More Digging...

The third bedroom in our cave was for the first 10 months used as storage with some quickly knocked up shelving to help organise tools, files, books etc etc. Eventualy the time came when a decision had to made - the room was quite small and not quite large enough for a bedroom so we decided to dig back and create more space. The photo below shows the progress after about 4 hours. The rock was quite soft so no need for a SDS hammer drill.

We approached the job with enthusiasm, however although being a non technical task the sheer amont of physical work was tremendous. We found that around 3 hours a day was enough for two people - one digging and shovelling and the other carrying out the loose rock in the wheel barrow. Time from start to finish to extend the room by 8m2 was a total of 27 hours. Then we set about rendering the bare rock by flicking "sloppy cement" to bind the rock, after that it was a case of rustic plastering with our hands and then paint. The floor was dropped by around 4 inches and filled with concrete levelled ready for floor tiles.
At the time of digging we had no electricity at the rear of the cave so the whole task was carried out by candle light. Having done this it still amazes us how the Spanish all those years ago dug out whole caves (some of them of considerable size) with no electricity and using only conventional hand tools.

The photo details the job nearly done, conduit was plastered in place ready for the electric wires to be pulled through and a roof tile at either end of the room typical of caves in the area. The finishing touch was 3 dug out shelves on the rear wall, carved out at random and faced off with some varnished pine wood.

End result: A larger room now suitable as a guest bedroom, maintaining an average temperature of 17 degrees and feeling as cosy as cosy can be!

Timescale: Digging 27 hours, Finishing 9 hours (floor tiles not included)

Cost: 36 euros and 30 cents


cream said...

Looks like very hard work but worth it all in the end! Great job!

Anonymous said...

Did you have to apply for a
building license for this work?