Not for the faint-hearted
One of the prerequisites for their new home was enough space for Arno to work on his collection of classic motorcars. “During the design stage, we realised that our four-car garage would be situated exactly where the existing swimming pool was located on the plot,” says Arno. On a weekend visit to the erf, Arno came up with a clever solution: excavate the pool, rather than filling it, and build a basement with a car hoist to create double the garage space.
The couple wanted to build with cash and a strict financial plan was drawn up. But then the quotes came rolling in – half a million rand over budget! So they decided to appoint a builder they’d met at a trade show, whose quote was more in line with what they wanted to spend.
However, it wasn’t long before inadequate projections forced them to recalculate the cost of the entire project. A layer of rock beneath the swimming pool presented them with their first challenge; the excavation required specialised and expensive rented equipment. “We had no sooner excavated to the required depth of 3m when we discovered that we had a water problem,” Arno explains. “Due to a high water table, we had to have a well point installed to pump water out from under the basement – about 1 000L every second day. It is stored in a tank and used for the new pool and irrigation.”
To compensate for the water issue, the basement floor had to be redesigned and retaining shuttered concrete walls with reinforced steel and waterproof additives were installed. >>
The school of fish above the water feature near the entrance to the couple’s home comes from their holiday home in St Francis Bay.