Sunday, October 17, 2010

Let the Building Begin!

The building has begun…with women carrying rocks from Kintamani (volcanic mountain) to use for the foundation on their heads, and men digging ditches for the wall. The outline of the house was drawn with wood sticks and string. How will this ever become a house? Wait and see….
We had a bit of a cultural issue the other day, when the landowner told us that the land was actually .8 are more than we had thought.
When we purchased the lease in May, we ‘assumed’ that we were paying for the entire parcel. We didn’t know the exact size at the time, but was told that it was about 5 are (1000 sq meters per are). After the architect came out to measure it last week, it was discovered that it was in fact 5.8 are. So, we went to the agency that had drawn up the contract, and was told  that they had been aware of the size when the papers were originally signed….but, had neglected to tell us about it. They didn’t feel that it was negligence on their part not to have disclosed this. (In the US, this would have been grounds for a suit) But, as they said… what could be done with .8 are ? …and, it was up to us to decide which .8 are he was to get.
However, we didn’t want to have this hanging over our heads as an issue, and phoned the landowner to find out what he would want to sign over the additional land to us. Turned out, it was very little money….so, Henry drew up a contract, gave Sadi (the landowner) the money…and everyone was happy. I’m sure that a situation like this in the US would not have ended as quickly and painlessly. The landowner in question had inherited this parcel from his father. As the father has 3 sons, the land was divided up somewhat unequally. This son just happened to get a slightly larger piece then the others.
So now, full steam ahead on our building project! But first, some changes in the design. We have now decided to add the second storey onto the house for
both the view and future rentability. This is now the 6th or 7th change in the design, but the architect seems to take it in his stride. So tomorrow, Komang will come back with yet another design. This must be making him crazy but you’d never know it. He smiles and quietly says that he’ll return the drawings tomorrow with all the changes.
He also told us today about importing workers from Java. It seems that he has a 10 person crew that he brings over from Java, whenever he needs workers to build. He insists that the quality of their workmanship is superior to the Balinese…except for the wood work, in which the Balinese excel. So, we then asked him where they would stay….Seems that the wall will go up and that 2 workers will stay here nightly to guard the building materials. The other workers will stay at ‘base camp’ wherever that is? Komang pays for their transportation, food and housing…which is all included in our costs. So, our crew will be here in the morning! That’s in addition to the diggers and the carriers.
Today, the women are bringing in the sand for the concrete. Much of the house will be constructed of concrete ; the stairs, counters, sub-floor, and foundation. We are trying to stay close, so that we can both see the progress of the house and answer questions as they arise. We also have a site manager(Gede) in addition to the architect and his partner Chipta (the engineer).
So, it’s almost like a well choreographed dance or orchestra, ensuring that everyone plays their part and contributes to the whole. 

1 comment:

  1. So that's your house being built behind Rumah Dharma! I walked past today and saw the construction. Best of luck. You are sure to have some good stories. Move in date?

    Robin Sparks
    Oneworld ltd