I'm very happy with the progress. The builder seems to have his various trades well coordinated, and deliveries seems to roll in exactly when required. That tells me he pays his suppliers on time which is a good sign.
Thankfully next weeks forecast has changed from heaps of rain to a few scattered showers ... let's hope it stays that way. Builder reckons 3 weeks to watertight if the weather holds.
The old house did have a lot of charm ... that's what originally attracted us when we bought it 14 years ago. Times change and after being away so long and with growing kids it simply wasn't big enough. The new house has a relatively simple facade with rendered brickwork. We don't like the current fashion in project homes with an array of different facade elements / colours / materials. I think they'll date quite quickly.
The Procellas are due in December which is when I expect to be ready for them. It's going to be a long wait !!
The side step back is for council as you guessed. In our area the boundary envelope is 4m straight up and then back in at 45 deg. It basically means that if you're anywhere near the minimum boundary distance (900mm) there's no way you can go straight up for two storeys. I think it adds some interest to the exterior so no real problem with it, except it does end up costing in extra steelwork. As it turns out we encroach beyond the boundary envelope along the garage / theatre side as council forced us to raise the whole house by 600mm to get the stormwater draining to the street. They seemed quite happy with the non-compliance if we satisfied their obsession with OSD. I don't really understand their priorities.
Anyway ... don't feel sorry for me ... it's still 6.4m wide.