This week has been another fucken epic rollercoaster of emotions that I honestly can’t believe I’m not making up. The plot twists are so well choreographed that surely there’s something else larger at play. The universe has made us work for it this week.

It all started on Monday morning when we had our first volume builder come into the factory. We’ve always joked that our biggest competition is Metricon because we believe that the HUCX Prefab System should be accessible and affordable to the average family or person who wants to build a home. On Monday morning we took one step closer towards that goal. 

The meeting went super well with discussions around the changing attitude of developers (well, some developers) as clients are demanding more sustainable homes with higher energy ratings. This particular developer has recognized a gap in the market and is really excited about using HUCX Prefab to help boost energy efficiency as well as drastically reducing time on site since most of the work happens in our factory. Needless to say, it was a positive meeting and everyone left super pumped!

Later on that afternoon, a fancy car pulled up while I was in the lunch room - since I was eating my toast I decided to hang back in case there was a fancy client inside that fancy car. They probably won’t want to shake my buttery hands. After 5 minutes Matt walked back outside with the guy (I vaguely recognized him) they chatted for a while more, shook hands and he left.  

I came back into the office and got the lowdown from Matt… So that guy in the fancy car was our new landlord. He had just brought our factory. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you may remember we had the real estate agent bring someone through unannounced the eve of our last Summer Open Day. I had been devastated then but my stoic teaching reminded me to not worry about something I can’t control so we put it to the side and hadn’t heard anything else since.

Our new landlord arriving out of the blue was a shock to say the least. I looked at Matt, holding back tears and just asked ’how long have we got?’ 

“He wants to be in by Feb next year” 

FEB. WHAT THE FUCK. My life pretty much flashed before my eyes. The last time we moved it nearly destroyed us. Emotionally, physically and financially it was the hardest thing we’ve done (apart from trying to get a baby to sleep). As I started to play out our life on the streets as we drag around a 2 tonne CNC machine Matt quickly followed up with the news that he’d asked if we wanted to share.

WHAT THE FUCK!?! He wants to share? What kind of person buys a 1500m2 factory for probably about 2 million bucks then wants to share it? I instantly had 100 questions - what does he do? How much space does he need? Does he know what we do? (we need LOTS of space) How does he imagine this will work? How do we imagine this will work? Matt had told him we’d think about it but to be honest we don’t really have many options.

This event led to another one of those fucken horrible conversations when we have to imagine that he did want us out by Feb. What would that look like? Things are so tight at the moment that we’re holding on by a thread. We’re on the cusp of seeing all of our hard work finally pay off with some 5-10 substantial jobs in the pipeline but if we had to move today, right this very second, we couldn’t do it. We couldn’t weather the cost of moving (about $50k) and find a place large enough and be set up again in time to retain the upcoming work.

We were of course trying to have this very serious (and sad, quick frankly) conversation in the kitchen that night while Matt was making dinner. What if this is it babe? What if we have to pull the plug?  Is this it? Is this the final straw? We haven't taken deposits from any of the upcoming jobs (which is a problem in itself!) So it's now or never. Can we actually pull this off? Can we KEEP living like this and do we even want to? 

Alice at this stage has got her headphones on and is dancing around the kitchen singing Amy Shark's latest single at the top of her lungs. Matt just looks at her and says ‘We can do this babe’. ‘I want to do it for her,’ pointing at Alice. ‘I want to do it for Frank. I want to do it for you’.

Fuck me Matt. Of course we’re going to keep going but how hard does it have to get? How many blows do you have to take and keep getting back up? And how the hell did we land the one landlord who wants to be flatmates! Of all the people who could’ve brought the factory we get the one person who might just save our arses! Disclaimer: We still haven't confirmed this arrangement so it may still be all over but we’re not worrying about that unless we have to. 

So we continue on. We pushed through to see another day and that next day happened to be when Dan Andrews canned the Commonwealth games. If you spoke to Matt or I in the last 6 months I’m sure you would’ve heard us talk about trying to get involved in the athletes village build. We’ve probably had some 20+ people through the factory linked to the project and felt like we were starting to get some traction. BANG. No games. No build. 

To be honest we celebrated dodging a bullet. As the timeline was getting compressed, so were the original benefits of repurposing the athletes village for social housing (the bit we were really interested in). The last thing we wanted to be part of was some local controversy after the games. All the hard work we put into those initial relationships will pay off later on when these projects pop back up again under better conditions we hope.

This leads me to Wednesday morning when I got a call from the real estate agent from home this time with an ‘intention to sell’ notice. I actually laughed when he told me. Our landlords want to sell our house. Since we’re on a month to month contract, depending on the new owners intentions, we’d have 30 days to find a new place and move out. 

YOU’RE FUCKEN KIDDING ME! 

The worst thing about this is that they put a MASSIVE ‘for sale’ sign out the front and shit gets real intrusive. Already we’ve had several trades ring us arranging appointments to come fix shit in the house that our shitty landlords refused to fix for us because they’re complete fucken jerks. We also had to tell the kids which was really sad. Both our kids are little home bodies.

We obviously sold it as a great adventure. Who knows where we might live? Maybe we can move closer to your friend's house! Maybe we can even get a 2 bedroom place so you guys can share a room! Deep down we’re gutted. Not because I fucken HATE moving but because we’re about 8-12 months off building our home. I had planned on leaving all of our shitty 15 year furniture behind and moving into our fabulous, fully insulated, double glazed, gorgeous, stunning, peaceful and bright HUCX home. The last thing I want to do is move into another shitty rental. 

Renting fucken sucks and we’ve been reminded, TWICE this week, how little control we actually have over our situation. We’re lucky that I’ve had my summer of stoicism so we can weather this rationally (just) but the instability that comes from renting is real. If anything, this chaotic week has just strengthened and reconfirmed our mission to create an affordable and sustainable building system that is accessible to families just like ours.

Video of the week
Ask yourself this One Question
Podcast of the week
Bang On: Jonah Hill, ‘Girl Dinner’, Wham!
Font of the week
Free Lunch: Font of the week by Dan Cederholm

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