Thursday, March 01, 2007

Final handover!

So, the final Huf Haus handover date arrived. Claudia was supposed to do this alone 'cos of my work commitments, but a bit of finessing of a meeting or two made it possible for me to jump into my car and get up there. I arrived towards the end of the handover process.

The house was looking very very beautiful. All the mayhem of earlier in the week had either been nailed to the walls, or cleared up. There was a cleaning bloke doing some final touches here and there, plus a big hairy bloke was going around with a toolkit adjusting this and that. And there was our nice Huf Haus blokey, Rudiger, a different Rudiger from that Bob Salmon but naturally close colleagues. Anyways, he had his clipboard clasped in his mighty mitts, and a cheery smile on his face.

There were a few details already written down (trivial stuff, to be honest) but the handover had almost reached the bit where signatures were to be applied to paper. But what's this? A box of touch-up paints, just in case? And a fixit toolbox (think similar to those kits you get in posher cars, but more extensive)? There were a few more bits and bobs like that, all of which contributed to that nice warm feeling yer get when yer deal with a company like Huf Haus.

Wet ink on paper, handshakes all round, and we were done.

And there I was feeling a bit sad that this was the last of our regular meetings with Rudiger. But then we did have rather a nice house to compensate for that.

I spent some time looking at the parquet flooring in its full glory. This was the first time all the wrapping had been taken off the staircase, and the floors were clear enough for a, erm, clear view. Click click click with the camera. The results of which are posted here. This doussie parquet's not for everyone, but we're ecstatic about it. And if you recall, it's harder than nails. We will see if it proves to be harder than two hyperactive wee laddies.

This was also the first time we'd looked at our bathrooms without the usual construction mess lying around. Again, not for everyone, but we are very very proud of the look. Posh New York hotel, we call it.

Of course the main bathroom's missing a few things. We elected to source our sink unit from elsewhere. Should arrive a week on Friday. The shower cabinet's also missing, down to a minor Huf Haus cock-up. Seems that someone ordered the tall shower cabinet which wouldn't have fitted under the slopey roof; it should be here before our official moving in date (20th March) so no harm done.

The last point is an object lesson to all who're about to move into a Huf Haus: living in a goldfish bowl's all well and good, but few of us are brave enough to use a bathroom without some form of curtain or blinds. Our blinds arrive in a couple of weeks, but until then it's handwashing only. Oh bugger, no sinks. Maybe we can use it as an office?

But the downstairs loo, really a shower bathroom downstairs next to the front door, was 97% complete. The missing 3% represents the two lights that need to go up. I'm still strggling with myself whether to diy this, or call in the professionals. However, short of those lights, my bathroom's finished. Heh heh heh.

Just as we were finishing up, Herr Arkitekt (he of the bowtie) turned up for a butchers. Lots of back-slapping, jokes, handshakes and peering at this or that detail.

Nice bloke.

Just after we left, it seems the kitchen guy delivered his stuff ready for the Friday's work. Talk about quick off the blocks. The following photos were taken Friday afternoon, so you can see that the clutter's back. Ah well.

By that Friday afternoon, most of the kitchen units had been positioned. Our cooking island was looking vast. More like a cooking continent. During a lull in the proceedings, I stood in front of where the elecric hob's gonna be and gloated at the extensive views both inside and outside of the house. I'm going to feel like a master of the universe standing there. Won't miss a trick, so watch out.

And then we have the food centre. Or food center, as this one's an american model.

Ok, this bloody big metal thing's an outrageous extravagance. We looked at all manner of fridges during our kitchen research, and landed on some Seimens food centre as the way ahead. Rationale was that plenty of people spent money on a normal fridge for the kitchen, and then more money for some sort of vampire's coffin of a freezer in the garage or cellar. If we put that money together, then we could justify a single food centre with plenty of space inside, job done. Only the Seimens food centre turned out to look a bit, erm, crap and tinny.

Now, the kitchen guy had some whopping big General Electric food center humming in his show room. He cottoned on that the Seimens research had been a failure, and offered us this one at a massive discount. All's well then? Well, erm, not quite. Even the discounted price of this GE box was way more expensive than the Seimens version.

And our original cost justification? One expensive box is the same price as two less expensive boxes? Hah! We could have bought a fridge, a cabinet freezer and had a long weekend in a posh hotel for the price we paid for this thing.

And for those landscaping fans out there, a brief update. The driveway paving's finished (again). Everything's now cemented in place, so I've been told that by Monday I can test drive my driveway by driving my car on it, and see how it works for us. The various gaps you can see here and there are for soil which'll have to wait for drier weather.

The sandy stuff you see all over it's actually... sand. The idea is that after a few rains it'll wash between the cracks of the paving stones and set 'em rigid.

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