Build Diary 14 – Our villa footprint
Seeing the villa footprint
After dumping 8 truckloads of limestone on top of the foundations last month and levelling out the land, our workers have been busy building a flat concrete slab on top. It looks amazing! Now we can actually see not only the buildings, but the villa footprint itself – including the actual rooms that will be in each building! It’s so exciting to glimpse what is coming! In particular, our kids love being able to walk from room to room.
After the shock of being quoted a lot more than expected to build our home, we knew we would have to live cheaply. As well as using savings, we need to save some money during the beginning of the build to pay for the end of the build. If we can’t come up with that money, we may end up with a semi-built villa.
It’s not quite the nasi goreng and bakso rations we had envisioned when we were looking for ways to afford to build but we’ve definitely been limiting our outgoings.
One way to save money is to look at our food costs. Although there are lots of western-style supermarkets in Canggu, cooking all but the most basic food is usually more expensive than ordering in delivery via Go-Jek (the equivalent of Uber eats). Imported or less common ingredients come at a premium. Often it’s cheaper, and dare I say, easier, to order restaurant takeaway via Go-Jek.
Canggu is now a tourist hub. The major streets have row after row of cafes and restaurants that cater to the tourist dollar. And they are priced accordingly. It’s easy to spend $10-$15 AUD for a meal. Many tourists would consider that a cheap meal for some delicious food – but these days we need to save up, so can’t afford as many regular outings to nice cafes.
Fortunately, we know quite a few “cheap and cheerful” cafes, where a western-style meal is around $5 AUD. However, our main go-to lunch destinations are usually the local warungs that offer nasi campur (literally translates to “mixed rice”). It’s basically an Indonesian buffet. There are often 5-20 bowls of different types of Indonesian delicious-ness and you simply choose what you want. They put it on a plate or wrap it up in paper for takeaway.
The price depends on what and how much you choose. It’s usually $2-$3 AUD, and most importantly, super delicious! Plus we can try different types of food that we haven’t experienced before. Some of the places are pretty basic, so normal precautions apply – make sure it looks clean(ish), and that lots of locals are eating there so the turnover of food is quick.
It’s common for buildings in Bali to have moisture issues. These can range from a little mould here and there, to waterfall-esque leaks during the rainy season. Some people even have buckets out in their homes to catch water for the entire rainy season. This week in our build we started work on preventative measures to stop these sorts of issues from occurring in our new home.
Our architect Silvia and builder Agus understood these requirements and utilised a sand bed layer, followed by screeding (a word I hadn’t ever heard of!) and then 2 layers of plastic sheets. Normally, 1 sheet of plastic is used, but I wanted to be extra careful and requested 2 sheets. Of course, the day we planned to do this all important waterproofing was the day it rained incessantly! So we delayed it a couple of days.
The waiting game
About a month ago, we had found out that because one of the many documents we had submitted for our building permit had a name spelt incorrectly. We need to resubmit our application – basically start from scratch! Our consultant Lily prepared the new document quickly but we had to wait for the site inspection to occur. So we waited, and waited, and waited. Finally, the government department called to inform us they would come and review the site.
So they came to inspect the site, which took all of 15 mins, and fortunately everything went to plan. Application lodged (again!), and fingers crossed!
Swimming pool update
The Canggu shortcut
In Canggu, the word shortcut can mean only one thing – the infamous Canggu shortcut. A once unknown rickety track used by local farmers and intrepid surfers, it’s now an infuriating – and still rickety – part of daily Canggu life. Traffic jams as cars try to pass each other on the now-widened (but not wide enough) road occur multiple times a day. You might get lucky and cross it in 5 mins, or you could be stuck for an hour in the heat – you never know! I have to cross it multiple times a day so my odds of getting stuck are high.
The latest development in the ever-changing tabloid that is the shortcut is the local government put in a pole to block 2 way car access. They also put up some signs notifying the public that cars can only use it from traveling from the Echo beach side to Berawa. Only time will tell how long this is respected. The last time a Canggu pole was installed, it lasted about 6 hours, so we’ll wait and see. So far, so good.
Fortunately, I don’t think I’ll need to use the short cut on my daily commute once we move to our completed villa. No doubt, I’ll still end up on it regularly as I often shoot around Canggu. But it would be nice to not have to cross it so many times per day.
There are 2 other short cuts I use regularly: to Umalas and to Pererenan, but neither has the fame of the original shortcut. Now I can add a new short cut – and it’s easily my favourite!
Pererenan and Umalas shortcuts
My new sneaky shortcut
I saw it about a year ago, but had no need to use it. A narrow, paved lane at the junction of 2 main road, Raya Canggu, and my street Padang Linjong. A small archway over a narrow lane cutting through a rice field. More recently, I noticed that it heads off towards our build site so I decided to check it out for the first time.
What a great decision! This narrow road lies between gorgeous rice fields. It’s a local picnic spot as the local government has built small covered picnic shelters. Every time I cross it, I see farmers tending their crops and people relaxing and enjoying the view. But the best part is that it’s quiet. Only bicycles, scooters and the very occasional farmer in an old car carefully traversing the barely-wide enough lane with his crops.
About a kilometre long, and finishing just a few hundred metres from my build, it’s a joy to cross every day on my way to and from the site.