How (not) to build a house – part 6

To catch up on the ordeal so far, you can revisit part 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 on the blog

At this point during the house build I have a visual image of us crawling in the desert with barely any strength to keep going, a palm tree just on the horizon. My friend said to me this morning ‘it is always darkest before the dawn’ and I am clinging onto that thought.

We have been asking our builders since last September how much longer it will be before the house is finished and the answer is always ‘two months’. I asked yesterday and was told ‘two months’ AGAIN, as I fantasised about wringing his neck (I don’t think he reads these blogs!)

So what is holding things up?

I had always dreamt of somehow incorporating one of my designs onto the exterior and Jake our architect loved the idea. We explored various ways this could be done, and I decided I preferred the idea of something being etched in rather than printed. Initially I was looking at a material called Richlite.

Richlite is actually made from compressed paper (top right) that is glued together – the appeal of this is that it is sandwiched together so it could have another colour under the surface that would show through when etched.

The council decided that for some reason it was not suitable, and so in order to not have more planning delays we decided to play it safe with this slate like Cementous panel instead. Grudgingly I have to admit that I think I prefer this material anyway as it actually looks more like a natural substrate. In my mind’s eye I had a vision of the sun creating shadows on top of the pattern, and with this subtle etching the pattern is almost invisible but as you move around you can see it.

The whole concept has been a struggle predominantly for technology reasons. After creating the design on my computer I sent them to the company that was engraving them, but due to the different programs they kept arriving enlarged by 200 times! We also had the additional complication of making every panel different (easy life anyone? Not for me thanks!) and of course they all had to join up and work around the door and window openings.

When ordering a sample to be etched back in July we were advised that as the panels come from Germany we might as well order all the panels as the shipping cost for one was almost the same as for 30. So imagine our annoyance when a few weeks ago the delivery arrived and over half of them were missing. Apparently it will be ‘2 months’ for the rest of them to be sent. I am certain the cladding company have used our material on another job as it was sitting around in their warehouse for such a long time, but of course have not admitted this and are now obfuscating away as to why this has happened.

So here we are waiting waiting waiting for the rest of it to come.

We DO actually have a roof now which is VERY EXCITING! It looks amazing (for all our neighbours as we can hardly see it from the ground!)
Another problem with everything taking so long is that I have now moved on with my interior design aesthetics. They say a week is along time in politics… well imagine 6 months in the world of a designer?!

I have now completely changed my mind about our bedroom wallpaper and am busy recolouring our Serendipity mural into these soft earthy tones (Graham and Brown have said they will print a special mural just for me – but I am sure if it is popular they will add it into our range)

My current dilemma is whether we should do all the walls or just a feature wall?!

Our bathroom is pretty much finished. I am currently searching for a bathroom cabinet that works with our tiles so any suggestions are most welcome. I have no idea why the builders have filled up the bath!

Lets hope my next mailer ‘in two months’ will be written from my new kitchen table (oh yes need to buy one of those!)

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