In Su Tang’s opinion, the houses they usually built in this era actually looked very good. Moreover, Su Tang herself wasn’t an architect or anything, so she wasn’t really able to design anything better, this, she decided to just have the new house built the traditional way.
After all, the wisdom of the ancient people should not be underestimated. Su Tang only had a few special requirements involving how the house should be heated. The winters here in the north were very cold and, generally, everyone would either burn wood in their stoves or else stay on their kang beds to keep warm.
But it was still very cold and uncomfortable with just those methods.
Su Tang felt that she had money to spend and could afford to make the house warmer, so why would she wrong herself by leaving it cold? Thus, she had decided to have the entire house built with heated floors.
And, in addition to the heated floors, she also wanted as many hot-walls as possible as well. That way, so long as she kept the fire going the house would always be warm. Although this method would waste quite a bit of firewood, the temperature of the whole house would always stay balanced and comfortable to live in during the winter.
In fact, these kinds of hot-walls weren’t common in this era, but after Su Tang explained the general idea to Su Yongshun he was able to understand.
“But if we built the house like this then you will either need several stoves or else one very large stove in the center. Without that, you won’t be able to supply sufficient heat.” Su Yongshun heard Su Tang wanted to heat the whole house and, after pondering for a while, he felt that it wasn’t impossible. But it would inevitably cause the construction to take a longer time and also it would be difficult to actually provide enough heat. Either many stoves would have to be built around the sides of the house, or else a single especially large stove would have to be installed in the center.
“You can simply set aside space for the large stove in the center of the house.” Su Tang replied with a nod. Even in her previous life she had also been a northerner, and she knew there were many homes in undeveloped areas that were heated by such central stoves. Thus, when she heard Su Yongshun’s options she directly chose the large central stove.
Doing this seemed more reasonable than having a bunch of smaller stoves around the outside. And, if the house got even bigger, she could just task a servant with constantly fueling the large central stove.
Su Yongshun could tell Su Tang’s decision was firm, so he nodded and said, “Then we will do that, but I think it will take about four months to build.”
“That’s fine, I have a place to live for now anyway. Use all the time you need to build the new house well. The walls all need to be made from brick so it’s normal to take more time.” Su Tang responded straightforwardly. After all, she wasn’t in any hurry. It would be better to take more time and build the house well and make it more comfortable to stay in. Moreover, if this construction went well, she could use it as a reference for the future.
Su Yongshun promised, “Don’t worry, I’ll definitely build it perfectly for you.”
Su Tang nodded and said, “Brother Qiang told me before that you have experience building houses. I don’t understand any of these things so I’m afraid I’ll need to ask Brother Shun for help managing things and buying all the materials. Whatever the materials cost, just come to me and I will pay for them. And if I’m not around then just tell the Jiang family and they can handle it.”
Su Tang had a general idea of the overall construction process of the house, but not so much about the specifics. Moreover, she really had too many other things to do these days, so it was impossible for her to keep a close eye on things all the time. Thus, she decided to just directly put Su Yongshun and Su Yongqiang in charge of the construction.
Su Yongqiang would be responsible for finding workers and paying them their wages. After all, since they planned to only use other members of the Su family for this project Su Yongqiang, as the family patriarch, could make decisions for them. Meanwhile, Su Yongshun would be responsible for purchasing all the materials need to build the house and managing the day to day construction process.
“I really have no idea how to build a house, so I’m afraid I’ll have to trouble you with this matter. Once the house is built, I’ll give you eight taels of silver for your work.”
Although they were family, they still needed to settle their accounts clearly. Because Su Yongshun would be in charge of building the house for her, Su Tang, of course, would pay him.
Su Tang had specially asked the orange cat to investigate a bit about the usual rates people paid the workers who built houses. Thanks to that, she knew that these sorts of workers would usually earn only 20 to 25 copper coins a day. However, Su Yongshun was also going to be responsible for purchasing materials and overseeing the other workers, so he could be regarded as a foreman and person in charge of the project, thus, it was natural to pay him more.
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