Not for the faint-hearted

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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.

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