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.
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 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.