Build Diary 29 – Raining problems
“The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt”
Sylvia Plath wasn’t wrong! As I build my villa, I’ve been weighing up all my design options (not to mention needing to factor in the cost) and deciding whether I need to revise my plans. I’ve already made more than a few changes. It can be really easy to second guess myself.
Sometimes what I need is another point of view. Another way of looking at what I want to accomplish. A couple of months ago, I had the wonderful photographer Amberly Valentine come and visit and give me some great ideas, particularly regarding how to design my photographic studio. This time, my good friend Chelsey popped in to cast her experienced eye over my build. I’m lucky to have friends in the know!
She loved it!
I’ve mentioned previously that the site foreman, Doni, is our builder Agus’ man on the ground. He runs the show and ensures the day’s work gets done. Unfortunately, Doni has been ill and hasn’t been onsite. For about a month, he hasn’t been at the site regularly. Consequently, our workers haven’t been working as well as they could.
This all reached a head one day when my husband visited the site in the morning and the afternoon on the same day, and both times the few workers who were at the site were just sitting around. Hubby was furious. Steaming! He arranged to meet Agus at the site the next morning at the site and laid down the law. Either Agus or Doni (or another foreman) at the site every single day. No excuses.
Ironically, it’s in Agus’ best interests to finish soon. The longer the build takes, the more overheads he has. Not to mention that he’s paying our rent now. Those costs come out of his final payment. It’s all in our contract and we’ve been reminding him regularly.
Wrong colour cabinets
All our wooden cabinets and cupboards for the kitchen, bathrooms and bedrooms arrived……and they’ve all been painted the wrong colour. Arrrrrhhhh! It would be an understatement to say I was annoyed. My architect Silvia and I had very carefully explained which type of wood we wanted, the size and style we wanted, and the colour we wanted. We wanted a clear layer on top that will protect the wood from water and insects, yet would look like raw natural wood.
Somehow, be it misunderstanding, or simply incompetence, our carpenters went ahead and painted the cabinet a completely wrong colour. It’s a dark red/burgundy colour, the sort of colour you often find in traditional Balinese homes. It’s also the colour I expressly didn’t want.
So now it’ll take time and money to fix them. The solid wood can be disassembled, sanded back and painted with the correct colour. However, the thin ply word can’t be. They can’t use paint stripper without ruining the surface of the wood. Instead, we’ll need a different solution.
Wrong colour…. right colour
It’s raining, it’s pouring
The rainy season seems to have started. Normally, that wouldn’t be a good thing, but rain now is an opportunity to see if the house has any leaks. After 3 torrential days, our live test had some positive results – there was only 1 roof leak in the studio (thanks to an easily-replaced broken tile), and no roof leaks in the residential building and offices.
But, there was a problem, and it’s a pretty big one. My beautiful feature wall, made up of mini-arch bricks, lets in a lot of water. Each of those bricks doesn’t hold out much water, especially when the wind kicks in. Admittedly, I had thought we’d probably need something to keep the water out. We already planned to use a white galvanised iron mosquito net of the inside of the bricks to keep out the mosquitoes, and I had hoped that might work for rain too. Sadly, the intensity of this week’s tropical downpours, which flooded lots of streets, was a real litmus test……and the feature wall failed miserably!
Better to know now rather than after we move in. We need a solution. Lots of houses, including where I currently live, have bamboo roller blinds outside windows, doors and open living rooms. They can be lowered and hooked to the ground, and are great for keeping out the rain. So, one option we are considering is using a long roller of plastic sheeting which is fixed at the top part of the feature wall. The plastic sheet can be lowered and fixed to the ground to stop the rain.
Ideally, we could use a small motor (like one for opening and closing a garage door) to lower the plastic. Flicking a switch to lower the plastic sheet in the middle of the night sounds a lot easier than going outside in the rain to manually lower the plastic!