Building In Belize

New Home Construction Project 2006

June 2006 Construction Log

#71D Consejo Beach Trail
Consejo Shores, Belize

Week 11 Continued:

Thursday June 1:

The first course of tile was laid in the living room and hallway. Some tile was laid in the Master Bath. Painting was delayed because with the high humidity we've had recently, the stucco hasn't cured enough. The septic tank walls were formed.

Friday June 2:

The Laundry Room is the first to have all floor tile laid. The Living Room / Kitchen is about 30%. Some of the first coat of wall paint can be seen. Master Bath tile is looking good. It is really starting to look like a house!

Saturday June 3:

Lots of rain last night, the cistern now holds about 15000 gallons. We unfortunately needed to remove some of the trees overhanging the house. Way too many leaves and flowers were clogging the roof scuppers. You can see the offending branches in upper left of the first picture. All gone in the second photo.

Week 12

Monday June 5:

Floor tile work continues throughout the house. The septic tank walls and top were poured after the plumber completed connection of the waste water lines. The window manufacturer was supposed to begin installing windows today, but didn't show.

Tuesday June 6:

The water pressure pump, expansion tank and water heater were mostly plumbed in, a few additional fittings are needed. Butane lines were run for the water heater, dryer and stove. Floor tile is mostly complete, picture #2 is looking into the Master Bedroom. The next picture is looking down the back veranda from the Master Bedroom side and the last photo is looking down the veranda from the Living Room side.

The window guy didn't show today again. Seems he had a truck breakdown and promises to be here tomorrow. In the Bahamas it was "soon come", in Belize its "right now".  Translation:"I'll be there when I get there."

Wednesday June 7:

The window guy arrived late morning and got 3 window frames installed before his helper had some kind of allergy attack. Tile work continues, with grout applied in the Master and Guest Bedrooms and Baths.

Thursday June 8:

The window guy didn't show again today. Floor tile work is finished except for some grout work. Bathroom tile work continues.

A developing low pressure system brought heavy rain all night. This could be the beginnings of the first Tropical Cyclone of the 2006 season. The upside is the 15000+ gallon cistern is full! (edit - This system became Tropical Storm Alberto on June 11)

Friday June 9:

The window guy finally got the windows installed. Finish surfacing of the veranda continued. Dressing the bottom of the window frames was started.

Since the rainy season is apparently upon us, we decide to plant a few hundred plugs of grass in the back yard. Only the first few rows are actually on the property, the rest are on the 63 foot "beach preserve".

Saturday June 10:

The electricians are pulling wire today. The grass plugs were planted. Hopefully we will get enough rain over the next few months so the grass will fill in. The window guy installed the screens and his work is finished.

Week 13

This is scheduled to be the final week of construction. It is possible, but there is a lot of work to be done. If everyone shows up as scheduled and everything goes just right, we may make it. More likely it will take an extra week or two to finalize everything.

Sunday June 11:

The electricians completed pulling the wire, leaving quite a mess. If we build an other house, I will include a clause in any agreement with the contractors to the effect, "leave the property clean and ready for the next trade".

Monday June 12:

The electricians began installing switches and outlets. Dressing of the remaining window frame was started. New, less restrictive drain covers were installed on the roof scuppers. The footing for the last of the veranda steps was formed and poured. A lot of other small tasks were completed.

Roger Riverol, the cabinet maker, arrived at 2PM (after a rather irate noon time phone call from me about honor and schedules) to begin installing the door frames. When I checked at 4PM he had the 2 Living Room French Door frames in...backward! They looked good though. After a few words about following the plan, his guys were removing the offending frames to reinstall them correctly. In their defense, it is unusual to install outside doors to open outward.

Tuesday June 13:

The view of the house from the water shows the nearly complete house. Only the French Doors are need to complete this elevation.

Roger and crew begin installing the kitchen cabinets. These are beautiful custom solid Mahogany pieces.

Wednesday June 14:

We finally saw the Air Conditioning man today. He checked out the A/C units we bought in Belize City in April. The Compressor and Air Handlers do not match! The A/C guy is going to pick up the correct units in Chetumal and install them next week. The company in Belize City will not issue a refund, but will give me store credit. As long as we build an other house that is no problem.

The exterior doors were installed.The electrician began installing light fixtures and fans. The tile work was started on the Kitchen counters. The walkway from the Front Veranda to the Pump Room was formed and poured. The inspection cover was poured on the Septic Tank. Grout was applied to the Shower tile and Glass Blocks in the Master Bath.

Thursday June 15:

Here are three different views of the French Doors. Master Bedroom, Veranda from Master Bedroom side and interior Living Room. Last is the Master Bedroom Entry and Bath doors.

All doors and most of the hardware was installed. Kitchen counter tiling would be done, but they ran out of the mastic used to glue the tile in place. The septic tank and soak-a-way were inspected and passed by the Consejo Shores developer. This approval is required by the property covenants rather than by law. The only other required inspection was the electrical panel installation.

Friday June 16:

Major cleanup of the job site was started. Kitchen Cabinet doors and drawers were installed. We ordered one additional cabinet to be placed between the stove and window, above the bar.  We also ordered bathroom mirrors. Some electrical fixtures were installed.

Today ends the 13 weeks of scheduled construction. Only detail work remains, most done by subcontractors who have their own timeframes. If all goes well, we should be finished by next Friday.

Saturday June 17:

The electricians installed the track lights in the Kitchen and Living Room, the exterior flood lights, the MBR closet light and the light in the Pump Room. The cabinet and door crew finished installing the door hardware and installed the bathroom counters.

Week 14

Monday June 19:

The finished rear elevation as seen from the water looks pretty nice! And I still can't get enough of the view from the Master Bedroom. This picture at least shows the beautiful French doors. Tiling of the Guest Bath counter was complete, except for grout. A lot of little touch up was done, as you can see around the glass block on the shower stall.

The electrician moved the stove outlet down a couple feet. One load of Black Dirt was delivered. A lot of work, not much progress. The A/C tech delivered the 2 A/C units after hassling with customs at the border for a couple hours. He won't be able to install them until next week.

Tuesday June 20:

It seems the crew is attacking the remaining task in a hit or miss fashion. I keep expecting to see something finished, and I am continuously disappointed. Some work was done on the Bath Room counters, and some on the Kitchen Counter. Not much to show for a full days work.

Hilberto began leveling the lot and spreading the Black Dirt in the side and front yards. Harmony the Dog is chasing flies on the front walkway.

Wednesday June 21:

The plumber installed all the sinks, shower fixtures and toilets, except one sink faucet that didn't have the washers included. All the tile laying is done, just some grouting work is left. The third load of Black Dirt was delivered. This is really Filter Cake or Filter Press Mud from the sugar factory. It smells bad, worse than cow manure, when it is delivered, but smell goes away after it is spread out.

We had a hard time getting the cistern pump to prime. I was worried that it may be too far from the cistern. All the specs from Gould talk about lift, never mentioning vertical distance. I guess it doesn't matter as the system is pressurized and working properly.

Thursday June 22:

Some of the kitchen decorative tile was not even and had to be redone. Roger Riverol delivered the dinning table and chairs. The plumber completed all his tasks except hook up of the ice maker and stove.  These should be delivered tomorrow.

Friday June 23:

Time consuming touch up work is being done inside. Hilberto spread most of the Black Dirt around the front yard. The stove and refrigerator were delivered after 4PM. Cabinet maker was a no show.Says he can't varnish in the rain.

Saturday June 24:

Lots of rain last night so Hilberto couldn't move the remaining black dirt, which became black mud. We took advantage of the dry morning and moved the furnishing that have been clogging up my garage. We spent about an hour picking up all the trash and junk from the site and hauling it to the dump.

Week 15

Monday June 26:

More rain. We got the dirt all spread out and some Ginger plants planted between the walkway and the house. More touch up indoors. The toilet in the Guest bath leaks between the bowl and the tank.Neither the cabinet maker nor A/C guy showed up. Too dark and dreary for photos.

Wednesday June 28:

Rain, Rain, Rain. Neither the cabinet maker nor A/C guy showed up again. Both got phone calls and both blame the weather. I guess you really can't apply varnish in the rain. The A/C tech actually was on his way when the rain started again this morning. The plumber said he would be by this afternoon to fix leaky toilet in the Guest bath. He didn't show up either. Still too dark and dreary for photos.

Tuesday June 27:

Today was just like yesterday. Neither the cabinet maker nor A/C guy showed up again. The plumber said he would be by this afternoon to fix leaky toilet in the Guest bath. He didn't show up either. Still too dark and dreary for photos. This would be so simple if people would just do what they say they will do!

Thursday June 29:

The sun came out. I wonder why the cabinet maker didn't show this time, probably too hot! The A/C tech finished another job today in Consejo Shores and will start tomorrow on this one. The Plummer had transportation problems and will also be here tomorrow. Soon Come! Right Now!

A load of crushed rock was delivered to be used to fix the road in front of the property. Also a load of fast growing Bermuda Grass plugs was delivered for the front yard. We used Zoysia Grass for the back by the sea because it is more saltwater resistant, but it takes a lot longer to fill in.

Friday June 30:

Master Bath

Guest Bath

Laundry / Pantry

Laundry Cabinet

Kitchen From LR

Kitchen / Dining

Roger the Cabinet guy finally brought the remaining cabinets. Bathroom cabinet doors and drawers were installed as were the mirrors. The last Kitchen cabinet was put up. The shelves and cabinets were installed in the laundry room. The 4 bar stools were delivered.

The A/C tech showed up about 1300 and began the install. This requires breaking holes in the walls for the coolant pipes and condensate drain. Paul was hoping to have all breaking done and piping in so he could finish his part of the job. Maybe next week. Oh, the plumber, who has been paid, didn't show again today. (3 days later we had a major flooding problem cause by this leaky toilet. The problem turned out to be a clogged waste line. Seems the plumber forgot to remove the concrete bag that was used to block the pipe during construction. The mess was cleaned up and the problem is solved.)

I noticed yesterday that the showers did not drain properly. There was not enough slope so water would pool on the shower floors. Both shower floors were chipped out and redone today.

Project Recap

After 15 weeks of construction, including one of the wettest Junes on record, the house is finished. I have created a final web page " The Finished House " that shows the finished product in great detail.

This has been a fun and educational experience. The project provided 15 weeks of full time employment for 8 men and part time work for many others. This house has been sold and we have begun construction on our next Building In Belize project.

See the finished house: Finished House