Headed over to the block yesterday to inspect our $500 dirt installation. I was a tad nervous as when I left them the tractor was pushing dirt around and it looked like a UN exhumation site. I told them I wanted rectangle(ish), level and ëven edges. So when we pulled up yesterday I really had no idea what to expect. I set the family up under the mango trees nearby and as I walked over to the block I heald my breath……but……SUCCESS ! The guys have done an awesome job of preparing our site. I had to bang out a few bumps here and there with my pick but all in all……a sterling effort.
I then started marking out the shelter’s floor plan with help from the wife and we are both quite excited. We are thankfully almost o the same page with regards the “design” and whilst I would like to do something adventurous we are going to keep it simple but with a few nice little touches like a sunset deck and combined lock up utility shed / kitchen. Roof will be tin ( so we can collect rain water ), columns will be concrete ( to allow us to go up a level in the future if we want ) , all flooring will be solid hardwood planks. None of this cheap crappy split bamboo flooring for me. I am always afraid I will go straight through it. The other thing we have agreed on is the height of the floor. EVERYONE here builds elevated stilt houses. We are only going to have one step off the ground . This will mean there is no fall danger for young kids, no climbing stairs for old blokes like me and we can sit on the floor with legs dangling or on the step drinking beer and watching the trees grow. Roof will have extended eaves for rain and shade protection. Luckily we found a guy who built himself a cow shed that is basically exactly what we want dimension and style wise. I just need to project manage the finer points to get it how we want.Budget is $2,000 tops.
After marking out we then planted lemongrass all around the edges of the building pad for two reasons. It is such a beautiful smelling and looking plant and used everyday in Cambodian cooking so it was always going to feature somehow but most importantly, it has an extensive but relatively shallow root system so I am hoping it will act as erosion control on the edges of the elevated pad. We also relocated some of the frangipani trees we had planted. 6kg of lemon grass shoots = $1.50. Can you believe that ?