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  1. #21
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    Default Re: Building my first house - low budget

    Quote Originally Posted by horizon View Post
    Wow nice house. I do architecture work myself. Just need an engineer right now. How did that house cost 100k? those sliding doors alone are around 30k? Plus all that metal and windows. This look more like 400k unless they have free labour.
    House wasn't built for R100 000

    Hyperbole

    ....and pricing has gone thru the roof during these covid times.
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    Default Re: Building my first house - low budget

    Quote Originally Posted by Prof View Post
    House wasn't built for R100 000

    Hyperbole

    ....and pricing has gone thru the roof during these covid times.
    But you said before you could, Prof!-?
    "The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence."

    - Charles Bukowski

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    Default Re: Building my first house - low budget

    Some really nice connection details there Patrick L.

    Must admit, I have never heard of a ‘specialist floor engineer’ or a ‘specialist wall engineer’.

    When there is a decent architect on a project with a proper client brief (not just drawing council submission plans) things tend to go a lot smoother.

    Employ an architect on a limited scope and use an inexperienced contractor then expect a circus.

    Horizon, are you going for a timber framed house clad in nutec/similar or is it reinforced concrete on columns?

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    Default Re: Building my first house - low budget

    Quote Originally Posted by horizon View Post
    Knysna area
    Why not buy from any one of 6 companies putting up bloody nice timber houses in Knysna area ?
    Sit back. No worries, last payment only when everything is finished. Building on your own means you will never finish, ever !
    There is no task too simple for some people to complicate !



    Ford Figo 2016

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  6. #25
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    Default Re: Building my first house - low budget

    ... used to wonder around a few varsitys
    in the distant days of my youth.
    If you get involved with the building folk
    you find all these 'specialities' :
    Architects
    Qty Surveyors
    Structural Engineers
    Building ' Science' guys
    Civil Engineers
    etc etc etc ... its a v. long list ...

    ... as an outsider , you soon find
    they dont 'drink' etc together,
    or agree or respect each other etc !

    ... dont get tied up in the middle of this crowd
    if you actually trying to build something
    with an objective, on a budget , to a deadline
    etc
    ( they not interested in all that stuff ... )
    Last edited by BushNomad; 2021/06/12 at 09:00 PM.
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  8. #26
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    Default Re: Building my first house - low budget

    Quote Originally Posted by BushNomad View Post
    ... used to wonder around a few varsitys
    in the distant days of my youth.
    If you get involved with the building folk
    you find all these 'specialities' :
    Architects
    Qty Surveyors
    Structural Engineers
    Building ' Science' guys
    Civil Engineers
    etc etc etc ... its a v. long list ...

    ... as an outsider , you soon find
    they dont 'drink' etc together,
    or agree or respect each other etc !

    ... dont get tied up in the middle of this crowd
    if you actually trying to build something
    with an objective, on a budget , to a deadline
    etc
    ( they not interested in all that stuff ... )
    Ahh! the mis-spent days of some of the youth!

    Sounds a bit like you were lost and confused and wandering and pondering?....you should'a rather gone to your lectures, boet!

    Seriously, though - they are all professionals that have to work under very tight rules and regulations, and inevitably collaborate very closely on projects - and have been known to even drink together when projects go well/badly!

    Designing and building a well-designed, beautiful, modern, legal, serviced, urban house/building, to very strict regulations, -(and totally waterproof) is no easy task at all.


    -but


    Everyone fancies themselves a builder, 'cos it's just a few bricks and mortar and planks/sheets, and nails 'n stuff- after all.

    -and most people can actually build -something, anyway.

    "The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence."

    - Charles Bukowski

  9. #27
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    Default Re: Building my first house - low budget

    Quote Originally Posted by LCamper View Post
    Some really nice connection details there Patrick L.

    Must admit, I have never heard of a ‘specialist floor engineer’ or a ‘specialist wall engineer’.

    When there is a decent architect on a project with a proper client brief (not just drawing council submission plans) things tend to go a lot smoother.

    Employ an architect on a limited scope and use an inexperienced contractor then expect a circus.

    Horizon, are you going for a timber framed house clad in nutec/similar or is it reinforced concrete on columns?
    True words. There is also sound building methods in the SANS catalogs.

    We are doing timber frame with zinc alume slash IBR siding. Works out cheaper than nutec. Columns slash stilts to hold the elevated house up will mostly like by h2 or h3 sabs round timber.
    This is what I need the engineer for. Don't want it sliding down the mountain and neither will my bank enjoy that.

  10. #28
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    Default Re: Building my first house - low budget

    Quote Originally Posted by duncang View Post
    Why not buy from any one of 6 companies putting up bloody nice timber houses in Knysna area ?
    Sit back. No worries, last payment only when everything is finished. Building on your own means you will never finish, ever !
    How much are they charging a sqm? From what I've seen most of those are charging around 18k per sqm.

  11. #29
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    Default Re: Building my first house - low budget

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick L View Post
    Ahh! the mis-spent days of some of the youth!

    Sounds a bit like you were lost and confused and wandering and pondering?....you should'a rather gone to your lectures, boet!

    Seriously, though - they are all professionals that have to work under very tight rules and regulations, and inevitably collaborate very closely on projects - and have been known to even drink together when projects go well/badly!

    Designing and building a well-designed, beautiful, modern, legal, serviced, urban house/building, to very strict regulations, -(and totally waterproof) is no easy task at all.


    -but


    Everyone fancies themselves a builder, 'cos it's just a few bricks and mortar and planks/sheets, and nails 'n stuff- after all.

    -and most people can actually build -something, anyway.

    ... yah Boet ...
    ... in those days I was more a scientist,
    ... liked rigorous, convincing answers & logic
    more than any institutionalized appeal for blind faith etc
    ... Land Rover Owners dont idle long ...

    2002 Defender 130 DC HCPU. :
    Own the road... Any road ...
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  12. #30
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    Default Re: Building my first house - low budget

    Quote Originally Posted by BushNomad View Post
    ... yah Boet ...
    ... in those days I was more a scientist,
    ... liked rigorous, convincing answers & logic
    more than any institutionalized appeal for blind faith etc
    If you'd gone to lectures those days, you would be more scientifically minded today!

    This is also architecture and engineering -just not done in a modern,urbanised way!





    Medicine - just not modern and scientific.
    "The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence."

    - Charles Bukowski

  13. #31
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    Default Re: Building my first house - low budget

    Quote Originally Posted by horizon View Post
    True words. There is also sound building methods in the SANS catalogs.

    We are doing timber frame with zinc alume slash IBR siding. Works out cheaper than nutec. Columns slash stilts to hold the elevated house up will mostly like by h2 or h3 sabs round timber.
    This is what I need the engineer for. Don't want it sliding down the mountain and neither will my bank enjoy that.
    Definitely not H2

    https://www.sawpa.co.za/choosing-the...treated-timber
    Robert van den Berg

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  15. #32
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    Default Re: Building my first house - low budget

    Quote Originally Posted by Prof View Post
    As a qualified civil engineer who owns his own construction business perhaps I can add a few words of advice. Your local municipality will require a certificate from a Registered Structural Engineer certifying that the house has been built according to his specifications and is structurally sound. That same engineer will have studied for a minimum of 4 years and will have to have professional indemnity insurance covering him in the event of something going wrong - that comes at a price. Find an Engineer willing to do the design and supervision and be up front with him - tell him you are working on a restricted budget and agree his cost up front, that way you will get a structurally sound home at an agreed cost from the engineer. This will save you in the long run - as they say in the vernacular "goedkoop is duur koop"

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  17. #33
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    Default Re: Building my first house - low budget

    Quote Originally Posted by Robster View Post
    As a qualified civil engineer who owns his own construction business perhaps I can add a few words of advice. Your local municipality will require a certificate from a Registered Structural Engineer certifying that the house has been built according to his specifications and is structurally sound. That same engineer will have studied for a minimum of 4 years and will have to have professional indemnity insurance covering him in the event of something going wrong - that comes at a price. Find an Engineer willing to do the design and supervision and be up front with him - tell him you are working on a restricted budget and agree his cost up front, that way you will get a structurally sound home at an agreed cost from the engineer. This will save you in the long run - as they say in the vernacular "goedkoop is duur koop"
    What you say is 100% accurate. I am an Associate in an Architectural practice in Alberton (SCS Architects). I also want to put a few things in perspective. You get Draughtsman who can draw up and submit plans for you, and you get Architectural Technologists who can draw up and submit plans for you, and you get Professional Architects who can also do the same. However, you get what you pay for. Some will draw up plans for you for R50/m2 and some for R250/m2. Will you get the same professional finish? Well, I am not going to say anything, other that this. Once the bricks or timber or whatever you build your dream home from is built and it doesn't quite function like it is supposed to because not everything was well thought out and/or prepared for, it will cost you a lot more than money. You will have to live in that house for as long as you want. Will it have the best resale value if and when you sell? Who knows. All I'm saying is that building a home (or the whole construction industry) is rated as one of the 5 most stressful things you can do in your life. It is up there with divorce, bankruptcy, and the likes. So, as a bit of a cheapskate myself, I have learnt to appreciate spending a little more money in the planning stage as there usually is a saving on the execution of the project, as things don't have to be changed during construction, costing more at the end of the day.

    So use a professional Architect, use a professional Engineer, and use a reputable contractor, because your sanity is worth it, especially when you are dealing with difficult ground. Sometimes what we do all night takes others all night to do.
    Last edited by ricster; 2021/06/14 at 08:55 AM.

    Cheers

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  19. #34
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    Default Re: Building my first house - low budget

    Quote Originally Posted by ricster View Post
    What you say is 100% accurate. I am an Associate in an Architectural practice in Alberton (SCS Architects). I also want to put a few things in perspective. You get Draughtsman who can draw up and submit plans for you, and you get Architectural Technologists who can draw up and submit plans for you, and you get Professional Architects who can also do the same. However, you get what you pay for. Some will draw up plans for you for R50/m2 and some for R250/m2. Will you get the same professional finish? Well, I am not going to say anything, other that this. Once the bricks or timber or whatever you build your dream home from is built and it doesn't quite function like it is supposed to because not everything was well thought out and/or prepared for, it will cost you a lot more than money. You will have to live in that house for as long as you want. Will it have the best resale value if and when you sell? Who knows. All I'm saying is that building a home (or the whole construction industry) is rated as one of the 5 most stressful things you can do in your life. It is up there with divorce, bankruptcy, and the likes. So, as a bit of a cheapskate myself, I have learnt to appreciate spending a little more money in the planning stage as there usually is a saving on the execution of the project, as things don't have to be changed during construction, costing more at the end of the day.

    So use a professional Architect, use a professional Engineer, and use a reputable contractor, because your sanity is worth it, especially when you are dealing with difficult ground. Sometimes what we do all night takes others all night to do.
    Much appreciated and agree. You get what you pay for hopefuly! however on the flip side some firms charge extremely high fees for average work. I work with a developer and he complains daily about the bad work from the so called top firms in CT (arch Im speaking). We have a few guys we use to fix their work, who charge a a third of the price - decent prices and there works is accurate and in fact better - the problem lies onto just with scalability. I wokred at a few of these arch firms here in SA (never again), the people drawing up those plans are draughtsmen, novice archs etc paid very little and pressure to get out drawings quick - their can be good archs there but they often leave or change careers.. In essence you are paying the head arch lots who barely takes a sniff at the drawings and just smooze their clients. This is in CT so cant speak for the rest of SA.

    Bottom line is that you get what you pay for I agree however one does not need to pay excessive fees just for the Mauritius trips and 3 mil holiday home We are just looking for a affordable (decent priced engineer) at this point
    Last edited by horizon; 2021/06/14 at 10:29 AM.

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    Default Re: Building my first house - low budget

    Yip, you hit the hammer on the thumb ....haha.

    One has to do the research and be comfortable with whomever you choose to do the design work. I hope that we will never fall into that category, but yeah there is some greed that comes into play with all industries.

    Cheers

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    Nissan Patrol 4.2 TD - "Iron Maiden"

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    Default Re: Building my first house - low budget

    Quote Originally Posted by duncang View Post
    Why not buy from any one of 6 companies putting up bloody nice timber houses in Knysna area ?
    Great advice - architects, engineers and other consultants suffer from the agency problem - which occurs when one person or entity (the "agent"), is able to make decisions and/or take actions on behalf of, or that impact, another person or entity: the "principal". The dilemma exists in circumstances where agents are motivated to act in their own best interests, which are contrary to those of their principals, and is an example of moral hazard (Wikipedia).
    We only have to look to the antics of Bain, KPMG, McKinsey et al (all supposedly reputable consulting firms) ripping off Eskom, Transnet, SAA etc to the tune of hundreds of millions of our money.

  22. #37
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    Default Re: Building my first house - low budget

    Wow nice house. I do architecture work myself. Just need an engineer right now.
    Hallo Horizon
    The Nice house in Patrick L 's picture is the result of intense analysis of the clients brief / requirements / budget and carefully selected materials.
    Nothing you see was left to chance every connection was considered and drawings were done so that the components could be manufactured and fitted together properly. This avoids all the problems you will be exposed to when you leave these details to contractors imagination.
    Even with detailed drawings it is still very tricky to get the contractors to execute the work accordingly. If it was part of the documentation they were given at the costing phase you have a chance to motivate them to execute according to the drawings. If you dont have any drawings you have no leverage there is very little you can do to prevent them from cut their costs to make a better margin.
    Unfortunately the level of detailing in the photo comes at a price.
    All buildings the result of conficting objectives;
    Clients always want a smarter, bigger, better finished and detailed building they can afford...
    but then they want their dream to be constructed by the cheapest tender...who is planning to make the most profit he possibly can...
    from the drawings produced by consultants on a limited brief... who he only employed because the law / regulations require him to do so but he is only willing to pay a little as possible...
    But then he is surprized when things go wrong and when he would like to blame someone for his misfortunes is surprized when nobody is interested.

    Engineers dont do the type of detailing in the photo.
    If you want anything close to it... you need an experienced Architect to do detail sketches of how YOU the CLIENT would like the building to look.
    Only then can an engineer refine the material sizes.
    Considerable negotiation is required between the parties to find a balance between the easthetics, structural solution and costs.
    One cannot ignore the fact that the engineer will be the one taking responsibility for the integrity of the structure and that the client will be the one paying for it.
    To build a building that is cost efficient and "simple" require much more planning time and thought than one that is slapped together from incomplete documents.
    In the one you have limited your risks and have a much better Idea of what you will get with the other it is a complete gamble.
    I am always surprised when clients have a figure in mind to pay their consultants without considering what service they will get for it.
    An architectural degree is 5 years before they can register another 2 years experience is required.
    People that said that you dont need any help from consultants is completely out of touch with reality.
    If you are buiding a shack on land that you occupied no building regulations apply.... because that is classified as an informal settlement ...
    but if you own the title deed of a site on which you are paying tax to a municipality in an area in which there are town planning laws you will be expected to jump through hoops that are on fire.
    No bank will lend you any money if you dont have an approved building permit.
    The documentation required by a submission process for the most basic of buildings at any municipality currently require exactly the same number of forms as a very expensive building.
    There is much much more paperwork than ever before, not doing it propoerly will lead to huge delays.
    It is obvious that the details and specifications must be scaled to size of the building, the risk the client is prepared to take..
    the quality they expect and the skills of the contractors they would like to or hope to engage with.
    I would not build a wood house in Knysna.
    In 1985 I designed a house for my parents in Paradise, Knysna with a concrete substructure over hanging a 45degree sloping forest. The house had brick walls on three sides, a tiled roof partially supported on wood columns and large wood framed windows on the lagoon side.
    It survived many wild fires in the past during which wood houses around it were lost.
    Unfortunately it was also destroyed in the massive wind driven fire 4 years ago.
    Only the concrete structure and a few brick walls survived the fire. The house had since been rebuilt on the same platform.
    You need to carefully consider the surroundings during concept planning, material selection and detailing.
    Good luck with your process.

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  24. #38
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    Default Re: Building my first house - low budget

    Quote Originally Posted by Dawid Rabie View Post
    Wow nice house. I do architecture work myself. Just need an engineer right now.
    Hallo Horizon
    The Nice house in Patrick L 's picture is the result of intense analysis of the clients brief / requirements / budget and carefully selected materials.
    Nothing you see was left to chance every connection was considered and drawings were done so that the components could be manufactured and fitted together properly. This avoids all the problems you will be exposed to when you leave these details to contractors imagination.
    Even with detailed drawings it is still very tricky to get the contractors to execute the work accordingly. If it was part of the documentation they were given at the costing phase you have a chance to motivate them to execute according to the drawings. If you dont have any drawings you have no leverage there is very little you can do to prevent them from cut their costs to make a better margin.
    Unfortunately the level of detailing in the photo comes at a price.
    All buildings the result of conficting objectives;
    Clients always want a smarter, bigger, better finished and detailed building they can afford...
    but then they want their dream to be constructed by the cheapest tender...who is planning to make the most profit he possibly can...
    from the drawings produced by consultants on a limited brief... who he only employed because the law / regulations require him to do so but he is only willing to pay a little as possible...
    But then he is surprized when things go wrong and when he would like to blame someone for his misfortunes is surprized when nobody is interested.

    Engineers dont do the type of detailing in the photo.
    If you want anything close to it... you need an experienced Architect to do detail sketches of how YOU the CLIENT would like the building to look.
    Only then can an engineer refine the material sizes.
    Considerable negotiation is required between the parties to find a balance between the easthetics, structural solution and costs.
    One cannot ignore the fact that the engineer will be the one taking responsibility for the integrity of the structure and that the client will be the one paying for it.
    To build a building that is cost efficient and "simple" require much more planning time and thought than one that is slapped together from incomplete documents.
    In the one you have limited your risks and have a much better Idea of what you will get with the other it is a complete gamble.
    I am always surprised when clients have a figure in mind to pay their consultants without considering what service they will get for it.
    An architectural degree is 5 years before they can register another 2 years experience is required.
    People that said that you dont need any help from consultants is completely out of touch with reality.
    If you are buiding a shack on land that you occupied no building regulations apply.... because that is classified as an informal settlement ...
    but if you own the title deed of a site on which you are paying tax to a municipality in an area in which there are town planning laws you will be expected to jump through hoops that are on fire.
    No bank will lend you any money if you dont have an approved building permit.
    The documentation required by a submission process for the most basic of buildings at any municipality currently require exactly the same number of forms as a very expensive building.
    There is much much more paperwork than ever before, not doing it propoerly will lead to huge delays.
    It is obvious that the details and specifications must be scaled to size of the building, the risk the client is prepared to take..
    the quality they expect and the skills of the contractors they would like to or hope to engage with.
    I would not build a wood house in Knysna.
    In 1985 I designed a house for my parents in Paradise, Knysna with a concrete substructure over hanging a 45degree sloping forest. The house had brick walls on three sides, a tiled roof partially supported on wood columns and large wood framed windows on the lagoon side.
    It survived many wild fires in the past during which wood houses around it were lost.
    Unfortunately it was also destroyed in the massive wind driven fire 4 years ago.
    Only the concrete structure and a few brick walls survived the fire. The house had since been rebuilt on the same platform.
    You need to carefully consider the surroundings during concept planning, material selection and detailing.
    Good luck with your process.
    hi Dawid,
    Many great points thank you! From what I read, brick and motar homes are just as useless as timber homes in fires as very little can be resused. Concrete deteriortes greatly under heat apparently.
    Wondering if this is true. Anyhow we cant afford brick hence the timber. I also like the feel of timber after living in wooden cabins in cold Scandinavia. We plan and getting home insurance against fire
    Last edited by horizon; 2021/06/14 at 02:39 PM.

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    Default Re: Building my first house - low budget

    Quote Originally Posted by horizon View Post
    hi Dawid,
    Many great points thank you! From what I read, brick and motar homes are just as useless as timber homes in fires as very little can be resused. Concrete deteriortes greatly under heat apparently.
    Wondering if this is true. Anyhow we cant afford brick hence the timber. I also like the feel of timber after living in wooden cabins in cold Scandinavia. We plan and getting home insurance against fire
    I am not sure what the current cost comparison will be but the last time I looked at it there was nothing in; two buildings of the same size would ended up costing exactly the same.
    The major benefit of wood over bricks and mortar is that a wood house can be built in less time if it is built from an existing factory produced recipe.
    If it is a building for my self I would lean towards wood because I really like it as a material and love its many other feel good benefits.
    The primary reasons why I would advise a client against wood is that in most instances a concrete and brick building would resist fire for much longer and much better than a wood one.
    Wood buildings depending on the design and detailing will also require more maintenance.
    You have to remember that in the event of a fire you will not only lose the building you will also suffer a total loss of everything in it.
    There is no insurance that will recover your memories.
    If you build a wood house I would advise you to design a decent size rain water system so that it can be used for the garden as well as for fire suppression if ever needed.

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    Smile Re: Building my first house - low budget

    Quote Originally Posted by horizon View Post
    Thanks good idea. I have a civil engineer friend. maybe he has a good friend we could use.
    My advice is if you are unsure of the stability of the ground you intend to put the piers/pillars/stilts on, then get a ground engineer to do soil samples.

    I built my current house on a slope[La Mercy 1985] . Was advised to get ground engineers to do the deep soil tests[ used Drennan Maud and partners].

    The foundation for the piers ended up being 1x 1 metrex480cm thick concrete footings 3meter below ground. a 480cm foundation brick pier was built to ground level upon which steel reinforced foundations were cast. So yes if the ground is not stable then building on a slope could be costly .

    But having a contractor on labour contract and suppling materials my self and using at the time ready mixed pumped concrete for foundations ,garage floor slab and main floor slab, has left me with a house that still stands strong to this day.

    If you intend to live there for as long as possible , build a low budget house by all means ,but do not sacrifice quality and safety standards. Note : builders/contractors are the biggest nightmare that you will face ,trust nothing ,verify it yourself ,today we have google.

    For the early investment in high quality structural concrete ,corobrik clay commons and clay face bricks,I have saved thousands of rand in maintenance costs. Best of luck and quick success to your home.

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