October 2002 Building in progress


View of house site from high point View of house site from high point

We're building two small houses on our 2.8 hectares: a two-room bungalow for us, and a two room house for a working man and family. We do not intend to live permanently in our house, but to stay from time to time and have the security of a place of our own should we ever need somewhere to live.

Here you can see the site of our house (the orange patch of earth in the distance, behind the rear of the pickup) taken from near the top of the site where we were planting coconut palms.
Close-up of site, looking back up to the top Close-up of site, looking back up to the top

Construction starts Construction starts

Materials and equipment arrive Materials and equipment arrive

Starting: a long view Starting: a long view

After a couple of days it was looking like this After a couple of days it was looking like this

Quick progress in the first two days Quick progress in the first two days

On the right you can see the work team's living quarters: a thatched bamboo construction.

I was then away in Europe for three weeks, and the next pictures were taken as soon as I got back.
After four weeks it had progressed this far After four weeks it had progressed this far

The structure is of clay bricks, rendered with cement. The roof is light steel with painted cement sheet tiling. It has typical features of a tropical house: lots of opening windows; wide eaves for protection from rain; almost as much space outside under the roof as inside (much of life being spent outside). Inside there's a large living room with kitchen area; a shower-room and a decent-sized bedroom.

There'll be a 2,500 litre, raised water tank, supplied by a pump from the well at the bottom of the site. There will also be three huge, 500 litre ceramic water-containers to collect rainwater from the roof as an auxilliary supply. There's a generator for electricity, but we expect to be using oil-lamps when our need is only for light. Needless to say, there's no air-conditioning.

There's a triple-tank system for processing and dispersing house waste.
Though very simple, the house has an attractive, low profile Though very simple, the house has an attractive, low profile

Close-up of the front after another couple of days Close-up of the front after another couple of days

Making a start on the hard-standing for the car Making a start on the hard-standing for the car

View across the land to the site for the working man's house, indicated by blue dot View across the land to the site for the working man's house, indicated by blue dot

(Our land stops just before the orderly rows of fruit trees in the far distance which are on our neighbour's land.)
Work starts 1 Work starts 1

Work starts 2 Work starts 2

Progress... Progress...

Three weeks later Three weeks later

This is a very simple labourer's house, but strong and weather-proof and better than many comparable buildings. It has two rooms and a shower-room/toilet; an open living area; water and electricity (from the shared generator).
Long view Long view

The thatched bamboo bungalow on the left is where our current working man has lived for almost a year. He's in his sixties, and he and his wife share a house in the village with their family. He lives here most of the time, working the land and keeping an eye on security. He has a dog and chickens and grows some of his vegetables.

The new house is for a different class of worker: someone who can really manage the farm and sell its products.
Car port and party house Car port and party house

After a couple of days' work on the roofed area beside the house. This will protect the car from the intense sunlight and the tropical rain. It will also be where we hold the house-warming party (with monks and village people) in the New Year, and other large social events (not that I anticipate many of those).
Building ends, occupation begins Building ends, occupation begins

With still a few minor jobs for the builder to complete, we started major cleaning, moving furniture, and organising the horticulture. This pic 2 December, with Kuhn Pohn (our ever-helpful neighbour) and Chai.
Happy joint-owner surveys the scene Happy joint-owner surveys the scene