Build Diary 11 – Bali earthquakes

The Work Begins


With the ceremony to bless the land and appease the spirits completed, it’s time to start building! After clearing the land and building basic dwellings for the workers to live in, we dig deep to prepare the foundations so our home can cope with likely Bali earthquakes.

Bali Interiors Build Diary 11 Bali Earthquake
Bali Interiors Build Diary 11 Bali Earthquake

Week 1 – Clear the land                                                                         Week 2 – Dig the foundations



This part of the build is very important. When we looked for ways to reduce costs, we knew we shouldn’t try to do the foundations cheaply as Bali sits in the Ring of Fire and is very earthquake prone.

Bali Interiors Build Diary 11 land
Bali Interiors Build Diary 11 foundations

Week 1                                                                                                             Week 2

Indonesian Earthquakes


The region has long experienced earthquakes. Even growing up in faraway Argentina, I’d heard of Indonesia’s Krakatoa. More recently, there were terrifying earthquakes in 2018 that devastated Lombok and the Gili islands.


Bali Earthquakes


We’ve experienced at least half a dozen earthquakes in Bali. Fortunately, none of them were severe. However, even the so-called minor ones can be terrifying. Racing upstairs to grab my sleeping kids and experiencing a feeling of utter helplessness as the floor moves in waves, and the doors and aircons shake wildly on the walls is a memory I can’t forget.

Fortunately, we were safe, our villa was fine and the kids even slept through all the shaking! Yet, watching mini-waves in our pool break over the tiles into the garden is very disconcerting. There’s not much we can do, apart from getting the kids and running outside.

Bali Interiors Build Diary 11 house cracks
Bali Interiors Build Diary 11 house cracks
Bali Interiors Build Diary 11 house cracks

Our house has suffered some damage due to these tremors.

Your home falling apart?


Our friends recently left the island for a few weeks and when they returned they found that their rented villa was suddenly falling apart! Although there hadn’t been any significant Bali earthquakes, clearly something had happened while they were away. Built on substandard foundations, their house began to split apart! A terrifying scenario and fortunately they were able to move  immediately.

Bali Interiors Build Diary 11 house cracks
Bali Interiors Build Diary 11 house cracks
Bali Interiors Build Diary 11 house cracks
Bali Interiors Build Diary 11 house cracks

How would you feel if you came back from holidays and found your home like this?

It’s clear that building a house that is as earthquake proof as possible is a good idea! One of the reasons we chose our builder, Agus, is that he is also a structural engineer so he knows how to build safe buildings. In fact, that was his main job before he started his own building company. He understands the importance of building our villa on solid foundations.


Local methods?


Clearly, some builders don’t pay the same amount of attention. In the photo below you can see a villa being built in Canggu. The land is still wet as it was still being used as a rice field just a month ago, and the building foundations and slab are simply being built on top of the land. This is a common approach to building but it doesn’t bode well.

Bali Interiors Build Diary 11 bad foundations

New Years’ Resolutions


It’s that time of the year, when I think about what I want to accomplish in the coming 365 days. I’m already so proud of what Bali Interiors has become. It started with me snapping away with an old iPhone and trying to capture some of the interiors magic on this incredible island.

2019 has seen Bali Interiors go from strength to strength. We’ve shot incredible interiors from all over the island, travelled overseas to shoot luxury hotels, and been featured in more international publications than ever before.

2020 will see some exciting additions as our team grows and we introduce more features to our website. We’ve been hard at work planning and have lots of goodies to reveal in 2020! Of course, building the villa – which will include the Bali Interiors head office – is a priority. Let’s get building!


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