I am so behind on blogging the progress of our house build! But now that we're all moved in and the chaos is over I plan to catch up and share the last couple of months of building which were a crazy blur of busy. Matt ended up taking most of August off work (man are we lucky he has an awesome employer!) and we were on the building site ourselves an average of 80 hours a week, from dawn until well after dusk every day.
In August we were ready to start fitting out the interior. The electrician and plumber ran their wiring and piping through the walls and then it was on us to insulate and begin putting our ceiling and walls up. Proof of how much of a blur this part of the build is the fact that we didn't take many photos because we were so busy just getting shit done. While builders straightened walls and began on the exterior cladding Matt and I were learning how to do all sorts of things as we went; installing ply sheets, gib-stopping, painting, sealing concrete floors, installing the drainage channels brackets, foaming up windows, putting on architraves and skirting boards, making the bathroom vanity, putting up the Siberian larch weatherboards and being general labourers to help the builders with any jobs we could.
I was so glad we were only building a tiny house - the insulation for the ceiling and walls was all done in one weekend! Putting up the ply walls was another story. There was so much planning, measuring and double-checking involved with every sheet. And then we had to polyurethane it all!
And let's not forget how much of a test the weather was for us. Building in winter had more than it's fair share of challenges - with high water tables causing excavation nightmares, rain delaying concrete pours and wind holding up the roofing and cladding installation.
Countless late nights spent working and countless takeaway meals on the run! There's no denying that this part of the build was one of the most stressful times of our lives! Every last blood, sweat and tear went into building, but we did enjoy being hands on and it was very rewarding to know we played such a big role in creating our forever home. At the end of each day we could see the progress we'd made and that kept us going. We had a vision of how the house would look and I think it took most people, even our builders, until near the end to truly see what we had envisaged from the start.
I googled how to gib-stop the bathroom - it's not perfect but I was pretty pleased with my efforts. Painting the bathroom was a team effort (would you believe I had never used a paint roller before?!). Matt chose some expensive Italian Corten steel look tiles for the shower and they're utterly gorgeous! Adrian Van Uden's team did an incredible job of the tiling for us.
Regan from Elite Joinery Solutions, not only made our beautiful kitchen but also helped us with a number of other projects in the home including these rimu slabs which I then poured with resin while Matt made steel frames which would become our vanity unit.
Matt and I had our fair share of 'heated discussions' during the build but we're lucky that on the whole we work pretty well together. One thing I will say is that project managing a build is SO much more intense than I was prepared for. This stage of the build just became all consuming and my head was filled with one massive to do list. Added to that was managing the budget! I was often overwhelmed with the full responsibility for all the decisions I was making and the consequences of those decisions at times. But we haven't been living in the home a month yet and already we've both said it was all worth it. Well and truly.
While final fitout of electrical and plumbing began inside, the outside was all coming together too with the cladding and utilities.
We can't thank all our tradespeople enough for the huge efforts put in to getting this build over the line! Gavin and his team at Wilson Baird Building, Matt of Henson Electrical, Nick from NG Plumbing & Heating, Lindsay Roy for the all the earthworks, Regan at Elite Joinery Solutions, Adrian Van Uden, Gore Flooring Xtra, Ben at Thwaites Aluminium (& Rolly!), Brennan at Southern Concrete Cutting for all his advice and of course Josh at MAS Architecture for taking my hand drawn plans and turning them into a real house design for us.
Thank you also to all the beautiful people in our lives who dropped in to see us while all of this craziness was in progress and delivered care packages of food, fed us meals, helped us with a paint brush, lent another pair of hands to whatever job needed done, let us borrow tools, helped us lift stuff and just generally raised our spirits with your company & good banter. We love you. We appreciate you. And how cool is it that this house already has our friends & family as part of its story?