At Week 40, the house was finally completed - well almost. The builder is working through the defect list but that's pretty much about it as far as construction goes. Initially 40 weeks seemed like an eternity to wait for the house to be built, but looking back on it now, it all seemed to happen rather quickly.
A short stay in hospital at around this time put a halt on the unpacking and my ability to carry on with some much needed faffing around the house, but we are slowly, slowly making the house a home. From past experience I would say that it takes a good six months until you fully settle into a new house.
|The old Kitchen
|Now a WIR in the Master Bedroom
Some of our existing furniture didn't suit or fit into the new house so we sold it before moving in. Most of our new furniture/homewares were selected and/or purchased during construction, but there were a few big ticket items (e.g. the sofa) that had to wait. In fact we still don't have a sofa in our living room or furniture for the front verandah, but all in good time.
|Dining Table from Original Finish
|After a recent cold snap we lashed out and bought a new rug for the Sitting Room
|Our fireplace on the terrace has been getting a bit of a workout of late
Additional funds were also required for landscaping - after the final site clear the only vegetation remaining was one heavily damaged frangipani tree (unfortunately it lost a number of major limbs) and two old camellias along the side boundary. I sketched-up a general landscape plan so it was just a case of sourcing the plants/materials and dedicating some time to put it all together. We spent approximately $20K on landscaping (some of which we did ourselves) that included site preparation/machinery hire, fencing and garden edges, turf, plants and mulch.
To date we have planted 13 trees and 130 shrubs and ground covers. I'm hoping that by next Summer, the gardens will be looking a little more mature than they do at present. The tropical birch trees that we planted along the fence line (for shade and privacy reasons) have already grown at least a foot since planting them.
I have also made several attempts at growing a kitchen garden in our old concrete laundry tub located in the backyard but the possums around here are a force to be reckoned with! I've found a spot out the front of the house where they don't seem to go, and I've planted a small range of herbs and vegetables (e.g. carrots, chillis, tomatoes and lettuce and of course, parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme to name but a few) into some self-watering garden boxes that we constructed after finding some instructions via Google. So far the plants seem to be doing well. We should have our first crop of tomatoes on the table soon.