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The outside of the house is now completely finished and the scaffolding has come down. Suddenly we can see the house for the first time…

We have made such amazing progress over the last few weeks… the bricklayers have been working hard and we have been following behind them with the paint, as fast as we can. Seeing the house for the first time… wow! It looks so white and sleek and modern. We almost can’t believe it. It looks so different from how it did half-painted and covered in scaffolding. For the first time we can really appreciate the design of the house. The architect showed us this tiny cardboard model; from that we had to decide on the design and now it is here in front of us full size!

We have to move out of our rental property by 18 Dec and I will miss the stunning views… we see all the boat traffic coming out of Long Bay, Kik Bay and Oamaru Bay, and we get epic sunsets.

However, back at our own little slice of paradise, there is still plenty to distract. When I look at the photos, I can see how far we have come, but when I walk around the inside, it feels like the clock is ticking now… As we don’t have any wiggle room in terms of dates, we have decided to concentrate on finishing the middle ‘pod’ first, which is our bedroom, Jack’s bedroom, bathroom and kitchen-dining. As long as those areas are finished, I think we can comfortably move in.

So now we are in the middle of lining the interior, the kitchen is being made offsite, and we are thinking about the small outside area that will form the entrance, and a step for each of the big sliding doors. Outside it is still very much a building site, and once the inside is clean, I want to try and keep it that way!

When you build a house, people talk about the endless decisions. But you can’t really believe that there are as many decisions to make as all that.

Here’s an example: just for one bathroom there have been hundreds of decisions about bathroom floor tile shape/colour/material, bathroom wall tile shape/colour/material, type of bath/finish of bath, shape of basin, size of basin, type of taps/ design of taps, storage cupboards, towel rails, shower cubicle, shower head, position of shower waste, style of mirror, position of mirror, lighting for mirror; and the list goes on… It’s huge fun but exhausting too… each decision feels momentus like the whole success of the project hangs on it. It’s difficult to get perspective when you are in the thick of it.

It will be interesting to look back on this process in a few months and see if any of those decisions jar, or if they still feel like the right ones. Wish us luck…