From pool to wine cel­lar

Ex­or­bi­tant quotes and a love of DIY led Mark Stein­ho­bel to in­stall and plumb a rain­wa­ter-har­vest­ing sys­tem un­der his deck at home.

Home Renovations - - Hello -

FFor years, the wooden deck at the front of Mark and An­nie’s home in Oran­jezicht, Cape Town served solely as an ex­tended en­ter­tain­ment area. Here, friends and fam­ily could gather to re­lax and en­joy the views of Sig­nal Hill and the City Bowl.

But un­der­neath the 10 x 5m deck, a va­cant space pre­sented the perfect spot for rain­wa­ter tanks – some­thing Mark and An­nie have come to see as a ne­ces­sity rather than a lux­ury with the on­go­ing wa­ter short­ages in the West­ern Cape. Mark wanted to make full use of the space and de­cided on 10 000L of stor­age.

“At first, it didn’t oc­cur to me to do it my­self, so I got quotes from two plumbers,” Mark ex­plains. “To my hor­ror, they were R43 000 and R48 000 – for the plumb­ing alone! So I de­cided to do the job my­self and em­barked on days of re­search on the in­ter­net, watch­ing Youtube videos of other peo­ple who had done their own in­stal­la­tions, mainly abroad, and find­ing the prod­ucts and sup­plies I would need lo­cally.”

Mark, chair­man of brand ex­pe­ri­ence agency VWV, ded­i­cated his week­ends in March 2017 to this project which in­cluded lift­ing enough of the deck so that he could lower the new tanks into place, con­nect­ing their home’s gut­ters to the tanks, and in­stalling the nec­es­sary plumb­ing to con­nect the tanks to the ir­ri­ga­tion sys­tem.

Mark em­ployed a labourer to help mix and lay the con­crete base for the tanks and when the time came to lower them into po­si­tion, he asked three men work­ing on a nearby build­ing site to lend a hand.

In the end, the to­tal cost of ma­te­ri­als was less than R24 000. This is about half of what it would have cost if he had to hire a plumber – not to men­tion how much it would be to hire a car­pen­ter to help lift the deck and cross-mem­bers!

What’s next on Mark’s to-do list? “I want to get rain­wa­ter not only to the gar­den, but also to the house!” he says.

Watch this space…

By Kim Arendse Pho­to­graphs Justin Patrick Styling Mar­ian van Wyk

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