16 March 2012

Casa Construction Report - Roofs, Floors, Lights, Etc.

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On March 12th, we celebrated 8 months since we retired and moved to Costa Rica. We have settled into a daily routine and we're really enjoying our laid back lifestyle. Everyday, the construction team shows up about 6:45 AM, so we get up early, fix coffee and breakfast and move to the Rancho to oversee the construction. The Rancho has become our outside dining room, office and sort of an internet cafe. Being outside most of the day, we frequently enjoy visits from the local wild life. Yesterday we had this little visitor land in one of our hanging baskets, about 15 feet from me. She immediately began flirting and shaking her tail feathers at all the males flying nearby. Unfortunately for her, they all ignored her and she flew away without a mate.

It's been a busy couple of weeks around here and the progress on the construction is very evident. Last week we applied to the national water company, the Instituto Costarricense de Acueductos y Alcantarillados for an additional water meter. This way the Casa water supply will be separate from the little Casita. Since AyA is a Government office, we knew we had to provide them with lots of paperwork, but this time I was well prepared with every possible document I thought they might need. The clerk that waited on us pulled out a sheet of paper listing all the requirements and started to go over them with me. It was kinda comical, because as he named a required document, I just pulled it out of my file and handed it to him. He had to accept the fact he was not going to be able to put me off until mañana while I gathered documents, he had to start filling out the paperwork right then and there. In the end he told me he would call the next day with the total amount we had to pay. Well that was on Thursday, March 8th, and you guessed it, he never called. Wednesday we went back to check on things and he told us to come back before 3 PM Thursday, March 15. Being good gringos, we got there early at 1 PM, and no, the paperwork wasn't quite ready. He did finish it up in a few minutes and gave me a bill for about $135 USD. This would cover the cost of ripping up the asphalt street, connecting a new meter, and re-paving the street. Just one problem, like all Government Offices, nobody is allowed to handle money. There are two choices when it comes to paying the bill he had just handed us. Go make a deposit to their account at a national bank, or go online and pay it as an electronic payment from our account to their account. Can you guess which option I chose? Internet banking, of course!

Even though we have water service from AyA, it sucks! The water pressure is so low, that if you wait to take a shower later in the day, you run the risk that the water won't reach the shower head, In addition to this, there are frequent interruptions in service, without any warning. Take for example today, while we were shopping for light fixtures for the casa, AyA came and installed our new meter. Needless to say we were shocked that it only took 24 hours to get a meter after making the payment online. It had to be a shock to our neighbors too, because they had no water service while we were being connected to the water main. So, to resolve the water pressure problem, we contracted last week to have a 2500 liter tank connected to a water pump with a 60 gallon pressurized tank. This will eliminate our water shortage problems for the foreseeable future.

The terraza roof and front and back porch roofs are now in place. We've had to make a slight change to their design so all the clay tiles will not be in place until some time next week.

The past two days the team has worked very hard pouring the concrete floors in all the rooms. It's amazing to watch them lugging these 50 KG (110 lbs.) bags of cement to the small cement mixer, then shovel in the rock and sand, load it into small wheelbarrows and haul it into the house and pour it into each of the rooms. Then the foreman smooths it out and levels the concrete to the preset marks on the floor. Tomorrow they will be here to float the floor with the finishing surface that goes below the ceramic tile. The tile flooring will be installed sometime next week.

We wrapped up the week with a shopping trip to find some of the finishing touches we will need for the casa. We didn't have much success this trip, but we did find this chandelier for the dining room. After we bought it, we noticed that it is from the "Charley Collection" and as many of you know, it is most appropriate.

1 comment:

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