Continuing on my journey of building my own home – I had purchased the land and selected the builder and the design of the house and signed all the thousands of pages of contracts with both the builder and the bank. Finally it was time to start building a house!
The Concrete Slab
Everything started off quickly, surprisingly quickly actually. Within weeks of signing the contract, the concrete slab was being poured and construction has officially begun!
I remember walking on top of the slab the day after it had been poured and thinking that the house was so tiny. I didn’t remember the display home being so small and I was genuinely concerned.
As it turns out, once all the walls and roofing were finished, everything looked the correct size again. I’m not sure why walls make such a big difference, but they really do.
About a week after the concrete slab was poured, the wooden frame of the house was up and it was starting to look like a house. This was done in two stages, the first stage was just the walls, the second had the roofing support beams.
I couldn’t believe how quickly everything was happening. I was barely 2 weeks in and it looked like were were half way completed.
Unfortunately things took a turn for the worse right before the actual roof was scheduled to be installed. About 1-2 weeks of solid rain descended on our brand new wooden frame.
A bit of rain back story
Australia was in the middle of the worst drought in my lifetime, the main drinking dams were at about 12-15% full and the government was talking about starting a recycled water plant to increase the drinking supply. They even went so far as to build a desalination plant off the coast to pump water back and remove the salt in order to create drinking water.
I was happy that I was going to continue having fresh drinking water, I was just a little disappointed that our blistering house building speed had come to a very soggy stop.
I also discovered that having your wooden frame sitting out in drought breaking rain, is not a good idea. It turns out that wood can start to warp when it is left exposed to the elements for too long and lots of water doesn’t help.
Once Mother Nature had finished bringing the rain the builders put the roof on. We went for a Colour-bond / Tin roof rather than tiles, simply because we thought it looked nicer.
I’m not sure if you can tell or not, but it’s at this time that they put the windows in. If you could peer into that front window about 5 years into the future from when this photo was taken, you would likely see me sitting there typing this very post…
Bricks and Walls
It seems that now the rain had well and truly gone and things were picking up pace again. The bricks and the internal walls went up really quickly. The house was starting to take shape and I was able to picture myself living inside.
Once all the walls and bricks are sorted, things start to slow down in a big way. The internal fittings like bench tops, basins and the bath tub are all installed. This is pretty much the last time you get to walk through the house without needing a key.
This was probably the most fun part of the building process, because you are asked to go around to a whole heap of shops and pick out all the cool stuff for the house. Like tile patterns and colours, the type of carpet and the paint colour to be applied to your home.
I found it difficult to imagine the colours all together, but after a while I started to realise that I kept going for a similar type of style and we just ended up picking one that we both liked.
At the lock up point we were essentially locked out of the house. Only people with a key get to go inside, which meant that we only got to go inside whenever the builder was with us. The main reason for this is because things like the dishwasher and the oven were being installed and apparently they are common things a thief would want to take home with them.
I’m not 100% certain, but I am pretty sure this final part took about 5-6 weeks for the builder to complete.
Once all the internal stuff is completed you do a final walk though the house with the builder and you point out any things which you feel are of a poor quality or not to your liking. The builder will put a red sticky spot on each of the defects and note what needs to be fixed. By the time we were finished the walk through, the house looked like it had chickenpox.
It normally takes between a week and two weeks for them to fix all the little red dots. Once that is compete you get the keys and can move in!
How it Looks Today
It’s not a pretty as the display home I showed you last week, but it’s our home and we love it. As it’s 9:45 at night I’ll save the outside photo’s for part 4.
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