26 October 2011

106: El Rancho is finished! Now we start on the casa..

If you've been following our progress, you know we had a major set back on the construction of our Rancho due to a tropical depression that locked in on us for 14 days. Even the locals were complaining they hadn't seen a storm last this long in something like 15 or 20 years. It was definitely one for the record books. Last week we watched all the freshly applied concrete block sealer and paint wash away with the rain. We finally pulled the plug and told the construction crew to go find some indoor work while our place dried out. This week we've had several days of dry, summer like, weather and the team came back to finish the rancho.

Everything had to be re-sealed and re-painted. Yesterday, we were finally able to finish grouting the tile floor. Today, we installed bathroom accessories; mirror, towel bar, tissue holder and shower caddy. The only thing remaining is a good floor mopping and we're ready to move the patio furniture in so we can enjoy our outdoor living space.

Thanks to the poor job our packers did when they loaded the sea container, most of our wrought iron patio furniture managed to get nicks in the paint surface when it was shipped from Houston. John borrowed an air compressor from our contractors today and he is in the process of re-painting everything with an anti-corrosive paint in a nice hunter green. We will be planning the fiesta to inaugurate to the Rancho very soon.

Last week we received approval from the Chamber of Civil Engineers on the architectural plans for our new casa. Now the plans will be submitted to the local municipality for our building permit. In the meantime, our construction team is ready to start preparing the lot for the new house. Since they finished the rancho, the team started putting up temporary fencing today that will section off the area of the lot where the house will be built. This will make the dogs so happy! Throughout most of the rancho's construction, the pups had to be chained to a post to prevent them from biting the workers, or wandering off down the street. This fence will give Randy and Gus plenty of room to play and chase, but they won't be able to get out of the yard and, even better, they won't be able to bite any of the workers.

Read the whole story...

14 October 2011

94: Rain, rain, go away, we need to finish the Rancho!

So much for finishing the construction work on the Rancho this week. We've had 5 days of almost non-stop rain. This always happens in October and we should have know there was no way to finish. The crew has been here religiously, every day at 7 AM, but most days they've only been able to work about 4 hours. The rain will stop sometimes for a few minutes and then it starts all over again. It has been impossible to finish the grout work on the ceramic floor, but they did manage to get a lot of the finishing touches completed.

The bathroom is finished and as soon has the door is hung, you can actually have some privacy to take care of business. This is probably the smallest bathroom ever, except maybe for those tiny ones they put on cruise ships.

No shower curtain, so you can SIT, shower and shave all at the same time. Very efficient.

All of the floor and counter tile is installed and we just need to finish the grout where it's raining. The walls got painted today and we are now going to start enjoying this wonderful outdoor space, in spite of the rain Mother Nature has dumped on us.

The weather forecast says this "Temporal" (seasonal storm) will be over and gone in the next day or two.

The crew knocked off about noon, promising to be back on Monday to finish. Of course, that means we have to have some sunshine to dry things out for a few hours.

In the meantime this nursery rhyme keeps going through my head....

Rain, rain, go away
Come again another day
Pat and John want to play...

Read the whole story...

06 October 2011

86: El Rancho construction is nearing completion!

El rancho (sometimes referred to as John's Cathedral) is looking great. All of the electrical is finished, light fixtures have been hung and we have running water in both the bathroom shower and the outdoor shower.

Today, the team started laying the ceramic floors in the rancho and baño.

The glass block window in the bathroom looks great.  As soon as the bathroom tile is in, they will install the bathroom sink and toilet.

After they finish with the ceramic floor in the rancho, they will tile the rancho counters and paint the walls. We expect everything should be finished sometime next week.

Read the whole story...

01 October 2011

81: El Rancho has Lights

John returned yesterday from his whirlwind trip to Texas to gather his documents for his residency application. He was able to get everything he needed pulled together and mailed off to our agent that is handling the residency application. It is so nice to have him home again.

We had very little rain this week so the construction crew made some serious progress in the Rancho.

They finished "mudding" the concrete block walls. This is sort of a concrete grout that gives the walls a smooth finish. We also have lights now! This makes a huge difference. Monday, they start on the bathroom and sometime this coming week, the ceramic floor and counter tiles will be installed. Here are some pictures of what we've selected for the finishing touches.

This is the ceramic tile for the floor. The casita wall in the background is the same color we will use on the walls of the Rancho.

This cream colored tile will be laid in a diagonal herringbone pattern on the counter tops. We haven't decided what pattern we'll use for counter sides and back-splash. The trim is multi-colored earth tones that almost looks like bamboo. This will used as the edging on the counters and back-splash.

It will be another week, or so, before everything is finished and we are ready to have our first friends and family get-together celebrating the completion of our Rancho.

Read the whole story...