Thursday, June 21, 2012

DIY And Save Yourself Some Money

When my daughter in law Noralyani wanted to prepare a concrete working area at the back of her house covering an area of approximately 100 sq.ft., she was quoted at RM3,600 for the job. She felt that the amount was too much as it would only be a temporary feature as one day she may want to extend the kitchen as being done by her two immediate neighbours. After discussing with her husband, they decided to enlist my help since I was coming to Kuala Lumpur for my 40th  Year Reunion Dinner with my classmates, The Class of '72 College of Agriculture Malaya. on the 16th of June. I had a few days to spare before I leave for home on the evening of the 19th of June.
Having told Yani to order some sand and cement and a few tools such as the spades and a piece of 4 mm plywood for the job, I came to KL bringing along along from home some of the required tools such as the cement trowels and whatever else I could carry in my bag.
To help me with the job, I had roped in my son in law Ridzuan who happened to be home for the weekend.
The work area measuring 10 ft by 13 ft need no earth cutting as the highest end is at the right height and only the lower end needed to be filled in. A low brick wall was laid on the lower slope using cement bricks. Then sand was used to fill in to the desired level.

Ridwan helping to fill the area with sand while grandson pretended to work.
Work was continued the next day. Some manual compaction was done to prevent sink holes from developing. When that was done a lean cement mixture was laid and leveled so that water will flow towards one corner nearest to the drain hole.
The day ended with Ridzuan asking to be excused for the next day as he needed to rest his aching body on Monday to be ready for work on Tuesday. (Monday was a holiday for Israk Mekraj in Negeri Sembilan where he works).
I was in a fix as I need to lay another layer of cement rich concrete before I can consider the cement rendered surface done. I didn't have anybody to assist me on Monday and doing the job alone could be too much for my 62 years old body. Suddenly Yani volunteered to assist me saying that she was eager to learn a thing or two on how to do the job. 
Yani helped to carry the sand from the front of the house to the back using a wheel barrow, making the dry mix, later mixing the cement/sand mixture with water added.  When we were laying the final layer, she even volunteered to do the back breaking job of the final plaster and finishing stroke to bring the surface to a shine. Wow! That saved me a lot of backache.
That night Yani offered to take me for a massage so that I will recuperate fully before my trip back to Pasir Mas. I declined the offer as I know my body could repair itself and thus saved the money for other things.

Who says menial jobs are for men only? My daughter in law proved that women can do it too and even first timers can DIY (Do It Yourself) if you are willing to try.
All in all we spent less than RM600 for the purchase of the following items:
                    3 cu. yds of sand.
                    4 bags of portland cement.
                  100 cement bricks for the retaining wall and sink stand.
                    1 length of half inch diameter PVC pipe and pipe fittings.
                    1 faucet
                    1 second hand stainless steel sink.
                    1 roll of brick mat which I forgot to use.

With a saving of RM3,000, don't you think DIY is worth a try? The reward is numerous among which you learn how to do things new to you. You also learn to appreciate how tough it is for those who do such work for a living. The biggest reward is of course proving that you too can do it if you set your mind to it.
During difficult times, saving a few thousand ringgit is definitely good for the family.
 

15 comments:

AWANG said...

Tahniah !! berjaya juga DIY ..bukan senang kerja ni..Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Salam..hari ni baru rasa badan x sakit2..kerja yg sgt memenatkan. Baru start 10min baju dh basah lenjun..hehe..tetapi yani rasa sgt berpuas hati sbb dpt belajar sedikit kemahiran dan bersyukur dgn apa yg ada. Thank you papa !! Yanie

Pak Idrus said...

BTW Zawi what are you going to do with that RM3000 saving. Have a nice day.

Pak Zawi said...

Awang,
Terima kasih. You too can do it.

Pak Zawi said...

Yanie,
Tanpa Yanie, pastinya lambat siap. Mungkin hari Selasa kena sambung kerja. Tu la papa x perlu massage.

Pak Zawi said...

Pak Idrus,
The home owner will know what to do with the savings. I was only helping them.

Wan Sharif said...

Wow.. You seem to be the Jack of trades... It is always good to have someone who can DIY alot around the house..
Saya sendiri.. Boleh bantu. Walau pun tak padai DIY..;)

pB said...

kuat lagi kederak Pok Awie ...

Pak Zawi said...

Wan Sharif, Yes, Jack of all trades but master of none! You too can DIY but first you must learn the trade. Give it a try by doing simpler and small jobs.

Pak Zawi said...

bB,
Adala sikit sebanyak lagi. Nak pula kalu ada pembantu.
Saya akan buat penama kepada semua akaun spt mana yang pB tulis dalam blog pB bagi memudahkan semua pewaris bagi sedikit sebanyak harta hok ada.

QOTH said...

This is awesome, Pak Zawi! I would love to learn to do something like this ... there are spaces around the house that could benefit with a cement floor ... e.g. boleh buat penyidai baju kat situ :)

And what's most awesome is the savings!

Temuk said...

Tabik kepada Pak Zawi. Splendid work! Hebat betul, sebab masih boleh berDIY dengan elemen-elemen simen, pasir dan air, yang semuanya berat-berat tu!

Pak Zawi said...

QOTH,
It is never too late to learn to do anything. DIY is very rewarding financially as well as satisfying. Though the job may not be as good as done by professionals, it should be good enough for our own need. Start with a small job and move on to a bigger job when you have the feel and confidence.
I has been sometimes since your last visit to my blogsite and I am so happy to see you here.

Pak Zawi said...

Temuk,
I wouldn't be able to do it on my own and I was lucky my son in law Ridhuan was able to assist me on the first two days. On the third day my daughter in law Noralyani helped with the back breaking job of rendering finish. Anyway I consider it a good exercise for the body.

Sigma Tile Cutter said...

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