Dear Nature Lovers,
Recently I acquired a small piece of farm land in Tamil Nadu (Krishnagiri Dist). It is being developed by me as a Horticultural Garden. I thought of sharing my experiences with you. So here goes…
The Farm House
I reside almost 90 kms away from the land. Commuting up and down by bike (yes…I am a bike crazy farmer) in Bangalore traffic is a nightmare.
Therefore it was important to have a small farm house with a washroom, where I could rest and store a few things and maybe stay overnight if need be.
The dimensions decided was 12 ft width x 18 feet length, with a wall at 12 feet length to provide for a 6ft wide washroom in the rear.
After considering many options such as a conventional brick 'n mortar structure, log cabin, etc, I finally decided to build a room using prefab concrete slabs and pillars, and Coloured Metal Sheet roofing supported by metal trusses.
The prefab slabs and pillars are commonly used for making compound walls. I extended the idea to build a farm house.
The Walls: -
I ordered stronger concrete pillars with 12 mm iron rods instead of normal 8 mm rods. The pillars were a mix of 12 feet and 11 feet height, and placed in holes 3 feet deep, packed with concrete for support and stability.
The concrete slabs were 6 feet long and 1 feet wide with 5 mm metal reinforcement and brick-shaped design on one side. The slabs slide into slots in the pillars and are stacked one on top of the other, making the walls. Space has been left for doors.
The windows are concrete slabs with criss-cross pattern.
The entire structure i.e. walls without roof came up in just 5 days. 1 day for digging the holes to place the pillars, 2 days to erect the pillars and provideconcrete packing, and 2 days to fix thewalls.
The result matched my expectations.
The structure looks decent enough. Sadly I am unable to attach videos now due to some error. Will again try to…
Pros & Cons of pre-fab structure :
- Quick execution of work
- Eye-catching structure
- Strong enough as a farm house (unless someone purposely tries to damage it using hammer).
- Reasonable costing.
- Due to mis-communication, the rooms became smaller by about 1.5ft as the installer erected the pillars considering the measurements as external rather than internal.
- It was first time experience for the installer and towards the completion of work, he wanted more money than he initially agreed to charge citing cost over-runs.
- Flooring, doors was not included in scope of work, and they remain pending and need the services of other tradesmen, i.e. mason for PCC floor, plumber for washroom fittings, carpenter for door frames and doors.
- Installer did a shoddy job of internal finishing of walls and curing of concrete.
Initially I wanted to install Clay tiles (a.k.a. Mangalore tiles) on wooden reapers/trusses. Unfortunately, I could not find a roofer for the job. So I decided to use the services of a Welder to fix Metal coloured sheet roofing on Steel Truss.
To beat the heat, I added Gypsum Sheets as roof underlay.
The work was completed in about 8 working days instead of the planned 4 days . There were delays because the Welder had to hire 3 phase welding machine as our DG Set was shorting his Single Phase Machine (We don’t have Electric Connection. It’s been applied for, but is dragging on…)
While workmanship was of reasonable quality, the Welder, who offered to procure the material, overcharged me for the same by providing inflated bills for material. His scam was busted and he reluctantly agreed to a mark-down. All the same, I ended up paying him about 20% more than what we agreed initially.
All in all, a bitter-sweet learning experience for me.
Next Steps :-
The House :
Water tank mounted on RCC Pillars - In progress
Flooring of house - In progress
Waste water line - In place
WC, Bath, Wash Basin- After flooring
Septic Tank - Yet to commence
Doors and Frames - Yet to commence
Electricity - Applied for
Phase 2 - Additional rooms for family. It may commence after a couple of months.
Planned to have High Density Taiwan Guava plantation, along with some Lemon, Pomegranate, Sapota.
Lots of flower plants and trees planned around the house.
- JCB hired for 4 days to dig pits. Work is almost complete.
- Taiwan Guava supplier identified but awaiting verifiable references
- Solar Pumping Solution - Reaching out to potential suppliers. Awaiting quotes.
- Drip Irrigation main lines in place. Needs to Be extended. Gate valves, sub-mains and laterals to be procured. Water Pond or Overhead Tank to be constructed…Evaluation of options is in progress
- Looking for Farm Yard Manure.
- Lastly, planning for a Dense Miyawaki Fruit Garden. Will take it up after other planation work is complete.
So thats all for now.
Hope you found this Post useful.
Cheers, Happy Farming and God Bless