SANTA came early this year, with our Pre-handover Inspection scheduled in bright and early yesterday. A little sleepy and hungover from the night before, we met with Mike, our new supervisor from Celebration Homes at the house for a final walk through before they make the few last minute touch-ups in time to hand over the keys in the next couple of weeks.

It was a chance for us to test all the lights, power points, check for cracks on the walls, spot things that need repair, etc. It’s not the last chance to do so – the builders come back after six months to fix up any other problems that have happened as the house “settles” in for the first half a year. But for now, any glaring errors will be fixed before we get to move in. Brendan and Mike took the time to check all the nooks and crannies for cracks while I went around pointing out splashed paint, spilt cornice cement, and all those other annoying things.

But lo and behold, our greatest joy came from seeing the entire elevation near completion and painted! We can’t believe our home is actually coming together now… Oh, and the driveway is looking mighty big — big enough for a boat, as Brendan has so kindly hinted more than once:

The kitchen in all her glory, with the quartz-look benchtops and 900mm appliances:

The breakfast bar runs the entire length of the island, and from here I can show off the pièce de résistance — power outlets on the side panel:

My favourite part is definitely the new stovetop and oven, big enough for all those crazy meals Brendan and I cook together. The wok burner for me, the giant oven for him:

And the pull-out sink mixer with veggie spray. We have one of these in the laundry too, although the plumber made a boo-boo and has installed some generic tap in there for now:

My sister will like this; it has either a jet or shower spray function to choose from. It’s on spray at the moment:

From the kitchen we can now see the paved alfresco where Sky will spend her time while we’re at work:

And the powerpoints and blank plates (for CAT6 cabling, etc.) have now been installed, like here in the living area:

The guest rooms, cinema, study and master bedroom haven’t changed much aside from that the light switchs have now been put in, and the guest bedrooms now have their sliding mirrored wardrobes:

All the wet areas are now tiled, and we’re glad to say they look exactly how we had hoped, like in our ensuite:

The vanity, with the black counter top and cupboards, matched with the black tiles. Unfortunately all the concrete dust had taken its toll and the grout looks muddied again:

All our sinks are above counter:

Brendan’s favourite bit, the double shower with the upgraded rain shower. The height is adjustable too which is a good thing seeing as he’s already too tall for the current adjustment:

The guest bathroom and laundry share a different colour theme to our ensuite, and we think it looks brilliant as well. We stole Simon’s idea (thanks Simmo!) of tiling with the floor tile up the side and around the bathtub and even though Mike admitted he first had his doubts, he now agrees it looks rather stylish compared to the usual configuration:

The semi-frameless guest shower looks better than we had anticipated as well. It even has a nifty little pivoting shower head with a three-phase selective spray for those of our guests who like a bit of a hydro head massage (looking at you Ana!):

The laundry looking all sexy with the full benchtop and tiles:

And the guest toilet tucked away beside it.

I didn’t bother taking photos of the internal doors because we featured them in the last post and the only difference is they’ve been hung now. One interesting thing we learnt is that new rulings require doors to otherwise inaccessible rooms, such as the guest toilet in our home, to have enough of a gap underneath to allow rescue personnel to lift the doors off the hinges to reach a person inside. Apparently this new building code was included after someone had a seizure in the toilet and collapsed against the door, preventing emergency medical staff from reaching him. You learn something every day, don’t you?

So that’s the shell of our house almost complete! One big pain in the arse are the garage doors — the company in Sydney who supplies them got their dates mixed up — the doors are a week late for installation, but we should see them next week. Key handover has been booked in for 20 May, although they reckon we should be getting them by 13 May which is nail-bitingly thrilling. We can’t wait till we get that big bag of keys, and we’re betting we’ll get some dodgy coffee mugs to go along with it as well!