THE CONSTRUCTION DIARY
Chapter 4: Making a house a home
After a long, delayed and emotionally testing journey of permits, concrete, contractors, and much more, we have almost arrived at our destination – our home is almost built! So long as things go to plan, we should be moving in during March this year.
The problem here is that things don’t always go to plan – a lesson that we’ve had to learn over and over again throughout this process. In fact, after this process, I feel that I have an intimate understanding of the butterfly effect – every small action creates a ripple that leads to larger consequences. Recently, our concreting works started later than planned, which caused all our other subsequent work schedules to be moved and pushed back as well.
If you thought watching paint dry was boring, we needed to wait a minimum of 4 weeks once the concreted had been completed before we could move on to anything else. Unfortunately, given that we did this in winter, everything took longer to dry than normal. On top of that, outside work that needed doing like painting and wall plastering can’t be done in very cold weather (another item in the con column for winter) so this means more tasks that need to wait until the weather decides to be friendly again.
All these factors added up to a very frustrating waiting game, however, after what seems like the longest time, we have finally been able to start laying our flooring!
Most people, when taking on a large construction project, enlist the help of a general contractor. These are qualified professionals with experience in managing projects with lots of moving parts and shifting schedules – like building a new home. My husband and I, however, decided to go our own way, and oversee the bulk of this process ourselves. Thankfully, the process overall has been very smooth. There will always be delays and setbacks, but we’ve been very lucky that things have mostly gone to plan.
In most cases, I would recommend getting a general contractor. However, for us, it wouldn’t make sense. Our house is a monumental property, meaning that it would cost a fortune to hire a general contractor. Every change and every delay costs us, and they cost even more when you have a general contractor. So, putting things in our own hands helped us to have more control over our expenses. Was it Stressful? Yes. Absolutely yes. Would I do it again?
Luckily for us, we’re building our dream house – so we aren’t going anywhere else anytime soon (fingers crossed).
This brings us to the end of a long and complicated construction process. One that has tested us as it has rewarded us. I can’t help but be excited for what’s to come. Going shopping for furniture, furnishings, and all the bits and decorations that will this building more than just a house, but a home as well. The crazy thing is that this is only the beginning.
After this, we can welcome friends, family, guests, and the occasional delivery driver into our home. We will share meals, stories, laughter and more. These nights, days, weekends, and little moments will become the treasured memories that will make this house our home. It’s this excitement that has helped us through the hardest moments and made all the stress, long days and sleepless nights entirely worth it.
If I’ve learned anything from this construction diary so far, it’s that by focusing on the end goal of a project or piece of work, you can make the hardest and most stressful days a little easier. Were there days that were hard? Yes. Were there days I wanted to give up? Absolutely!
But if you asked me if change anything, aside from the weather, I’d say no. I’ve learned so much about construction, about myself, and most importantly, the person I’m going to share the home I worked so hard to build with.
I cannot wait to share my finished home with you, so stay tuned for the next exciting chapter of the construction diary!
Stay tuned for chapter 5 to keep up to date with the very latest of our construction diary!
In the meantime, you could check the rest of my blog for some more interesting articles HERE.