Nobody is on this planet is the same, yet we are all from the same human race.
My daughter was diagnosed with autism when she was 3. Parenting was definitely different to what I imagined in my head, and we have all had to adapt as a family. Saying that, we wouldn’t change a thing. S is one of the happiest children we know. She finds happiness in everything. She had taught me so much since becoming her Mum.
Whether it is sunny, raining, snowing or windy. Each day is a blessing and we can find fun in all weather.
Look for the little things. Notice the detail in life because you could be missing something amazing right in front of you!
Not to judge others by what you think you see. The people who are normally struggling are the ones who say they are ok. You never know what is going on in people’s lives.
After being non verbal for years S now will try and talk to anyone. She doesn’t judge anyone and I’ve found myself having conversations with lots of people where I wouldn’t of before. This has massively helped my confidence too.
Water is beautiful. S’s obsession with water has made me look at it in a different way. There’s nothing better than listening to the rain, on the roof and running down the windows. There is nothing more therapeutic than watching water running from cup to cup, or even from the tap.
Trust your instincts. I have never been very good at this, but I have learnt that this is one of the most important factors and when you do, everything will fall into place.
Time is a healer. No matter what struggles you are facing right now, it won’t always feel like this. Situations don’t last forever, and there are good times coming….
I hope you know little one, that you are our everything 🤍🤍🤍
As lockdown was announced in the UK we thought we would make a start on our front garden to stop us from being bored.
As we bought a new build, our front garden plot was a square of grass with a border in front of a fence. We had put some heathers in and some white stones two years ago, but we hadn’t prepped the soil properly so they were trying to grow in clay! Obviously they didn’t grow much.
I looked on Pinterest and searches for slate garden ideas. After a bit of research I knew I wanted a contemporary feel but with an almost Japanese twist. I thought I’d write this blog as I couldn’t find much on the internet for what I had in my head.
First thing we did was shape the grass. I wanted a curve rather than straight lines, so we used a roll of cable we had lying around to try it out so we could get more of a visual idea. A simple ball of string would do the same job.
I knew that I wanted quite a big border so I could plant some really lovely plants that would add character to the property. I also knew I wanted something pretty straightforward to look after so I did my research and wrote a list of possible plants.
The next job was killing off the grass in the border. We put weed killer on this area, and left it for around a week. We planned to dig it over but if we’d have known how hard it would be, we would have hired or bought a rotavator! We ended up buying one later on as the soil was just clay and bricks from the builders. It would have saved us a week and been much easier on our backs! You can pick up a rotavator for around £50 from screwfix.
While we were doing this, we ordered a huge dumpy bag of top soil for our lawn. The lawn was really low in places and believe it or not it took the whole bag to level the lawn! We threw on some seed and watered it every day.
Next job we rotavated the border and added in around 20 bags of compost. We removed any large bricks/stones and raked it ready for the plants.
We decided as we were going for ferns, we would like a water feature. Luckily my husband is an electrician so we saved a lot of money on this. All the cables were added for the lights, some sockets and sprinklers.
Time to plant. We decided to go for a variety of plants, that would mean there was a bit of colour all year round.
In the front section I added 3 camellias in between 4 West Country Lupins. Around the water feature I added ferns and grasses for a Japanese style feel. I also added some gerberas, purple leafed geraniums, dahlias and lilys. I put some lavenders around the edge of the curve to define it. I wanted mostly perennials (they will come back next year) but added some annuals for colour. We put down a thick weed sheet we ordered from amazon. Something like this https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0845ZM8Z4/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_f.W8Eb8XEKMBF
I left a bit of a gap around the base of the plant just to give them some room to grow and for water.
It took a lot of hard work but we love it and we have some many lovely compliments from people walking past. Most of the plants I won’t need to touch. The lupins, I need to deadhead them every week at the moment but that’s the only pruning. I did this all with no knowledge of plants or how to garden but I have learnt as I have done it. Now it is my pride and joy!
So I put a question box up on my Instagram stories the other day and thought I would answer them on my blog. I remember how many questions we had before purchasing our New Build so I thought this might be helpful for some of you.
I’m struggling to know which area to buy. How did you decide?
We knew we wanted to stay local as both sets of parents and our families are all local. Also we have an amazing GP who really understands our daughter’s complex health needs so that was a major factor too. I’d recommend driving around the different areas and getting a feel for where you could be potentially living. Go to the local shop and get a feel for what it’s like.
How long did it take for your house to be built?
From putting down a deposit I think it took 10 months. We didn’t mind waiting though, it was worth it. I think it can be much quicker but we wanted a specific plot and it was one of the last ones on the estate to be built.
Do you get to choose your own kitchen?
Yes we did. When you buy a new build early on you get to customise it from a range of options. The options meetings were stressful as you only have a couple of hours to decide and make choices! Luckily we both had an idea of what we wanted before we went so it wasn’t too bad.
Did you get a snagging survey or wish you had?
We didn’t get a snagging survey done. My husband is in the construction trade so he knew what needed to be pointed out. We wrote a huge two page list of everything that was wrong and most of it was sorted out very quickly. We needed both front and back doors replaced and as the frame wasn’t fitted correctly they both need changing again, so we are still waiting for that 2 years down the line…Our bathroom tiles were put on upside down in places, so they had to redo the whole bathroom. We didn’t have many shrinkage gaps in the walls and overall the build was good. We bought from Miller Homes and they have been pretty good really.
If you don’t feel confident knowing what to look for with snags I’d say get a snagging survey done.
Do you get the house with carpets and flooring or do you have to buy them yourself?
The house comes as an empty shell. No carpets or flooring, unless you pay the builder to do them. We paid Millers to do our bathroom tiling as we thought it would be easier but we did everything else ourselves. So if you are thinking of buying a new build, take into consideration that you need to add flooring throughout and to add it into your budget. Some builders offer free carpets throughout the home but it just depends.
We bought a new build but heard we should have bartered for deal. Is this right?
As us Geordies say ‘Shy bairns get nowt’ meaning you won’t get if you don’t ask! In theory Builders should be as open to negotiable as any other home seller. We did haggle and we got our stamp duty paid and a sum of money given towards the options, so we could have our tiling done, upgraded showers, bath, trims, extra sockets put in etc etc.
Would you buy another new build?
Personally we probably wouldn’t buy another new build but I guess if my husband wasn’t as handy as he is it would definitely be an option. Our dream is to buy some land, design and self build our own home.
Is your property freehold or leasehold?
We did our research and decided to pay extra for the freehold of our property. That means we own the property and the land in which it’s built on. Just before we bought our home there were some nightmare stories about people having bought their house leasehold. I know on our estate a lot did go with leasehold but I think some are now trying to buy the freehold.
Did you get to see your house before you completed?
Yes, we had two visits. One pre plaster and one when it was nearly finished. It was lovely to look around and it was the first time we had been in that style of house that way round as the show home was the opposite way.
Were they any delays?
I think our move was put back about 2/3 weeks from the original date which wasn’t a problem. We then didn’t move in for another 2 weeks as my husband renovated the double garage into a play/sensory room. So we moved in just before Christmas.
Do you recommend going to show homes?
100%. Visiting show homes became our lives for over a year! We would visit different homes around the area and it really helped us visualise where we would be living and built up the excitement even more! Unfortunately we have to travel an hour to see the show home of the Home we bought as it was a 5 bed and they don’t sell as many as they would a 3 bed. I really miss our little weekend visits though!
Is there anything you regret?
There is nothing we regret actually. We love where we live, we have some brilliant neighbours and as we are on a new build estate there is a lovely sense of community that I’m not sure you get moving in somewhere older. Everyone is in the same boat so we all help each other out. We even have a Facebook group for our estate which is lovely.
Should I pay the builder to do any extras or should I get them done once I move in?
It will always be cheaper to get it done by your own tradesmen but bear in mind it will probably make a mess of your decor. Somethings can also be impossible to do after. For example we put some spotlights in our bay window. We asked for them before the build so they raised the bay window so they could get the electrics in. If we had waited until after we couldn’t have done it. Weight up the pros and cons of what is better to do before.
Is it worth getting our garden turfed by the builder?
In a short answer no…we didn’t get our garden turfed but our neighbours had theirs turfed and they wish they hadn’t. The builders leave the gardens how they are so if there are rocks, cement and etc they just turf over it all. I would recommend just paying someone to do it afterwards and they will do a good job.
Any financial advice?
Make an appointment with a financial advisor to talk through your finances. A good credit score really makes all the difference with getting a good mortgage. Check your rating on www.experian.co.uk
Hello! I’m so glad you are here! I am Steph, and I live in Northumberland in a Miller Homes Jura, with my Husband, Daughter and two dogs. I thought I would start a blog as I really enjoy writing and it is a bit of an escape for me. I started up my Instagram page posting photos of our Miller New Build in September 2019 and it has grown to 5000 followers. I absolutely love getting creative and taking photos and because I am home with my daughter anyway, it seemed natural to post pictures of our home!
I bought my first property at 19 with my now husband. Our old house was a 1970s self build so we renovated the entire thing. My husband Ben is an electrician by trade by is very practical and does plumbing and building work too, so we did everything ourselves.
Cleaning…what can I say. I just LOVE to clean! It really helps my mental health, and I’ve found my anxiety is much better since I have started my cleaning obsession!