01 April 2012

264: Casa Construction Update

We are finally finished with the clay tile roof. The crew did a beautiful job as you can see here. The white platform is the top of the carport and John's mirador/observatory deck.
We still need a railing around the deck and a bannister on the stairway. This will be built out of wrought iron at the same time they build the entry gate and window coverings. It should be a beautiful finishing touch for the casa. I'll post pictures of John's wrought iron design work soon.





 




Here is a view of the front porch taken from the driveway. The driveway and all the walkways will be multi-color concrete pavers. Most of the prep work for the underlying foundation for the pavers is finished. Last week the team set the concrete bricks to form a curb on either side of the driveway.

We now have a pair of built-in twin beds that are built out of concrete blocks in the nook/office. The plan is to use the inside box for storage, cover the opening with ¾" plywood and top each of them with a twin mattress. I'm going to try to find someone that can make a couple of slip covers and bolsters out of upholstery material. I want some thick bolsters and over-sized pillows to line the walls and make these into super comfortable day beds for reading. When we have guests, we can use this space as an additional bedroom.

This photo is a picture of our view from the master bedroom.




In other news, the construction crew finished the installation of the septic tank and all the dirt has been replaced over the drain fields. After all the construction debris is cleared out, we will have our gardener, Mario, re-sod the lawn and help us do some landscaping. We have lost several trees to the construction efforts and we really need to replace some of the shade trees.

We finally have some decent water pressure! We installed a 2500 liter tank on stilts behind the bodega and contracted with a local company to install a 60 liter pressure tank with a 1 hp water pump. We then connected a valve to the casita's water line, so we can take advantage of the improved water supply before we actually move into the casa. Now, instead of taking an hour do do a load of laundry, it taking between 20-30 minutes for a full cycle. The 2500 liter storage tank will be more than sufficient to keep us supplied when the water from the municipalidad is unavailable.

We received some bids on windows this week. One guy gave us the "gringo" price and the other guy gave us a real price. They both brought us the same samples of their work and the 2nd guy is charging us half of what the 1st guy bid, for exactly the same thing. Turns out these two guys used to work together a couple of years ago and decided to go their separate ways. Ronald, the guy we contracted with, will start on the windows tomorrow and promised they will be finished in a week.

We also met with a cabinet maker and a door maker this past week and we are waiting on their bids. Once the doors are in place we will have a way to secure the casa and we will be able to install all the plumbing and electrical fixtures.

John and I went shopping again this week and finally decided on the tile for the two bathrooms. We've decided on white marble countertops and white cabinets to offset our beautiful Talavera pottery sinks. Both of the sinks have cobalt blue and white in their patterns, so we also decided the inside shower walls should be white tile with an accent band of cobalt blue with glass bricks above it. The team expect to start on the tile work this coming week. I'll post pictures when they are finished.

It has been really hot this past week with temperatures reaching into the 90's. The casa seems to be at least 15°F cooler all the time. We can see the clouds beginning to build every afternoon and sometimes we hear thunder. I think it is just a question of days before the rainy season begins. We are both ready for the season to change, even though we know we will be looking forward to the dry season when the October rains return.

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