Friday, July 31, 2009
We are going to wait to order the windows until we return this November, but that shouldn't be a problem. The house will be plastered to a finish and it will also give me a chance to physically look over all the windows before they are ordered and installed.
We are also looking into buying and shipping appliances but will probably wait until the big sales happen over the Thanksgiving weekend. Again, with the big discounts that are available during the holidays, it should offset the duties and taxes in Belize.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
As I have stated before, these guys work like ants, going up and down those ladders all day in the hot, humid sun. The 100 LB buckets of cement on their heads, padded only by a hat made from the cement bags, it is an amazing sight to watch. Each guy, of a 15-20 person crew, probably transports two tons of cement up those ladders during the course of a day.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
After searching multiple sites, I came across this company that makes mosquito netting (http://www.mosquitocurtains.com/) that it is only there when you need it, so you don't need to have a permanently screened-in patio. The netting is attached by Velcro or can be installed in tracks, which allows it to be moved or removed when you don't need it. The pricing doesn't seem too out of line, either.
The white netting gives a classic look to a patio space but only has a 80% see-thru visibility while the black netting has a 96% visibility. It also comes in a standard or heavyweight mesh. There are good how-to videos are also on the site. It will give me some options for our patio.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Kevlar Fabric Panel
Monday, July 13, 2009
Our soon to be view from our living room couch
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Looking back to the living room, from the pool and cistern
The west side of the house
The doors leading to the patio from the living room are set for a 6ft 8in door, and we have since changed that to an eight foot French door. The bathroom windows also need to be changed to high level windows, because I don't think Mischelle would like windows in the shower that start at waist high.
John is sending out the order for his windows this week, so I am looking forward to seeing the pricing info that he received from WinDor. Hopefully these will be the quality windows we were looking for.
Friday, July 3, 2009
So, while John was here, we went to a couple of window manufacturers, a couple of window distributors and a home improvement store.
At the home improvement store, John was blown away at the prices of the windows and granite counters. The windows were one third the cost of Belize, with US standards. Same with the glass sliding doors. Two by ten foot granite counters, with bull nosed edging, for between $150-$250 each. John estimates that same granite counter would be a thousand dollars or more, in Belize. Same with the bathroom counters. John has estimated that with shipping and duties, he can still bring the windows and granite into Belize cheaper than he can buy it there, with much better quality.
Next, we went to a electronics wholesaler, where John was able to pick up all his security equipment in one stop, also at a huge discount. Unlike Belize, you can do one stop shopping here in the States. John figured that the money he has saved, on just the items he needed to buy, has paid for his whole trip.
The next stop was the window manufacturing plant. WinDor (www.windor.com) custom makes every window, so there are no extra charges for odd sizes. The quality was far superior to anything we have seen so far and the prices were the same as the windows he was getting from Spanish Lookout. And, they can make the 8 ft French doors that I am looking to install in the living room. I was very impressed with their displays and they even gave us a tour of the manufacturing facilities behind the showroom. A very clean, modern, well run manufacturing plant. John is planning to order all the windows for his house to see how much the shipping and duties will add to the final price of the windows, and if it is a reasonable alternative to offer his clients. He seems to think that with the quality and price, even with the duties, it would be worth it to purchase them here, in LA.
From there it was off for a liquid lunch at a local sports bar. John got to enjoy a cold Guinness, on tap. I enjoyed a real nice lager from the tap. Something you can't get in Belize. We discussed what we had seen and where we going to go next. This is where a kid in a candy store begins.
Our next stop was Pacific Sales, a wholesale seller of kitchen, bath, TV's and appliances.
John and Mischelle at Pacific Sales
John was drooling soon after entering the store. Of course, the first things you see as you enter the store is the TV's. Plasma's, LCD's, large and small. Prices were also pretty unbelieveable. The prices for TV's has dropped so much, it's almost worth it to pick up a spare TV. After prying John out of the TV area, we entered the kitchen appliance area. Again, so much to choose from. Stovetops were the main items we looked at, with over 50 different types on the showroom floor. The prices varied widely but there were some excellent bargains, especially with the holiday so close. Some of the items were up to 70% off. Mischelle and I are thinking of going back this weekend to purchase some things for our home, even if we do end up paying shipping and duties, because the prices are so good.
After spending an hour at Pacific Sales, it was back to seal the deal on John's electronic equipment, then off to dinner. We went to a nice steak place, figuring John doesn't get to have a good steak very often. We had a wonderful dinner, then dropped John off at the Bicycle Club casino so he and his friend could play cards.
It had been a long day, but we got a lot accomplished. We found a window and door supplier, picked out our kitchen appliances and had a good conversation with our contractor about the status of our home.