Well it’s not the prettiest picture in the world but it represents an enormous amount of work. The foundation, septic tank, and concrete floor have taken more than a month to achieve – amid an extra rainy Spring. Lots of organising for C, and lots of digging, earth moving, and filling back in again for the contractors.
Here’s the picture which inspired the design of the building. **
We have tried to keep the basics of what we liked – the steep roof, vertical emphasis, and wood cladding with weatherboard on top and board and batten below. The lower level will be tool storage and a workshop/potting shed, chiller, freezer, and utility area, partly buried in the earth. Upstairs is wheelchair accessible accomodation opening off the top level of the drive.
The big roof will house an array of solar panels and will collect enough rainwater to quickly refill the tanks.
Unfortunately we had tried so hard to keep the top level as close to ground level as possible for easy access, that we ended up feeling uncomfortable about the level of the lower floor. While it was carefully calculated to be above the drive and culvert, in the pouring rain it felt too close for comfort, so we added 200 mms in height. Just 8 inches, which added more than $1000 per inch, by the time more sand was added back in, which had to be more compressed, etc, etc. Still, as we continue to get wetter and wetter weather I figure we are better safe…
A bonus is that there are some extra piles of topsoil around which I’m hoping to grab for the garden, and a big irrigation drainage area from the septic tank which I will get to plant with flowers for bees and birds.
The septic tank is gigantic, with several stages so that the water comes out clean. The mostly clean water is pumped into drippers which water a drainage field planted with plants which will take in the water, cleaning it further. It’s a big system – bigger than we need right now, but we don’t want to dig it up later.
**We collected quite a few photos of things we liked and I can’t remember where this came from. I’ll try to find out and credit it.