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Gladysdale Dry Stone House

Series 2 · Episode 6

For nine years, Michael and Sandy Rutledge have been making the weekend pilgrimage to their lush 20 acre property in Gladysdale, an hour east of Melbourne. Now they’re leaving the city for a permanent tree change and building a new family home on their acreage. But first they have to agree on a design. Sandy has a passion for Old World European, inspired by her travels overseas, whereas Michael’s a techno whiz who likes sleek, contemporary homes. Can their architect marry their differing tastes with definite ideas of his own? One thing everyone agrees is that this should be a house with a sense of permanence, a house that will stand the test of time thanks to thick walls encased in dry stone. But seems it can’t even manage a first season as continual wet weather causes delays and flooding. Before work is even finished, they have to face the unthinkable – the house isn’t waterproof! Despite their best efforts it’s an ongoing battle against the elements. Can they curb the leaks and deliver Sandy the stone fortress she’s been dreaming of?

  • Gladysdale Dry Stone House Suppliers List

    from Grand Designs Australia

    Here is the list of suppliers for the incredible house featured in Episode 6 of Grand Designs Australia Series 2.

  • Gladysdale Dry Stone House - Before & After

    from Grand Designs Australia

    For nine years, Michael and Sandy Rutledge have been making the weekend pilgrimage to their lush 20 acre property in Gladysdale, an hour east of Melbourne. Now they’re leaving the city for a permanent tree change and building a new family home on their acreage. But first they have to agree on a design. Sandy has a passion for Old World European, inspired by her travels overseas, whereas Michael’s a techno whiz who likes sleek, contemporary homes. Can their architect marry their differing tastes with definite ideas of his own?

 
 

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16 comments
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Posted by Report
Sandy your the client its your house the architect is ment to work for you. I love the house but the roof big waste of money, i would have had them bigger bedrooms. I would check for damp after 5 years with them walls.

Your architect would got the sack in the UK.
Posted by Report
Thanks for your reply Lisa. The program looked as though our main problem was with each other, but most of my battles were with the architect. Still, the outcome was great. I am also worried about water problems in the future, but the builders have been great and I believe they will continue to sort out any water problem which will come up.
Posted by Ann306Report
I thought your tolerance for the architect - in the way it was portrayed in the programme at least (and I know this can give a very distorted view) was astounding. I don't understand what his obsession with the roof was - and the problems you encountered surely could have been avoided?.
Posted by Report
You were ripped off. No one seems to know what they were doing. Good luck trying to sell it.
Posted by Jomana2Report
Congratulations on a beautiful house. In particular I love the stone. What is the stone and where did you source it from?
Posted by Tom99Report
Like a new car, this place lost 50% of what it cost the moment it drove out of the lot.
Posted by Report
This one caught my eye as I thought - 'a dry stone house, I've been making some in my garden, and the whole point is that they allow drainage, how would that work on a house?' Please don't tar all architects with the same brush, as I am one too!!! But my designs will probably never feature on GD as they are not radical or risky enough, but they will not leak either!
Posted by Report
This was a great show that demonstrates why the property owner should (a) have a basic understanding of what it takes to design a home and the REAL costs to do it and (b) how not to let an architect run away with YOUR design so they can demonstrate how clever they are at folding paper to come up was an interesting roof disregarding the costs.

I’m sure if the architect asked the owner “…look for $$$$ I’ll give small rooms, narrow corridors and flooding issues for years to come but you’ll have an outstanding roof….OR….you can have generous sized bedrooms, wide corridors, no flooding issues but the roof will only be made up a couple skillion roof panels and won’t have any box gutters that are prone to leaking…” I’m sure the owners would have had a better/clearer understanding of the DESIGN vs COST process.

Essentially the client were trapped as slaves to:
1. Some ridiculously expensive rocks and A/V technology to the detriment of room sizes and overall layout
2. An architect focused on his input to a home that doesn’t belong to him.
3. A structural engineer who thought a cantilever beam holding a corner of a roof can hang off some welds to a post.
4. Oh yeah, an architect who didn’t have a clue as to what sort of drainage system is required around a house cut into the side of a hill
Posted by Report
Great comments Phil. I couldn't believe that on hearing that Mike wanted modern and you, Sandy, wanted old world that the architect seemed to disregard both and introduced Frank Lloyd Wright - which is how the building ended up looking. The program suggested the client felt they had to battle the architect to get their ideas incorporated - to me this is unacceptable and, frankly, arrogant. Who is paying the bills after all?

Go to VCAT about the engineer's costs and the cost of the delay, I would be extremely upset about that. Come on! In my experience projects are usually over-engineered for fear of this exact thing happening and they couldn't even get a cantilever right? Engineering 101.

At least the cellar met both your criteria.... Good on you for sticking to your guns about the doors, they are great! The house does look great too, especially the stonework and the windows. Roof?...nice enough in concept but you were right about wanting to get those helicopter shots!
Posted by Report
Right on Phil. In particular, the structural engineer ended up costing us about $23,000 in extra materials, labour, redesign, time delays scaffold costs for 2 months etc and has refused to pay a cent.