Village life for 10 months

10 months!

Doesn’t sound like very long does it?

How come it was so long when a build only takes 20 ish weeks?


We moved to the Linwood Village on 8 November 2013

Once moved out our 3 bedroom house and garage was able to be deconstructed, and the salvage teams came in, the asbestos people did their thing… then the demolition machinery and trucks arrived that all took a week or so to do then on a unannounced Friday morning – 20 minutes later our house is a pile of rubble.

Our neighbor videoed it for us if you want to see it click here

This was November 2013.

Then came Christmas! Close down for four weeks for all builders and such.

The council consents were requested when the holiday period finished and that took around 4-6 weeks.

We’re then at the point of the foundations…. so many new requirements meant tradies are learning as they go, with the support of experts putting their two cents worth in for earthquake proof foundations.

It’s dug out, the pile holes are hand dug then placed for them to arrive the next morning and realize the sand has caved in and now the piles are all wonky. oops.  Every little one of these delays has further delayed our move home.

So they get cardboard surrounds for the holes, then set them in with concrete.

The floor rails go on (I should know what they’re called by now!! lol) then what looks like chipboard goes on. what!!

Wet weather and a builder who just isn’t turning up over three ish weeks… our chipboard and framing to the house just sits doing nothing.

He’s fired. A new builder comes on board and gets it all up in a day or two.


The roof goes on, cladding goes on, and from there it seems tradies are there maybe once a week tinkering away at the internals.

Once a week.

What is going on???

Not enough tradies and not enough.

We get to our contract date 3 June and the house is no-where finished, the final slog is the most frustrating and stressful thing we’ve ever been through – you can read here what happens

We get delayed four to five times in total, around three months after our contract date we move into our almost finished home.

We are by no means finished though.

Follow us as we get fencing, landscaping, vegetable gardens, lawns (which are so complex!! to grow, especially when the soil is all sand) and the house feeling like home on the inside.

Luckily Vee LOVES gardening, and her hubby LOVES DIY projects!

I will do a post on our first week at home so keep an eye out for that one

Vee x


House photos

I called in today to extra nicely ask my neighbour if we can park a car at his house until our concrete is dry.

Concrete for garage is poured.

Concrete for the drive and front path are all boxed in – a slight variation to what I had as the concrete layer (who were all there with the deck steps builders) thought it would be safer to butt the path right up against the salon entry steps rather than me fill them in with rocks, tripping hazard.  I totally agree and am glad he’s made a decision without us just using good ol common sense.

Sorry forgot to snap photos of the driveway and the deck, and steps – will try again tomorrow.


Ohh my gosh the carpet is soft!!! I could just curl up in the sun here but better not…

Act normal!!


Toilet room

Who remembers how much Vee paid to plumb in her $5 trademe bargain toilet sink in the old house? lol

20140828_144423 20140828_144434 20140828_144438

One of our double hallway cupboards, another one on the wall opposite the laundry.  Storage for Africa!


The Mr and Mrs robes, I’ll probably use half of his as well as all of mine


One of the kids robes, love the look and function of these, great air circulation, and we now don’t need clothes draws in any rooms taking up space. Just a bed, side table and desk in each of the kids rooms.


My neighbor Kevin keeps getting his hair in my shots haha…. sorry Kev!

So this is a shower over bath, we have a califont shower (electric instant hot water so never run out or run cold) so the surround that goes on top of the bath and attaches to the wall wasn’t working to run off water.  Council consenting issue so they need to redo something.

Oh yes all the water is flowing out the taps that I tried.

Oh my gosh I love the kitchen and laundry taps Mark!!

Catch up: Mark designed, chose the colors, taps, basically everything for this house – he’s done amazing, I love what he’s chosen for our home.


Laundry is behind two double bifolding doors at the end of our hallway.  dryer goes in the cubby below to the left, washer goes to the space on the right, awesome storage again Mr Stewart! xx


Sorry Kev!!

This is the larger of the two living areas, gets all day sun and leads out to the massive backyard deck (50m2 deck)


I took this photo to show you that massive pile of dirt has been removed, I went for a walk to look-see at the raspberries and gosh they need some TLC

Can’t wait to get home and into my gardens.

Not long to go.


Rebuild – daily countdown **pinned up post**

I’m going to add to this one post each day to make reading the final month of the rebuild easier from the archives, and so that those un-interested don’t have to be tortured with the feed full of day-by-day separate posts.  It won’t remind you when I update this however so you will need to check in when you’re keen to see how it’s going.

Monday 08 Sep – Two Thousand and Fourteen, four years and four days after the first house affecting earthquake


Today I went to the house and had the practical completion with Arrow as well as the handover with the PM from the housing company.

We are moving home on 10 Sep 2014. The haul people arrive tomorrow to pack us up, Mark will finish at 7am tomorrow so he will be sleeping… eek… slight problem but we’ll work around him.


I’ll be off trying to get my licence renewed, and running errands. Ugh. Today was such a write-off.

So the meeting at the house today was over two hours!! I then stood in line for nearly an hour at AA to renew my drivers licence only to find I’d filled the wrong form… one look at the line I would have to re-enter after filling the right form and time needed to get to a school choir for the kids and the licence took second priority… also! I forgot to eat today… 2pm and I’m starting to feel a little feint! yikes! anyway more about that in the diary section… here’s the guts on where the build is at and some photos!

Ok so a two hour walk around the property with our Arrow man to see what’s left while the PM walked around with the Council inspector revealed:

  • Garage still needs supplying and installing, and that then needs a sparky to come and wire up the auto door and plugs, that’s scheduled for mid Sept so next week ish
  • The driveway needs to be sealed, this is being done tomorrow if it hasn’t already. It means two hours of no traffic which will make it tricky for all the last minute tradies that are in and out at the moment.
  • The brand new electric califont for our shower is buggered, its leaking like crazy! a expert (rather than a regular plumber/sparky) is arriving tomorrow to get it sorted.
  • Lots of little touch ups in the paint, the soffits where the clever buggers just kept firing nails to see where the framing was when attaching the soffit up… they now have to bog (not plaster) like actually bog… that stuff that stinks and takes ages to cure, then paint the soffits.
  • Living room ceiling is to be fully repainted because a sparky ripped up a mess of the hole where the downlight was to go… its been painted but is not blended with the ceiling… I’m not fussy on painting so if that bothers me – you know it’s bad.
  • The property is un-secure/non-internally fenced, once the garage goes up the PM is going to come back and put up a internal fence for us with a gate.
  • The decking isn’t going to be stained for a few weeks – because the PM said the decking timber was unusually extra wet.  We’ll wait for it to dry with the summer weather on its way then get painters in to stain.
  • We have no steps to get into our garage so Dad is coming down when he can next to do more internal fencing and create a boardwalk from our house laundry entrance to the garage.
  • The large heat pump console needs it’s outside unit installed that was scheduled for today.
  • We have no phone/internet until 13th Sept as Vodafone couldn’t fit our install in, they don’t use the phone lines that the sparky installed because they’re connected to telecom’s network. Good grief right?

All in all, the house looks great, it’s looking finished ish, there’s just a few things to do before Wednesday.

I’m checking through again on Wednesday.

So the council inspector, he’s happy with the house and will come back to consent the garage once its up.

So we have our practical completion subject to the garage being completed – certificate from Arrow, this allows us to get house insurance, that’s on tomorrow’s list of errands.

Photo’s as promised…. will do a VLOG once we’re moved in

Bye from me for now! Internet will be limited to our mobile phones for the rest of the week.

Vee x

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Tuesday 26 Aug – 15 sleeps to go

I got a call after the school drop off from our insurer project manager who tells me our PM from the housing company has called him and asked for another week.  The PM from Arrow is calling me to “feel out” how this puts me and the family.

I don’t have a choice but to truck on.

I book our moving trucks for two weeks out, this again costs us more in rent and all related expenses but it is what it is.

I knew this would happen – I scold myself !!

I’m annoyed that the PM at the housing company has repeatedly built my hopes up and even just yesterday telling me all was on schedule for the 29th August.

We’re a very long way from June 3rd.

I’ve shut down and am going to avoid his calls.

He knows what he needs to do, no need to call me between now and our handover day, I’m done with him.

Call me childish but that’s my coping mechanism kicking in.

It’s either avoidance or go absolutely apeshit at him for all his lies and bullshit and undelivered promises.

I can’t explain any more right now, today has been just absolute disappointment.

My husband came home with my favorite chocolate and favorite flowers after his shift at work today.

He never buys me flowers!! I think this is the third bunch in the ten years I’ve known him.

He knows it must be bad, when I’m not cursing expletives or texting unsavory language insulting the cause of my stress.

He got a couple of “factual” unemotional texts after I got the news and started making calls to put off all the utilities etc

So I’ve got a couple of weeks now to just chill out, I might start on the gardens in the yard and get them composted and ready for spring… not sure if I’ll go with seeds or seedlings this year but I sure am looking forward to being back in my green lush yard.

Monday 25 Aug – 4 sleeps to go


even the milks excited!!

Sunday 24 Aug – 5 sleeps to go

There’s a digger in the yard!! five sleeps to go!! eeek

Saturday 23 Aug – 6 sleeps to go

Far out I better start getting our house sorted!!

Today we popped into the house and I was SUPER excited to see this:


Look!!! Mark wasn’t joking!!! he really did order my favorite color for the kitchen splashback!

While we were there the back neighbors yelled over they fence “oi!! what do you kids think you’re doing!!”

Then they saw us and realized we owned the place.  Great to know someones guarding our home for us.

I chat to them and she asks if it’s going to be rented out.

Ahh… I now know her motive for being protective of this shiny new home.

Dam she says! was hoping it would come up for rent.

The guy says it will be nice to have us back.

We’ve only met him once.  What a kind thing to say.  It makes me want to be home ASAP!




I’m a bit curious at the new style of garage foundation… maybe its normal but it definitely looks interesting with all the separate large squares in it… it will be like a big giant concrete waffle underneath.  I can’t even try to understand how that sort of architecture benefits us or performs in an earthquake.


God I hope we get a while before another big one.

We’ve all been through so much. I wish they were done but the fact is we live on fault lines, so they’re inevitable.

Hmm ok so we notice once inside having a look-see, the bath/shower surround, tiles have arrived ready for install, we were told tiling was being done today. Hmm.

Vanities are all installed – they look SO lovely! they were the only fitting that I fought like a wife with PMS for.  So glad we went with the light colored wood grain instead of the dark color every other john smith is installing in their new home at the moment, they look lovely with the wall color and floor color.

The skip is gone so the driveway can get started Monday next week.

The robes still need installing, entrance steps are all being done Tuesday, the power will be hooked up to the house Monday ( I think…) I’m looking forward to seeing the deck all stained, balustrade up and that massive pile of dirt in our back yard gone.

Who want’s to see my plan for the front yard? Excuse my drawing ability but I traced it from our contract so it was to scale, then used some accountancy formulas 😉 to scale everything else


Friday 22 Aug – 7 sleeps to go

I’ve had a good day off and feeling much better.

Cleared out all the stress and just rested for a day.

Today I’m busy with the kids pencils and some paper, drawing out the landscaping and the style of entrance steps for our four entrances! four!! yikes.  I figured I may as well submit a request rather than just taking whatever they knock up for entrances, I’ve emailed it to the PM and he’s said that it’s do-able. Well thank goodness for the ups to the downs aye?

Dad’s arrived from his trip in Cambodia/Philippines and he leans over the kitchen bench perusing my dilemma with the salon entrance steps.  They’re at the front of the property, so that’s great! but what’s not is that couriers will dump stuff at that ranch rather than walking another few meters and knocking on the house front door…. hmm…. dad says for me to turn my steps around… and ah ha!! we surround them with some decorative rocks so they’re not joined to the path leading up to the front door and hey presto! we have an entrance that’s there but not drawing us to it.  Fingers crossed 😉

I’ve had an email from the PM so I fire one back with lots of questions.

All answered with positive result answers.


Our silt traps in the wrong place.  It’s being moved next week.  I need to contact the phone company and power company as it’s a new house.  eek! how did I forget to do this?  I call vodafone and after three “i’ll put you through’s” and 30 minutes on hold I just hang up. Arrrrrgggghhhh utility companies right?  I’ll do it next week.

So the email from the PM said that the drive is being started Monday, the garage will be done by Wednesday, and the council is coming to tick it all off Wednesday.  I guess that means everything has to be done for that.  We’re going through on Tuesday afternoon to “walk through” and request any touch ups.

So much still needs doing…. I’m really feeling pessimistic.

The PM has said go ahead and continue to expect to move in Friday.

The concrete takes two weeks to cure so we can’t drive on it.

He’s happy to complete our build by the Friday and said it’s up to you whether you move in and park roadside for two weeks or wait and move in later.

Hmmm…. its unlikely we’ll put off the move unless the moving company is unhappy to walk all furniture in from the street.

Thurs 21 Aug – Given up hope

I’ve given up all hope of the project manager delivering his continual promise to have our keys on the 29th August. Next Friday!

I’ve stayed upbeat for so long that yesterday I just crashed.

My sleep last night was filled with stressful dreams of decisions I’m unable to make for the house and property, because of in-decisions or issues with the house making my choice of decisions either limited or singular.

Today I’ve woken up feeling much the same… just given up – I’ve run out of energy for a house build over twelve weeks past its due date, and budget problems beyond my control, and contractors that don’t deliver on time – pushing this build further and further out.

I’m getting sick again.  I’m sniffling and this house is so cold it’s impossible to heat… the powerbills are through the roof, but we have no option but to at least try and heat it to take the chill off.  It has no insulation or underlay, it gets no sun because of it’s position.

I had a cold several weeks ago, then a flu just a few weeks ago, now another cold coming on.

We have been SO sick in this horrible rental this winter.

Ella is stick and off school today.

Brook is coughing and likely off tomorrow.


I know it doesn’t help but I just can’t deal with any more contractors or people calling me.  Mark is busy with his shift-work, and will make less than best decisions if he has to step in.

I don’t want to make any decisions while feeling like this or under this pressure.

Because its the housing company’s fault!!

They have caused this pressure by letting days and weeks of NO work go by.

I have a job, I have a house and family to take care of…. and it appears I’m meant to be on-call for whenever it suits them.

Well I’ve had it.

The house can take as long as it does to get built.

I’m not making decisions under pressure.

I’m not delegating this to Mark.

There is no way they can get all of the below done in six working days:

Decking steps, Deck staining in-between coats drying with our weather, ballustrade up around the whole deck.

The garage apparently wont be up until around Wednesday next week.

That tells me the concrete people can’t come to do our driveway until then.

That tells me the builders building four sets of decking entrance steps can’t come and do that until the concretes done.

The carpet can’t be installed as that’s one of the last things to do.

There are plastering and painting that needs doing because the electricians caused damaged.

There are no walldrobe organizers installed.

No vanities in the bathroom or toilet.

Heatpumps copper was stolen so those need to be replaced and the outdoor lights turned up in the wrong style so once they arrive but not until then, will the electrician come back to hook them up, and install all the other plumbing like our califont shower, dishwasher, and vanities plumbing.

We have fencing to be built yet.

We have a walk through as clients to do… that was due on 12th of August. This can’t be done until the house is finished.

Do they expect us to skip doing this and just take our keys next week with the house in an as-is where-is state?

After a walk through – touch ups need doing

And cleaners need to come in to “polish” the house

These are all as per our contract and building schedule.

Then we are meant to do another walk through and get the keys handed over.

BUT all of the above has to happen by NEXT Friday.

I don’t think so.

So I now need to cancel the packers and moving trucks, call the property managers for here and extend our date again (fourth time) and cancel the power company switch, phone switch…

Rebuilding a home is enough to drive someone to insanity.

Who the hell is managing our build? no one it seems as it’s just been left to dwadle at whatever rate the tradies determine.

I’ve been told by almost every tradie that they’ve been ordered on site at a “last minute” rate.

That’s interesting.

OK so today. I give up.  I don’t bloody care and I’m taking the day off, Cellphones going on silent.  I think I’ll get a nap in too.

What a nightmare. Literally.

Wed 20 Aug – 9 sleeps go to!

Oh my gosh!! we’re on single digits for sleeps to go. Eeeeek!!! so excited.

Yesterday when at the house we were told that the garage could be complete by next wednesday (cutting it fine?… mmm hmmm) and that the driveway wouldn’t take a day or two to quote then book the job in.

Dad tells me that some driveways can’t be driven on for up to 28 days! what??

Definitely need to check that out.  Maybe they can put additives or something  in.  We’re definitely not keen to street park in our suburb.

So I’ve got nine sleeps left until next Friday when we get our keys, I’ve been sorting through all the rooms here and getting them ready for the movers to come in and pack us up on the Saturday.  Feeling equally nervous and excited about strangers packing our things for us…. hence the tidy up so they don’t think we’re sloths haha.

Ok – that’s it from me! NINE sleeps to go….. Woooo hoooo!!!

Vee x

Tue 19 Aug – 10 sleeps to go!

I turned up on site at 9.30 to the skyline garage people having boxed in and digging out for its foundation.

Was super excited to see exactly where!! they’ve placed the garage as I have SO much room to the right of it to make a car port/parking bay – yay!! our property is going to just work so much better for the land we have with the front yard all being used as parking.

I was there to meet the concrete/driveway guy so once I stopped yeehar’ing and woohoo’ing over the garage position I got to talking him through what we want to do.

Did you know that exposed aggregate has to be re-coated every 12-18 months!?? what!!

I would rather have plain and cheaper standard concrete then.

Which is great news!

Because it will reduce our financial contribution needed to concrete the rest of our front yard.

Awesome!!! 🙂

They come across ventilation problems again, I knew this would be an issue.  Our foundation ventilation is a 10-20mm gap at the bottom of the foundation boards. what the? yep, cost cutting gone wrong.

They now have to put vents in before the driveway guy can get to work.

Mon 18 Aug – 11 sleeps to go!

Our PM has been sick last week so we got an email saying we’d get an update when he was better and back at work.

I’m equally excited and concerned about the approaching get-the-keys Friday.

This is just NEXT week. Far out!!

I see the foundation boards have been painted.

Our piles on the foundation had timber boards attached, this is to brace the foundation piles and give more strength.

They were a bright white, and about 1 meter from the ground to the house floor level (yep our house is perched quite high, we can see way more over the neighbours fences now…. so will need to raise the fences with some trellis or something) anyway, this bright white boarding around the base of the house was very unaesthetic as our insurer agreed!

The housing company then agreed to paint it to match the house.

Much better.

Ours was one of the first foundation types done in this style with us being TC3 (the worst land category before you get red-zoned) land.  We got no liquifaction so not sure why our land was zoned TC3 we were just lumped in with a radius of the surrounding houses category

I haven’t done a walk through since the 18th but also remembered when we were in there that the bedrooms and cupboards hadn’t had the walldrobes installed yet, and the bathroom floor and shower surround hadn’t arrived.  There was a delay on the vanities for the bathroom and toilet so hopefully they arrive in the next few days.  I went past this morning and can see from the outside that the garage foundation, heatpump exterior units, large pile of dirt, and driveways plus fencing are all still needing done.  We still haven’t heard from the driveway people, which is a worry as they only have this and next week to get the driveways booked in and done.

Thur 13 Aug – 16 sleeps to go

Did I mention that southern response called to confirm we can have our house packed as well as moved? I actually assumed it was just accepted since last time it was an option they told us too late.

Phew! glad that can go as planned.  I was way too excited about it to have heard any news otherwise.

The PM called me this morning while I was out on the morning walk with Marley.

Could barely hear a word… but got that the below is planned for being done this week:

The deck steps, foundation being painted, and we should hear from the concrete/landscapers – who we’ve been waiting to hear from for several weeks? hopefully they do call this week as the schedule is looking tight.

I’m NOT! going to think about that though.

The PM has promised me he’s fine with our finish date.

While on site today we saw that the electricians have made some damage to our gib where they’ve cut holes for plugs and downlights, the house has all been stopped and painted.  Darn. The painters will have to plaster repair and then repaint those.  I had to tell myself to not pre-judge the very young looking lads doing our electric work… young and careless?? lads who’ve created damage and more work for other contractors.

Just relax Vee. It’s out of your control.

I need to chant that regularly to keep calm. lol

Tue 12 Aug – 17 sleeps to go!

We are moving home using the same moving company that moved us to the rental in the village. On the way here we packed (Mark did 99% of it) the house ourselves, and later found out that insurance pays for packing as well as moving. It was worth it because we were able to have a really good clean out!  We’re relishing in the luxury of having it all packed for us for the trip home though 🙂 well I am anyway.  They will pack us up on the Saturday morning, then the trucks arrive on the Monday to move us.  It took them almost the whole day to move us last time so we’re in for a big night on the Monday. Mark has a couple of days off so it won’t be too bad. Or will it? He will be there to argue with me about where the furniture is going to go. I’m prepping my arguments… plus… I’ll move it all where I want it, when he’s at work anyway… ahahaha I got a call this morning from the electrician on site, he asked me if I wanted square or round downlights, huh? you can get square ones?? weird… we went for standard white round ones.  He was uncertain at us having halogens… “you have halogens”? Yes, I tell him… we do have halogens – above the kitchen bench and in the bathroom.

I’m typing away and two random people have turned up to the neighbors house, knocked on the door, got no answer, then just started emptying out the car of kids car seats and rubbish… what on earth? I wonder if the car was borrowed maybe.  Very odd.  Come to think of it – I haven’t seen the neighbors in over two days.  Wonder where they went with the kids.  The dog is still here. These two strangers are wandering around looking for the people, knocking on the door again with no answer and have now just taken the car! Ooooh!! I’ve just seen one of the babies put it’s head out of the cat flap!! SOMEONE is home!! but they ignored the two people who just came and took the car.  What a strange situation going on next door.

Thur 7 Aug – 22 sleeps to go!

Mark’s called in after the school run to see vinyl being laid in the kitchen. It’s his birthday tomorrow! We’ve both got barking dry coughs at the moment so calling in to the doctor to get antibiotics, fingers crossed that kills it as it’s more annoying than anything now.  With barking randomly we are going to postpone his birthday celebration to next week. We’ve been in touch with the property manager to see how leaving here works and as long as we leave it as we found it – we get our $800.00 bond back.  Apparently the weeks paid for in advance were used at the beginning of the tenancy, which sounds odd to me?

23 Sleeps to go

Mark’s been visiting the house regularly, especially this week.

Each time he’s arrived the house has been unlocked! and no one’s been there.

The heat pump copper has been cut an stolen.

After no response from texts and emails about the lax security I’d had enough.

What’s next? squatters and tagging all over our interior??

We have expensive kitchen appliances just sitting there nicely packaged for whoever to come and take.

I send this to the project manager and he calls me… apologizes and so I continue on with

How!!! are you going to finish by the 29th!!

We’re being sent updates saying:

“vinyl’s been laid”

We turn up a week later and it’s not even on site!

In fact no workers are, and day to day…. we’re not seeing work being done.

Who is giving our PM these rubbish “updates”?

His answer: the tradies

What a great working relationship he has with his liar liar pants on fire tradies right?

My thoughts exactly.

I’m so stressed that I start ranting and the PM has to ask me to stop talking for a minute so he can get a word in.

This has been the most stressful thing to ever go through… add to that Mark’s job and not knowing who-the-hell is walking through our home? while its so graciously unlocked…

None of their words or schedules they send us are matching workers being on site doing the work.

He’s promised until he’s blue in the face that we’re getting our keys on the 29th.

I’ve told him I just can’t take his word for it when we’ve been delayed so much from 3 June.

I’ll believe it when he hands me the keys on the 29th.

I’ve promised we’re moving in no matter what!

My moving truck will be there 1 Sep

The skyline garage people said that it normally takes 8 weeks!! this was a week ago.

Why!! hasn’t this been pre-booked/ordered and ready?

I kept my cool.
The skyline people have promised to push this the best they can to meet the schedule.

God help them.

If we move home and the garage, driveways, that massive pile of dirt in what used to be my beautiful garden, and the deck – is not finished.

God help them… I’m about to reach a new level of crazy – woman – from – mars.

In the meantime I have no option other than to HOPE he isn’t placating me, and get on with LIFE for the meantime.

Here’s some beautiful photos from the view from our bedroom here at the village, the parks were mowed yesterday and the dewy lawns with sun shining bright really was a nice sight to see.




Marks getting our MTB’s ready for us to hit the forest together this morning I’ll see if I can get some photos while there, as imagine is as beautiful as our bedroom view 🙂

Kitchen Photos:

Very excited about equal sized duo draws – three in from the left end, but won’t tell you why… make sure you check it out when you come to the housewarming, it’s a flash thing to have in an aranui kitchen lol

 photo 3

Handle-less cupboards…. pwhorrrr – that’s cool!

photo 2

Laundry behind two concertina doors, same cupboards up top, a sink!! no rusty tubby thing, but a nice bench sink, and ducting!! for the dryer – no more wiping walls of condensation after drying the towels because the dryer will vent outside.

I just have to write all these little things down – they’re a big deal, and could be easily taken for granted.

This laundry is so tiny but it’s beautiful.  If you remember my old laundry that lead to the loo you will be able to appreciate just how beautiful this little hidden laundry and the custom joinery made specifically for it – really is.

Love love love!

photo 1


Mark!? “what do those bits of paper say”??

Mark: “this is not a work bench, it’s been delivered in perfect condition, any damage is due other to tradesmen”


That’s nice isn’t it 😉

Fair enough I reckon.

Four weeks to go – Rebuild update


This week I contacted some ready-lawn companies,

The first quote including labour came in at $5200!!

Yikes, their per sqm rate for the lawn only = $9 so it’s going to be well worth us laying it ourselves to save just under $4,000 !

I’m still trying to pin down a cheaper rate than that, I’m hoping as close to $1k as possible, let me know if you know any ready-lawn suppliers that are a better rate.  This quote is from the one in Kaiapoi, and the one in Halswell.

I’ve created a lawn-laying/house-warming party event via facebook, if I’ve missed you please yell out as we wan’t all the help we can get.

Fully catered with drinks for lunch and dinner.  I’ve asked Marks mom and auntie to help with the food, kids, and keeping the house tidy-ish.

Selena would you pretty please consider loaning that handy present you got? it would be perfect for keeping our food warm 😉

Lots of you have sports and family stuff on a Saturday so we understand if you can only come for a short time 🙂


Well the same place has come back with $1500 quoted for the 165 m2 of ready lawn INCL delivery which is fantastic for such a large area.

I’ve created a working bee / housewarming event and am seriously excited about everyone coming together to lay our lawn as well as kill two birds with one stone and check the new house out 🙂

It’s going to be SO MUCH more FUN than if Mark and I slogged away ourselves one weekend.


Also today I talked to someone at skyline garages, I couldn’t get a word in actually – what an obnoxious fella.

I siked our PM onto him and low and behold the next call to the guy he seemed to have calmed down a notch.



Carrying on…..

So the colors and layout for the garage had to be confirmed but because it hand’t been ordered yet!!?!?! what!??? That’s correct…

It could take 8 weeks!!


I’m not sure who’s at fault, either skyline didn’t place the order or the housing company didn’t place the order but this guy better pull some strings.

Our date is 29 August and if that changes I will have another meltdown.


So yay! grass and HOUSE WARMING sorted – tick !!

Garage and another contractor dealt with – high five Vee!!, tick!!

I’ve had the best day today too by the way 😉

Time for dinner – apricot chicken casserole. Mmmmmm


I’ve booked a private artist/landscaper/architect to meet with me next Monday.

Its remarkably affordable.

$250 incl GST

He comes on site, and after 2-3 hrs gives you a drawing of ideas you and he may discuss for your landscape design.

You’re left with a professional drawn design for your yard.

Exciting or what!

Our yard is a total mess, its too much for me to want to start from scratch after all the long days I put in while Mark was at college.

This is my compromise 😉 and I’m really excited!!

Someone with fresh ideas, and the know how to help me best design our gardens, with plant knowledge and foresight.

No longer am I upset at the mess of my beautiful yards.  I’m ready for a fresh start.

The skyline garage guy got dealt with via email and phone to save another trip to the site.



I haven’t been to the house at all this week!  This week has gone so fast.  I’ll see if I can get photos when I’m there on Monday.



Its August!

Countdown is about to begin…. 28 sleeps to handover of our keys.

Marks got a couple of weeks off mid September so I’m in two minds whether to stay here until then or MOVE IT asap!

Both options have benefits and down points.

Hmm… Decisions Decisions.

Well today we should get our next weeks schedule for the house progress from the PM

I’m starting to get really REALLY excited.

Gosh darn it!

I want to stay mad at them… but they’ve fixed all the issues, and the only thing to be mad about is the 3mths late built house.


Also really excited about our lawn laying party, it will be so much fun! and the lawn will remind me daily of the awesome people who came and rallied to help us complete our home restoring the yard to its former beauty.


Rebuild nearly complete

Sorry my entries for the rebuild came to a standstill – I wasn’t coping with it.

It’s been the hardest life event ever, crept into my marriage with stressful decision making over in-differences, and stretched my patience beyond limits I knew even existed…. I tried my best to stay out! of this project but no longer could keep quiet!!

Mark had been “accepting” all of the sub-standard and unfair outcomes to just…. be

Finally I couldn’t take it any longer.

Fortunately with one heated call to Arrow I vented every. single. one of my problems that have built up over this process – the guy was amazing, he was almost soothing to vent to – empathized and promised to have it all sorted for me.  He understood that sometimes husbands are more “chilled out” about the rebuild process, and it was so nice that he didn’t judge me, he just said:

What needs changing?

OK – I can do this, this, and this…

Is that ok?


I slept the best night ever that night.  All that stress gone.  With just one phonecall.  Amazing!


If you wan’t life to be fair, just, and for businesses to perform to your expectations you have to SPEAK UP

NO – does’ not mean no!!

It mean’s:

1) let’s compromise

2) here have some more money


As many have read from my facebook we’ve had a major milestone with the rebuild of our home.

We have had to fight hard for them to agree to finish the house properly.

Deck which is 1m high has to have a ballustrade (this is additional and a compliance issue so AMI/Arrow is footing the bill) we’re very happy with the style we got to choose, powdercoated steel to match our joinery.

Unfortunately the deck steps can’t go off to the side so have been centered leading down into the yard, this too has silver linings design wise.

The foundation scraping dirt that has been forever an angry point for me has been agreed to be removed and disposed of at the housing companies cost, Arrow contacted the housing company and sorted this for me.  Miracles happen!!

This is such a big deal!! It means this spring we may just have a lawn (readylawn/hydrolawn…. still not sure yet) and backyard to enjoy an uplifting summer after this absolutely miserable winter stuck in this tiny, no privacy, no yard, and mud pit with our dogs – rental.

It’s been tough.  Don’t judge me until you’ve lived in a public village for 10 months straight in a house that you can’t heat properly, with weird neighbors moving in and out, strange noises 24/7 ruining your sleep-cycle, and no storage for all of our household furniture.

Where we’re at 🙂

At this point next weeks schedule is:

  • Kitchen installed
  • Vinyl flooring installed
  • Bathroom furniture installed
  • Door handles and hardware’s fitted
  • Sills installed under all sliders and windows
  • Foundations for garage to be dug out

I’m going to try and get weekly updates in the diary, so that later in life the memoir for the rebuild is the best it can be.

Will add some of our latest photos as a slideshow below once I get them off Mark’s phone.

Landscape and Driveways

We’ve been given another date for our house build’s completion – 29 August 2014

3 months past our contract date.

I’ve been so mad since receiving this date but now am ready to get stuck in and focus.

On the corner of our house is the salon, it’s small but, simple and adequate… I want the outdoor area to this to flow and help it feel somehow larger

Here’s the

Somehow we need TWO lots of entrance steps and fencing with gates to both the salon and the front door of the house, it’s tricky because I want the salon ladies to be directed to just the salon door, where as anyone else I want them to walk past that entrance and carry on to the front door.

I imagine that the couriers will dump stuff at the first entrance at the salon steps.

So we need some sort of fencing or dividing to clearly show the salon vs the front door entrances.

And… we don’t want the salon entry to be directly visible from the street, so as to display a convenient access for break-ins.

Also… we’ve only got a certain amount of driveway concrete available and it’s not enough to concrete the whole lot so it will have to be paths with steps.






Mid June 2014

So… we’re STILL in the temporary village 😦

Everytime we get an update from the building project manager/company I just want to throw rocks at him.

It’s like he’s soooo pleased with himself for the progress week to week… but the dipshit’s forgotten that we were meant to be HOME on 3 June.

The village house is really expensive living, heat, extra travel, and since our insurance ran out around 20 weeks of being here (we moved in 8 November 2013!!) we’ve had to be paying towards the Government emergency fund that pays when rent runs out… it’s $100 short per week… so that’s coming out of our pocket until we get to move home.

This earthquake has cost us SO much.

Moving on.

This week the plan for the house is GIB to go on.

I wish I could be really excited but the “being stuck here” kind of kills it.

So many people have moved out for their rebuilt homes – these are people who moved into the village AFTER us.

Apparently we’re the third person to tell one of my nail ladies of being unhappy with our housing company.  So I guess at least they’re consistent with their customers.

For the meantime – Mark is dealing with the PM.

I dont’ even want to look at the git.

I said moving on. darn… whoops… ok moving on.

I’ve done a separate entry for the salon progress

I’m exhausted today, not sleeping – Marks working those awful shifts that finish at 7am at the moment.

I have had him home for the last six of eight weeks so it’s time to get used to sleeping solo again.

The kids behaviour has been awol.

Working on some bribes/incentives/school holiday activities

They’re likely bored.

Little blessings… lol

Well the oven is calling… better go serve up dinner.

Tomorrow I’ll be washing all the walls down… they are awful with all this rain the dogs have brushed dust and mud up against doors and furniture.

Winter’s only just begun.

Mark has photos of the house progress that I will upload once he’s up later.