If you missed the first instalment of our building story, you can find it here. Go for a gander, we’ll wait…
All caught up? Not the best start, was it?
More smiles today, I promise!
September 2012 was a balmy one in our little part of the world. It signified Noah’s first days at school, Annie starting part-time pre-school and, just as importantly, the arrival of our timber frame.
Mr M, having some time on his hands, and being the architect of our new home, took charge on the ground. The lorries and cranes arrived early on the 5th September, by lunchtime we had a first floor, and by tea we got the first glimpse of our Little Wood in all her glory. It really was as exciting and amazing as all the property programmes make it out to be.
Timber framed houses are the saviour of the impatient. And of those without a builder, it turns out.
Of course, it would be months before our lovely lady was free of scaffolding, and mud and noise, but after the months that had passed, this, for us, was a momentous achievement.
By October our roof was partly on and the windows and doors (to make the house watertight) arrived. Mr M continued to work on it every day. To say I am proud of what he achieved, what he learnt in those days, is a massive understatement. When times are tough we find resolve from somewhere. My first instinct is always to go to pieces of course. But his? To soldier on. To make progress despite the pale face and sleepless nights. To not show the rest of us the stress simmering under the surface.
I’ll forever be grateful for that, my love. I’ve never been surer than during that time, that you are the man for me.
Through the Autumn and early Winter, our home continued to take shape. The blocks and bricks and roof went on, we started to discuss and choose our finishes, we worried a lot about the finances, but started to see some light at the end of the tunnel.
A job opportunity arose, and was snapped up, and we hit Christmas that year a whole lot more positively. Despite being in a rented home – an old, cold, tiny little property, we still put up our tree and made the most of it. The Christmas season saw us all poorly in one way or another – I think, looking back, it was just pure exhaustion and the stress of the past six months catching up. Christmas Day itself passed in a blur for me – a feverish blur of wrapping paper and turkey and little smiles.
It was awful, but also wonderful – my little family was happy, we were OK, we’d get through this.
The New Year saw a finished roof, insulation and concrete floors laid, and work start on plumbing and electrics. On the outside, the render went on, and we had our first snowfall of the year at the end of January. In early February the scaffolding came down, and it all started to feel a little more real. A bit more possible. We set our moving-in date for the end of March, the Easter holidays, and made yet more plans for finishes.
That, as it turned out, was a little optimistic. But that’s a story for another day. Pop back for Part Three next week, and I’ll tell you all about that one.