The latest on our construction project…



We’re making progress on our projects so here’s the latest….We’ve got a lot going on all at once. We have the workshop roof nearly finished. Scott thinks in about one or two more weeks the roof will be done. Which means its nearly time for another Mondongata! Whoohoo! Fiesta time! We decided that this time we think we will ask the guys if they’d like to invite their wives to the celebration. And so it will mean twice as many people to feed Mondongo to . And it will mean Scott and I both driving down with our cars to transport them all up here since none of them drive. So I’ll take the ladies in my car and the guys can ride up in the back of Scotts truck just like a normal workday. We have two indigenous guys who usually walk to our property and we aren’t sure if their wives live here in Boquete or on the Comarca so we shall see if they bring anyone with them.

Aside from the roof work, Javier has been making progress on the repayo on the large garage door openings. We found a place in David who sells the large, commercial type roll up garage doors and they came up and measured and are making the three doors right now. They should be ready to install them in a couple of weeks so having the openings all prepped and ready to receive doors looks good. After the roof is all done and the garage doors are installed we only need to install the regular door which will be the main entry to the workshop , and then it will be lockable! And you know what that means? Yes! We can begin moving all those precious tools into the workshop! Yea!!
In addition to the roof and the repeyo, Scotts been getting quotes for the whole water storage and filtration system. One end of the workshop will house 4 large tanks , as I’ve told you before. There is a guy up here in Boquete, nearby, who seems to be the guy to deal with. We got a quote from him for not only the tanks but also the water purification and filtration equipment and we got a second quote from a place down in David. The prices were fairly similar so we feel good about using Filipo who has so far been very professional and is conveniently located nearby for future needs. We should be moving forward with the installation of that whole thing soon after the garage doors are installed.
So, one end of the workshop structure is the water tank storage area and the other end is a small studio apartment . I’m planning to use this as my art studio for now and down the road for a little care takers studio. It won’t be anything fancy, just a small studio with a little bathroom and a small kitchenette with a fridge and sink and a simple hotplate. The bathroom will be a accessible to the workshop too. So we have purchased all the tile for the little studio bathroom and the floor tile as well. We also bought a toilet and sink for the bathroom. Aside from a few light fixtures that should just about do it for the studio. I think that just about covers all the progress up at the workshop.
We have a new employee that we hired to get some focused help for Scott down in the casita. The metal beams that hold the drywall up are all installed throughout the ceilings and all the recessed cans are installed, windows are in, and they are in the process of running all the wires for the electrical. The conduit runs all throughout the ceiling and so electrical is nearly done. Scott told me today that the bedroom is all done and he thinks the rest of the wires should be done this week. Then they need to just fire up the generator and test all the connections to make sure all is well. After that is done then the drywall gets hung . I saw a big pile of drywall sitting in there ready to go! So, hang drywall, tape, texture and viola! It’ll be time to start the floors! We have all the tile sitting there waiting to be installed and that should make the casita fairly ready to call ‘livable’! Far from ‘Finished’ but most certainly ‘livable’!

But! Of course there is the lack of electricity! Ugh! This has been a very frustrating part of our project. I’ve bitched and moaned about this before so I’ll keep the bitching to a minimal! But thanks to our friends Bond & Luana, we may have lucked out with a good electrician who so far, seems to be on the case! He came up and walked around with Scott and is supposedly working on a quotation for us. He has emailed us several times and we have connected him with our architect who apparently, is supposed to have gotten us some sort of permit from the local electricity folks, Union Fenosa. This is something we never knew about, it would have been nice to have been informed by our architect that it was his responsibility to have this permit in place! Ugh! It looks like Yuris, the electrician has contacted the architect and is getting that important part moving along for us. We might actually be making progress on this aspect of our project. Electricity sure would be a nice thing to have when we live up there. Hah! So, our fingers are crossed that our little casita will be ready for us to move into by January given the fact that our friends Al & Kat will be returning from the states and will want their house back!

Scott sure has a lot on his plate, attempting to manage 6 employees, finding materials, getting quotes, and working on the casita! Sheesh! That guy just never seizes to amaze me. When we originally planed to build here in Panama the plan was not to do it all ourselves from start to finish. The plan was to hire a local contractor to build the shells of the structures and then we would do all the finish work. But, early on in this process we quickly realized that depending on others was going to be way harder than just diving in and doing it all ourselves. So here we are, I think we began work last February, It feels like we are actually doing pretty good. This has been a really big project and doing it in a different country where we have had to figure out how and where to find materials and certain professionals has been a challenge. But as of yet we have not found any challenge that has been insurmountable! At times we hit a wall and frustration sets in but it would be exactly the same if we were building in the states. Building a house is never an easy endeavor no matter where you do it. Of course attempting to do this in a different language which we are far from fluent in has probably been the biggest hurdle to jump. All in all, this big project has been going fairly well and as long as we continue to see progress we are thrilled. I have a feeling we will be working on this for another year or so, at least. We have yet to have even broken ground on our main house and boy will that be exciting when we start that. For now the focus is getting that workshop and casita finished and having a place for Scott to keep all his tools will be a relief. Tools translate to cabinetry, doors and furniture, just to name a few little things! So, The workshop is an essential piece of this girls happiness! Cuz’ I love me some cabinets in my house, ya know what I mean? Hah! This adventure just keeps us very occupied and how are we going to get our taxes finished by the extension date, Oct 10th !!! Ugh! Ya, we have to carve out a minute to work on that too! Pfffffft! I have a feeling my accountant is about to kill me!


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