Series 4 · Episode 5
Darren and Ruth Rogers have almost polar opposite views about what their new house should be. Darren wants all the bells and whistles – home cinema, wine cellar, even a lift. Ruth wants chickens, a vegetable garden and a hills hoist. Finding a design that will satisfy both of them and their young son Raymond, is their shared aim.
After years of searching, AFL football lover Darren found his holy grail – a large patch of land within spitting distance of the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Ruth is as passionate because this unique inner city block, just 3 kilometres from Melbourne’s CBD, is large enough for a house AND a garden.
Hidden down a laneway with no street frontage, this secret garden will be transformed into a contemporary three-story family mansion.
But this is a very traditional area full of Victorian terrace houses so their vision has the potential to upset the neighbours – something they’re keen to avoid at all costs.
Building such a large home via a narrow bluestone alley is like threading a camel through the eye of a needle. As work begins, it becomes clear that excavating 400 square metres of soil for the basement will be messy and noisy work - requiring 2000 trips up and back the laneway in a bobcat – something that will do nothing to placate the locals. But in an effort to offset the grief, they get the trades to clean the laneway and replace the heavy black plastic cover every night!
As the building goes up, so does their budget and when Ruth receives a $50,000 quote for a chicken shed, it seems her dream of the ‘good life’ in the inner city might just be a castle in the sky.
Can both Darren and Ruth achieve their individual aspirations, or will the compromise ultimately leave them both unsatisfied?
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