Monday, 1 August 2011

We've been framed

The pink, wooden skeleton of our home is now growing daily, as majestic to us
and the legendary barn raising sequence from the film
But with less Amish people helping.

Many years ago, my parents built our family home in Blenheim. Such was the economy in the far-flung mid- 1970s that apparently it cost less to build a new home, than buy an existing one.
A building boom also meant that they had to wait a very long time for the house to be completed – so long in fact that we ended up eking out an existence in a caravan for the last few months. My sister and I were still at primary school, and naturally thought this was great fun - like an on-going family holiday.
It’s amazing how history repeats itself - once again, a house is being built for my loved ones and I, and once again living in a metal box is proving to be more fun than expected.

But to return to the ‘70s, I clearly remember my parents excitement at the gradual creation of their house, and how most weekends would see them walk us to the construction site and wander around the wooden framework of what would some day become our family home – dreaming of a new life ahead.
Regrettably - in a perfect example of one of those situations where I wish I could reach back through time and give myself a good, hard slap - I found it incredibly boring. I even remember desperately pretending to have fallen asleep in the hope that they’d leave me behind on one of these pilgrimages. Wretched child! With the benefit of my own recent experience in these matters, I now know how much energy, time and money they would have poured into their dream; how many sacrifices and compromises they would have had to endure just to literally put a roof over our heads.
That makes me not just ungrateful, but also extremely slow on the uptake - it’s taken me almost 40 years to appreciate how thrilling it is!

A month on from building consent, Rose’s and my home seems to be materialising before our eyes. Despite some rather challenging weather, we can now walk around the rooms which until now have only existed in our imaginations, and on paper.
We’ve been warned about the false impression that framing can give – it can be erected quickly, but takes a long time to align correctly and fix. For the time being, however, seeing our dream become a reality is making all the energy, time and money spent so far, more than worth while.

Finally moving into our family home in 1974 was one of the most exciting days of my life – I can’t even imagine what moving into this one is going to feel  like.

Looking back towards our current home
from what will eventually be the study
Come the weekend (and some stunning weather),
Rose fulfils her dream and helps Dean with the framing.
It’s soon looking like this (a view of the North side of the house,
from master bedroom (left) to living room.
And Rose was soon looking like this, with a mile wide grin.
For anyone wondering; I was tea boy, photographer, and site cleaner-upper.

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