Build Diary 9 – Can we can afford the build?
In our last post, we were facing a conundrum – how do we afford the build? All the build quotes we had received were way above our budget. While they are from builders who build to foreigner requirements, they are very pricey. It would be much cheaper to use a local builder. It’s very tempting…..
But we already experienced renovating a villa which had been built cheaply. We’d taken over a villa had had been halfway built before the owner ran out of money. The shoddy workmanship meant that so many things (that had just been built) had to be redone properly.
Even after we “finished”, ongoing repairs were needed. We had tradesmen in almost every week to fix electrical and plumbing issues, replaster and paint. It was a nightmare! So lesson learnt – we need to bite the bullet and spend the money to get the job done right.
Pretty pictures following the reno job. But after they were taken, we had to smash holes in the wall to redo the pipes to the bath and fix the ceiling after it almost caved in due to a problem with the water tank. The consequences of bad workmanship.
I have been in Europe for a family reunion while my husband has been doing the sums. We’ve had some intense facetime conversations as we try to find a way to afford the build! We’ve been looking for ways to cut costs by turning those must-haves into not essentials.
I’ve always wanted to have a lush garden with lots of tropical fruit trees. On a recent road trip we took to the north of Bali we stayed in this unassuming airbnb that surprised us with an incredible garden that was jam-packed with all sorts of delightful tropical yumminess.
Sadly, our villa garden budget will be a big fat zero. I may have to head out to abandoned land in the middle of nowhere with a machete to do some harvesting!
Meanwhile, my kids have been telling me that their must-have item is a slide just like this one from their room to the pool!
3 generations of my family explore Europe together.
The negotiations continue
Agus the builder had given us a very detailed Bill of Quantity (BOQ) which reveals the budget for everything. The BOQ is divided into sections like mechanical and plumbing, as well as every category of each room of the structure. It describes the budget for each feature – e.g. how much is included to spend on the tiles in the bathrooms or the doors to the bedrooms etc.
Agus, and our architect, Silvia, and have been going through each line item, discussing, negotiating and revising. After lots of discussions, Agus was able to revise his initial quote significantly. We’ve also been able to take a bit from here, and a little from there. Everything adds up – or in our case lowers the cost!
Finally, a decision!
There have been a lot of anxious nights, and plenty of debate over what is or isn’t essential. It has been quite the emotional roller-coaster as we juggle our savings and expected income during the build. But…..we found a way to make it work! We’re going to build!
Happy days! So relieved that we found a way to make it happen! Cant wait to start building on our land!
We’ve had to cut and compromise, and may end up eating nasi goreng and bakso for every meal to afford the build, but we found a way! We can build! Such a relief to have solved this problem – it has been a very stressful few weeks.
Our son “Iron Guts” Phoenix has grown up in Bali. Bakso (soup) is one of his favs! Unsurprisingly, he’s got the strongest stomach in the family.
Payment schedules and build timelines
We met the builder Agus and discussed all the contract inclusions as well as the all-important payment schedule. Unlike paying for a yearly lease which usually requires a single upfront payment, the build payment is broken up into monthly stages .The next payment is made only after the previous month’s work has been completed and checked off by the architect.
We arranged 8 payments in total. We also retain the final payment until 3 months after completion to ensure everything works, and nothing leaks!
Our build timeline is 6 months. Well, that’s what the build schedule says but, hey, this is Bali so I think we all know what that means! We’ve made sure we have enough wiggle room so that even if there are some delays (e.g. the wet season is particularly rainy this year) we can still move directly from our current villa to our future home.
The timing is important because if the build drags on, we’d face the major annoyance of packing up everything when our current lease expires and needing to move into another temporary villa for a period of time before the build is complete. On the flip side, we didn’t want to have too much overlap as it would waste much-needed money to have 2 villas at the same time.
So, we made a decision, and did some serious financial juggling to find a way to afford the build. Perhaps the gods are smiling on us as we also just received the final document we need before we can submit our application for the building permit.
The right call
Just today, a photo of the kids and I walking home popped up in my facebook feed. Drenched but happy after a surprise late afternoon storm, we are walking home. There’s a lush green background – a typical Bali village. It suddenly occurred to me that our little village, which only had a shop or 2 that focussed on the tourist dollar a few years ago, has changed.
Cafes, restaurants, money exchange kiosks, bike rental places, mini-marts, laundries, guesthouses, shops for rent and construction sites litter the same few hundred metres of previously empty street I had walked down sopping wet a few years ago. Take a look and count them! Development happens and I certainly don’t begrudge the locals for embracing it.
At another time they are the sort of facilities I would have looked for, but now it feels like too much. It’s the right time to start a new stage in our lives.