What do you do when you have certain requirements for a house that doesn’t fit with any property currently for sale in your local city? You build one of course! And that’s exactly what we are doing. Kevin, Louis, Gwen, Cindy and myself (Ashley) are building a house in a rural area of the Western Cape, and this is where the very beginning of our project starts.
Of course, the above paragraph would lead you to believe that this is an easy enterprise. Not exactly – firstly we had to find a piece of property. After that we had to have the house plans drawn. Our next step is to have them approved by an Engineer and the city council of the area. Only then can the actual building begin. All building plans also have to fit in with the legislation of that particular area and this had to be taken into consideration when planning our house.
The Very Beginning – Finding Land
Surprisingly, it did not take us very long to find a suitable and spacious piece of ground in a neat rural residential area about 40km outside of Cape Town. We are very pleased with the location because it is still close enough to Cape Town in order to conduct business with Small Scale Engineering’s existing client base, and yet far enough out of town to really be able to embrace a country lifestyle.
And yes, before you ask, we are still subject to Cape Town’s current water restrictions.
Not Quite the Very Beginning – What’s Next?
So we now have a plot of land, and an idea in mind for our grand project. So, what is next? Plotting and planning our new home. We decided to go with a container home for several reasons: They are quicker to construct than a standard brick and concrete structure, they use far less water to build than a standard brick and concrete structure (which is a huge consideration with our current drought and strict water restrictions), and they can be very stylish.
Building with containers has become quite a phenomenon over the last few years and there are some amazing examples that range from small and quaint, to huge, lavish monstrosities.
As with any type of building option, there are pros and cons to building with containers, but we feel that we are up to the challenge and are extremely excited to start the work. So much so, that one of the very first things we did was mark out the ground where the new house will lie (with bottles over the pegs to ensure we don’t trip over them – safety first!).
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