Friday, 20 November 2015

Hmm, I wonder if this de-cluttering is addictive?  Can probably hope!!

Day three – very pleased with cleaning these cupboards.  I didn’t actually turf anything because we use the vast majority (I am not die-hard, I am keeping some stuff that I assume we will get around to using soon-ish….watch this space…)

Now this, this you should be totally amazed to see!!   This is our cupboard of lunch containers and water bottles – it was frightening before – you know the one, you throw the item in and close the door before it all falls out??

Lookie now:

Gees, I am good!!!

And because my list included de-cluttering the Tupperware pile too, which we keep in the pantry, I just kept going afterwards and now this cupboard looks like this:

All clean, all tidy - and all the top bench and shelf wiped over and many plastic storage containers put into use like they are supposed to be!!!

Looking good pantry, looking good!

Oh, and I just had a thought…some are converting their pantry storage back to glass only….hmmm,  another time I think….gonna savour this happiness for a while yet :-).

Tuesday – potting bench in action :-)


We sowed lots of fun seeds – lots of heirlooms and lots of flowers for bees :-)
Yesterday before 6.10am :-)

Chickens good morning-ed – new branch to climb, explore, peck, scratch, enjoy :-)

Puppy walked :-) and back inside :-(

One compost heap turned :-)

Next one nearly done – so close it hurts – I *am* definitely working on it…

…ok, I was only sending telepathic thoughts for it to turn itself…

Pacing myself, people, pacing myself ;-)

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

This post I have had typed up since February, and now is the time I am posting it…I just felt like it was time to share it now.  Here goes:

Some random truths on being an owner-builder (others have said these before us):

1. It’s all about communication!  True!
2. You won’t remember what a weekend is like!  Mostly true for us…need to remedy this!
3. You will need a holiday at the end!   What end??  Definitely true when you are still ‘building’ one year after ‘the end’!
4. It will test your relationship!  There sure are stresses involved.
5. You will wish you had built smaller!  Now this is an interesting one – I am not convinced it is because anyone thinks the house is too big, or it would have been exponentially easier/cheaper being smaller??  I think it may be because many owner-builders live on-site in a caravan while they are building and get to realise that you don’t really need all the space society tells us we do.  I have always thought our house was ‘too big’ – but the bathroom ended up dictating the overall size – because I wanted that size bathroom and we wanted to keep the house ‘square’ – so that is that.
6. It will cost more than you have budgeted!  We have ended up paying more than we envisaged before we started – but the total so far is quite a bit below the actual budgeted amount we got in our bill of quantities quote.  We attribute this to some wonderful cost savings in materials selection and the savings have covered Michael’s wage for working every day on the build.
7. Things will, of course, go wrong!  Yep, that happens.  Plan your coping strategy before you start!
8. You need to weigh up the wisdom and time in doing it yourself, compared to getting a professional in.  True.
9. There are 1,000 decisions to be made – per day!  Well, maybe not quite that many – but they were/are ever present!
10. You will feel a great sense of satisfaction when it is all over, and you can say, “We built this house!”  Hmm, another interesting one – I don’t at all feel like I have *built* this house, Michael says he mostly does.  Probably a true reflection of our ‘hands-on’ tally.

I think the most important thing I have ‘discovered’ about being an owner-builder was to do more research than you think you need to; make your informed decisions and try to stick to them so you don’t have to keep making decisions along the way; certainly know that it *is* all about communication and plan out your communication strategy before you start (ie, plan to write it all down/get it in writing - this works well!); plan how you will deal with the stresses (they don’t have to be insurmountable and can even be laughable (in hindsight ;-) when you can see that you did actually cope quite well in the long run); and, for us, working with local knowledge, was exactly what we needed and gave us a wonderful experience and outcome.

Can’t ask for more than that now!