Final Handover Complete

Today was a long day, but we've made it! The house is complete, we have paid the final invoice to Viebrockhaus and the house has been formally handed over to us.

We arrived at around 7.30am, just as the painters were leaving, having touched up all of the places we had marked for re-working.

The guy who had previously been there to put silicone sealant in the bathrooms was also there, and had already done a couple of improvements and the work that hadn't been done last week in the guest WC. He had to come back anyway, to fit and seal the Viebrockhaus Cornerstone, with the precise coordinates of our house on.

Around the same time, someone from the heating / plumbing company turned up to check the heating, which fortunately has been running without any alarms since the electrician let the water out yesterday. He said that the alarms would certainly have been caused by the flooding to the inside of the heat pump, but it will not have done any harm.

Our new shower tap (the correct one) hasn't arrived yet, so they will call us to make an appointment to come and change it when it does arrive.

The construction manager then arrived and we went through the open issues list we'd made last week, mainly crossing off the things that had meanwhile been completed, and adding some new ones.

The issue with the water being stuck in the cellar window light shafts was easily solved by the construction manager unscrewing the vents which seemed to be blocked – as soon as he did, we could hear the water running away. We will need to keep an eye on these and if necessary take them completely out and clean them, but it was nothing serious in the end.

After some formalities, the construction manager then handed over the certificate which states for the next 50 years, a specific 150 sq. meters of rain forest in Bocas del Toro, Panama will be protected in our name. This is to offset the CO2 emissions caused by the construction of the house, effectively making it carbon-neutral. We might visit sometime if we are passing on a cruise ship!

We also received two small gifts from Viebrockhaus, a tree to plant in the garden and a set of scissors.

The window company had been expected to show up at 9am but apparently were stuck in snow and finally turned up at 4pm. We did have a couple of snow flurries today, but not enough to hold you up that long. We're not sure what happened, but as we were planning to be at the house all day it didn't matter. When the guy he was very friendly and quickly fitted our front-door handle (the wrong one had been delivered, but he is coming back on Tuesday to change it)

He also lubricated a few windows which were not closing smoothly, adjusted the front door which was rubbing on the floor tiles and replaced the sheared off screws on one of the window fixings that had been broken since the day the windows were installed in December.

We made use of the spare time to start building the new furniture from Ikea – a provisional sink for the Utility Room (eventually this will move to the cellar) and the first of two chests of drawers for the wardrobe.

We are really impressed with how Viebrockhaus (and of course our construction manager) co-ordinated everything throughout the construction and in particular how quickly things have been finished / corrected over the past few days. Although we haven't built another house with any of the other companies that we considered, we are happy that we chose Viebrockhaus, and that we now have a lovely house waiting for us!

So what's next?

Over the next week or so, the kitchen will be installed, the shower cubicle is coming and we will of course move in! We'll post some pictures when we can.

Beyond that, we will probably post some pictures of the driveway and patios, and over the summer months we hope that we will be able to share some photos of the garden turning from brown to green…

Construction Dates

Begin (Groundwork)7th November 2016
End (Handover)19th April 2017