Our first landed house and it is the house I have been living for 10 years. It is now available for you to rent & enjoy for a memorable vacation stay. Everything that I wanted to do when I was living in, I have done them now: Koi pond, Rock wall villa, Treehouse, Sand Pit, Pool, Roof top space, Japanese Ofuro bathtub & more.
It was supposed to be a 1-2 months long project, which dragged to almost 6 months. Many mistakes were done, mainly I should have sub'ed the project out rather than hiring workers to do it. Again, working with foreign labours is dangerous, they would simply stop work without notice. I have had 2 groups that ran away, causing for the delay. So, next time, I will break the project down to smaller sub projects that I then sub out. It will make cost control easier, and time management more manageable. Also, almost all workers you talked to will tell you that they know how to do the work you want. I wanted to do a rock wall(gabion wall) room, and I have showed them the pictures, in the end, they have never done it, and I had to teach them how to do it. Be reminded that I have never done it myself, I have seen people done it, and was told how to do it, but never actually done it. I actually tried to do it in the failed project in Penang, but I couldn't get it erected. Had to get someone to help, but I was away when they were building the wall, so I didn't actually get to see how it was built.
This wall took 2-3 months to construct. Each day, one can only lay about 30-50 rocks. I have done few mistakes, mainly I was trying to find perfect fit, and it was time consuming. The easier way is to lay cement on top of the rock before laying another rock on top. The layer of cement will make the seam look better and you don't need close to perfect match, plus the cement would close the holes between rocks. Now, I am left with thousands of holes, and during heavy rain, water seeps in.
The hardest part of constructing the wall is the edges. It is not easy to find rocks that are square on one side, and it is even harder to stack them up nicely. You should find a plank & do water level with them. I didn't, and the edges are all crooked. Even the wall is wavy. Nonetheless, I am happy with the end result. I am sure the next wall I build will be a better one.