Hello and Happy New Year!
Wow, I can't believe how fast 2015 went. It was a full on year hence being very slack with my new blog!
2015 was pretty damn awesome. Our beautiful girl came into the world in January. My best friend got married in June. My husband made travel club at work, so we had an all expenses paid holiday to Hawaii baby! And to top it off in September the rascals and I went to London for my brother and his lovely wife's wedding in the Cotswolds. Perhaps I should do a separate blog post about our travels.
Now onto the build... or shall I say the land? The land has caused us much-unwanted stress. I think at one point my husband and I was arguing about it on a daily basis-fun times! We always knew there was potential to have some dramas with our earthworks as the land where building on is highly expansive clay and there was the possibility of a suspected spring, but of course, we wouldn't know this for sure until we started the earthworks. At first, we weren't too concerned with these obstacles as the developer we bought the land off was meant to do all earthworks, subsoil drainage and re-landscaping where needed-winning! Wrong! I'm not going to go into all the details of what happened but he didn't stick to the whole agreement and I am still dark about it as the earthworks/crazy over the top sub-soil drainage and the unexpected retailing wall has blown the budget out by approx $50,000! And then there is the redoing of the drive which has been destroyed by the concrete trucks and moving all the topsoil from the house pad cut to different parts of the land to flatten areas out which the developer was also meant to do but isn't and that's also going to cost us a sh*t load of money which we just don't have.
Anyway enough of that, let's talk about the good stuff! In November our concrete pad was poured, the polished concrete floors are like my baby, it's one of the things I love most about our build. Since we were building on highly expansive clay we chose to use additives in the concrete which is meant to slow down the processing time and help minimise cracking. The verdict is still out on how well it has worked. I guess we will never know, maybe if we didn't use it we would have cracks everywhere? So far we have two cracks in the back pavilion which run all the way across the floor. Luckily it was mainly in bedroom areas which are going to be carpeted-phew! In the front living pavilion there are a few hairline fractures here and there nothing I'm concerned about at the moment, I just hope they don't get bigger!
Once the concrete pad had dried out the steel framing went up at lightening speed. I couldn't get over how fast it was and we could finally get an idea of what our house was going to look like. Then the roof was on a week before Christmas, giving our internal builders a few days to get started before they were off for the holidays. We lost our original internal builder due to hold ups in earthworks and he ended up moving to Australia, so we ended up with a team of 4 brothers. We were told they were good at what they do and super fast. And they definitely lived up to their reputation they had all the internal framing up in 3 days. This was great as it meant Darnell and I could do all the battens and bits and pieces over the Christmas holidays.
Last week Darnell and <a href="http://www.masoncontractors.co.nz/">Masons</a> started the retaining wall. They managed to get all the holes dug on Wednesday and then Thursday the concrete trucks came and they got all the poles secured. Yipee! Then the plan was for Darnell to put all the boards on the retaining wall himself this week to save some costs. Unfortunately, a stupid storm had to come over the weekend with bucket loads of rain, which caused the bank to collapse. Boo! It has cost us an extra few thousand as we had to get the digger back to site and fix it all and then we decided to get some of the guys from Masons to help Darnell put the boards on in case another storm were to come and collapse the bank again. A few lessons learnt there, mother nature can suck at times and DIY isn't always the best and cheapest option.
That's pretty much as far as the build has gotten so far. The cladding has just started going up.
Vantage joinery is due to be on site by the 28/29th January which is awesome it's sooner than we expected. Bring on the plumbing and electrical!