Diary of a New Build House: Week 3

new build home snagging

Three weeks after completing on our new build house, it’s starting to feel like home.

Sometimes, it does still feel a bit like a holiday home. I’m definitely still getting used to all the light and space. Then every so often I look around and think, “This is actually, properly mine,” and I sort of want to laugh. It’s brilliant.

The past couple of weeks have also been really hectic. (See Week 1 of our moving story here)

Once the kitchen floors were all in, we set to work unpacking. We eventually went for limed oak from Karndean and although it was eye-wateringly expensive, I do really like it.

The joiner fixed my dining table, and the family all came to lunch for Mother’s Day. Everyone was very complimentary and it was brilliant to have a home that works so well for entertaining.

Teddy, of course, behaved impeccably. Seriously, I love this photo so much. Can you believe how far off the floor her little evil paws are?? 

whittle family and teddy

The kitchen space is really lovely, and the bi-fold doors in the dining area make it a gorgeous spot to work on a sunny afternoon.

story homes kitchen

I have a theory that unpacking is a bit like losing weight. You know how you start to lose weight and you fit back into your jeans and you’re all, “Well, that’ll do, might as well eat a Creme Egg now”?

I think you can unpack and once you’ve got enough clothes and pans, you wind up leaving boxes unopened in the spare room for the next 20 years.

I’m determined for that not to be us, so every time I get a spare half hour, I unpack two or three boxes. Two weeks after moving, the garage is pretty much sorted, apart from a few boxes of decorations and suchlike. Those will go into the loft once it’s dried out a bit.

new build home lounge

The lounge is now clear, and I love how spacious it feels. There are no boxes left, just a couple of pictures that I’m still deciding where to hang. Oh, and I literally have no idea what to do with an over-mantle mirror now that I don’t have a mantle. Any ideas?

The spare bedroom box pile is down from about 25 to less than ten. These are mostly linens, towels and the like – and they’ll go into the new Pax wardrobes I’ve ordered from Ikea.

I’m still getting to know the house. There are so many little gadgets and buttons that I’m easily confused.

I’ve had to ask the site manager to explain the heating and burglar alarms to me more than once. Because it’s a new build, the heating is split into zones, each with their own control console, and I keep turning on the heating in the bedroom when I want it in the bathroom.

There was also a weird switch outside my bedroom that seemed not to control anything. The site manager explained to me yesterday that it’s the loft light. So my loft has been bathed in light, pointlessly, for much of the past week.

Our amazing handyman has been a huge help.

He came and did a bunch of little jobs, like putting hooks on bathroom doors, hanging photos and pictures, and building some storage furniture in Flea’s bedroom. He also helped to put up curtain poles in my bedroom. For now, I’ve just hung some cheap curtains from Ikea. I’m hoping long-term to have shutters.

new build homes bedroom

All those little steps have gone a long way towards making it feel like home.

My car is trashed and covered in mud. There’s probably 12 months to go before the development will be fully complete, so depending on what work is being done, the road outside the house veers between dusty and mud bath.

My Dad washed my car last weekend, which was super kind, but also utterly futile. All of my shoes are trashed. Just one of the treats of buying a new build home, I guess.

new build home kitchen sitting area

On the upside, the kitchen sitting area has acquired a new chair – a gift from my parents. But apart from that, I’m really hoping not to spend any more money until about, ooh, 2050.

We had a week of sunshine which meant the builders could finally lay the grass – and Teddy could come home. The builders have also got a copy of our snagging report and although they all rolled their eyes a bit, hopefully it means some of the jobs I might not have spotted otherwise will get fixed.

new build home teddy bedroom

Flea is thrilled with all the little Ikea bits and bobs we’ve bought for her room, and it’s now just a sea of little pots and twinkly lights. She’s away for the weekend, and I might take the opportunity to try and put a blind up in her room. Although she’s suddenly become VERY opinionated about her decor, so I might not, now I think about it.

Today I finally managed to find the drill and put up the house number on the front door – my Post-It note flew away yesterday so it was definitely time.

Next on the list is working through the snagging list with the builders, and I think I need to find a lawnmower. I’ve never mowed anything before, but how hard can it be? *cough*


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