Gosh there have been some exciting developments at Wandarosa Farm over the last 5 months. We have had a house delivered yep a HOUSE DELIVERED.
We have debated for many years what we would put on the farm, first iteration was a rammed earth home, then a tiny house, maybe a cob house, straw house then we stopped thinking about it and got on with normal life.
This story really starts with Dirk connecting with a lady that was putting together goods to give to her homeless sister. Who had found a house to move into but needed appliances and household stuff her sister had put an ad on gumtree asking if anybody could help out. Dirk saw this and knew that we could help by donating a few appliances and things we had double or triplicate off. Why do we have so much, when household merge you get duplicates and we can’t throw good and working things away?
We were on our way to deliver our goods to the lady’s home when we chanced upon displays of modular homes. I said if they are open on the way back we should take a look as it might be an option for the farm. They just happen to still be open so we took a look and I fell in love with a pantry – sad I know. The house was a little expensive so it was a no from the Wanderosa team.
The salesman told us to put our name on the mailing list as sometimes they sell off display houses. We said yes and really didn’t think anything more of it. You guessed it we got an email that I just couldn’t say no to.
Meetings with banks and the company and some hard discussions between ourselves we eventually came to the conclusion the house had to be ours. We signed the paper work and the deal was done. We just had to wait for approvals and things but eventually those fell into place and it was delivery day.
We had to do some ground work as the farm doesn’t have any flat surfaces; a local contractor came out to move dirt around and level of the pad and compact it. This wasn’t very exciting but it was the first real proof that the house was coming.
We spent a couple of weekends making sure that the trees on the road to the farm didn’t over hang the road to much to allow the trucks and house to get in without getting caught. The tractor and the chainsaw got a good workout and my sister and her husband also gave us a hand with the task one weekend.
On the date of arrival Dirk and I wait not so patiently for the trucks to arrive with the house at 2pm. It had travelled on 3 Semi trailer trucks and from the shed it looked so tiny. Two guys came up to the pad and set out where the house would go. They went back down to the trucks to tell them to bring up the house. I was pretty exciting to see the three trucks around the shed. The part with with the master bedroom, pantry and kitchen went in first; it was backed onto the pad then lowered onto some concrete biscuits to keep it off the ground but level. The next one was driven on forward I was amazed at the accuracy and precision of the driver he had a gap of maybe 10cm. The middle section was
lowered again but just before they took out all the equipment they used some steel discs to move the section over so
that it was touching the first section. AMAZING! The third section was then driven into place and the same lowering and sideways moving completed and we had a house on the farm in just 4 hours.
How cool is that!
As night fell in Wandersoa the trucks
left the farm and it was quiet and for the first time we could take a look inside our new home. You could see gaps between the sections but the company was out to sort those out a few days later.
We still had lots of things to get done before we could move it but wandering around the rooms before we lost light was so exciting to think we had a house on the farm. The vision of Wanderosa Farm Animal Sanctuary was starting to take place.
The next day our plumber turned up with his machines and proceed to dig up great ditches around the house,
I was a little bewildered at first but it all started to make sense when the pipes were laid. It’s quite the complex business to get water and waste to move around.Our fancy septic tank was put in place the next day that will take waste and turn it into clean water that can be used on fruit trees and grass but not drinking!. It needed an electrical connection and we didn’t have a Sparky on hand so the plumber called in a local electrician to come and do the job. We also had a chat to see if he was interested in helping us out with connecting the house and solar system and the house. Lucky for us he was happy to come back to do it. First we had to get the solar system commissioned!
A couple of days later the carpenters for the house company arrived on site to fix up the gaps in the sections, make sure doors hung correctly and that inside it looked like a complete house. Some others turned up to put up the patio and car port, poor Dirk was running around in all directions. A concrete truck arrived on site for the footings and it had too much concrete onboard. They asked Dirk if he wanted the extra concrete. Not one to say no to free stuff (well sort of free) he had to suddenly work out what to do with it, but came up with a brilliant plan; he made footings for paths and also made a little concrete landing under the flag pole. Good thinking!
Not long after this the plumber came back to put in the rain water down pipes in so we could collect water in the tank we had installed months earlier. He couldn’t finish this job as we didn’t yet have power.
Oh we also had a couple of cousins of mine build what I like to call the Great Wall of Wandering – or retaining wall so that the house wouldn’t side down the side of the hill in the future. Also really makes a difference to the look of the house, finishes it off I think. The puppies really love the wall they like to patrol along the top of it or simply lay on it and survey their land.
After much searching we found a Solar installer that could commission the system we had purchased. This meant we could call back the electrician to connect the solar system to the house OMG it was getting so close. A little bit exciting for the first time in 10 years we could turn on a light without a generator making an unholy noise.
The electrician also wired up the water pressure pump and Dirk filled in the trenches and that night he called me to say that the house now had running water with good pressure. Some of you might not understand but having good water pressure is amazing. The shed only has gravity feed pressure from two tank behind the shed and it takes quite a while to fill a kettle which does give you time to daydream but not great if your in a hurry.
We started to move in things like paintings and some furniture that we have been storing in the shed for many years, once again my sister and brother in-law came out and gave us a hand. They seem to arrive at the right time not planned but the right time. We will need to repay the favour or just make sure that there is always a bed available in the future for stay overs.
Finally the bank did a revaluation of the farm and we paid the building company their money and we were able to say that the house was finally really really ours. We still have lots of work to do but it cool that a fully finished house was delivered to the farm, it did make this process so much shorter than at normal build where all the trades would need to come out on site which would of taken a least a year, we had it liveable in three months.
My vision of the experience and the truth didn’t match up I thought that they would plonk the house on the farm, the plumber would just plug-in a pipe to the septic and one to the water tank and a sparky would run a cable to the house and voilà we would be in. Clearly my expectations and reality weren’t the same but in saying that we have learnt so much, so that’s a good thing. All in all it was a little stressful but not that bad in hindsight.
At the end of this process we took a holiday and regrouped for the next stage of the Wanderosa Farm and Animal Sanctuary. I would like to run a Mediation Retreat in September but I’m not sure we will get everything ready by then, but if you don’t set a goal you never reach for it.