And so we find ourselves in June – we need to move out of our house at the end of July and rent, which is quite stressful considering that there are hardly any rentals available yet for the month of August.
And our straw house seems to be slipping further and further out of our hands. It has been a frustrating week to say the least – we were supposed to meet with the architect today but the meeting has been postponed due to the fact that the house has not yet been “costed”. Well, it makes no difference anyway, as no-one seemed to be listening when they were warned that the season for straw was ending at the end of April, and now we have to wait for the next harvest which will only be in October.
I get the feeling that the architects are over-analysing everything at the moment (which I know is what is required), however instead of having our ‘simple’ green home, we are now being cautioned about the fact that being ‘green’ is not cheap! I think we are missing the point here – this is not meant to be a complicated house! It is meant to be an ordinary home with benefits – not some space-age, state-of-the art design masterpiece.
I am so grateful that we have such an enthusiastic team, however it feels as though the project is running away with them and I think that we all just need to take a step back and evaluate what the fundamentals are as we are being overwhelmed by the details.
We do not have R40,000 for the complete grey-water system at the moment, but as long as we make provision for all the piping and plumbing, we can modify it at such a time when we have the necessary funds.
I also do not have a spare R70,000 floating around for the vertical axis wind-turbine (as much as I love the design). However – we need to make it a part of the plans and make space for it on our property for the day that we can afford to get one.
And hell – if we cannot afford the super-cool powder-coated tin roofing; we will stick to the tried and trusted galvanised tin – which has been a mainstay of the South African ‘Pandok’ since Pa fell off the bus.
So in the mean-time our home will be a hybrid – starting with the super insulating straw walls and lime render. Even the little pigs will tell you that this is not that complicated. Let’s take this one straw bale at a time, and not get too bogged down (excuse the pun) by how the pipes from the grey water are going to integrate with the French drain.
I was so very much hoping to be able to get the straw walls up before the summer rains (although with our current weather patterns, anything is possible in Gauteng these days), but we shall wait, and be patient and hopefully get a bit more information from our team next week.