BLOG

A collection of things I sometimes write about. Comments? Questions? Get in touch

House Building Diary: Final Week (+ Behind the Scenes)

December 17, 2017

Just a little bit more...

 

 

The first week of the build was spent getting the basic structure up, while the second week was spent on wrapping all the steel with walls and a roof. We had hoped to be finished with everything in the second week, but that was not meant to be. 

 

Some of the volunteers were more than happy to return again for another weekend. However, while there was work that needed to be done, there wasn’t enough of it to warrant another weekend of building. I also did not have a weekend to spare as I was due to fly out of the country.

 

We decided to finish everything up on a Thursday, with a handful of people who could spare a weekday of their time. 

 

 

Day 11: Internal dry wall cladding, verandah, clean up

 

We arrived bright and early, but a generator failure caused a bit of delay and getting the work started. So rather than a full day, we really had half-a-day of work, but we still got a lot done!

 

 

We completed the internal wall cladding, added a few more bolts to strengthen the structure, finished installing the adjusted polycarbonate panels and the last remaining louvres.

 

After a bit of struggle, two of the guys successfully put up the main structure for the verandah.

 

 

We also finally got around to patching the holes on the roof. 

 

 

After finishing the few bits and bobs here and there, the sun was low on the horizon. It was time to take a step back and survey our handiwork.

 

Just three weeks ago, the place looked like this:

 

 

When we left the site that day, the house looked like this:

 

 

Who would’ve thought??? 

 

 

Day 12: Last visit

 

We were done with the volunteer-related parts of the build, but there was still a lot more to be done before the house could be deemed complete. 

 

Little things like:

  1. a broken shera board on one corner of the house that got accidentally smashed while we were putting up the scaffolding, 

  2. a check on all the bolts to make sure they were tight,

  3. putting internal cladding for the loft (a last-minute decision on my part), and

  4. placing a stump under the foyer that was sagging down.

 

There were also big things that required professional help like:

  1. plumbing 

  2. electrical wiring

  3. painting (which was meant to be done by the volunteers but which, on second thought, would better be left to professionals. The volunteers were threatening to paint the house in rainbow hues, I must not let that happen!)

  4. verandah (which was also meant to be done by the volunteers but which, on second thought, required a lot more carpentry skills than an average person)

  5. termite & pest control

 

On the morning before I was due to fly across the world, I visited the site to see my new baby one last time. Sitting by myself on the loft, I came to a belated realisation:

 

In typical Atiqah-style, I had rushed this build in three weeks, constantly in a hurry as I am with other parts of my life. However, the truth is, I have the rest of my life to work on this house and the land around it. 

 

So chill, you big idiot (me, not you). This is going to take a while, and there’s a ton of fun and learning to be had. Enjoy the process, and enjoy the people. 

 

 

***

 

BEHIND THE SCENES

 

Speaking of the process and the people, below are some snapshots that simply needed to be shared:

Exhibit A: The view from the build site on a cloudy day

 

 

Exhibit B: The upper side of the build site

 

 

Exhibit C: Going up the hill packed like a can of sardines on the back of a pick-up truck

 

 

Exhibit D: Taking a well-deserved lunch break

 

 

Exhibit E: Alternative ways of sitting down to eat

 

 

Exhibit F: Putting the abandoned van-seats to good use