The Nice Wolf and I have been flat out getting at least some of the garden ready in time for the influx of Christmas and Summer visitors. I’ve lost count of the weekends the Nice Wolf has been laying cobblestones. He complains that I get the good jobs and it’s probably true. Planting, painting. Any way, no time to write, but I feel I owe my readers at least some photos of recent progress. I hope you enjoy the gallery:
Every spare moment has been spent in the garden lately. Planting, reticulation, lawn preparation, mulching and cobblestones, of course… No time at all for blogging. We’re on a mission. Guests are coming for Christmas.
Fortunately, the “House By The Water” videos, made by our builders, are ready. You can enjoy a little chat in our kitchen and living room instead of reading a post. There are two short videos. Click on the pictures below to view. I don’t think I’ll take up vlogging, but it was fun to do this once.
Six months have past since handover and I sent my list of problems into Webb and Brown-Neaves. Nothing drastic. They’ll pay me a visit next week to review everything. Hopefully, the fixes will be quick and with minimal time off work required.
We finally got around to our handover with Intelligent Homes who were subcontracted to install our security and communication systems. Burglars, be warned! You’ll need ear plugs.
The Nice Wolf hung an old front door bell that we’ve been carting around for more than a decade. It came from our first house. We took it off to render the 70’s brick and promptly lost the bracket so never rehung it. I’m very grateful now.
The waterline tiles have been laid in our pool and there has been talk of solar versus electric heating. I can almost believe that we’ll be swimming in this pool come Summer. I’d better get cracking with the fence painting and planting.
There’s a chance my blog may spontaneously combust this week. Last year I paid a small amount for “custom design” and no ads, but this year I put the money towards this floor lamp:
So if this page is looking a bit weird later this week, that’s why. I shall attempt blog first aid as necessary.
Our boxes and furniture arrived. The kitchen boxes took me a full weekend to unpack and I’ve declared a ban on any further kitchenware purchases. Our plentiful kitchen storage is full.
This 3 day weekend, my mission is to clear the house of all the other boxes. I’m spurred on by a special request from a South African reader for photos of our void area and by the impending arrival of an important guest, Aunty Kate.
Our living room (with void) is furnished temporarily with old furniture:
I have big plans for this living area, but I have to be patient. In the end, practicality won over lust and I’ve ordered this sofa:
The sofa is coming from South Africa and is due to arrive in May. I’m taking that to mean July, because everything seems to arrive later than advertised. (Hello? Bed I ordered in December. Shutters I ordered in October. Are you there?) When the sofa arrives, I shall borrow some rug samples from Frisky Deer and will select a rug to complement the new sofa and the “I.O.U. artwork” that is yet to be purchased following a conspicuous birthday a certain time ago.
I’m only half way through my box emptying spree, but I feel like showing off our living area. I’ve earned a short break…
Through the chaos of the week, I’ve enjoyed finding little spots that give me pleasure. Honestly, everything looks better with timber floors:
And finally, a preview of our powder room:
At 9 am yesterday, The Nice Wolf received keys from our site supervisor for our new home. In a slightly non-traditional ending to the fairy tale, we had a pseudo pre-handover inspection and handover all in one. That means that there are a few items still to be completed by the builders but we are able to move in. Full credit to the builders and all their associated tradespeople for working their butts off for the past 2 months in order to deliver our house before their Christmas break.
This last week saw some crucial elements added to House By The Water. Balustrading, toilets (phew!) and, just in the nick of time, gas, or more significantly, hot water. As a bonus, our landscapers finished our deck and made a good start on the pool fencing.
So here we are, completely exhausted and thoroughly happy. What other way is there to celebrate than with good champagne (thank you Webb and Brown-Neaves) and pizza on the deck? We had a great evening, with many small boats cruising the canals to view the local Christmas lights. All the boaters were in a Friday, festive mood, waving at us as they went by.
Today, the littlest pig turned 6 and was very happy to be served breakfast
in bed on a mattress on the floor. There has been a steady stream of tradies and we’ve been erecting some makeshift curtains. We’ve been vacuuming concrete dust and laying down plastic drop sheets in a probably vain attempt to minimise the dust until our timber floors are laid. We’ve been unpacking a few bits and pieces and received our new mattress. Basically, our work is just beginning.
I will post lots of photos soon. I just wanted to check in today and say, we’re in!
The good news is that House By The Water is starting to come together. The bad news is that the photos are lousy. Dodgy, locked-out, bad angles, reflection-on-the-windows, ground-floor-only kind of photos. I’m going to show you any way.
Last week the painters made the ceilings, doors and door frames white.
Then the tilers got busy in the bathrooms and the laundry. I caught them on the job one morning:
Since then, the wall tiles in both bathrooms have also been laid.
The laundry tiles are almost complete. There is just a small section under the cabinets left to tile. This is going to be the hiding spot for our robotic vacuum.
My powder room floor tile choice is proving to be more than just a puzzle:
The tiles come in a series of 6 different tiles. When they are pieced together they create a rug effect. We planned to use just three in the series since our powder room is fairly small. All nice in theory. Problem 1: wrong tiles delivered. Problem 2: replacement tiles still wrong. Problem 3: calculation of powder room floor space did not include extra width at the door openings, therefore 4 tiles in the series are actually required. Problem 4: the second tile in the series is darker than the 1st and 3rd tiles making it look all wrong. Gotta feeling the tiler isn’t going to love this tile. I just hope I still do once all the problems are resolved.
The renderers covered some of the planter boxes beside the canal:
And, most exciting of all, the Caesarstone went in today. Most of it is covered in protective plastic, but I managed to get a close up of the Alpine Mist bench top in our scullery through the scullery window.
Behind the scenes, the landscaping ball is rolling again. I’m selecting tiles for around the pool for the third time. The first tiles were discontinued, then the second. There’s a chance we will have some decking before handover of our house which is a thrilling prospect. You all know that it’s the glass of wine on the deck that I’ve been dreaming about for the last 3 years.
Our dishwasher is purchased and is awaiting fitting. We bought the integrated model of Fisher and Paykel’s double dish drawer. This means that the dish washer will be disguised as a kitchen cabinet. Very swish! We’ve had Fisher and Paykel dish drawers in several houses over the past 15 years and I give them two thumbs up.
It’s almost time to start making some lists. It’s not long now before Webb and Brown-Neaves’ work is done and ours is just beginning.
Melbourne Cup? Pffft. All eyes in our household are on a different race. It’s the race between our builders and the clock. December 4th: Practical Completion Inspection. December 18th: Keys to House By The Water.
Some punters don’t believe it will be done, but after the new pace set in October, I am backing Webb and Brown-Neaves. I’m literally backing them. I’ve booked short term accommodation until December 18th, not a day later. We all know what happens after December 18th. Nada! Building industry shut down.
So what has been done this week?
Well, we have a new sign:
And we have a new bill. The so-called “lock up” stage has been reached with boards in place of many of the windows. Several windows are missing, some were broken during installation.
Our friendly tradie, who cleaned up the site last week, has laid some bricks to hide the pipe that drains rain water into the canal:
One bath has been set in position and the plumber has the bathrooms all ready for tiles:
The tiles and grout have been delivered, so there’s only one thing missing….. the tiler.
Come on, tiler! Please be at our house tomorrow.