Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Pigsty once again...

The temporarily buried project is moving again... somewhat.

The verandah sounds like a nice idea, but it doesn't cope with what annoys me most about the house: living on the ground, in a moist house without a basement or second floor. I just don't care any more for rotted floor boards, walls that are stained half a foot up from the floor...

So we started to discuss the larger project once again.
The main concerns were that we didn't have the time nor the money. Since I now plan on quitting my current full job to attend university or something again, and prior to that have decent school-like summer holidays, i.e. 2 months. That sets the schedule, and it's extremely tight.

The second problem is the almost non-existant budget. We'll try to do as much as we can ourselves, but some stuff will hae to be hired out, like some of the foundation work, most of the plumbing, building the ceilings, roof framing and decking,...

So now the goal is to get the planning ready as soon as possible to get the drawings to my uncle (family architect). Hopefully he'll sign the plans so we can get a construction permit. Then we can start building.

So now we're deep into the planning stage.
Problems I've run into so far: space restrictions. I want to keep changes to the footprint as small as possible not to waste precious space between the pigs and goats shed. (Quite a nice area for sitting and playing table tennis. That means the hallway and stairs are very constricted - 1m width is pretty narrow and the stairs will end up being fairly steep, so I need to check code about that. Unfortunately construction code doesn't cover specific things like this, so I'd need to check some kind of sub-code, unfortunately I don't know which one... looks like we won't get by without working closely together with an architect.
If I let the stairs turn twice the under stairs closet will get a fairly low ceiling and I wanted to put the boiler there... loks like bad luck.
That's my biggest concern right now.
The second biggest is cost. I know prices of stuff I deal with every day or at least sometimes, like electrical, but bricks, wall construction, lumber, framing,... are pretty much unkown to me. Without knowing these cost factors it's hard to decide on materials and emthods (concrete ceilings vs. wood,...) and this influences measurements... you see it.


The tub is in!!!
We decided to involve a plumber in that action... he sent two guys who managed to wiggle it into the bathroom. They also replaced the entire drain assembly.
Then I spent a little over an hour with scrubbing sand and lots of elbow grease trying to get it clean. It looked like it hadn't been cleand and used for decades... but I managed to get it clean enough to use. The infrared heater worked too (first when I installed the 50 year old beast it kept tripping the FI (RCD, a main breaker that works like a US GFI)... took me two attempts of taking it apart, finally I found the damaged wire and made it safe again.

Wow, that was a feeling to soak in that tub!

Pictures to follow as soon as I find the cable for my dad's camera or buy a card reader (buying something new, even as cheap as a card reader always feels scary to me).