Renonvations Riviersonderend

Floor Repairs

This post traces the floor repairs from the moment we saw the problem, until we finally got it fixed.

The initial damage.

Because we were getting visitors, we had to do an emergency patch.
(We were ably assisted Mark Williams and a number of craftsmen from the Riviersonderend area. Equally Munir Davids for technical advice.)

After the visit, we had to do a very careful assessment of the state of the floor, so we lifted the floor boards


The white on the bearer is dry rot. It was everywhere.


So we lifted the entire floor.

Which allowed us to see the extent of the problem. The water actually rises out of the soil under the house.

The water rose nearly 2 cm while we were there one night.

While we were about it, we stripped the walls of the layers of paint, mostly enamel and whitewash.

Then we built pillars to support the bearers and a plinth for a fire place. We also decided to rewire the place.

We laid sand and thick plastic sheeting to keep the water out. Then the wood started to go in.


Then the flooring was taken in and allowed to acclimatise.

We installed an extractor fan to keep the humidity and hence the dry rot out. The fan runs for an hour every day,

Then the floor was in. Not sanded or sealed but in.


And our lights were also fitted.

floor04Two very happy people.


Riviersonderend Western Cape

Replacing the windows in Riviersonderend

The house had the original steel frame windows, the glass covered in bomb proofing plastic. As the plastic aged, it became opaque and bubbles formed. The plastic was impossible to remove, the frames were starting to disintegrate, so we decided to replace them.
First you have to remove the windows.

Nearly out



Side Windows ready to be removed
Kitchen windows out
New windows going in.
In and plastered
From inside – the protective plastic still in place
Plastering the door in
Bathroom window going in.

The Great Tree Planting

An old Greek proverb says that civilisation is when old men plant trees that they may never get to sit under. I am getting early so that I can sit under the trees. Seriously though, we managed to germinate 18 Kei Apple trees and 10 spek boom (Portulacaria afra) in Gardens for planting in Riviersonderend.

Ready to travel
In the nursery
Spekboom (Portulacaria afra) are excellent at carbon sequestration and are so easy to grow.

Visit to Riviersonderend – 11 November 2018

I visited the Riviersonderend house in the first week of November 2018 because the water tanks had been vandalised by the local children looking for cold water to play in. James Hill did a nifty repair for me and all I had to do was nod and look impressed. Which I did and was. He found a tiny person to climb into the tank and hold the other end of the tap.

And he also trimmed back the hedge that had been encroaching on the road, let alone the sidewalk.

He also cleaned a bit of the back garden for a vegetable garden.

The tanks have been providing a necessary support to the garden as you can see in the following pictures. Especially the Tecomas brought back from extinction.

And my coral trees are doing just fine.

Rose carpet doing well.And the grapes.

My struggling tree likes the special attention too

A welcome flowering from the jasmine, despite being neglected

Riviersonderend Western Cape

New floors in Riviersonderend

We did extensive upgrades on the house in Riviersonderend. One thing we really needed to do was the floors which were rotting

Follow the process if you dare.
First you tear up the floor.

Then you have a large hole, which you line with sand, lime and plastic

Then you put bearers and joists in.

And you end up with something that looks like this

Then you lay the floor boards. This done for us by genius floor person Munier Davids

Nearly finished

After sanding and three coats of varnish you get something like this


Riviersonderend Spring Flowers

I got to Riviersonderend to discover that Spring had indeed arrived.

Budlieha in full bloom.

Old Rose in full bloom

Jasmine in full bloom

White stink wood

Grapes in leafy splendor


Riviersonderend Western Cape

New Floor in the Riviersonderend House

The floors in our house in Riviersonderend were rotting so we needed to replace them. Follow us on a floor replacement journey with Tertius and Reggie.
Starting the lift.

The dry rot is easily seen here:

Building the pillars and cutting the joist holes

Bitumin and plastering.

Then sand and more bitumin

Plastic and lime, then the bearers

Nearly finished the bearers

Finishing touches

And it was snowing outside.

Riviersonderend Travel

Riviersonderend Flood Detour

How do you know when you have inadvertently done something kinda stupid and gotten away with it without breaking anything? Easy, you see this in your rear view mirror.

How did we get into this situation? Simple, we didn’t want to turn around when the road looked like this.

But then it got a bit more tense — note the whirl pool on the left bottom of the picture

And then we decided to investigate

And the road went ever onward and turning places became less obvious. And road kinda disappeared at times.

And then we were out

Interesting trip

Cape Town graffiti Riviersonderend Western Cape

Murals and Graffiti around Cape Town

There is some great art on the walls of Cape Town. Here are some I found today. As I find more I will add them. More murals here.



This one is a cheat. I actually saw it in Riviersonderend.


Photography Riviersonderend

Photos after rain

Sunshine after rain always makes for some really spectacular pictures.