Thursday, September 17, 2015

Our new life and the building

So I think it has been almost a year since I last  posted. Many reasons why but the main reason has been a lack of power at a time when I can post. That means no sun, no blog. So not blogging at night when I have a minute to write.
I won't bore you with all the gory details - and they are gory- but show you a bit of the journey instead.  A real rollercoaster.  Character forming is what I think people have said. People who want to die fast!
The first photo shows the barn site cleared  of brush and the foundations dug and pads in.  All by hand. We had  a helper for a few days but found we could do more in a shorter  time and just finished it ourselves.  I had to see a chiropractor  after they were dug as when I looked up , I would fall over. Funky feeling!
After that we had a ready mix concrete  truck bring in 6.5 cubic meters of concrete to throw the pad foundations.  Did you you know that is around 15 tons?  And it was the 2 of us hauling bum to tamp out the air bubbles and level it off in an hour and 15 minutes.  Shattered .
Sorry no pics. Too busy aching.
Then you can see Jan building the concrete block squares to act as formwork for the holding down bolts. These hollow blocks were  filled.
We had the reinforcing  steel bent to the engineer's  specs and manufactured the cages on site. It was fiddly and we ended up forming a production line. I clamped and jan welded them. It was just quicker and stronger to set them in the foundations. We made small concrete blocks to rest the cages on and mixed and poured each fill by hand setting the bolts as we went. It's a very important step as the bolts must be precisely  in  place or setting  the steel  will be a mission.
At this point we hit a financial hiccup. It lasted a long time. Besides, so much happened concurrently so while it seems it all happened quickly, it was over a year from plan submission to this point. But more on the building's progress and other stuff when I have charged  up this phone.


  1. Ah, so good to hear from you again - I have so often wondered how you have been getting on.

    It looks like you'rd making progress - can't wait to hear more...

    (And know exactly what you're talking about when you say no sun, no power. Been there done that.)

    When you're finished, you'll be able to look back and marvel "We did that"!! What an example you're setting for your kids. The benefit of all this hardship and hard work will reverberate into the next generation.

  2. Well done keep it up, I know about no time to write or just to exhausted to write. We have in the mean time sold and await our new adventure....Rae sends her love. I am so interested to see what you are going to build and costs involved, is your phone number still the same.

  3. yes still the same. And Dino we have a small cabin if you can spend a night on your way to Cape Town. Not exactly a straight route though... Where are you now?