Week 2 – Work Continues On Our Casa

This week Patricia’s team along with Freddy and Serano have been working on the plumbing and water system. The pressure tank has been installed in its closet atop the cistern and the old kitchen door was cut down to size and installed to secure this equipment.

The water meter has been elevated to a better level and water lines have been cut into the walls and on the driveway leading to our cistern. In the past a hose was used to bring water from the water meter at the street into the cistern. The new system will automatically fill the tank when water is released by the municipality and a float device like the system used in a toilet tank will stop the water from overflowing.  How great is that?

Serano even took my outdoor shower and updated it with new pipes and fixtures. A low spigot for cleaning your feet after a walk on the beach, and a shower head, This guy really knows how to treat a gal.

The shower heads have been installed in both bathrooms and they work beautifully. All of our previous places with the exception of the condo in Salinas had suicide shower heads. I have been shocked a few times when one was going bad but they are inexpensive to buy, install and run. And that is what most folks use here so as they say  – when in Rome!

The tiles have been cut and placed on the floor where the walls were removed between the two bedrooms making our master bedroom and the two kitchens which will be our kitchen, dining area and salon area. It is not a perfect match but I just love this old tile it is around an inch thick and wears like iron. Our house in Panama had this type of flooring and it was very easy to maintain and always looked good.

They also installed a ridge line on the roof which this house never had as well as replacing several roofing sheets that were cracked. Let’s hope that they got all the bad ones so with the first rain it does not rain in the house.

Two water lines and a drain were installed for our washer and hopefully one day in the near future we will enclose this part of the porch as a laundry and outside storage area.

This week I had hoped to be able to shop with Patricia’s help for a refrigerator, stove, faucets and shower heads. Serano did the shopping for the faucets because the week got away from us. We hope that next week our shopping spree should happen. I really want to replace the bathroom towel racks, hooks and TP holders and pick up two ceiling fans to have these installed while the workers are still here.

We are considering having Patricia’s team do the prep work and painting the interior of the house now. Joe and I cannot handle sanding the newly concreted walls and there is no way I want to move in and try to do this work ourselves. If you could see the dust that this work has created you would understand why I am hesitant to take on this job. Its not the physical labor but the inability to handle that level of dust these days. I wish we had the additional money to do the work on the bathrooms and kitchen while they are working on the other jobs. It would make it so much easier to let the work continue and move in after everything is completed, but monetarily we are doing everything we can right now.

Today Joe and I discussed the possibility of having the one bathroom opened up to the master, that would entail removing walls and doors as well as moving the closet door in the salon to open in the guest bedroom. We got a price and the work should start on that on Monday. Then we can do the painting…what we will have left to do will be the redo of both bathrooms, cabinetry in the kitchen and the laundry closet on the porch. Sometimes patience is not only a virtue but a lifestyle.


8 thoughts on “Week 2 – Work Continues On Our Casa

    • Hi Mary & John, looks like we will have Patricia have her crew do the prep work and painting. Too much sanding for Joe and I to handle and way to much dust to live in the place while they work. thanks for volunteering, N & J

    • Hi Mike, they sure are moving, doesn’t seem like what I had heard about worker in South America, we could not be more pleased. Actually going to have them do more of the dirty work now instead of doing it later…hope to have the same quick results as with my first list…thanks again for your comments, N

  1. Pingback: Morning Update – Monday, July 16, 2012 « South of Zero

  2. Hello Nancy,

    Congratulations on the new house. The renovations look great. Did you have to get a building permit? I’m a carpenter and our budget will be tight, so we’re interested in a “fixer-upper,” too. Could you give us an idea of the cost of a modest house that needs work? All we see online are fancy condos and houses. Finally, I want to thank you for the advice in your blog about thinking things through before moving to Ecuador. We’ve done a lot of talking, and we’re doing some more. Thanks and remember to measure twice and cut once.


    • Hi John, thanks for your comment and questions. No building permit was necessary, no inspections, no nothing. We found a great gal, Patricia and her group headed by Freddy who has put together a fine crew of masons, roofers, tile workers, woodworkers, etc..we have been blessed with outstanding professionals and know that it is the hand of God that has made it possible. I know as a carpenter you probably want to do the work yourself, if I were you I would be the adviser to someone like our Freddy and have him hire locals who understand what works in the area you buy in, first wood is not widely uses brick and block construction is more prevalent here in Clemente with wood only used for the roof beams and the frames of doors and windows.

      We had looked for over a year, moved from Salinas to Playas but ended up looking up the coast with a list of houses that were posted on the internet. Our trip found most of those properties not available, seems some of the realtors do not remove old listing. But as an old friend said “you only need one house”. Joe had seen this particular home which was a duplex listed for $45k, that was more than I wanted to spend but for some reason Joe kept seeing this particular house and the next time it was down to $35k still above my ceiling, then just a few days before our trip low and behold it was listed for $32k seems the woman who owned it really wanted to get rid of it, she received it as partial settlement in a divorce and seldom came to the beach from Quito any longer. We looked at it and I was not sure so we continued on our trip to Bahia, San Vicente and the area around Bahia. We could not find the two houses that we were looking for even with a local driver calling the owners of both houses. The more we rode around the more I disliked the areas and I had the driver take us back to Clemente. We went back to the house and I still was not convinced but I was determined to buy a house so we made an offer of $27k. And she accepted. We will have added a little under $5k in renovations plus all of the furniture and appliances to be able to move in. I am happy that you are taking a long hard look at your move, it is not easy to adjust if you don’t know the language, don’t understand the customs and when you read some of my next blog posts you will shake your head when you hear some of the stories. It takes a very special person to make a move like this and don’t forget it, I of course consider myself extra special ha ha but I still could just scream at some of the stuff I need to go through and I have been dealing with this stuff for over 6 years but still it gets to me big time. Best of luck, keep us posted on your progress. Nancy

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