Progress Report…

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This week the focus on the casita project is building walls. What that means for Scott is that he’s driving back and forth from the supply store with brick, brick, and more brick as well as bags of cement. Luckily the delivery trucks have been managing to get to the entrance to our lot with loads of rock. This has really been a great help to Scott. The delivery trucks can carry about 3-4 times the amount that Scotts little truck can carry which means quite a few trips less for him. We got a big surprise on Monday, it seems that our neighbor who owns the finca right next to our lot has decided to improve the road and he had a tractor and a crew of workers up there clearing trees and brush an leveling out the dirt, maybe they will pour an actual road soon! It’s already so much better and I cant wait to see what they do next.

Last night when Scott got home his truck was loaded with big long metal pipes. One of his workers , Richie, is a welder and he’s working on building scaffolding with the metal today. He has all the welding tools at his house so Scott left early this morning to bring the metal to him. I think the scaffolding is for the roof and the upper parts of the walls. Scott was telling me that he had a discussion with the guys about scaffolding, should he buy it , or rent it or could they make it? They casually shrugged and said, of course they should make it! No problema! Great! These guys are Scott’s kind of men! “We Can Make It!” Scott’s big goal is to get the roof of the casita up before the rainy season begins. And he just may succeed in doing exactly what he’s working so hard to do! Another important thing to get done before the torrential rains start is to get the terracing of the dirt around the casita done. As I’ve tried to describe, the casita has been built down from the road and the dirt that the tractor cut into is rather steep all around the front of the house. We will be cutting into the dirt and making steps down to the front door from where the car park area is located. Which means that if we don’t address the dirt we will most certainly have a big problem with that dirt sliding into and onto the house. I know that as soon as there’s enough material to keep the walls going Scott will start to get a couple of them working on digging and terracing that dirt.

A big part of making a project like this work is being good at thinking ahead. We’re always trying to decide what materials will soon be needed. And we aren’t ready for windows and roof materials quite yet but it’s coming up next so off we went to shop for windows and roofing materials over the weekend. They have several types of roofing materials here, metal, plastic and clay tile. I have been paying a lot of attention to all the different roofs that I see as we drive around. They have these great metal roofs that look very much like the clay tiles. I like the look but I really like the clay tile best. We priced them and so far the clay tile isn’t too much more than the metal. So I’m voting for that. When we went down to David on Saturday we had about four different window places we were trying to find, sadly, we were only able to locate one and they were closed! There is also a window place up here in Alto Boquete which we will take a look at sometime. We would like to get that part of the material list locked in so that when we’re ready to go we already know where we will get them. And it’s important to know just how much time it will take to order windows. Staying in front of the job and thinking ahead is essential when you have six men counting on you to keep them working. We really don’t want to end up paying them to stand around doing nothing.

We still have not been able to make any progress on getting an electrician out to start bringing power to the property which is a bit frustrating. We are shopping for a big generator which would be a good thing to have down the road anyways. And with a generator we wont have to be so stressed about these darn electricians who never get back to us…..I’m really hoping Scott doesn’t decide to tackle that aspect of this project. But honestly, we had originally planned to hire a contractor to do just what Scott is doing right now , he was just going to do the finish work,but he really feels like its much less stress just to get it done himself instead of trying to depend on other people who don’t seem to be all that interested in responding to us. If we had just waited around for contractors to get back to us and give us bids and so on, we’d never be this far along with this project. Yep, for us, this has been the way to do it. But it sure would be nice if an electrician would step up to the plate and say, “okay, here’s what I’m gonna do!” . We’ve tried to get three different electricians but none seem anxious to work….???? Our experience with this has really made us realize how glad we are to have moved forward and taken the bull by the horns ourselves. We’re lucky that Scott is capable of tackling such a project, not everyone would have the option to do it like this. I’m very grateful for all his skills and his patience and determination and mostly his desire to do what he’s doing.

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3 responses »

  1. As I’ve said we learn to become “the butcher, the baker and the candle stick maker” in Panama or we wait forever to get things done. It’s looking good!

  2. That’s the hardest part of living in Panama – getting people to commit and do what they say they’d do. There’s an awful lot of ambivalence. Thank God Scott knows how to do all this stuff. The roof will be up before the big rains come – guara-damn-teed!

  3. Seems tradesmen everywhere are the same ..I think they are made without time or date places in their brains. I do not know if you can find a program called Grand Designs on net, an interesting program about building homes.. and all the pitfalls ..like finding right glass. Glad to see things moving so well.

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