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Ringgits & Cents: Costing for the Meraki Project [Updated Dec 2018]

December 8, 2018

How much building a house (and an eventual farm-slash-orchard) is costing the wallet.


Since I first published the costing for this project earlier in January, there have been ongoing work and expenses accrued as I attempt to put this place together. The end of the year seems like a good time to review and update, so here we go. 


Note: Items with a noticeable difference are marked in blue, and updated remarks are marked as such. Given the project is ongoing, the costs below are not final and will continue to be updated as I slowly but surely go through the project. 




Before deciding to embark on this major do-it-yourself project, I decided to test out whether the house and the lifestyle I was designing was something that I seriously wanted to do. I spent a day learning about organic gardening, then took a step further by spending a week on a permaculture farm, learning about the sheer amount of work it took to maintain a food-producing farm. Prior to the build, I was meant to undergo a builder basic workshop to learn the basic skills required for my project, but I unfortunately could not find the time. I did manage to scrape through the build, but I would've liked to be better prepared. 


If your own project is also something very new to you, definitely take the time to learn and experience more about it before taking the plunge.





The land I ended up buying is a Malay Reserve Land in the outskirts of town. It is also a shared land title, which means there are risks linked to ownership, hence why the price was what it was. For land that is not reserved, closer to town and equipped with individual land titles, you would expect to pay a whole lot more. 


Update:  The rainy season sent a lot of water streaming down the hill, so I had to modify the land a bit more to allow for drainage away from the house structure. 




 The biggest costs were, quite rightfully, the steel and timber that formed the bones and flesh of the house. The all-glass walls and folding doors were very expensive and completely unnecessary (also not particularly secure either...), but I insisted on splurging on them anyway because I really wanted them. Hey, my house, my choice. 




The build was done with a mixture of volunteers and specialists - the latter particularly for the more complicated or high-risk things like waterworks, or obvious things that you really don't want to mess up with noob hands, like paint and finishing.   


Update: The house was treated with anti-termite spray that should be good for the next 3 years. 






The first three items are self-explanatory, while the remaining are costs associated with the group build of around 30 volunteers over the course of 2 weekends and 1 additional day. 



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