It’s been a while since I updated you on the progress of my own home build, so I thought I’d fill you in on the latest developments. The good news is that we have finished the actual build….. but do you actually ever finish?
As we’ve been building for while, we’ve been changing our plans and adding new features. We moved in as soon as the main building was (nearly) complete, and had the advantage of living in the build so we were able to see what worked and what didn’t. Soon it was clear that we weren’t using some prime real estate right next to our pool because it was simply too hot to be there in the middle of the day.
So, thinking on the fly, we decided to add a gazebo, which turned out to be a masterstroke as I now love sitting out there, particularly at dusk.
Even though the main build is finished, we knew we needed to keep on our chief worker, Pak Slamet. He’s been with us since almost the beginning of the build and knows the villa very well. An experienced welder, carpenter, electrician and plumber, he really is a jack of all trades! We are thrilled he decided to stay with us!
We had a lot of extra building materials that we needed to store away out of sight. Fortunately, we had some unused space under the gazebo as well as around the side of the house. So Pak Slamet went out and bought some materials and set about to make the shelves. A few days later we have our shelves and new storage areas.
Next up, it was time to tile the front of the villa.
Lessons from the rainy season
This is the rainy season and when it rains, it pours! We had a few massive downpours and realised the our house was not fully protected. We needed to fix the drain in the studio, as well as replace some tiles.
Our home is built on an old disused piece of land, which was a rice field many years ago. The land is on an angle and slopes down. On the outside of our front wall is a small river. When it rains, this river rises significantly. If the river gets blocked, the water has to go somewhere else… and that has what happened. Unfortunately, our villa is lower than the river, and water travels down!
As a result, we had to reinforce and lower/strengthen the wall to stop the water getting in. So that’s what we did, and so far, it has worked well and protected the villa during subsequent storms.
Now it was time to fix our offices. The floor has been disintegrating due to a bad mix of cement and was looking terrible. Once again we called in the team from Castle Stones. They had helped us replace the floors in my photographic studio and it looks and feels amazing.
Where is our spare room?
While the team were at it, we decided to redo the attached bathroom as well. We designed our home to not have a dedicated spare room. We want friends and family to come and visit, and wanted to be able to host them. However, a dedicated guest bedroom would be used less than 10% of the time! Instead, we decided to make it possible for some of the rooms to be easily converted into a guest bedroom. One of those rooms is our big office, which can be separated from the small office by an internal folding door.
We need to improve the bathroom as I’m hoping that my family from Argentina will come and visit in the middle of the year. They’ll stay in this room. It’s been about 4 years since my kids saw their grandma so they are super excited!
Something had been annoying me for a while in our kitchen. I didn’t like the balance of the room and knew I needed a kitchen shelf. Once again, I turned to our handyman extraordinaire, Pak Slamet. Fresh from building me other storage shelves, he knew what I wanted. But this time, I wanted them to be floating, so we needed to drill through the wall and put in long metal screws and nuts to hold it in place.
Of course, as soon as it was up, the cats claimed it as their own! They rest on it during the day and have clearly given it their seal of approval!