Slowly, after the calendar New Year had begun, our workers Lott and Naht returned to the Bann Nah worksite after a three month work stoppage.
They had their reasons, most of which were legit. These included: 1) being called back to the wat (temple) in preparations for the end of “Buddhist Lent” (Khaopensa) and Boon Katin; 2) the rice harvest season (Giao Khao); 3) miscellaneous family projects and; 4) end of year/beginning of new year celebrations.
Even so, they could have come back for short bursts of time – especially in December. But, I feel Thip and I were partly to blame. By the time of the work stoppage – and, at that time we had no idea it would go on for three months – we had already paid our workers in the range of 75% of the labor cost agreed upon (to that point) and the project was only 40% completed – at best. So the incentive really wasn’t there. It was probably Lunpaw’s instruction and encouragement – more than anything – that actually got them back working for us again.
While Lott and Naht were away, I had taken note of how simple but effective the structural strength of the building is.
As you may recall, we started out with the construction and sinking into the building pad nine column footers of cement, gravel and rebar to a depth of about five feet.
This was followed up by fusing the column footers to the nine above-ground cement posts that the structure sits upon.
After that, the bolting in of the main floor beams not only laid the base for the floor, but also provided a way to bolt the building support posts to the base.
Lastly, bolting the roof supports onto the building support beams, screwing the aluminium roof onto the support beams, and X-bracing in the attic made for one solid Bann Nah.
We call it “Bann Nah” (farm house), but is will really end up being more like a cabin on stilts.