Sonia’s House – Really Coming Along!

San Clemente 6.1.2013b 001Sonia and son in their soon to be new home.

On April 12th I started taking pictures of the process of building a local house here in San Clemente. As of today all the rough work has been completed, they have skim coated all the walls inside and out and they are now working on the tile work for the kitchen counter as well as the two bathrooms. The main bathroom at the kitchen/salon area of the house still does not have a roof but I do see some painted sheets of roofing waiting for installation.  Most of the windows have been installed and I wanted to get these photos before the doors were added which should be soon the way it looks. They are going to install the toilets and sinks today to almost complete the bathrooms.

See the huge truck tire in this picture, there were about 6 total just a few days ago. I just found out when speaking with Sonia that this is part of her septic system, each tire has been drilled with many holes on the tire tread, a hole is dug and the tires are dropped in the hole one on top of another and a concrete cap is attached. You can see the vent pipe in the center of her new septic system at the far left hand side. Always learning something new.

San Clemente 6.1.a2013 001 San Clemente 6.1.a2013 002 San Clemente 6.1.a2013 003 San Clemente 6.1.a2013 004 San Clemente 6.1.a2013 005 San Clemente 6.1.a2013 006 San Clemente 6.1.a2013 007 San Clemente 6.1.a2013 008 San Clemente 6.1.a2013 009 San Clemente 6.1.a2013 010 San Clemente 6.1.a2013 011 San Clemente 6.1.a2013 012 San Clemente 6.1.a2013 013 San Clemente 6.1.a2013 014 San Clemente 6.1.a2013 015 San Clemente 6.1.a2013 016

I just love it, This is going to be Sonia’s first home, she is very proud of it and should be. One thing that you may have noticed the walls for the individual rooms do not go all the way to the roof. This is another big difference in building here in Ecuador, interior walls do not always go to the ceiling. Even the bathrooms are open to the adjoining rooms. Just something to think about. Also, something to notice is the lack of construction debris, they ‘measure twice and cut once’ not having a great deal of waste and look to be cleaning up as they go along. My kind of guys!!!


14 thoughts on “Sonia’s House – Really Coming Along!

  1. Great post Nancy, great pics. I like the tire idea! They sure know the 1st and 2nd steps in recycling: REDUCE & REUSE. In the US, we tend to just do the 3rd part, RECYCLE!
    Well done!

    • Hi Deb, We are looking to build a two story ramada probably next year some time. It will be Ecuadorian style bamboo and wood. Could even have a palm frond roof who knows until we get started on it…talk about building techniques there are some stunning things built here from bamboo..I will post a few pictures of a place down the beach that is a prime example of the beauty of using more natural materials. Thanks for your comment, Nancy

  2. We are also very interested in construction because we may be building a house in the future. The house we are in now looks like that with the walls not going up to the roof, but they added a drop ceiling so the rooms feel enclosed at the top. The block and cement kitchen counter is interesting. I think ours was built that way too. But, the septic system? That’s definitely something new to me! If it works, and recycles tires, what’s not to love?

    We’ve come to appreciate the block and cement construction here. It isn’t affected by water, doesn’t burn, and is so durable. It makes more sense than a lot of what we do in the US. How exciting for Sonia! It looks like she is going to have a very good house.

    • Kris, where have you been, ha ha I saw how many post you read yesterday, you sure must get tired of us and our itty bitty life. I was also very happy to see the progress on Sonia’s home, she and her son are very nice people and deserve this beautiful home. When we lived in Panama most of the houses did not bother with the drop ceiling either, just left it partial walled, I do prefer more privacy especially in the bathroom, you know what I mean? I was hoping one of my building buddies would have read about the septic system and given me some opinions but you are the only one that has commented on the tire usage. Very ingenious in my opinion like you especially if it works. Thanks as always for following our life. Nancy & Joe

      • i know. I’ve been traveling and doing other stuff, not keeping up but NO, I do not get tired of hearing about what is going on with you at all! It’s very interesting to me to connect with other expats in our part of the world. I enjoy getting to know you and I’ve learned a lot of new things too.

        As for houses, even with the drop ceilings there is no sound control. Someone can sniffle at the back of the house and be heard clearly at the front. And, our roof is brick color so it soaks up the heat from the sun. If/when we built our own we’d do some things a little differently for heat control but we agree with the basic construction methods here.

        • Kris, our next house item will be cabinets for the kitchen but right after that we are going to have a coating put on the roof, probably white so that it would reflect the heat…right behind that are vent fans to be installed at the peak of the roof front and back of the house and then a few small vent fans for the bathrooms and one bedroom we will be using as an office after we get furniture…can’t wait for some Social Security money to complete all these projects, God willing we will be finished with this next year…Nancy

          • You know how it is with houses. When you are finished with this list, you will be making another! It sounds like your house is getting more and more comfortable though with all the things you are doing.

            • Kris, it is coming alone, I wish it were faster but we have the rest of our lives so slow is okay too….be well N

  3. Wow,
    I look away for a couple of days and they’re halfway done! I’m used to seeing houses framed, sheathed, bricked/sided, THEN finished, but in this house, the structure IS the finish. Stateside building inspectors would have heart attacks over just about everything, but honestly, I don’t see much that concerns me. Well, the truck tire septic system sounds a little iffy, but if it’s a commonly used system and you don’t notice sewer smells, it probably works. It’s pretty clear these guys are following standard practice for their area and that usually means work that will last. It’ll be fun to see the house completed. Does Sonia realize so many people know about her new house?

    • Hi John, I am happy that you are following her house. I had never seen anything like using old truck tires for a septic system and honestly don’t know if this is a common practice here or not. We will see how it works and let you know after they move in and starting using the plumbing. It is strange to see that the outside walls are actually the inside walls and there is no insulation anywhere. One day in the future we may change out our roof, raise the height of the walls and try to find insulated roofing. I have been reading up on it on the internet but am not sure if this is available here in EC. It would be well worth it when we are in our hot season, but I know it will make a difference when it comes to hearing the rain on the roof…I am not sure if I want to get rid of that completely, it is such a soothing sound. I am sure that Sonia has no idea that so many folks are seeing her house construction. I think I may print up all the articles, photos and comments and give them to her when her house is completed. I could translate into Spanish and make it like a scape book for her and her son. Thanks for the idea….be well, Nancy

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