Building In Belize

New Home Construction Project 2007

Construction Log ♦ October, 2007

Lot 8 - #13 Consejo Beach Trail
Consejo Shores, Belize

Building In Belize

Week 17

Monday October 1: Mostly Sunny

The plan is for this to be the last week of construction. Next week should be dedicated to pickup work and detailing with delivery expected on October 12th. The plan may be a little optimistic. This is a much larger and more complex structure then the first project. The each item of finish work seems to take a little longer then anticipated. (edit 10/12/07: Each item has taken a little longer then planned and the weather has caused a few more delays, completion is now expected November 15th)

Upstairs, the remaining veranda tile was laid, most of the shower tile was in place and grout was flowed into the floor tile.

Inside the main house, construction of the shower enclosures were completed and tile work was started in the guest bath,a couple of door frames were installed and detail painting continued.

The 12' wide rear veranda is complete. The sunrise over Chetumal Bay as seen from the master bedroom is beautiful indeed!


Tuesday October 2: Sunny

The frames for the French Doors have been installed. The hard part now is hanging the doors themselves. Double doors require extra care to insure they swing true. The custom made solid mahogany doors are gorgeous!

The upstairs bathroom floor, including the shower, were tiled. I couldn't get up to take any pictures because the upper part ofbthe stairway was also freshly tiled.


Wednesday October 3: Sunny

Two of the three sets of custom mahogany French Doors were hung. A couple of the solid mahogany interior doors were also hung. The center strips and knobs will be installed once all the doors are hung.

Tile in the guest bath is done except for grout and detailing. The first coat of primer was sprayed in the upstairs room. More tile work was done on the stairs.

We hadn't originally planned to tile the stairs so an additional 14 boxes of tile and a few extra bags of grout had to be purchased. Plus we need 7 more boxes of the bathroom tile to complete the showers. Once again Creative Tile in Corozal had everything we needed in stock.


Thursday October 4: Sunny

The doors for the laundry, guest bath, master bath and guest bedroom are all installed. This picture has the best depiction of the wall color I've been able to achieve, but it shows the tile a little darker than it actually is.

The stairway tile work is done except for grout on the lower div. The second coat of primer and the first coat or color were rolled onto the upstairs room walls. This room will have the same color scheme as the main house.


Friday October 5: Sunny

Grout was flowed into all the remaining stairway tile. Finish stucco was applied to the stair edges and safety rail pillars.

The laundry room door was the first to get a knob and molding. Both French Doors are now installed in the living room.


Saturday October 6: Sunny

The garage door was installed today. Some tile work was done in the Master Bath shower. Construction debris and trash were picked up and hauled away.

Two of the boxes of shower tile we purchased Wednesday had mostly broken tiles. Creative Tile in Corozal replaced these with no questions asked.


Building In Belize

Week 18

Monday October 8: Showers

Glass louvers were installed in the main house windows. Upstairs, the window frames and glass were set, leaving only the sliding glass door and the garage window I forgot to order, to finish the window installation.

The guest bath tile work and painting was completed. Painting upstairs was also completed, except for around the windows. The master bath shower tile is almost done. Grout was flowed into the floor and veranda tile in a few places that were previously missed or improperly filled.


Tuesday October 9: Rain

When the window casings were formed they were made a little larger then the actual window. They casings were then dressed to the proper size on the top and sides, but the bottom was left rough. This is supposed to allow the window frame to be set in place easily and the finish concrete should insure the installation is tight. This all makes some sense to me, but I just don't understand why they painted the walls first.

The 18000 gallon rain water cistern is full, and has been for awhile. With just a light drizzle the water pours out the overflow. We have a very efficient water catchment system.


Wednesday October 10: Showers

The front door was installed. This will have to be redone because they used 3" hinges to support the solid mahogany door. What were they thinking?

The pad for the butane tank was blocked up and poured. The master bath shower seems to be taking forever, but is almost finished. A lot of little touch up work was accomplished through out the project.


Thursday October 11: Rain

It has been raining off and on all week. The cabinet guys don't want to put the last coat of varnish on the cabinets until things dry out a little. This may set us back a little. The sun is shining now (4:30PM) but the rainy weather is expected to resume on tomorrow.

The door between the veranda and the garage was installed. The tile in the master bath is finally finished. The toilets in the main house were set. We had to buy another bucket of paint for the master bath and all the necessary touch-up. The septic tank hook-ups were made and soak-away trenches were dug.


Friday October 12: Showers

The electrician began installing the fans and light fixtures. A lot of small finishing jobs were completed. Belmont Gas Company delivered the 80 gallon butane tank.


Saturday October 13: Rain

The electrician finished installing the fans, fixtures, switches and outlets in the main house. Once the light fixtures were installed on the fans it became apparent that they hang a little too low. I will make new extension tubs about 8" shorter and we will re-hang the fans.

Weather Problems, Maybe:

A large low pressure system has been spinning over the Yucatan region this past week, bringing us a lot of squally weather. The system has made a counter-clockwise loop through Guatemala and has entered the extreme southwest corner of the Western Caribbean, where Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras meet. While this system is not likely to develop, it is a potentially dangerous rain maker. The storm could bring heavy rains in excess of five inches to Belize, Guatemala, northwest Honduras, and Mexico's Yucatan over the the next three days.


Building In Belize

Week 19

Monday October 15: Mostly Sunny

The low pressure system mentioned above has caused a delay in finishing the cabinets. Spraying varnish on these rainy days would be a disaster. We had some sunshine on Saturday, so it is possible some of the cabinets were varnished then. Today the sun is shining, but more rain is expected tomorrow.

Today is Discovery Day, yet another national holiday. No work was done on the house today.


Tuesday October 16: Rain

The persistent rain again prevented delivery of the cabinets. Very little was accomplished today as a result. Some touch up painting and cleaning were done. The plumber installed most of the sink and toilet valves. The pressure pump and tank were installed on the "Fresh Water" side of the water system. (A small detail I missed that my friend Jeff saw is that the water heater was installed with the valve facing the wall. There is no way to light it! This will, of course be corrected.)

The second pump for the "Community Water" system has gone missing. This pump was part of a delivery by Benny's that was left at a business in Corozal just before Hurricane Dean, then moved to Paul's bodega. (edit. The pump was not delivered by Benny's)


Wednesday October 17: Mostly Sunny

Touchup / cleanup work was done today in preparation for the installation of the cabinets.


Thursday October 18: Mostly Sunny

The kitchen counters were delivered today. They are spectacular! We did encounter one problem. The electrical outlet for the bar is about 2" too low. The electrician will come first thing tomorrow and correct this.

The cabinet makers are doing the install of the counters and cabinets. While they are on the site, they are also putting the finishing touches on the door installations.


Friday October 19: Mostly Sunny

Getting the counters delivered and installed is the easy part. A lot of time is consumed installing the cabinet doors and drawers, making sure they are aligned properly and close smoothly. The cabinet maker is a perfectionist, "good enough" means nothing to him.

These two pictures show the color of the wall, floor tile and shower tile fairly accurately.

The only other work done today was smoothing the roof and correcting a small contour problem that allowed water to puddle in a couple of places rather than flow into the scuppers.


Building In Belize

Week 20

Monday October 22: Mostly Sunny

The cabinet makers worked in the shop today. They will deliver the remaining counters and cabinets on Wednesday, if all goes well. The window company was supposed to install the sliding door and last window today, but they were no-shows. The only on-site work done today was the completion of the smoothing and contour repair on the main roof.

Paul expects to complete all but the upstairs room this month. The upstairs cabinets will take an additional 2 weeks (since we haven't actually designed them yet!) but the project should be essentially complete by the end of the month.


Tuesday October 23: Mostly Sunny

The first load of "sand" was spread on the beach. No other work was done today. The window installers were no show again, it seems they had problem with their truck. Paul will pick the door and window up in the morning and the installers can come out by car or bicycle.


Wednesday October 24: Mostly Cloudy

Unlike the past two day, things were jumping on the project today. All the Kitchen Cabinets are in place. Some still need the cabinet doors installed. Door knobs, locks and center strips were being installed on the French Doors and Front Door. Tile work was started on the sink counter.

The window installer arrived late, but only had one window and one sliding door to install. On the water front, the new palapa builder was working on the 2nd palapa. He will rebuild the other one as well, and they should look about the same when complete.


Thursday October 25: Mostly Sunny Full Moon

Work continued on the kitchen cabinets and counters. These are beautiful, showing excellent workmanship. It does seem to be taking forever to complete the install. The palapa guy was in the bush today cutting new thatch. The first guy had a bunch laid out improperly on the rain soaked ground and a lot of it rotted.


Friday October 26: Mostly Sunny

Today was supposed to be the final day of construction on the main house. The cabinet guys never arrived. Tile was laid on some of the kitchen counter tops that have been installed and on some of the backsplash. The Palapa guy delivered the thatch he cut yesterday and began weaving it onto the second palapa.

If all the remaining cabinets are delivered on Monday, there is about 3 days work left on the main house. The Water Front imporvements could also be competed in the same time frame. The upstairs room will take an additional two weeks since we haven't finalized the cabinet design.

After much debate, we decided to cover the entire garage roof with the red Spanish Tile. It just looks unfinished as is. We also will have a circular gravel driveway will built and will haul in some dirt and filter-press to contour the front yard. A couple or three loads of filter-press will be spread onto the back yard as well. If we can get all this done in the next 2 weeks, the project will have taken 22 week to complete.


Saturday October 27: Mostly Cloudy

The palapa guy wove more thatch onto the new palapa. The master bedroom double doors were installed. The tile guy laid a little more kitchen counter tile. Some cleanup of the lot was done.

The tile layer is doing a beautiful job, but it is taking forever. The right hand photo is the kitchen counter tile with the decorative top strip.


Building In Belize

Week 21

Monday October 29 - Friday November 2:

We took a little trip up to Puerto Morales, Mexico to pick up some friends at the Cancun Airport and have a short vacation. I was hoping to return to a finished house, but alas, it looks like little was accomplished.

The cabinet guys have built beautiful woodwork, but the installation is taking forever. The kitchen cabinets are done. The counter tile is done except for a small area of decorative tile and grout. The molding around the doors is compete. The closets, baths and laundry remain unfinished.

The electrician changed the fan extensions and install the remaining lights and switches. The palapa guy finished the second palapa. The first one has been torn down and is being rebuilt from the center pole out. Work began installing the roof tiles we decided to add on the garage roof. This is an expensive change order, but it looks so much better I feel the money is being well spent.