Posted by: debrakolkka | March 29, 2011

Return to the pile of rocks

the hard won building permit

Work started on our Vergemoli project right on time. We were lucky with the weather, the equipment arrived, everybody turned up and the foundations began to take shape.

our yellow digger

the start of the foundations

our new house

much discussion

I think it should go here - did I mention that the builder is quite good looking?

6 days on and the progress is amazing despite the fact that we have had a few days of heavy rain. The internal brick walls are laid first and the outer stone walls will follow.

the first bricks

taking shape

hard at work

they have to be level

knocking it into place

the door to the living room

those bricks are rough

My father, uncle and both grandfathers were builders and one brother is a buiilder. I am familiar with buildings sites. I love to watch the house grow.

I love building sites

another yellow machine mixes cement

and it lifted the work shed into place

Another week on and the building has grown.


this looks official

it is growing

a window takes shape

the top of the window frame goes in

the front door to the terrace

mixing more cement

we have a new road to the well house

there is no shortage of water from our spring


water collected from the spring

this will be a terrace beside the house

another of our lovely builders

and another

As well as having a great view, the site is in sunshine all day. I think the house is going to be excellent. At this stage everything is going along very well.

Click here to see the original pile of rocks. The house in Vergemoli now has its own category as well.



  1. Oh my God. How exciting! Love to see the progress of the building works – especially the differences in both the structure as it evolves and the countryside. It doesn’t hurt having easy on the eye builders either…
    Albany Creek (country Brisbane)

    • No, it never hurts to see good looking men. I’m hoping shirts will come off when it warms up.

  2. Good progress! Very nice Debra!

    • It is going very well so far.

  3. 1. What a location! 2. Do you tell all these cute builders that they’re going to be in your blog???

    • Yes I did, and they all wanted to be photographed. They are a great team. I can’t wait to see the stones being laid.

  4. How exciting Deb, I’m with you here, I love seeing things take shape as they emerge. Who ever thought a pack of stones & bricks would start to look like a house…… and then….. a home. Lucky you girl…, it looks amazing.

    • It is very exciting to watch it grow. I can’t wait for the stones.

  5. Debra that is very exciting! Exciting for you, as you are building a new house. Exciting for me as you have a blog that lets people like me dream that one day I could do that! Have you ever watched Grand Designs? My favourite ones were the international episodes.

    • I have watched Grand Designs. I especially love the Italian ones. It is fun watching the house grow. It is all going smoothly just now, but there is a long way to go.

  6. How very exciting!

    • It is exciting watching the building grow.

  7. This is so great! Not only are the photos great for us but as a memory for you and all those that follow who will live if this house. It’s interesting to follow the construction as it is so much different than how houses are built in te US. And yes, the guys are super cute!!

    • I intend to record as much of the building process as I can. Rosi will still be here when I go back to Australia, so she will take photos as well.

  8. Have to say …..I’m so giddy at watching YOUR dream come true, the photos, the progress, the SETTING, your viewers comments etc. …I ate half a bag of cookies!! What a trip!! Good wishes for it’s continued (positive) development. Bet there’ll be one grand party when it’s done – Luis catering of course.

    • We are going to put in a wood fired pizza oven as soon as we can. I would like to have at least one picnic up there on a sunny day before we return to Asutralia in May.

  9. Talk about quick!! Well we really enjoyed our picnic there last year with you and the gang and we wish you nothing but good things with the project. The team all seem so nice and yes, make sure we get to see some of their muscles when the sun comes out. It is beautiful……

    • I think we should go there this year when you come. We could have a barbecue and make the place feel wanted and loved.

  10. I have been looking forward to these photos. If I understand you correctly, the stone blocks go on the outside of the bricks. That is going to be one THICK outside wall. It looks fantastic. Incidendally photos taken during construction can be very useful later on. (chasing wiring etc). Do you have a garage planned?

    The setting is beautiful, your own water supply and the neighbours don’t look too close either. Beautiful.

    • The walls are very thick. There will be insulation between the bricks and the stones as well. We can only rebuild what was there so there can’t be a garage. The house has to be rebuilt to exactly the same dimensions as the one it replaces, with the same doors and wndows. We did get permission for a bigger door onto the terrace, which took some doing.

  11. Lucky you – it’s a beautiful setting! I think you’re very brave taking on a building project in a “foreign” country. Will you settle in Italy permanently or keep moving between Italy and Australia?

    • We will always live in both Australia and Italy. The house is being built to sell. Adriano lives here and has had experience with building. We would never have taken this on alone.
      We love our apartment by the river. The house in the mountains would be too remote for me, I like to see life aorund me.

      • I think I’d also choose the apartment by the river.

      • We have never regretted our decision to by right in the village. I love being able to walk across the bridge to Bar Italia for my coffee etc.

  12. Great location. Looks like they build houses in Italy quicker than here in Aus. When are the sexy looking ladies in bikini’s comming to the building site?
    I can’t wait to be in Bagni Di Lucca in the end of May to have good look around. Pitty we miss each other by a few days as I would have loved to meet you and your husband face to face over a bite of lunch and a bottle of vino.

    • I’ll keep an eye out for some bikini wearing builders. It has taken us a couple of years to get to this point, but it seems to be moving quickly now. There are five builders there every day and they are a cheerful bunch. The bricks for the bottom floor are extremely big and heavy, the ones for the next 2 floors will be a bit lighter. I can’t wait to see the stone layer.

  13. […] here to see the last report on the house, or go to the ” new house in Vergemoli” to see all […]

  14. I love these pics! We’re in the middle of building work at home (Cape Town, South Africa), and the most exciting bits were when the foundations were cast, the walls went up, and the roof went on! What is left now is all the fiddly ‘attention-to-detail’ ‘making-things-look-nice’ stuff, which is far more challenging somehow.

Leave a Reply


%d bloggers like this: