It has taken quite a while, but finally we are ready for our first guests, we will have our traditional year end party with the people that have helped us this year and their families this Saturday and a few friends from Chiang Mai will also come, so some of them will test drive the new room.
I am very pleased with the result, the mud brick keeps it nice and cool even when it’s 40C outside, I am sure we will have to iron out a few issues as we go along, but the roof has been up for nearly a year without any problems. We had to make some decisions with the bathroom, as mud brick and water don’t really go together, we have opted for a mud and cement plaster mix, painted and then waterproofed with a clear lacquer, let’s hope for the best, first shower on Friday, once the floor seal has dried.
Even though it’s been a long time in construction, the overall cost has been kept in check, I am not 100% sure, as I have not kept an exact record of the expenses, but I think it’s roughly in the region of 8000USD, including the landscaping and the pond , some of which was wasted in labour and materials when we built the roof, as we had to go a bit trial and error, none of us had any experience with this particular technique.
What is most pleasing for me is that we managed to do all the work ourselves, meaning the village guys and me, before we came here none of the guys had ever seen an adobe building and I also had no experience whatsoever, so we have learned a lot together and we are talking about next winter’s project, which should be much more straightforward, as now we have a good idea of all the materials required and we won’t waste time because we run out of this or that. Most importantly we are now a lot more confident about the strength of the structure and we have developed good techniques for setting doors and windows and for connecting the roof to the building.
The house is quite in keeping with its surroundings, but maybe that’s just a westerner’s view and taste, the people here think we are quite barmy to go to all this trouble. Slowly the trees growing around it will protect it from view and from the heat, and we will fill the pond with plants to give the fish something to eat.