After a little over five years of having the wooden deck by the pool & pond side (pic from 5 years ago here), it was time for a bit of a revamp. The biggest reason for this exercise was that while wood used for the deck was of adequate quality (merbau wood), the contractor had used normal iron nails which started to rust in and damaged part of the deck, resulting in perhaps some 5-10% of wood rot via nail rust.
the finished product – 60 x 60 granite tiles by poolside
I was debating a plan replace the rotted out wooden pieces initially, but ultimately chose the path of replacing the deck in its entirety with solid granite tiles instead.
The biggest advantage of going with tiles is that it would be a permanent solution, and furthermore, there was a sales at Nero Granite of 30% off regular price last December.
ripping out the damaged wooden deck, can be reused later
First course of action was to remove the wooden decks. This proved to be great cardio & strength workout that lasted for many weeks.
Merbau wood is rather heavy and dense. I bought a crowbar for this purpose and developed some calluses on my palm in the process. Some of the better looking wood pieces are kept for future projects (wooden bench, garden planter etc). Nails would have to be removed but I’ll sort that out at a later point.
granite tiles delivery, with bull-nose pieces for edges
Then came the granite tiles. I made careful calculation with excel sheets and bought pretty much the precise number of tiles required.
At the end though it proved to be too much since there’s already a round of tiles around the pool and we decided to reuse them. This made ripping those out unnecessary, reducing the risk of damaging the fiber glass pool, and I sorta like the outline of pool having a different color anyway.
proof of concept – granite + sand, no cementing
After procuring the granite, I procured construction aggregate and sand to be used as base. Started out with a scoop each (closer to 1 meter cube per bobcat scoop), and eventually guesstimate somewhat correctly that 2.5 scoop each was required.
The idea is to use aggregate as base to provide strength and sand as the top layer for laying the tiles. I avoid having to cement the tiles as this will allow for more margin of error, and flexibility in the future.
tiles at edge of pond glued in to prevent slippage
For the area surrounding the fish pond though, the tiles were glued on with “Vital Nails”. This prevents the tiles from slipping into the pond. I also used some of the off cuts to pave around the pond to lift it a little higher, matching the level of poolside. Original wooden filter cover & water outlet box for pond are re-used, breaking monotonous look of the granite, plus reducing some work scope.
cutting tiles with diamond cutters is hard work
Cutting tiles proved to be quite a challenging task. I bought a BOSCH cutter for this purpose, together with way too many diamond cutting discs. These discs don’t last very long thanks to the thick, tough granite and the dry cut method (the tool won’t allow wet cut).
Measure twice, cut once! I only ended up messing up maybe 2 different cuts thanks to blunt blades, but ultimately was able to salvage those tiles as well.
some of my prouder cuts to get around fencing poles
The trickier cuts were around the metal fencing poles, but with a bit of careful measurement and a lot of patience, they turned out looking pretty neat, and immensely satisfying.
Now, onto the next project!
We officially moved into our KEN Rimba home a little over a year ago after going through the obligatory renovation period putting in our own touches to dress up the house the way we wanted it. We bought the house after learning about the project via an engagement with the developer for this write up on Sustainable Living at KEN Rimba a few years back.
our (almost) completed garden as of Q4 2016
One of the reasons we chose a corner unit is that we had wanted to make full use of the additional land on the side. The photo above is how our almost completed (pending lights) garden looks like as of current.
If you remember my Grow Your Own Herbs and Vegetable post from earlier of the year, you’d have noticed that our garden looks quite a bit different since then.
we actually DIY the whole garden, designed by Haze
The first version of the garden was a temporary solution. After a pretty long process of coming up with a design we both like, revamping was in progress by April.
We removed the grass, and started with putting in some railway sleepers as a curvy walking path to the pool area.
Then it was installation of power cables for lights later, and water piping for automatic irrigation system. Red bricks were used to mark the borders of walkways next.
building the water feature was the most labour intensive part
Then we installed some posts and started building the water feature with red bricks and concrete. This is the part that took the longest and also most labour intensive.
Waterproofing it alone took weeks of trials and re-applying even more water proofing agent. Luckily we got it all sorted out, the installation serves as a water planter as well as the filter for our koi pond.
We then procured some galvanised fencing and installed them to let creepers a wall to climb. We then installed the piping for the water planter and it was complete!
The whole project took slightly over four months as we worked mostly only during weekends afternoon. Everything was done by myself and Haze with zero hired help.
making full use of the extra land we have of the corner unit
We’re really happy on how it turns out, I think it’ll look much better at night when the lights are installed.
That’s how we utilised the 20 feet of land on the side. A pond, a pool, and now a proper garden.
corner unit with pool still available, always love the ambiance (Legian)
If you have your own 20 feet of land, what would you do with it?
The good news is, there are still corner units available at KEN Rimba, some of which comes with swimming pools as well.
Having a pool really gives the house that villa ambience, and it is also a pool that you don’t need to share with strangers.
master bedroom, guest room (ground), first room, 2nd room (show unit)
The corner units also come with extra two feet’s width in built up compared to intermediate units. There are three rooms upstairs and one on the ground floor. Enough for a family of 7 comfortably if you really want to maximise bed space, or use one as a study, a guestroom, or like us, a game/AV room.
living & dining room from the staircase column (show unit)
Every unit also comes with green features such as rain water harvesting tank. For corner units, that comes in really handy in watering your garden. We used ours to keep the koi pond filled up with rain water instead of tap water. I’ve yet to get a water bill at KEN Rimba.
Landscaping around the neighbourhood is well kept and it’ll get even better when the trees grow taller/bigger.
pretty mature but quiet neighbourhood at Legian
around the KEN Rimba neighbourhood
green is in
The corner units are priced from less than a million ringgit, if you’re in the market for a new home, this is a place to check out.
Sales enquiries: 1300-22-9933