"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Friday, 10 August 2012

The garage build - part 2

Ah - how little inconveniences add together to make major ones.

The builder was delayed on another site for a few days.  Little did we know that would impact our build.  For those "few days" were perfect weather days. By the time they returned to our site, we had had our first snowfall.  And rain - lots of rain...

And when one needs 20mtr3 of fill for the slab, wet, muddy roads are not conducive for truck travel.  Which naturally means...
Material - dumped at the gate again...
... more material is deposited at the gate - for RMan to schlep up to the house in his trailer.  You think I'm kidding?  Well here is a pic of the pounding our entrance has taken.
The state of our entrance after two cold fronts
and too many heavy trucks
But, finally, the fill ended up where it was meant to be, the waterproofing (gunplas) was laid and the re-enforcing was placed on top.  Now they could start with the floor slab.
Fill in, waterproofing in place,
re-enforcing laid - and, notice
behind the guy on the left.
On the outer edge is where the steps are to be built...
Finally, the slab!  Happy days.  Now all they have to do, in between snowfalls, rain showers and gale force winds is build the ruddy walls.
The slab!
As I mentioned in the caption of the 2nd pic above the space where the steps are to be built.  Well, between the steps and the courtyard wall there was enough space to lay some lintels.  Under those lintels we are going to store the washing machine, and the two generators we have.  It's a perfect size for the three.  And the generator has to run the washing machine, so having them next to each other - ideal!  Above the lintels we are going to install a very, very small loo, basin and shower.  Very cramped, but completely necessary, as we will have to move into the back of the garage once the builder starts phase two of our house - the bedrooms.  Yeah, it meant the architect had to submit a rider to the plans department - so that meant a trip to town to see the architect.  
My idea - use the space between the garage steps
and the courtyard wall above and below
As you can see in the pic below, we are going to be siting the new power room on the back right hand side.  The left hand side will be a small office, (and temporary bedroom) and small bathroom.  Phase two means that the zinc roof above the current bathroom will have to be removed in order to compete the walls / gables / etc.  Which means we would've been bathroom-less... :)  Adding the lintels and providing space for the small bathroom, and having the office to move our bed into means that we (I LOL) will not have to go out in the dark and cold of the night to get to the loo.
Doors positioned
So - Day 1 was doors in place, and lintels positioned.
Wall progress
Day 2 - a good portion of the walls were built.  Our excitement was palpable...
Internal walls go in
Day 3 - internal walls start...
Lintel level
Day 4 - up to lintel level - but there was a delay whilst we waited for more sand, and a couple of missing lintels...
Taking shape
Day 5 - a bit more progress
Garage roof trusses
Day 7 - roof trusses arrive and are off loaded and gable walls are built...
All hands on deck help off-load
...whilst the rest of the team carry on with the gable walls

Trusses are placed on bricks to elevate them off
the damp ground which could cause them to distort.
Day 9 - roof trusses are installed...
So close, and yet so far... But, looking good
... and there it stopped.  Why?
Well, it appears that Resin Roof Tiles, the recycled car bumper / monitor roof tiles company went bang.  And we spent 2 full days trying to source any left over tiles.  We eventually discovered a guy in Johannesburg had purchased the machinery, and the molds, but he will only be setting up the factory in the next month.  And then it will be another 2 week wait.  Which is fine for Phase 2.  But we need roof tiles for the garage now - so that we can install the solar panels, and get the power room installed.  So we had to compromise and order normal roof tiles - for the garage only.  And through doing that, we also had to get the roofing company to modify and supply the extra support beams for the trusses as the normal tiles are heavier than the Resin Tiles.

Then, we had our third snowfall in 5 weeks, as well as over 100mm rain in two days...  I have to get those gutters up so that we can catch some of this precious rain water...

The last time the builders were on site was Friday, 3rd August.  Another significant cold front is hitting at mid-night tonight, bring over 50mm rain and significant snow.  So I can't see the builders pitching before Tuesday or Wednesday...  And, without sun, and with our damaged old batteries, I may not have the power to connect to the internet this weekend.  Let's see...

But - I have to say.  4 snowfalls in 7 weeks - in South Africa?  Unheard of!  Add to that the droughts in America.  And one can plainly hear, and see, the anguish of Mother Earth.


  1. I know it must feel like pulling teeth to you, but that post makes it seems like the garage is steaming ahead. Very exciting though. Hopefully the post with the completed garage pics aren't too far away! We just started a bit of renos today as well. Our bedrooms are upstairs but there is only one bathroom there and with a 16 year old son and a blended family, that can get tricky. So in a room that was a teeny, tiny laundry, will soon be a shower room. The builder thinks it will be 2-3 weeks, but as we know.... Good luck with the rest of yours

    1. Sandy - Pulling teeth and toenails... ;)

      Yeah, I'm anticipating the garage will be completed by the 2nd week of September - everything going according to plan...

      Very exciting about your small shower room - will make all the difference to your lives :) And so happy that you're renovating, not moving - you don't need to take such drastic action for just a few more years of "space problems".

  2. Wow, Dani-it's really coming together. ANd it looks great. You must be so happy!

    1. Sue - Thanks :) Yeah, it is coming along, but when we arrived here 6 weeks ago today, I thought it would be quicker :) My fault - I'm impatient to solidify our base and commence with the home making...

  3. Dani - everything always takes so much longer than you plan for! and it sucks! but that is one awesome garage - dang - i would like to move there - bahahahahah! it will all come together, hon...it's just having the patience to make it through that matters. sorry about the mess of your driveway. and yes, Mother Earth is anguishing. but nothing and no one has her powers. if only some of us care, and focus on helping her fix herself...she will prevail. i believe that with all of my heart!

    your friend,

    1. kymber - Yeah, know that, but it seems like I'be been patient for so long. First getting our house sold, and now handling the weather which is preventing the completion of our garage, and installation of our solar power - so that life can get back to normal. Just feeling helpless I guess... LOL

      Mother Earth needs the help of each and every one of us - NOW. Do enough of us care enough?

    2. Dani - i truly believe that enough of us care enough...we, as humans, were given dominion and stewardship...and i think it is because The Lord or Mother Nature or The Universe believed that enough of us would care. there are enough good stewards on the earth right now and we will help our beautiful Mother Earth.

      Dani - i believe this with all of my heart. Mother Earth tells me that it is so. i have very few people to talk to about this kind of thing...it is very nice to talk to you like this. thank you.

    3. kymber - No, THANK YOU. I am thrilled to find a like minded soul :)

    4. me, too. i loved your rainbow post. xox

  4. Hope you can get finished up soon. You can have all that snow though. We need moisture, but me and snow don't go together at all.

    1. David - I LOVE the snow LOL I pray you get the rain you want and need.

  5. You guys really got stuff going on Dani. Looking good. I heard it snowed in South Africa. A few years from now, you and I may have to trade places just to have the climate we're used to. It has been pretty hot around here lately.

    1. FCH - Thanks. Your place is coming on too :) Yeah, the weather is really odd - but we have all been warned...

  6. I LOVE the high rafters in the garage! Beautiful brick.

    1. Mrs Mac - The rafters have to match the existing (house) roof - and there will be plenty of storage space in them as a bonus :)


Thank you for taking the time to comment - it makes my day and removes the "loneliness' of sitting at my screen blogging supposedly to myself ;)