Ex school portables as housing

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Ex school portables as housing

Postby bryan8354 » Thu Feb 25, 2010 7:21 pm

Hi all , we are thinking about purchasing some ex education dept school portables as a basis for our housing, whilst we understand that theyll take some fixing up and adjustments we still think that its a good use of buildings that already exist, we're in the castlemaine area in central vic and just wondered if anybody has already had some experience with these as we'd be interested in taking a look.

Bryan and Carol
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Re: Ex school portables as housing

Postby KarenS » Fri Feb 26, 2010 1:15 am

bryan8354 wrote:Hi all , we are thinking about purchasing some ex education dept school portables as a basis for our housing, whilst we understand that theyll take some fixing up and adjustments we still think that its a good use of buildings that already exist, we're in the castlemaine area in central vic and just wondered if anybody has already had some experience with these as we'd be interested in taking a look.

Bryan and Carol


Sorry, can't help with the experience, but as a Melbourne resident ... What is the insulation situation with them?? Can you take the roof/walls off and retrofit insulation etc? I can still remember boiling and freezing in portables in Hamilton in the 1960s, and while I hope yours are newer than that, LOL, my kids still boiled and froze in them at High schools in Melbourne between 1994 and 2002!

Great idea, though. Let us all know if you go ahead, and how you get on!!
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Re: Ex school portables as housing

Postby bryan8354 » Fri Feb 26, 2010 5:23 pm

Hi Karen, yeah was thinking about that last night,shouldnt be too hard to reinsulate them if need be just a matter of strip the roofing iron and repack them as for the walls I think Id do them from inside as theyre only masonite inside and may be a good opportunity to apply some slightly nicer inside wall cladding, we've had a look at them already and they seem fairly cost efficient but Ill let everyone know how we go. cheers Bryan
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Re: Ex school portables as housing

Postby moemoke » Sat Feb 27, 2010 8:39 am

Great recycling idea Bryan but I'm just curious if you have done the sums yet.

I think it costs about $20,000 minimum to shift a building and get it on stumps at
the new location. Then you need to refit it with Kitchen, bathroom, laundry & bedrooms.
Are most portables 1 big room?
I guess it depends on what you want it to be like when finished and how much you do yourself
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Re: Ex school portables as housing

Postby bryan8354 » Sat Feb 27, 2010 10:53 am

Hi, yeah we've done some of the sums although nothing in depth yet just ball park, because of the construction method ie being basically built on webbed trusses they dont require a great deal of restumping and because theyre already in half in the yard theres no preparation just back a truck under and off we go. They are one big room but thats what were after and it gives us the freedom to lay them out any way that we like.It also allows us to position them to make best use of any power system that we decide on. this is good though as all of this input makes us think or rethink ideas .

Bryan and Carol
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Re: Ex school portables as housing

Postby bpratt » Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:00 am

Are there any council regulations that might prevent you from doing this ?

Personally I think it is a great option, but unfortunately some councils might be deadset against this sort of thing. :(
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Re: Ex school portables as housing

Postby bryan8354 » Mon Mar 01, 2010 3:33 pm

Hi, the council area that we are in certainly dont seem to have any problems with them, we do know of people that have moved them as studios etc but have only heard of a couple being used for housing, we have yet to actually see any set up as homes but are hopeful that we will soon otherwise we might just have to be the first and open it up for others to look at. We're frantically doing sketches and the like to determine exactly how to do the final layout and positioning etc taking everything we can think of into account.

cheers Bryan
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Re: Ex school portables as housing

Postby GeoffHammond » Fri Mar 05, 2010 7:41 am

I'm guessing you've been looking at that big pile of portables beside the Calder. I recall seeing them and wondering why they hadn't been used as emergency housing about this time last year.

My first concern would be insulation, but you could probably even stack strawbales inside them if you're amenable to relining them. You could have lots of fun and perhaps even learn something in the process, thus preserving their original purpose... :oops:
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Re: Ex school portables as housing

Postby bryan8354 » Fri Mar 05, 2010 4:50 pm

Hi Geoff, yeah I think youre right we do intend to have some fun in amongst everything else. Youre right again yes its the pile of portables beside the calder, and in fairness to BRB Portables who run the operation ( and I have no attachment or loyalty to them ) I believe that they donated a number of buildings to bushfire victims at about this time last year. We've actually been out to look at them up close and personal and its a matter of choosing the best ones from a huge amount of buildings out there. I think theyre already insulated its just the large window areas that let the heat and cold in i think but hey thats just a small problem to work our way around....where theres a will and all that. Anyway thanks for the reply geoff.

Cheers Bryan and Carol
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Re: Ex school portables as housing

Postby solar_star » Thu Jul 15, 2010 12:34 pm

there was an article on this in Owner Builder a few months ago - you can buy back issues so ring them up to order.

also next weekend (sat 24th July 2010) as part of the State of Design festival there are 4 houses open in Caslemaine - one of which is an ex classroom
http://renew.org.au/uncategorized/porta ... om-home-2/

you MUST register for the open house day - find more here

http://renew.org.au/category/sustainable-homes/
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