Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
Thursday, March 26, 2009
No, wait. Now, after the new problems developed on our neighbors' lot, that date has been moved back to March 28th.
Delays again? OK, this time I am really going to leave on March 31st. Construction is to begin April 6th... or so.
Now what! Oh, it's Easter week on the sixth, and the contractor has prior obligatons. I guess even the contractor deserves a few days off.
This is it! I'm leaving on April 2nd, no matter what....maybe.
I've sent the original truck " pink slip" to our customs broker in Texas, so all of our paper work should be good to go when we arrive. I hope to be at the border by Aprl 4th or fifth so we can cross over into Mexico early Monday morning. I would really like to be through Mexico in two days but the reality is that even if it did take only two days, we would arrive at the Belizian border too late to cross over. We would still have to get the truck and all the contents inside, cleared by the Mexican officials that handle "transmigrantes". The Belizian customs would also need to be there so we can pay our duties and taxes.
So the drive though Mexico will last three days if all goes well and we don't get lost along the way. That should put me in Consejo by Wednesday, April 8th. The construction is now scheduled to begin April 14th....Belizian time.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Once the lot is leveled, we will make the final determination of where we want the house to be located. So far, the grading has gone well, with no problems. Our building contractor is starting to bring in the fill dirt that will be needed for the beginning of the work although I'm sure a lot more fill will be needed. The fill runs around $60US per load of about fifteen cubic yards, delivered to Consejo.
The foundation work has begun on Pip and Jason's lot and it looks as though it is moving along. I am looking forward to seeing their house go up because it will give me an idea of how well we are doing and if we are on schedule. Scheduling starts to become an issue due to the beginning of the rainy season in June.
In the last picture, you can see the walls of the cistern being built. Due to a miscalculation the original cistern design, it was smaller than Pip and Jason had wanted, but John has modified the design to allow for more water storage. The water supply at the community has trouble with water pressure, so I don't know how much it can be counted on. Rainwater storage is critical. I have a great study on cisterns and their upkeep and would be happy to pass it along to anyone who might be interested. It is in pdf form, so I'm not sure how I can post it on the blog site. If you're interested, just e-mail me or post a comment. In the mean time, I will try to find a way to post it online or add the web address.
We are still waiting for the final plans but are not in that much of a hurry at this point
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Our lot, minus the tree, in Jan.'08
Our lot Nov '08, the tree returns
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Here on the home front, the bathroom remodel continues. I finished the tile work in the sink area earlier this week and installed the new cabinets on Thursday morning. Late Thursday morning, the granite guy arrived to intall our new granite counter.
Before the Bathroom Remodel
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Next door neighbors' lot
We are working on the design for the house, but things have slowed down a bit. With our contractor busy with the neighbors house and the new surprises on our lot, changes will need to be made.
The size of the cavern and the amount of water that was flowing out to the ocean side of our property last November, makes me think if I really want to block that flow of water with rocks and fill. The pictures below show the stream coming out from under our property during the time when I visited in November '08, after heavy rain the weeks before. In the last picture you can actually see ripples in the water from the amount of water flowing out into the ocean. I would conservatively estimate the water flow at 5+ gallons per minute or at least 72,000 gallons a day. That is a lot of water to block or detour.
With our neighbors deciding to fill their lot, it will push that water to one side or the other, or both. If we fill our lot, that would only add to the blockage and push it further on to our neighbors lots. And our future neighbors may also opt for fill, which would only seem to compound the problems. Could there be enough water to undermine the rocks and fill? Nobody seem to know for sure. Are we willing to take a chance that it won't? I don't know right now.
But if we decide to go with pilings, it adds to the cost of building and may also bring the wrath of the neighbors who don't want pilings driven at the Shores. But it can keep our house stable and not affect the flow of the underground river. It will require a redesign of the plans to incorporate pilings, so that will also add to the cost factor. We will seek opinions, but in the end it will be our decision to make.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
I think we have found the actual money pit! Phil Freytag, our soil inspector said he could see 50-100 feet back towards the road, and it extended to both lots. Not news we wanted to hear. Our options are limited but it looks as though we are going to driving piles to support the house. The up side is the house is very stable. The down side is the cost. The approx. cost to drive piles is around $500US each. That includes the pile, the pile driver, transportation costs and cutting to final size. The bad news from Phil was that the current design will need 25-30 piles to be driven. Not the news I was hoping for.
The neighbor building on the lot next door is down there for the construction, but it looks like there may be a redesign of their plans, so he may spend a good amount of time just waiting for things to happen. I have no idea how long it takes to order and receive pilings. Phil still needs to look at the engineering of driving piles and attaching them to the main structure. Will I need them for the garage as well? If I do, should I go ahead and drive them now while all the equiptment is there on the property? A whole new list of things to think about. As it looks now, my drive down has been moved back to around the first of April.
I also need to make the septic water drains to an evaporation mound and not percolate thru the ground to the caverns. I don't want to be swimming in septic water! The house foundation is three feet above the gound level so we should have the area and slope to make an evaporation mound work. Another thing to look up on the web.
I'm glad to have a little more time before I leave for Belize. I am remodeling the master bathroom in our current home and I am just laying the tile floor. The tile needs to be in so we can install the cabinets, and the cabinets need to be in so the granite fabricator can take the measurements to cut the granite. And the granite guy will be here this Thursday!
I have faith that I will finish it in time. After the granite guy comes by, I will need to start painting. Mischelle is busy stripping the wallpaper from the bathroom walls. When she finishes I will add a orange peel coat to the walls for texture then go ahead and paint after that. The granite bath counter should be back and installed by Monday.