Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Work Begins Again, 2010

The work on the house has begun again. It looks like we will have an architect to approve our plans, so we can now move ahead with the construction. Our contractor was in LA to order the windows for our house and we are very happy with our window selections. We ended up ordering 16 sliding windows, 2 fiberglass single hung exterior doors, 2 glass enclosed exterior doors with side light and 2 six foot sliders with 18" windows above. Our window company, WinDor, has provided us excellent customer service and had a product for all of our needs. Working with my contractor, they have also been able to save me the sales tax on my purchases because they are being shipped out of the country, to Belize. Here in California, depending on the county, sales tax can be as high 10%.

From there we went to Interceramics, which is a tile company with distributors throughout the US, Canada and Mexico. Interceramics has a wonderful 115 page catalog to browse through with tile for just about everyone. This allows us to shop for tiles up here in the States and pick them up from the distributorship in Chetumal. If the tile is made in Mexico, they can ship it to any distributor in Mexico. Of course, some of the tiles we like came from Italy, so there's no bargain there, so we just chose something similar that was made in Mexico. It allows us to do the lookie, touchie, feelie thing plus look at the displays in their showrooms. They can find out on the spot if the tile is available in the Mexico stores. It opens up more possibilities than the limited selections available in Belize. It's not so much the lack of selection vs. the many stores you need to visit to find what you need. So you may be getting tiles from several different tile stores. Also, the amount of the tile available can also become an issue.

It can allow us to see the different accented tiles that can go with our selections along with the different tile sizes. The catalog also shows the many different patterns that can be achieved with various tiles, patterns and accents. I don't want to have just a standard square or diamond pattern in our floors and bathroom walls. Borders, accents. mosaics, etc. can add to the overall appeal of an area and to the cohesiveness of the designs.

With the ordering of the windows today, the expected ship date is Feb. 21st. I hope to add a few items to the shipping container along with the windows just so we can get them down there. I've ordered the trim tile for the pool and would like to include that in the shipment. It's only 4 boxes but I can't take them on the plane when we go down in March. Too much weight. And if I ship it with the furniture container, it won't get there until June or July at the earliest.

We have also decided on the fans we want for the main living room and kitchen. They are quite large at 68", but they move a lot of air on slower speeds and are quite energy efficient. On low speed it uses under 20W and on high speed uses around 80W.

We haven't decided on the fans for the bathrooms, bedrooms and laundry room but that will be a decision for a little later.

Our kitchen cabinets and center island will be made of a red tamarind as well as all the interior doors. We have found some granite that looks great for our kitchen counter tops and center island, that also fits our budget. We hope to ship them down along with our bathroom counters and sinks. The granite will add a classic look with a solid surface counter. Mischelle doesn't care for tile counters and I don't really like them either. And I did tell her this would be her dream home, so I need to get her what she wants.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year

It's been a couple of months since my last post so I'm providing an update now that we are starting a new year and a new decade. We made a trip down to Belize, in early December, to check on the construction and to pick out tiling, doors and cabinets. We also wanted to check on the window sizes to make sure they are correct before we order them. The house has a coat of plaster both inside and out and everything is really coming together, ready for the next stage.

We've made a few changes to the the inside layout, removing an extra door into a bedroom and adding an door to the pantry under the stairs. The construction work should begin again sometime late January or the beginning of February. It was a daunting task trying to pick out everything that goes into the house with only a little over a week to make the decisions. Fortunately, not all the decisions needed to be made right away.
We have decided to use a red tamarind for the interior doors and cabinets. That was an easy choice. Now we just need to pick the style for the doors and designs for the cabinets. The tiles for the living room, bedrooms and baths will be decided at a later date after we have more of a chance to look around. We visited tile stores in Belize City, Orange Walk and Corozal but did not find everything we were looking for, so we have decided to look over in Chetumal to see if we have other options.
I hope that the construction will be done by April but there will be lots of landscaping that will need to be done along with building a fence to keep the dogs in. That should keep us busy until the end of the year.
We plan on returning sometime in March to oversee the tile installation. The windows and front door should be in by then and with the house enclosed at that point, the cabinets should also be installed while we are there. Exciting to think that we are almost finished. Now we just need to plan for the move.