Thursday, January 12th, 2017

Isabela House (Construction Log 17) Beginnings of a Roof

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Good progress has been made on the Mangligot house and effectively the walls of both houses will have been completed in under 30 days which is pretty good going. The roof trussed were going into place and the pitch checked. Walls were receiving their first of many coats of primer. Masons were at work on the windows adjusting the shape to a plywood template pinned inside and in the the master t&b they were preparing the connections for the sanitary ware. To optimize space we have decided to give up the separate shower and simply run it into the bath. In fact this works better as well as giving us more space. There is a separate walk-in closet which will also be tiled to match the t&b.

For those interested, the mixture used for the concrete is as follows: 1:2:4 or 1 bag of ordinary Portland cement type 1; 2 bags washed sand; and 4 bags screened gravel, for a 3,000 lb/sq in strength.

We collected the curtainmaker at 9.30 yesterday morning and headed off to the site to measure the windows. The new foreman, Engr Edgar, helped us to identify the height of the future ceiling and tiled floor position. Gina, the curtainmaker and sister-in-law Jane then went to the market in Santiago City to choose the material.

Masons and primer painters were much in evidence as were men preparing the formers for the viewing deck walls. They will apply as many as four coats of the primer so that by the time the top coat colour is applied the walls will be extremely smooth. A tiler had started work in the master t&b and modifications were being made to the floor piping as we have decided to remove the separate shower and use the bath instead. It makes far better use of the space.

Later in the day we made our regular site visit and then sat in the next field eating pandesal, spanish bread and small ring doughnuts. There is something very relaxing about watching the men at work. Engr Edgar has that certain expression that tells you to keep out of the way even if you are the owner, and we know that by reputation he’s a bit of a perfectionist.

Something you find a lot here is people tend not to paint their interior and exterior walls. As you drive around you see that most houses still have the grey plastered hollow block walls and when we attended the wake of Gina’s aunt the unpainted interior and bare concrete staircase made it look more like a garage or warehouse than a home. I don’t believe paint is that expensive but you only see a few houses, mostly newly built properties, that have been painted. Perhaps it’s a generation thing as most young people seem keen to make their house look as attractive as possible. Sometimes their parents spend their time feuding with their syblings over land titles, while their roofs leak, the plaster of their walls cracks and the bars of their window grills rust.
Suddenly there are mechanical diggers clearing ditches and men filling longstanding potholes in the road. It’s election time and the mayor and rivals have embarked on lots of projects in the community to attract voters.



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