A lot has happened in the last 10 days but there has also been a lot of ‘hurry up and wait’.
We have started an Instagram account with regular updates – if you’re on Instagram follow us: @smallerhouse_biggerlife.
Once the containers were delivered and put in place, the next step was to cut holes for doors and windows. But to do this we had to know the sizes of our doors and windows. So we went window shopping…
First, Cam went to Pennypinchers to get a quote on frames (no glass) for the doors and windows we would need. They quoted R12 000. Without glass. We figured there had to be a cheaper option. After shopping around at a number of junk shops, Cam found a gem in Somerset West called 2Cheap – a second hand shop which sells a huge variety of second hand doors and windows (amongst other things). Most of these doors and windows are pulled out to be replaced by aluminium but are still in fantastic condition. We left with all our doors and windows, with most of the glass intact, for R1400!
I have realised that this is a bit of a theme in our build – taking something that is someone else’s rubbish (an old shipping container, or old windows), and up cycling it to turn it into something great. Our instinct is usually to go and buy it new but we are trying to do things differently. As far as possible Cam and I are trying to buy things second hand or re-use materials rather than buying them new – not just because it’s cheaper, but also because it’s way more environmentally friendly and we are trying to leave behind a culture of consumerism.
Enough philosophy, let’s get back to the technical details. We had our doors and windows sorted so we could give these sizes to Neil and his team to start cutting the holes.
First they brushed off all the rust and painted the patches with a rust proof iron oxide – that’s why they look really patchy. Next they used angle grinders to cut the holes to the sizes we specified. Once the holes were cut they welded frames made of 50mm steel bars to reenforce the holes. We had a few hiccups with skew cuts and frames that weren’t level and so unfortunately the whole process has taken a little longer than we planned. Once the bars are welded in, the windows are bolted to the frame. We are still waiting for the last window frame to get straightened up and for some brackets to be bolted in but that should be done by this weekend. Once the brackets are in, we can begin building the bridge that will connect the containers and then in will really start to feel like a habitable space.
While we wait though, Cam has kept busy by starting on some of the interior framework and furniture, meeting with an insulation company and buying the wood to clad the outside of the container – but more on that in the next blog or on our Instagram feed.
To end on an inspirational note – if you are interested in some incredible houses and some of the ways people are using shipping containers around the world, check out this link: http://www.architecturendesign.net/22-most-beautiful-houses-made-from-shipping-containers/