This week on stuff I'm talking about paying for all this with the team at Westpac who made what was a rather complicated timeline of buy, sell, build, settle, complete, move, much easier, and it's probably timely as we are finally over halfway (woohoo!).
We’ve reached the stage of the build where I think that every week something will have been ticked off our list. But it doesn’t necessarily happen. Deliveries are delayed, rain stops play, or things just take a lot longer than you had hoped because they are waiting on that delivery that got delayed or the rain to stop. Having a good relationship with suppliers is essential and having programs in place to try and mitigate delays by getting the right thing first time are a great idea, but sometimes you have to trust that people are reading and building from the plans (the golden mecca of any build) and when they don't, and it happens a lot more frequently than you'd think, things get made wrong, delivered wrong and delays happen.
It is however, a good time to take stock. I’m getting better at anticipating what will crop up on the to do list for the month but luckily I have Mr Building Boxes to make sure our list is complete as he's the one with the project management experience onsite. Here then, in case you’re wondering, is where ours is at:
· Install and glaze windows - done
· Finish external batons
· Install toe mould flashings – done
· Install all window flashings
· Install horizontal corrugate cladding
· Install horizontal cedar cladding
· Install Earthwool/Glasswool R5.2 cei_ling insulation – done
· Choose material and colour for soffit and install (and insulate a portion)
· Install wall insulation (upstairs Earthwool/Glasswool, downstairs Dritherm)
· Install Proclima Intello membranes
· Prewire (first fix electrical)
· First fix plumbing – done thanks to the team at K10! These boys are speedy and super lovely.
· Grind and polish concrete floors
· Take delivery of external doors - done
· Stain and install external doors
· Glaze external doors
· Install ceiling Gib Rondo battens
· Staircase made
· Install staircase
· Pass blowerdoor test with Intello membrane
· Install Gib Toughline in stairwell and halls
· Install Gib Aqualine in bathrooms
· Install Gib Ultraline on ceilings
I think I might go have a cup of tea and a lay down...
For some reason, the editors over at stuff have given my column a "How to" title. Some of the builders (and their wives) who read it have rolled their eyes in the comments telling me I have no clue, and fair enough - but I'm not trying to write a How to Build column, more a How We've Built column, and that has been helpful for plenty of you apparently. So thanks.
This week on stuff, I'm talking about windows, and especially glazing, a big deal when you're trying for passive design. Luckily we've got the good stuff from Metro in, or at least still coming. Because that's what this week is all about, playing catch up.
Our builder went on holiday. I mentioned it a while back, but the full implications have only just hit home. We had hoped to be totally closed in at the end of April, and now...here we are. The windows came, then some of them went again, and now they're back. But we'd been hoping to glaze them after all the flashings for the cladding went in so the jiggling to get them just so would be easier. Because Mike Our Man of Hammers was on holiday however, issues weren't picked up and we still don't have the flashings on. They are due today, and things should start picking up again, but still, it's almost the middle of May now...not the end of April.
Happily Mr Buildig Boxes has been spending every living minute that he isn't at work on site, and the chippies have been picking away at battens and the internal walls. So lots of other small, annoying, time consuming jobs are done, and when we get going again, we'll really crack on. But the outcome seems pretty clear: if you want to stay on schedule, keep your A Team building. Seems I need to make more cake.
This week's piece on stuff.co.nz was going to be about windows. Getting them in to the new build, or not getting them in, depending on the part of the week. And then Nepal had an earthquake. A doozy. It felt about a hundred kinds of wrong to be talking about putting the windows into a shiny new house while so many were struggling without windows, doors, a roof, water, food, you name it, it was pretty much gone. So instead I wrote a piece about the implications of rebuilding in some of the most isolated, difficult to access and impoverished areas of the world.
Over here in New Zealand we are rebuilding after earthquakes too of course, and there are still people in Christchurch who don't have a building to call home yet. But I, for one, have so much to be thankful for. So I wanted to spend a little time waxing lyrical about the good things about living where we do, one of the big reasons for buying and building on the section in the first place.
1. The people are amazing. I have had people find my wallet (thrown out of a moving vehicle by swift and sneaky children), see a receipt from a chemist, call the chemist, get my number, then drive over to drop off my wallet to me. I have had that same chemist find my child's medication from another store and drop it off to me at home when he didn't have it in stock. I have had neighbours lend me everything from lipstick to lawnmowers, just to help out. And our Man of Diggers, Adam, takes the cake for pulling the surviving crew of a boat out of the water, saving lives and not even wanting to be thanked for risking his own life.
2. The trees. We have an amazing view of trees and an abundance of bird life because of it. Our three year old lego specialist told me today that t"rees make the world grow and they are for happy." I think he might be right. (He also told me that if we got in a car accident we could go to a restaurant and get fixed up with spider powers but that's another matter).
3. The water. The harbour isn't the cleanest but it's certainly not the dirtiest, and the mangroves at the bottom of our section while muddy, do a good job of being a living breathing filter. But when the sky has silvered off and the tide is in, there is nothing like the view across water. It is like a dish of molten pewter, reflecting the world and making us feel rich without quite knowing why.
I'll be back to talking building next week, but until then, here's hoping the thoughts (and cash) heading to Nepal get it back on it's feet soon.
A family of four: writer, scientist, lego engineer and destruction specialist. Our previous home is featured in New Zealand Interior Style and this new project promises to provide plenty of great, green, smart and maybe madcap solutions to new building in New Zealand.