When rain gets in the way of a build gallery

How to…wait for the rain to stop

It rained. It's not supposed to rain in February. But there you go, things happen, especially when you're building.

It has meant that things have slowed down. And that we keep nervously checking the large wall of dirt sitting behind the blocks, making sure it's still there and not slipping like a big sticky mess that will need care and expensive attention. So far, not too bad.

Delays happen right?

Yes. One of the truths everyone has told us about building is that everyone wants three things in a build: to be on budget, on time and to get a great quality finish across all elements of the build.

They also warn that you can only have two out of three.

Of course we, like everyone, want all three but I can see how easily it is for the schedule, at the very least, to slip.

With all the best intentions in the world for example, our first and second deliveries of steel were wrong. The wrong plans were read, the wrong sized steel was specified and made, and we had to wait for a new delivery.

It only mounts up to a day, two at the most, but I can see how those small days now can add up to weeks soon and then months, and then suddenly we're not moving in till after Christmas.

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And now?

And now it's raining.

Concrete can still go down in the rain, in fact once the slab is freshly down a smattering of rain can make sure it doesn't set too quick and crack.

But putting blocks up in the rain, and then filling them with concrete isn't ideal. Certainly not for the guys who have to do it…

It also doesn't help when one of the block layers broke his arm just before starting our job. So we've slowed down. And coated everything with mud. Especially Bella, the puppy our blockies have contributed to the build.

Thankfully it still seems like we're cracking on because block laying does that, it looks impressive and a professional team can get a wall up faster than a puppy can chew through a shoe.

But according to the schedule, we're behind. And getting further behind with the raft of public holidays of late.

How do you make sure you don't end up finishing late?

The short answer is we might not be able to. But we can try and make up some time.

Apparently the key to that is making as many decisions ahead of time as we can. It can't be that bad. Surely.

But another truth that keeps coming up is that there are just so many decisions to make.

When I look around our current house I see walls and ceilings, doors, floors, windows. But with my newly honed new-build eyes on I'm seeing the paint I have to choose for that ceiling, the handles I'll have to specify for that door, and that one.

The floors will need different finishes and the windows need curtains, or blinds, or nothing, either way I need to decide.

With my new-build eyes then, I'm realising just how many decisions are pending, and also, how much there is to paint, as with Resene on board as a supporter, we have a "if in doubt, paint it" philosophy.

So over the next few weeks I'll be picking as many things in advance as I can; showers, basins, door handles, concrete finishes, timber stain and paint colours of course…gah, suddenly it seems like a massive task. And it's still raining. 


* Introducing the family and the build

* How to price a new build

* How to find a builder

* How to get resource consent

- Michele Powles is a writer and mother of a lego engineer and destruction specialist. You can read more about their New Build Love over at www.buildingboxes.co.nz or on Facebook

 - Stuff


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