Sunday, 19 February 2017

BUILDING AN ACCESSIBLE HOUSE - THE BUILD BEGINS

Week one, day one - time to excavate the section


Hello and welcome to 2017!

Well we should probably have had an update on all the goings on and hiccups that have transpired since my last post about our new Accessible Home here in Canterbury, New Zealand. But life and Summer Holidays got in the way.  However since the resource consent came through a few weeks ago our build has now started! So we can now update the process as we go along.


Lifemark Update:

We got confirmation at the end of last year that our design and build earned a Provisional 5-Star Lifemark assessment which was both exciting and empowering.  We now know that our design should allow our son to live there happily and grow up without any further adaptations on the house or a new house being built to accommodate him in the future (unless he wants to move out and live independantly from us).
Over the summer our currently 9 year old wheelchair and sometimes walking frame boy grew and is rapidly outgrowing everything, his wheelchair, our car, his bed, his clothing, and in some respects our house! Its almost like this house can't come along fast enough despite the bittersweet regret of losing our little slice of paradise here in rural Canterbury.  So we have had to go through the process of requesting a new wheelchair, a car modification (or if necessary a new van with hoist), a hospital bed, and lots of other new equipment.  Its obvious hes not a little boy anymore but will soon be 10 years old.

Week One of the build and already they have the rib-raft base down

Too late for cold feet:

So our building company confirmed about 10 days ago that the new build was starting and emailed a login to their project management software online.  We popped around late in the afternoon of the first day to see progress on the section and instantly thought "Oh dear look at how small that section is".  We currently live on a section that is 2000sqm+ and this new section is 768sqm so you can see why yes, it is a lot smaller.  That is part of our decision, to down size the section so we can spend less time trying to keep the land from turning into a wilderness and more time giving our son the best life possible.  This house is designed to do that, to alleviate all the space issues, the ability to turn in the corridor, or walk past him in the kitchen, and a better flow and layout for all of us and especially our wheelchair user.  But, as you might imagine after spending 15 years living in a rural town with a large beautiful established garden there is a sense of regret and what might have been, just more realization of what we are leaving behind and all the memories we have made here.
Summer is also giving way to Autumn here so we also feel sad that this is the last summer we will ever spend in this place.  With these feelings is also the building excitement that in almost 5 months time we will be moving into a new purpose built house in a suburban environment within walking distance of schools, parks and the local Aquatic Centre (our favourite weekend space).
School started for the year two weeks ago too so life has quickly got busy and so far we haven't had too much time to even realise the big event ahead of us.  Life, appointments, school commitments, work and day to day events mean some days you forget that they are building a new house for us 8 minutes drive away.  

The New House Begins...

Week Two - Day 1 - Plumbing Services in - reinforcing mesh on

Its now the second week of the build and already the rib-raft slab is 80% complete and when we visited today the reinforcing mesh is on and plumbing for all the sinks, baths, and toilets etc was clearly visable.  It won't be long until the concrete is down and the framing starts.  The project management software is showing the end date of the build to be the end June so we now have an idea of just how quickly this house will be built! This year our son turns 10 years old at the end of July and we can't help but feel thats when we'll be moving into the new house, and what a birthday present that will be!

But does our son really want this change?

Something has been happening to our little man since we started visiting the building site, he often gets teary, clingy and a little upset.  He is non-verbal and talks with an ipad AAC software (see previous blog posts about that) so its often hard for us to understand just WHY hes upset.  He just is.  Often when we discuss the house and moving he gets teary.  We're starting to suspect hes not keen on the move and is starting to get upset at the thought of it.  We will have to sit down with him and try and discuss it with him and with luck he will tell us if this whole process is scaring him and leading to these unhappy moments.  Its going to be a big overwhelming experience for us all and is guaranteed to cause serious upheaval so this is not unexpected.  Just being gentle and calm with him and talk about it as positively as we can we're hoping will bring him around.

More to come...

So keep stopping by the blog and see how our build is going we expect to post more photos and updates as it progresses.

Vivien

No comments:

Post a Comment