Monday, July 12, 2010

The Walls Are Going UP!!!!

Yes, indeedy, the walls are going up.  I haven't written lately for any number of reasons,  but the main one was the girls being here.  In the meantime, Macho Man and the gang have been really busy. 

The foundations are in, the biga solera is laid, and the masons are laying block.  The biga solera is a continuous, 10"x10", band of concrete over a rebar cage that is laid on top of the foundation.  This goes around the whole house at the foundation level and again when the second floor is poured.  There is also a biga that surrounds the house at the top of the windows and doors on both floors, and again before the roof goes on. Did I mention the house is natural disaster proof?

Building the biga solera

Now that walls are pretty much in place for the ground floor, it is easier for us to see the layout of the house.

The picture on the left is the downstairs gallery; the man walking on it is near the front door.  As you come in the front door, the two guest bedrooms and bath are on the right. Macho Man's office is on the left. The large area in the center is a great room. The center and right hand pictures are the house from the back.  The back door is between the two men in the center picture.  The picture on the right shows the cistern and  the bodega (storeroom).   

There is a retaining wall around three sides of the house.  It serves as a walkway around the lower level of the house and it gives access to the back door.  This walkway is 4' wide and will be gated on both sides of the house in the front.  Right now we are calling it the moat.  It has weep holes every few feet close to the bottom and to the middle.  This allows the ground water to seep through rather than push the wall down.  Turning the blocks sideways to make the weep holes was my idea.  They are backed with gravel rocks and sand to keep them from getting clogged with clay.  There will also be a French drain about every 15' along the walk.  (Don't forget, we get an average of 142" of rain a year.)  We will be catching rainwater for the cistern in the house and also for one outside to use for irrigation during the dry season.  There will be a dry creek from the open ends of the moat wandering across the property to help with drainage.  We surely don't want to drown the neighbors. 

Right through the center of the first picture below you can see a green fishing line.stretched across the house.  This is the level of the second floor.  Macho Man kept wondering how he kept losing his fishing line, because it would be in place one day, and gone the next. 

This next picture is the solution to the mystery of the missing fishing line.  Much of this nest is made with it.

So far the building is  pretty much on schedule.  We have had no major injuries.  The workmen are great.  We are blessed.


  1. I have been waiting for an update!! I know you are so excited, because it isnt even my house, and I am excited! I cant wait for the next update to see how much it has changed. I can't wait to see it in person when it is all done.

    How was your time with the girls?

    I will be back in less than 40 days (I can't wait - and I may not come back here, because I dont know if I can say goodbye again to the kids) anyways, I will call you when I am home.


  2. Thanks Jen. I can't wait until you get back.I don't know how you held on this long. How is Ari?

  3. seeing the pictures. Can't believe I didn't see you again. It ended up being SOOO much crazier than we expected when the group arrived. We would get up at about 5 am and get back to our house around midnight. Running and going that whole time. Kept thinking I'd see you at the hotel again, but I was always running it felt like and doing something when I Was there...whew!!
    I'm just going to be thankful for that one morning and look forward to more time and tea in the future!
    Can't wait to see even more pictures of your progress!!!!

  4. I missed not seeing you again, too, Raquel, but I knew things were hectic, so I will forgive you this time. ;-)