Today July 11 we started working on our new home. The design and purpose of the property has changed since we first got here and now the site will be more of a community space than a family home. Our present house will become the common area for use by volunteers, guests and long term residents, as well as the place to hang out for everyone who is here on any given day.
We will move to this new spot in the garden which is less in the middle of everything and which will allow for a bit more privacy in the early mornings and evenings. We hope to be finished by the end of November.
The house has two bedrooms and a large living area in the middle, the total footprint is about 160sqm, half of that is made up by a verandah which will surround the house on four sides and the outdoor part of the kitchen, a space which is essential to cook Northern Thai food without polluting the whole house. It will be mainly adobe, with old teak panelling and polished concrete in some parts.
I am confident the total budget from start to finish should come in under 400,000 THB, a little over 12000 USD at the current exchange rate. This includes everything, from the concrete foundation to the bathroom tiles, windows, doors etc. The house has no air conditioning and uses a homemade system of solar water heating.
I will post an update every other week or so, provided there has been some progress, the guys working here come from a nearby Karen village and come when they are free, so sometimes the work slows down for a week or two, depending on who turns up. We will also host three natural building workshops in August, so these will also slow down the pace of construction.