AT LONG LAST! We have really been given a crash course into how the best laid plans can go awry. In my last post, we were preparing for the wendy house to be erected on 15 April. Well…
Let’s just say there were a few delays. Between hitting heavy clay while digging for the foundation poles, bad weather, and an apparently terrible wendy house supplier who kept shifting dates AND the quote, 15 April came and went. So did the whole of May. June rolled around. The original price quoted tripled, while what was included in the price halved. Stressful!
A Date Is Set!
Finally, we were notified that they’d be installing in two days’ time. The confirmation came out of the blue, and we had already booked work dates so we wouldn’t be able to be there. But there was no way we were going to postpone! We felt safe in the knowledge that our construction manager would be on site to receive the supplier and keep a beady eye on installation (the wendy comes in premade panels that they put together in a few hours on site). He let us know everything had gone smoothly, and the wendy was finally up.
As soon as we arrived and got our first look at the wendy, we realized it had been put up in the wrong place! In the drawings we’d sent to our construction manager (multiple times) we’d marked the wendy to be installed 8 meters from the boundary fence – we’d be adding a 3m undercover area (“afdak”) off the side, leaving the legally required 5m gap between the boundary of the property and any buildings.
Instead, they installed the wendy 5m from the fence, meaning no space for the afdak. This is a bigger problem than it initially may seem:
The wendy (our tiny home for now, later to become the workshop) is supposed to form the back wall of the main house we plan (/hope) to eventually build (which is why there aren’t any windows on the front facing wall). This error means that the main house plans are now awry by 3m too.
We need the afdak to create a bit of additional undercover living space – the wendy only provides 18sqm so there’s no space for a lounge area.
The afdak is meant to extend out from the sliding door as seen above.
We’d also planned to build a shower, compost toilet and firewood storage area off the afdak for easy access, especially in winter. We’d positioned the shower close to the kitchen so that they can easily share the gas geyser and the greywater plumbing.
Moving the wendy is not a quick fix since the foundation poles holes had to be dug with a machine due to the heavy clay issue, and then cemented in place. Bearing in mind there is no electricity or running water on site yet, it was quite the challenge as our construction manager informed us! Apart from that, with all the delays, we’re now well into winter, meaning lots and lots of rain – not good for setting cement.
So now, we either need to put the afdak somewhere else, which would mean moving the sliding door (not really possible) or get written permission from our neighbour to build the afdak leaving only a 2m gap before the boundary fence (the legal requirement for the area is 5m).
Our construction manager had these drawings and had met with us several times. We’d also loosely pegged things out on our last visit and physically walked it with him. How this managed to go so wrong is beyond me, but here we are. Sigh. We can’t change what’s already happened, so we need to accept it and adapt! We’re holding thumbs that our neighbour will give us written permission.
That’s Not Even All
That wasn’t the only disappointment of our arrival. The sliding door didn’t have a lock, so we couldn’t leave anything inside. The windows didn’t have handles, so we couldn’t close them. The step was missing. Oh yes, and the main entrance gate was put in 1m from the fence line instead of 2m (a small different that has ripple effects on boundary line planting as well as the parking area).
We’re also still waiting for the wendy to be treated – it was meant to have been done the day it was erected, but our construction manager decided he’d rather do it. Aaaaand its still not done. In the rain.
Clearly we need to be looking for a new construction manager.