Sonia’s House – Really Coming Along!

San Clemente 6.1.2013b 001Sonia and son in their soon to be new home.

On April 12th I started taking pictures of the process of building a local house here in San Clemente. As of today all the rough work has been completed, they have skim coated all the walls inside and out and they are now working on the tile work for the kitchen counter as well as the two bathrooms. The main bathroom at the kitchen/salon area of the house still does not have a roof but I do see some painted sheets of roofing waiting for installation.  Most of the windows have been installed and I wanted to get these photos before the doors were added which should be soon the way it looks. They are going to install the toilets and sinks today to almost complete the bathrooms.

See the huge truck tire in this picture, there were about 6 total just a few days ago. I just found out when speaking with Sonia that this is part of her septic system, each tire has been drilled with many holes on the tire tread, a hole is dug and the tires are dropped in the hole one on top of another and a concrete cap is attached. You can see the vent pipe in the center of her new septic system at the far left hand side. Always learning something new.

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I just love it, This is going to be Sonia’s first home, she is very proud of it and should be. One thing that you may have noticed the walls for the individual rooms do not go all the way to the roof. This is another big difference in building here in Ecuador, interior walls do not always go to the ceiling. Even the bathrooms are open to the adjoining rooms. Just something to think about. Also, something to notice is the lack of construction debris, they ‘measure twice and cut once’ not having a great deal of waste and look to be cleaning up as they go along. My kind of guys!!!

Starting our Shelving

Quote for the day:

“You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself
from happiness.”
— Jonathan Safran Foer

Joe and I took some time off the past few months from construction work on the house to decide what was the most important items needed to make our life easier, now that we have lived in the house for a while. Since July we have dealt with concrete dust, saws spinning and hammers banging. We needed some time to live quietly in our house, get used to the rhythm of daily living, give our wallet a rest and time to recuperate –  and then decide what projects were most important.

I think the kitchen shelving under the counters is the most important item for me at this point. Having half of the kitchen items in the one spare room, stacked on a bunk bed works, but is not really that convenient for me.

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I found out that Max, our next door neighbor (actually renting the house we rented before this one was ready) is a master carpenter…so he offered to help us out. Early one Monday morning we went to the lumber yard and found what Max felt was the best hardwood to make the storage shelves under the kitchen counters. We placed our order, gave our deposit and were told it could be ready that afternoon or the next morning. Max did not want to rush these folks so he told them the next day would be fine. When we returned the next day we were told that enough wood for our needs was not available from the raw boards we had picked out, so Max started the task of looking at all the other hardwoods looking for the best for the job. He found it and they starting to plane it — I think that is the correct terminology. And then cut the pieces per Max’s dimensions. The two photos below show what we bought for $129.00.

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This will take care of under both kitchen counters and should last us our lifetime. Next he picked up these for some of the shelving we will be doing in the house.

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Max hand-picked each and every board to be sure there were straight and dried and ready for our use. This is what the undercounters look like before the shelving was installed. Not a great use of space!

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Here is what it looks like during installation, looks like tons of room right? Think again!

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Now the shelves filled!!!

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THe next days project is the shelving in our storage/laundry room.

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This is the finished product…all those shelves to fill…..what JOY!!!

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Now you can see how I have filled them up already, but getting all these items off the floor, adding a place to hang my brooms and mops was a stroke of genius.

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