Woo Hoo! We have finally got consent!! The start date is looming and we are almost ready to go!! I’ve made the decision to invest a week of time tying up the loose ends, I’m an obsessive list maker and need to feel like I’m ticking things off before we get onsite, meeting up with Aaron to check we are on the same page should also help with the anxiety that is building!
I have now fully realised the perils of our choices in the documentation process, not drawing the fabrication elements into the initial documents is going to cause me a lot of pain during my dedicated ‘bach week’. There is so much work to do to compete the documentation for construction, details that would normally be included in full tender packs we have left until now to complete. And these details are crucial, pre-fabrication requires these details to be 100% accurate, dimensions come directly from drawings. Millimetres count here!!!

There are still so many decisions to be made, decisions that we’d left until now, but so many more than we could’ve dreamed of! The sort of details that would usually be figured out early in the design phase; how are we fixing the curtain track? Of course, we knew we wanted curtains but we hadn’t drawn that aspect of the details. The list goes on and on… As a bit of a numbers geek I do enjoy working in an environment where precision is important, checking and rechecking numbers, details, and decisions.

And now, we are starting!! Over the weekend, in anticipation of commencing, we visit the site to see it again, to reassess how to treat some of the existing trees and meet the neighbours. But most importantly, we visit to simply stand on the site, kick the dirt and marvel in the fact that this is finally happening. This is the last time we will see the site as it is, before Aaron begins and buildings pop up.

At this stage, I could tell you everything you could ever need to know about the site, exactly where the buildings are to go, the wind direction, everything!! But Aaron needs to get his head around it, he also needs to stand on site to visualize our dream and see how it will all fit together.

As we are building in Hanmer, we need to provide our builders with accommodation whilst they are onsite. Although we did include these costs in our budget, we still need to ensure all on site are using their time as efficiently as possible, they will need to be prepared to work long days in all weathers!!

And finally we start! Holes are dug!!!

There is a flurry of activity and everything depends on the first delivery of pre-fabricated materials, if this is delayed then everything down the chain is delayed with it. Each and every stage will be affected. Timing is crucial, we need to stay to program in order to stay on budget.

There is a week before the first pre-fabricated elements start to arrive, and Aaron and his team are working their butts off to be ready, in fact at this stage they are already 3 days in advance. The concrete is in the ground and we are well on track. All the decisions have been made and I know we need to stick to them. I don’t want to be ‘that guy’ holding other people up, I don’t want to be the excuse that we are behind schedule or over budget.

As things continue to progress on site, eagerly awaiting the first of the pre-fab, I reflect on how much extra work I am doing for the bach. I knew that I would have to commit time outside of work hours but what I didn’t expect was the phone calls and emails dealing with issues arising onsite during the normal work day. The bach may well be taking over my life to some extent, but I know it will be worth it in the end. Fingers crossed everything goes to plan…

Published on Friday, March 3rd, 2017