Renovating the new pad.

Its a tough job renovating a new house in Cambodia.
Now imagine renovating an abandoned 1940’s colonial shophouse with the following fun challenges:

No electrical – not even a socket in sight.
No running water – the former owners just collected rain water for the toilets, cooking etc.
No drainage to the city – just one massive septic tank but all the rain water was seeping in the foundation
No internal drainage – no modern pipes just an archaic 1940’s french drain around the exterior courtyard. This lead out to the back of the house. Unfortunately most of the neighbouring properties had houses built over the drains.
Damaged main beam in my bedroom– this wasn’t hard to repair but it initially worried the crap out of me.
Holes! Holes! and Holes! – those old tile roofs do break over time and their were leaks everywhere which just sucked on the one day it rained during construction.
Only 2 Doors and 2 Windows – Yup it only came with 2 doors and windows! Those we are the front. Who would have known that door prices can range from $80 – $300 USD for a single wooden door!

I will let the pics say the rest.


An abandoned 1940’s house close to river but far away enough from the shenanigans of Siem Reap. Its a gem and a rare fine in Siem Reap. There are only a handful left in the entire neighbourhood.


A 5 metre+ tree was growing in the open courtyard – right out of that funky french drain. The roots grew right under the foundation of the main house. The tiles were so warped. I loved it.


After clearing out the other trees/brush that were growing out the garbage, we found and old School pump that was one of the two main water sources for the house. Unfortunately the pumps water source was right next to the septic tank – my guess is that it leaked into the ground water?


Outdoor bathroom and open ventilation.


Oh the roof. Oh the walls. Thank Buddha that the tiles are kickass!

I moved in 2 months after I took possession. I am still renovating bits by bits but the major construction is complete. I am just super happy that after 2 years of being on the move I finally have a house and a bed to call my own for a long long time.

Will write another post – final post renovation. Excited to share the final results and share lessons learnt.


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