Ballarat at Home: Room with a view in Ballarat East

EVEN though Jo-anne Dyer and David Ethridge built their home nine years ago, they still enjoy their Ballarat East views on a daily basis.

They built the house on their family property to be closer to Ms Dyer’s mother soon after her father died.

“This is where I grew up,” she said.

They built on top of the hill and her mother still lives in the family home at the bottom of the hill.

“It’s great. We’ve put a back gate on mum’s house so we can walk down the hill or she can walk up to see us whenever,” Ms Dyer said.

“She kept the garden and we’ve got the paddocks.

“Here, really, is home for us all.”

She said she loved the feeling of space in Ballarat East so was disappointed to see smaller subdivisions popping up in the area.

“When I was growing up, I used to play under the big pine tree out the front.

“So when we were building the house I said we couldn’t get rid of the pine tree and our plans had to allow for the pine tree.

“No land was flattened and we moved the house a bit back from where it was originally going to be.”

She said the special part of their home was the view it has in both the day and the evening.

“Many people say not to put west-facing windows in a home, but that’s our view and it works quite well.

“We can see out to the town during the day, including town hall, churches and the hospitals and out to Sovereign Hill, and then in the evening we have a beautiful view of the sunset and the lights.

“When I was little, we used to walk up the hill and sit and watch the fireworks for Australia Day and New Year’s.

"When there’s a storm we just sit inside, turn the lights off and watch"

“We still have gatherings here where we watch the fireworks.”

It didn’t occur to Ms Dyer until they were building that it was the view they were going to enjoy every day.

“We came up here when the frame and roof was on, but there were no walls and we watched a big thunderstorm.

“It was spectacular – really wow.

“That’s when I realised that’s what I’d be enjoying in this home. Now, when there’s a storm we just sit inside, turn the lights off and watch.”

Built by Stuart Allen at Stuart Allen Building, the house had to have a big verandah and is wheelchair-friendly.

“We also allowed for my nana’s buffet in the entrance, so we had the walls built so it would be a feature there. It’s special because it’s been in the family a long time,” Ms Dyer said.

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