The house has come together over the past couple of weeks, literally. The final delivery of steel is complete so the bridge connecting our two pods is now in place. Well, the floor is anyway, but it's been an awesome milestone for us and a huge boost to the enthusiasm levels as we creep closer to completing our home.
For months, it's been an obstacle course to get into the bedroom pod - makeshift ramps, ladders and scaffolding have provided access at varying points. And although the inside has neared completion, it never felt like a proper house as we've had to enter in these ad hoc ways. But the living pod structure is now up and the bridge is built so we have been able to walk around the entire house for the first time, experiencing what it will be like to live in when we finally move in. And it's sublime, way better than we'd imagined and quite surreal to think it will be our home soon.
It's quite a distance from the kitchen, across the bridge, down the hallway and into our master bedroom. This makes the house feel far larger than its 165sq m and offers a delight of different views along the way.
Every twist and turn provides a unique perspective on either the stream or the bush that envelops the site.
Creating a journey through the house like this was intentional, designed to maximise the natural setting and remove you from everyday Auckland life the moment you step through the front door. Last weekend I experienced this holiday-at-home vibe first hand.
I was painting in the hallway when it began to pour with rain. So I sat down in our bedroom and watched the stream rise for about half an hour.
It was so tranquil - the running water rushed through the rocks, birds chirped in the trees and large drops of water rhythmically landed on the deck. It was hard to believe I was in the middle of Auckland and it was even harder to drag myself away and get back to painting.
Kylie and I have done a lot of imagining this week - it's hard not to when you can see your future in front of you. We have marked out where our dining table will be and visualised having friends for dinner, allowing them to face the giant window that provides expansive views of the bush.
In our minds, we have already curled up on the sofa on a wintry Sunday afternoon. And we have sat on the roof, pretending the deck was built and ever so slightly nodded off to sleep in the sun.
It's amazing how fast the living pod has come together. Part of that can be put down to using prefabricated Formance SIPs but a huge amount of it is also because of our awesome builders from Haven Renovations.
A neighbour who is involved in the building industry atold me he has been blown away by how hard the guys have worked. They are machines, incredibly skillful ones, constructing everything perfectly, worried about getting even the tiniest of details right. They are a dream team.
Where does that leave us over the next few weeks, then? The guys are focusing on getting the living pod watertight. It has almost been wrapped and the battens are on, ready for the cedar cladding. Half of our windows are now in and Peter Bilcich from Rylock has finished a site measure so he can manufacture the bridge windows and huge Eurostacker door that forms the entire rear wall of the pod.
Meanwhile it's all hands on deck above and below the pod, too. The garage slab has been formed and, on the roof, the team is building the structural framework. Then the Terracon crew can come back again to apply the Nuraply roof membrane on this side of the house too, instigating the second of our roof shouts.
But this time round the beers will taste that much sweeter because we'll be so close to moving in.
Although I can foresee some painting all-nighters coming up, we won't mind if it means we get to live in our home even a few days earlier.
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• Find out more about Ben and Kylie's dream home at ourdreamhome.co.nz
For more information on the Kiwibank First Home Buyer's Guide visit: kiwibank.co.nz and search for "first home".