Blog #13

3rd November, 2012

We went up to our new house yesterday to meet six of our friends to show them over and have lunch later at our local café.  Things have been progressing, but not things that would really show in any photos.  That is the reason I haven’t done a new blog for ages.

We now have just three weeks from yesterday before we are supposed to have our key handed over and do a walk through to check everything is OK.  That will be on 23rd November.  Then hopefully we will be moving in on Tuesday 27th November. The packers will be packing on the Monday and the Tuesday.  Then we will have Wednesday and Thursday to go back to Maungaraki to do a final clean through before we hand the keys over and get paid on Friday 30th November.

There has been a little doubt as to whether everything will be finished on time.  But we really can’t push it out any further, so it has to be!

Over the past few weeks we have been busy packing up and clearing out a great deal here.  We have taken everything out of our ceiling space and slowly gone through it and given a lot away and thrown even more stuff out.  We have done the same for everything that was stored under the house.  This is still cluttering up our garage, as we have not gone through it all as yet.

It took a long time to go through all our books.  As Elizabeth and I now have Kindle E readers, this was a bit easier than if we did not have the Kindles.  We have given hundreds of books away and are keeping just those that we know we will read again or are reference books. As a lot of these books are very old, I had a great deal of trouble doing this job, as the dust really got to me and I had problems with my sinuses. We have almost finished this task and all the books we are taking have been packed and sealed into small boxes. Thank you Pauline.

Elizabeth has been packing all our CDs and DVDs and also cataloguing them all as she goes. This also has been a very long job.  But it will be very good having a list of everything we have. She has even labelled each box with what is in that particular box. Thank you Elizabeth.

We now have quotes from three moving companies. These range from just under $3000 to over $6000. The cheapest quote also includes all our stuff in our storage locker, where the expensive quote has that as an extra! We will still have to pack most of our stuff other than furniture and breakables.

When we were at our new house yesterday we noticed that the kitchen has been delivered.  Some of it as flat packs and some already made up.  When we saw the area this covered we wondered how it is all going to fit in the actual kitchen!  It did include all the laundry cupboards as well, so that will go in a different room. The kitchen and laundry will be totally installed by next Tuesday evening.  All the electrics in those rooms will be connected by the end of Wednesday.

One thing we are very happy with is the colour we have chosen for the walls throughout the whole house. This is always tricky, as when you see a small sample, you don’t really know what it is going to look like covering a whole wall and more.  It is a very pale, clean, lemon with white ceiling, architraves, skirting boards etc.  I didn’t want cream, as cream can often look rather dirty. The kitchen cabinets are a very pale grey with a bright red glass splash back behind the hob and all the way around the kitchen to 150mm. no higher, as every time you have to cut a hole in the glass for power points it costs $150 and there are lots of these power points! The granite is a darkish grey with almost iridescent bits in it.  Hard to describe.   This won’t be installed for a little while, as they don’t measure that until the kitchen is completely installed.

We now have a design for replacing the frosted glass in the front door and side panel.  We really don’t like the frosted glass and didn’t even realize that is what we were getting. We are now having some etched glass.  The etching will be on tinted glass like the rest of the windows.  This actually makes the etching stand out even better than on plain glass.


Martin did a lot of work finding the right photos to do this and then getting all the aspects right so it would fit the appropriate size of pane.  Martin’s original of these panels looked like the photo on the right.

We have also now had a quote for replacing most of the tinted glass along the back of the house.  Because of the trees behind the bedrooms and bathroom are very dark.  We will wait till the  new year to go ahead with this.

There have been quite a few problems along the way.  We have had to get our landscaper to move the end part of the retaining wall twice now. Callum has been very  understanding about these changes. Thank you Callum. What we want and what other people think we should have quite often differs a great deal  We don’t want to have too much concrete and therefore want the drive to be two cars wide for about a car’s length outside the garage and then for the drive to be just one car wide down to the road.  Other people and the landscaper point out that means you will have to back down the drive and not turn around.  We don’t think this is any problem, as most people have to back out of their drives anyway and it is what we have always been used to doing. Directly outside the garage the width is almost three cars wide, as we have a concrete pad for the trailer alongside the west side of the house.

The heat pump unit for the under floor heating will be positioned just to the left of the path going to the front of the photo. There is also a very small garden between the two garage windows. This is for a passion fruit plant. We know these plants like being surrounded by concrete.  They must like the lime that leaches into the soil.

Below is the part of the retaining wall that has had to be moved twice.

This next photo shows the extent of our patio, though this is just once part of it. This part of the main patio is six metres from the house to the outside edge.  Can’t remember how long it is in the other direction, but longer than six metres.  There is another small patio outside our bedroom.  The patios and all the paths are connected right around the house.  The other quite unique thing about our patio is that we have had pebbles and paua scattered all through.  The pebbles are not unique, but the paua is. This looks wonderful in sunlight or even artificial light at night.  I would have liked a bit more of it, but it will be OK.  I won’t be able to show a photo of the paua until the patio has had the final coating installed.  This then makes the paua glisten more.

The next photo shows the mowing strip in front of the front fence.  In the foreground is where we will have another small garden.  There is another bit like this at the far end on the rounded corner.

We will eventually have another small retaining wall and fence continuing on from the end of this one all along the east side of the section as we want to have a narrow vegetable garden along this fence. We will build this garden so it is about 50cm high, so no bending to do the gardening!

This small garden is at the back of the formal lounge and side of Martin’s study.  I think I may plant a climbing rose here.

This is the small patio outside our bedroom.  This will be a lovely place to have breakfast in the morning sunshine.

Another problem we are having is with the tiles we are having in front of the windows along the north and west side of the open plan area.  Martin had given the tile layer a layout of how he wanted the tiles laid.  Well the best laid plans……….. The tile layer said he had a better idea and started putting the material to bring the tiles up to the level of our carpet where he wanted.  We were furious with him doing this without consulting us.  We had very carefully arranged it so when the front door was open any rain water on the door would fall on the tiles, not the carpet.  Now a small portion of the door would be dripping over the carpet. So all work has halted on the tiling and we can only surmise he has the pip with us!!?

We also don’t want sharp corners where the tiles go around the corner as you can see here.

The other thing the tile layer has done is take this underlay into the corner where the window seat is going to be in the formal lounge.

Our solar hot water heating system is now in place and we can apply for the $1000 the government are giving to people installing these.  We had until 31st October to have that all totally finished.  We achieved that with no time to spare!

Most of the electrical fittings are now in place.  We still haven’t decided totally on what light fittings we want.  Though we do know we don’t want recessed down lights except in the kitchen, were we will have down light halogen lights.

That is all for now.  More hopefully after we have been back up there after the kitchen is in place next week.


2 thoughts on “Blog #13

  1. This update is much more relevant now that we have seen your new abode.  Doesn’t it brass you off when you have gone to the trouble of being specific about what you want and then your specifications get ignored!   The next 3 weeks will be a busy time for contractors and maybe you as well – it pays to check, especially in the kitchen that everything goes exactly where you want it to be.  Did you specify the height of benches?  We were at our house often during the last few weeks – it is exciting seeing it all come together.   Thanks for the tiki tour and good luck for the next few weeks. Diana


  2. Good to see the progress! I am mystified however at how rain water can drip inside when you have a porch over the front door! Do you only have horizontal rain in Waikanae?
    Either way send some rain here, we haven’t had any for months!
    Good luck for the move

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