Thursday, November 16th, 2017

Isabela House (Construction Log 23) Fence Permit!!! Finally

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Fencing does of course have another meaning in the English language, but I am pleased to report that the revised structural plan for our perimeter fence is now ready and we hope will receive the necessary approvals from the city engineer’s department this week so our fencing contractor can get on with construction. The amendments include the addition of more concrete to the base of the fence so that it will act as a retaining wall for the back fill, in addition to securing the perimeter. The absence of this feature was apparently the reason for non-approval of our original fencing permit application. Our thanks go to both Gina’s uncle and the City Engineer for helping us resolve the previous misunderstandings and we look forward to a more constructive relationship in the future as we complete our new home.

Life seems to be full of amazing connections. I was not aware that an old friend of mine from the US is now the mayor’s right hand man in Santiago City. It turns out that a classmate of one of the Northcon architects is now the wife of this man and when my name was mentioned it was instantly recognized. To cut a long story short we are arranging to meet up again and we have been assured that every assistance will be given us in establishing our new home here. So in many ways we seem to have turned a corner this week and will hopefully have a less troublesome relationship with the city engineer, our close neighbor in Patul, in the future.

Update Wednesday March 3: We have received the go ahead from city hall to commence construction of our perimeter fence. They said the permit would not be ready until Monday or Tuesday next week but we could proceed with building the fence in the meantime as the application has been accepted. The contractor who will build the wall visited the site tonight to begin planning, accompanied by the man who they will hire to operate the digger. They expect to start by tomorrow afternoon.

Once the wall construction has commenced we will complete the back filling and the concrete driveway.

Yesterday (Thursday) Gina was requested to visit city hall to sign the revised fencing plan, pay the permit fee etc. On the return journey we thought we would call in at the site in Patul and were almost there when we received a text from Gina’s uncle to say that the fencing permit had already been approved and was ready for collection so we went back again to pick up the papers.

Back at the site the mechanical digger had almost finished the trench on one side. The material removed was very good quality gravel which we can use for part of the remaining back fill. Our contractor will build one section fully so we can evaluate the effectiveness of the wall structure as well as the cost and the look of the wall. To manage within our budget, we will use steel railings only along the front and selectively on the sides and back where there are windows as steel is far more expensive than concrete and hollow block.

We are also due to review the roof trusses again now that additional welding has been done. It is definitely looking much stronger now but it’s a shame that it wasn’t done properly in the first place as it has slowed progress on internal finishing due to the absence of roofing panels. Rolls of insulation have already been delivered to the site and the roofing material is expected to arrive by the weekend. Windows we have been told will follow shortly after that. We are now almost at the end of the first week in March so we hope that faster progress can be made once these important components have been delivered.


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