Lots has happened towards our permanent quarters recently. Lots of BIG things, helped along by a lot of sacrificial sweat on Kiwi brows by teams that have been here recently.
One team member remarked when he saw the job at hand, "Why don't you just bulldoze and start over?" Actually that didn't sound like a bad idea! The problem would be years of getting permit approvals, etc, and we'd never be allowed to build the size of building that FS has on this property again. Plus, this building does have character with it's age!
What's been done? The holes where the interior staircase used to be have been replaced on both levels. The ceiling was so high on the first level that we didn't want to waste the space so we poured a mezzanine over where the bathroom will be. This creates another small room with a low ceiling that will be good for extra play space for the kids or for someone extra to sleep.
We'll enter our flat by the spiral staircase in the picture on the 2nd floor (1st for non-Americans!) and we will have the storey above that as well. The staircase spirals all the way to the roof as an exterior fire escape for the T-shirt unit that is on the top floor to the right. The need for this was proven last week in the major business area of the city where fire escapes hadn't been provided, there was a fire on the top floors of a building, and quite a few people died.
We are currently living right below the T-shirt unit.
The roof on our part of the building was crumbling so that has been nearly re-cemented. Only one more backbreaking 'pouring day' necessary for that! That will end the major renovations needed. Plumbing is still to be done as well as quite a bit of finishing work including floors, plastering and painting.
The photo of the guys boxing in the roof to be re-poured is where our kitchen will be.