And the construction project begins with Scott’s shopping spree and a beautiful new Concrete mixer! Although there are many things yet to finalize before we actually ‘break ground’, setting the stage (so to speak) is a big job. We are currently working with our architect to finalize our design for the casita. Today we spent some time in his office going over a few changes and modifications to the plans and walking through the electrical plan the the roof line plan. I had to decide exactly where we want to have all the wall plugs and light switches as well as the actually lights we will have in each room. So we went room by room and laid out where each light fixture would be located, like canned lights, sconces, ceiling fixtures, etc. We also discussed the windows and what size and where each window would go in the house. It seems like we may be fairly well done with the plans and so when he’s finished drawing them up we will review them once more before he begins the permit phase of the project. As soon as we have a blueprint in our hands then we can begin the process of interviewing contractors.
As this is all going on we’ve been getting ready to hire an electrician to run our electricity from the road allllll the way up to the property. We’ve spoken to two electrical contractors so far and are meeting a second time with one tomorrow. We originally got a quote to bring the underground power lines up the driveway, which is about 600 meters (a little over 600 yards). But we are looking at an alternate way up to our property that could significantly shorten that run. Which would be much much better on the budget.
The concrete mixer is about to come in very handy because Scott is planning to do the driveway and road to our property the 600 meters I mentioned before gets us just to the beginning of our actual lot, (that part is a public easement) . Then from our property line begins our actual driveway , which we just measured today. That part is about 600 feet to the top of our lot where we plan to build our house. the majority of that distance will also have a retaining wall on one side which he’s also getting ready to do himself. The driveway on our lot will be two 2ft strips of concrete, not a traditional concrete driveway like you would normally see in the states. Hence the shiny new concrete mixer that he very gleefully purchased on Christmas Eve ! Merry Christmas….Hmmmmm?
In preparation for all this concrete work today Scott had another gleeful day of purchasing construction stuff. He went to Centro Ivan , this is a funny store, part hardware, part groceries and a large block yard in the back where they sell sand and gravel and concrete block. This is what he bought today…50 yards of gravel, 20 yards of sand, 250 4″x 8″x16″ concrete block, and 1400 6″x 8″x16″ concrete blocks. All of this will be schlepped up to our property one truckload at a time, he figures maybe 100 or more trips! Yikes!!! Delivery trucks would only dump it at the very bottom of the hill where he would then have to reload it into his truck to get it up to our lot! So he thinks this will make more sense, not fun but necessary. (this is when I hide at The Haven, my new gym, not fun but necessary!). I feel my ankle getting worse all of a sudden!!! ha!ha! (no, really!)
Scott has put the word out that he’s looking to hire a couple employees to work with him. He’s hoping to find a couple of good guys who he can keep around for the next year or so. When we do settle on a contractor we plan to have them build the basic structure of the houses and then we ( when I say “we” I mean Scott) will do all the finish work , cabinetry, tile work etc. We have of course heard all kinds of horror stories that come with building a house, it doesn’t seem to matter if you build a house in the States or in another country, construction can be ( more correctly, IS) a nightmare! The great advantage we have is that Scott will be on sight everyday managing the project and keeping a close eye on the work being done. Not to say that this will alleviate all the nightmares…just that we can hopefully avoid some headaches that come with letting a contractor loose on a job. So here we go!