2.5 years defending our idea. From both people we knew, strangers we met at family gatherings and via emails from this blog. So many tried to change our minds.
But we moved anyway.
I cried, and was scared in the weeks leading up to our departure. I’ve written before about the panic attacks, and my thoughts on being an expat in Croatia, but this post isn’t about those things.
The time has come to start building our dream house. We think….
I say think, as I don’t trust the system here in Croatia. Nothing, absolutely NOTHING gets done on time. Doctors run late, paperwork with government agencies takes multiple visits to get completed, telephone bills arrive 2 months AFTER their due date and so on. Adjusting to how cumbersome the systems are here in Croatia is just one of the cultural shocks that require adjusting too.
In November 2011 we found an architect, had some preliminary discussions and then in April 2012 we began making plans for the dream house.
Between then and now, what have we been doing you may be wondering? Waiting, that’s what we have been doing. A lot of waiting. Waiting for plans to be drawn, toing and froing about the plans. 3 bedrooms turned into 5 bedrooms. One story turned into two and so on.
Then when we finished and agreed on our design we began the wait for the plans to be approved by the various Croatian planning departments. Having submitted our architect made sure met every one of the council requirements. To the letter. We had naively thought it may be just a few months.
But we were wrong. And, so we waited.
We waited eight ridiculously long months to be approved. I wrote about how I cried (again) because the permit arrived too late to have the dream house started before our council imposed restriction on noisy works – due to the tourist season.
But now, now it seems we have turned a corner. 15 months after submitting our plans, it appears that we are just days away from starting.
Pending rain, hail, sickness, broken equipment and anything else that may stop us, we start on Monday. It will be a sad day. Watching the old house that Dido spent every last dollar building being crushed to smithereens will surely invoke a few tears. I am not sure what family will be standing by our sides as the digger knocks the house down, and the old stone, sand and wood fragments are carted off to the dump.
You don’t need to be a rocket scientists to detect the cynicism in my tone. Yes, I am doubtful it will all actually start as planned, so right now that feeling of joy is overshadowed. I’ll report back on Monday hopefully with photos to prove it’s all underway.