The day we got the keys, I was nervous. We had only been able to visit the house in Eindhoven on three previous occasions. I was well aware that building projects of this nature being what they are, mistakes were bound to have been made, but it takes a sharp eye to spot all the little defects. On the other hand, I was excited to finally get the keys after several delays and start with making my house a home. And having a sharp eye was, after all, part of my normal work. If you want to know more about the preparation, click here.
First impression and things to do
My husband has taken a few weeks off work so that we could focus on the move. In those weeks I also packed the last boxes. There always seems to be more to pack than you anticipate. The first day after we’d taken receipt of the keys and done the pre-delivery inspection, the house was still dusty and everything smelled of concrete. Not my favourite smell. There was a leak in the bathroom and some scratches on one of the windows. We were surprised to find that a tile floor had already been laid on the first floor. A lot of cleaning still had to be done. But I already knew which walls I wanted to paint and which were to be accent walls. We had already chosen the floor for the upstairs spaces as well; I just needed to order it. And I had made my own curtains, so they just needed shortening and hemming.
Making decisions to make my house a home
I sat down on the floor with all the materials spread out around me. With a paint sample book in my hand, I searched for a basic colour that would look good with the floors and curtains. Then I selected a specific highlight colour. I had been looking forward to painting the whole house with my father, but as I was pregnant, that no longer seemed a good idea, so we had already arranged for a professional painter to come and do it for us. We had also asked people in advance for help with laying floors, hanging lamps up, cleaning, etc.
Not everything went smoothly. The walls had been plastered, but not very well, so we decided to get a plasterer in. We were fortunate that he could fit us in when we needed him. We had bought a new kitchen, but when it was delivered, we were told that installing it was not included in the price. Surprise! There was a leak in one bathroom, and after that had been fixed, the other bathroom developed a leak too. Luckily the construction company footed the bill for putting that right, but it entailed a lot of noise, extra cleaning and hassle. Another unexpected challenge was the layer of clay in our garden, which meant that the water wasn’t draining away. A drainage system was installed a few months later to solve that problem. You can imagine how glad we were at the time that we’d kept some money aside for unforeseen expenses.
We decided to move ourselves. So I started packing 3 months in advance, forcing myself to do a number of boxes each week. While my husband was working hard in the new house, I managed to keep packing boxes and doing a bit of housework with the help of my 2-year-old son. There is always more to do than you think. We had reserved a small removal van in advance and with help from a lot of friends and family, we moved. That was a long day. The first thing we did once we were in was to make up our beds. That helped a bit to make my house a home.
Here you can click when you want to know the outcome and things we want to do different next time.
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