Home Construction in Indonesia

The video below how different home construction in Indonesia than in the U.S. (The Audio is low volume—sorry.)

When it comes to home construction, the kind most folks can afford, the process couldn’t be more different. No stick-built homes here. Everything is brick, mortar, and cement. The brick is covered with cement and just as smooth as drywall. Roofs at times are cement with re-rod, but mostly a lattice of wood framing supporting clay or concrete tiles. Indonesians are really good with cement, ceramics and stone and know how to make a beautiful house.

Squat Toilet: Squat, do your business, flush with the half-quart scoop. Few bathrooms have toilet paper. You use something like a kitchen sink trigger sprayer to rinse off your backside.

The ceilings here are high. The lowest I’ve seen is 10′, most are 11 to 13′. The majority of homes are not air conditioned and rely on air flow through the house to keep it cool. Windows are usually hinged at the top and not the sides, probably to shed rain. The Indonesian bathroom has one of three types of toilets: squat toilet, Sit-down toilet with tank, or sit-down toilet without tank.

Electrical and plumbing quality is varied because there are no residential codes that I know of. You can build right to the edge of the property line. Most homes have no hot water (no heaters in the cars either). Those with hot water have small instant heaters on the wall. Electrical lines run from a pole to a box with a main fuse. From there, anything goes. You choose one of a few Kilowatt plans. Ours is 2200 watts. The higher the plan, the higher the rate per KWH.

Seated toilet, no tank. Use the scoop to flush. Many bathrooms don’t have showers. You pour water over your head with the scoop.

When wood is used for construction, it is never pine or other softwood. There are some 4,000 species of hardwood in Indonesia and that’s what they use for building. One door frame I had built was too heavy for one man to carry. That’s troublesome being the source is not renewable.

House building in Indonesia is a fascinating process to watch. I seldom see hard hats or boots. OSHA doesn’t exist. If you fall in a hole or step on a nail, you should be more careful. Your safety is your own responsibility. The average construction worker here is probably 5’6, lean, nimble and can climb like a mountain goat. They work hard and aren’t afraid of heights.




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