Update on Sonia’s House

John Trim this post is especially for you. Thanks for giving me the little push that I needed to go take more pictures.

April 12th was my first post on our neighbor Sonia building her little house at the end of our street. I know it has been weeks since I posted sorry life has just gotten in the way of making any time for posts to this blog. But this morning I walked by and was amazed to see the outside walls completed and all the work that is being done on the inside. Sonia told me it would be done in two months and I did not think that it would be possible. Keep in mind workers are not working on this house every day, she schedules folks to work as other jobs are completed so there have been many days when no work has been done.

San Clemente 5.10.2013 021 San Clemente 5.10.2013 020 San Clemente 5.10.2013 019 San Clemente 5.10.2013 018 San Clemente 5.10.2013 017 San Clemente 5.10.2013 016 San Clemente 5.10.2013 015 San Clemente 5.10.2013 014 San Clemente 5.10.2013 013 San Clemente 5.10.2013 012 San Clemente 5.10.2013 011 San Clemente 5.10.2013 010 San Clemente 5.10.2013 009 San Clemente 5.10.2013 008 San Clemente 5.10.2013 007

They have added a bathroom to the back of the building and right now it does not have a roof. It is located between the kitchen and the salon area. It looks like the electric and plumbing are in place and the two bedrooms are getting the concrete skim coat today. Sure looks to me like they are on schedule to complete this fast.


10 thoughts on “Update on Sonia’s House

    • Hi Will, I am not sure that she is going to live there. She offered the house to our friends the MacDonalds. So it looks to me like she is building for rent or resale…remember my conversations with her are in my clipped Spanish so I know that she is building it but for what purpose who knows. Nancy

  1. Nancy,

    Holy Cow, I didn’t expect a whole post dedicated to me! Thank you. The progress really is amazing, they’ve done a lot in a short time. The construction details are so interesting to me, having spent a lifetime learning to build in a different climate with completely different requirements and considerations for insulation, ventilation, egress requirements and so forth. This house is about what Sandy and I dream of – not too big, tall ceilings, lots of light – the only thing we’d do differently is extend the roof for a big covered patio/workshop. We love to putter – she with furniture refinishing and gardening, me with woodworking and fixing things. Thanks again, I’m touched by your generosity. As always, give our best to Joe.


    • Hi John, like I said if you did not give me the gentle push I would have let another week pass before I updated. Thanks to you for doing that. I am hoping to find a great article on three house styles that can be built here very inexpensive, the first was bamboo for under $4k but I am waiting for a copy to be sent to me, when I get it I will forward on to you. The first thing is there are really no requirements on most building updates, if you buy an existing home you need no permits to renovate and no inspections from the municipality. If you build you would need some things inspected and a permit but it is no where near what you would go through in the states. If you and Sandy move here getting a rental house for a period of time to look around, get a feel for the area and especially to travel to others places to see what they have to offer is the best. Joe and I stayed in hotels and hostels for several months and it still took us 2 1/2 years to find the town for us. Yes, things are increasing in price but if you find yourself in a town you do not like, a home that you are unhappy in to pick up and move again is difficult, especially if you purchased and need to resell to move on. I love a yard, I love my plants, flowers, trees and especially my herbs…while living on the 10th floor of a condo in Salinas I had over 40 plants on our patio…moving was a laugh for the guys who had to bring down all those plants including two coconut palm trees but that is what I like and living without plants is not living to me…so get what you and Sandy need to make your lives here good!!! Off my soapbox onto my walk down the beach. Today is our 39th wedding anniversary, Joe wanted to take me to PalmAzul for dinner or to Hotel San Jacinto but we love Viviana’s, a few blocks from our home so that is probably where we will celebrate. God is GOOD!!! Nancy

      • Nancy, we got the article, thank you! I suspected it was possible to build more inexpensively than the usual gringo websites indicate, but these are the first real numbers I’ve seen about actual material and labor costs. This is so encouraging to us. We plan to rent for a year or more, probably in Cuenca, before we make a commitment or buy property.

        • Hi Again, so happy I found Dom’s article. As far as I know Dom build these houses and those are his exact costs. I always suggest that you rent and also look around at other areas before you decide to make a purchase. We actually took over 2 1/2 years looking for the right town and then the house that suited us. Have a great day, Nancy

  2. Hey Nan, I too love to see how they are building. We took a youth group and built a house for a family in Mexico that was about that size. We did it in one week. We had about 30 people though. We poured the floor (mixed the cement by hand) and used Plywood and and 2x4s for the walls and then covered the outside with stucco. And roll roofing for the roof.

    My question is what are the two vertical holes near the floor on the last picture?

    • Hi Tim, the last photo is showing where they have added a bathroom to the back of the house. They have dug through the block to install the plumbing inside the walls for a sink, toilet and shower. The plumbing is not completed as far as I can tell. This week they will probably skim coat the rest of the walls covering those pipes. And the pipes look to be copper unusual here. Also I was mistaken it will be a two bath home. The master bedroom has an en suite. Joe and I walked through it late yesterday afternoon as we were going out for dinner, it really is coming along nicely. Thanks for your comment Tim have a Happy Mother’s Day. Nancy

        • Tim, we had a very quiet Mother’s Day at home, made a beautiful Chicken dinner for us, the lights went out for about 2 hours so we sat with some candles flickering and enjoyed being out of doors for the evening. I loved living in Panama because I got to celebrate two Mother’s Days…here we celebrate like the US. have a great week, N

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