Building In Belize

New Home Construction Project 2007

Construction Log ♦ September, 2007

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

Building In Belize

Week 13

Monday September 3: Mostly Sunny

Hurricane Felix, the second Category 5 hurricane of the 2007 season will probably pass south of Belize into Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala. Belize, however, has been placed under a Hurricane Watch. No work will be done on the house today. Everyone should be home making preparations just in case this storm doesn't behave.


Tuesday September 4: Mostly Sunny

HURRICANE FELIX INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY NUMBER 16A
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL062007
800 AM EDT TUE SEP 04 2007

...POTENTIALLY CATASTROPHIC HURRICANE FELIX MAKES LANDFALL IN EXTREME NORTHEASTERN NICARAGUA AT CATEGORY FIVE STRENGTH...

Felix did pass south of Belize into Nicaragua and Honduras. This is the 1st time since records have been kept that 2 Atlantic hurricanes have made landfall as Category 5 storms in the same season.

Hopefully, Central America has seen the last of hurricanes for the 2007 season. Work on the house should resume tomorrow.


Wednesday September 5: Mostly Cloudy

Work on the house has resumed. The color coat is being applied to the exterior. Inside, the first coat of concrete sealer/primer was applied. Having the walls and ceiling white really brightens up the house. Interior finish concrete work was being done in the upstairs room.

The floor and veranda tile was delivered. We expect to begin laying tile on Monday.


Thursday September 6: Mostly Sunny

Back on July 23rd we took down some old pine trees from the front of the lot. The first photo is of a tree on the next lot after Hurricane Dean blew through. I think taking the trees out on our own terms was the right decision.

The view of Chetumal Bay out the master bedroom window and French door is still spectacular. The house as seen from the back lot line is looking pretty good with the color coat of stucco nearly finished. We are going to try and save the leaning palm tree, but it may not be possible.


Friday September 7: Mostly Cloudy

There were several different projects being worked on today. One crew was picking up all the construction debris from the lot. Broken blocks and concrete chunks are being dumped as fill into the area between the two sea walls. Some gravel was hauled away along with some of the remaining wood framing material.

Finish concrete work continued in the room above the garage. Exterior color coat application on the main building continued. Inside the main house the first few courses of floor tile were laid.

Paul still plans to finish the project by the end of this month.


Saturday September 8: Mostly Sunny

Laying of tile in the main house continued today. Some additional finish concrete work was done to the upstairs room. A couple of the men spent the morning spreading out the fill in the "beach" area.


Building In Belize

Week 14

Monday September 10: Mostly Cloudy

Flag

Today is St. George's Caye Day, a National Holiday in Belize. No work was done on the house.

On the 10th of September, 1798, the English speaking people of what would become Belize, black and white, slave and free, banded together and won the Battle of St. George's Caye, defeating an invading force from Mexico that was attempting to claim the territory for Spain. The holiday is also known as National Day.


Tuesday September 11: Mostly Cloudy New Moon

Tile work inside the main building is almost complete, what remains is the hard part. Tile must now be cut to fit. Finish concrete work in the upstairs room continued.

The two posts in the "beach" area are the support posts for the two palapa that will be built. These will have thatch roofs with a table and benches below.


Wednesday September 12: Mostly Cloudy

Exterior finish work was begun on the Garage and upstairs room. Interior finish work continued in the upstairs room as well. Except for grout, the tile in the Guest Bedroom is complete, as is most of the floor tile work in the Main House.


Thursday September 13: Mostly Cloudy

Getting stucco on the garage and upstairs room exterior is time consuming, particularly at the top. Tiling of the floor inside the main house is finished except for a few spots and the bathroom showers.  The first course of tile on the veranda was laid.


Friday September 14: Mostly Cloudy

We needed to buy 5 more boxes of the interior floor time. Creative Tile in Corozal had it in stock, so no problem. 4" concrete block, which we need to finish the shower walls, seems to be unavailable. The block factories are making more but there is a 7-10 day curing time before they should be used.

We also have been trying to buy the paint for the interior walls and ceilings. After shopping around we found that Villa's Imports in Corozal has the best price for 5 gallon buckets of semi-gloss, water based enamel. Unfortunately, they are out of stock and the container that the next paint shipment is in has been sitting at Customs in Belize City for over a week. Hopefully they will liberate the container today and actually have some paint for us tomorrow. For some reason, most people here in Belize use flat wall paint. We find it impossible to clean and that it gets splotchy when it gets wet. Flat paint is, however, readily available and relatively inexpensive.

More of the veranda tile was laid today. The rock and debris fill for the "Beach" area is mostly in place and forms for the border concrete are being set. The concrete border is necessary to prevent the sea water from undermining the marl and sand that will fill and create the "Beach".


Saturday September 15: Mostly Sunny

Work on the garage exterior continues. The first of the red Mexican tiles were set on the garage roof. These tiles will be used to create the gutter that will direct rain water to the two garage roof scuppers. This water will go into the garage cistern to supplement the community water that is used for toilet flushing and occasionally for watering in the yard.

Tiling of the veranda continued with several courses laid on the side and rear divs. The remainder of the interior tile was cut and laid. Only the areas around the showers is left un-tiled. If Paul can locate some cured 4" block to build the showers, the main house should be ready for paint by the middle of next week.

Tomorrow is Mexican Independence Day. In the early hours of September 16, 1810, father Miguel Hidalgo, accompanied by several co-conspirators including Iganacio Allende and Do? Josefa Ortiz de Dom?guez, rang the bell of his little church, calling everyone to fight for liberty. This was the beginning of the Independence War, which lasted 10 years.


Building In Belize

Week 15

Monday September 17: Mostly Sunny

Villa's paint shipment finally arrived. We bought 40 gallons of their semi-gloss water based latex and had them mix 25 gallons as Crystal Beach for the walls and 15 gallons of Pale Mushroom for the ceilings.

Today's work consisted of more tile work on the veranda, more exterior work on the garage, electrical wire pulling in the upstairs room and some application of primer inside the main house.


Tuesday September 18: Mostly Sunny

Tiling of the veranda is just about done, the detail work takes a lot of time. Paul found some good 4" block so the showers are being built. Application of primer was mostly completed. Finish paint was being applied to the window ceils. The window guy is supposed to install the window frames tomorrow.

After going over the remaining work schedule with Paul, it is apparent the house will not be finished this month.  We lost 10 work days to hurricane preparations and cleanup. Add to that Belize's September Celebrations and Mexico's Independence Day and we will have lost almost 2 full weeks of production. Still 18 weeks to build a 3300 sq. ft. house in Belize is well within most people's expectations. There are houses under construction in Consejo Shores that were started before our first project in 2006 that are still unfinished! One small house that was started about 3 months before we began this project is just now nearing completion.


Wednesday September 19: Mostly Sunny

The window supplier delivered and installed the window frames in the main building. The upstairs room is not quite ready for windows yet. The painter was all set up to spray the finish paint on the kitchen / living room ceiling but the sprayer packed up. Hopefully it will be repaired and working tomorrow.

The color coat of stucco was applied to the south exterior wall of the garage. The front of the garage will be the last of the major exterior stucco work. The electrician pulled more wire, including the communications cable for phone and internet. Work continued on the veranda tile with lots of odd size pieces being cut and laid.


Thursday September 20: Mostly Sunny

There was a lot going on today. The scaffolding was moved and exterior stucco work started on the front of the garage. All the main house tile work was completed, except over the cistern cover and grout. Stucco was applied to the foundation footing. The bottom of the window openings, where the frames were set yesterday, were filed and finished.

The ceiling in the living room, kitchen, hall and laundry were finish painted. I photographed this, and the photos looked good at high resolution. But when saved at "web" resolution, there is what would be "reciprocity law failure" if the photos were on film. In other words, the those pictures looked like crap!

The sea front is looking better and better. Marl is being spread to the desired depth.


Friday September 21: Mostly Cloudy

Flag

Today is Belize Independence Day, a National Holiday. Belize became an independent nation on September 21, 1981.

No work was done on the house.


Saturday September 22: Rain

Between rain showers, most of the red roof tiles were set at the front of the garage roof. Inside, grout was flowed into the living room / kitchen floor tile.


Building In Belize

Week 16

Monday September 24: Mostly Cloudy

This was supposed to be the last full week of construction. Considering two back-to-back hurricane scares, one of which became a direct hit by Category 5 Hurricane Dean, it is quite amazing that we are only 2 weeks behind schedule. We do now know for a fact that a well built home in Consejo Shores is as safe a place to be during a major hurricane as anywhere the tropics.

Several finishing project were worked on today. The remainder of the main house ceiling was finish painted. The Master Bedroom floor tile was grouted. Upstairs, finish stucco work was completed. Some color stucco as applied to the garage front.


Tuesday September 25: Mostly Cloudy

The remainder of the interior floor tile was grouted. They managed to use all 16 bags of grout which should have been enough to finish the veranda and upstairs room as well. More grout was purchased.

The color coat of stucco was applied to the garage front. The garage door opening was partially dressed. Finish paint was sprayed on the walls of the Guest Bedroom, Living Room and Kitchen. Semi-gloss paint just does not photograph well.

At the water front, work began on building the first of the two palapas.


Wednesday September 26: Mostly Cloudy Full Moon

More paint was sprayed inside the main house. Finish stucco work was done on the roof, foundation and upstairs veranda. Steel was tied in for the posts on the stairway and around the upstairs veranda. Some work was done on building the guest bath shower. The last of the red roof tiles were installed.

The first palapa is taking shape. For some reason, hatch is supposed to be harvested around the full moon, which is today. Most of the thatch has been cut and is laid out to dry before it will be woven onto the palapa frame.


Thurssday September 27: Mostly Cloudy

The railing on the stairway was set in place and the support posts were poured. Part of the veranda railing was also set in place and one of the 3 support posts were poured. A couple more lengths of pipe are needed to complete the job.

All the remaining red roof tiles were set in place and the remaining garage exterior stucco was applied. The garage door opening was dressed and is ready for the roll up door to be installed. The first coat of sealer was painted on the garage roof. The roof will be the same stone dust color as the rest of the building when finished.

Thatch was being woven onto the first palapa on the beach. It looks a little weird now, but it is still a work in progress.


Friday September 28: Mostly Sunny

Roger from Capital Factory came by and measured the garage door opening. They will build and install the door next week.

Dressing up of the shower enclosures was started. Tile inside the upstairs room was finished, except for the bathroom.  The same tile will be on the veranda and the stairs. The rest of the safety railing was set in place and the remaining support posts were poured.

I'm having doubts about the guys building the palapa.


Saturday September 29: Mostly Sunny

The upstairs veranda tile is about half finished. Tile was laid on the shower walls in the upstairs bath. The interior of the main house was cleaned up and swept.

The palapa is not trimmed, nor is the fish net strung over it, but I am not happy with the way it looks or the stability of the structure. I let Paul know the work was unacceptable. Someone else will be building the second palapa and this one will be completed to my satisfaction.


Building In Belize

September Recap

The month started with a hurricane scare and ends with the house almost finished. We are 2 weeks behind the original schedule, or about 2 weeks from completion. Laying tile over 3300 sq. ft. is taking longer than expected, but the main cause for the delay was Hurricane Dean.

The weather icons above show "Mostly Cloudy" or "Mostly Sunny" for almost every day. We had a lot of rain, but almost all of it was at night. September is one of the wettest months in Belize and this year was no exception. Had it rained during the day, we would probably be more than just 2 weeks behind.