Re: sweat equity
From: IAN_HIG (
Date: Wed, 3 Aug 94 19:12 CDT
We at Cascade CoHousing in Tasmania, Australia have built our 2600 sq ft
common house almost entirely with sweat equity.  Over a recent 12 month
period we put in a totla of over 2000 hours into building.  This does
not include time put into routine administrative and organising activities
that keep the group functioning.
We estimated that each member would have to contibute some 200 hours, but
the accounting for a persons time is each individuals responcibility. Some
members keep track of their time top within 15minutes others rely on
intuitive feeling to say to say I think i've done about so-may hours.
At times this method has lead to some ill feeling when some mebers
might think that some others are not doing their "fair share".  This 
situation is not always easy to deal with.  The benefits of this method
are that members can do the amount of work that they feel thay are able
to do give n their personal commitments in other areas of thier life.
We wanted an equitable distribution not an equal distribution of the labour
between our members, it is thus up to each member to decide whether they
are doing a "fair share".
Non building tasks are done by who ever taskes them on and are not accounted
for.  We hope over time that most people will take on some aspects 
of the groip administration.  It is unlikely however that this  will
ever be equally distributed between members.
Those of us that started the group have to be carefull not to martyr our
selves over the amount of work we like to think we have donme.  Equally I 
suppose new members need 
remember that a lot of work was done before they joined and try to
take on as much as they can.
So far this "self accounting" system has worked reasonably well for us
(our common house has been built to lockup!) and we have sold 11 of 14
shares in our development (and have 5 deposits against the last three 
Good luck and more importantly good humour!

Ian Higginbottom
Cascade CoHousing

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