Dec 14, 2008
We now have Santos building the walls which go up 8 feet around the perimeter and the palapa rooms. We have already gone up 5 courses of cement blocks, and soon will be roughing in the electrical and plumbing lines.
I am now onsite almost all the time, as there are little changes and interpretations of my sketches to be made. It is also a good opportunity to use my developing Spanish language skills. I am specializing in the descriptive adjectives -- a little wider (un poco más ancho), from here to there (de aquí a allí), over and under (sobre y debajo). Mostly I try to encourage them, “Muy bueno”, “Buen trabajo”, “Me gusto mucho” (Very good, good work, I like it.)
The loft floor was quickly assembled, but then I redesigned the stairs to make best use of our space. This has proven a little complex as the builders have a improvisational style for building “escaleras” and each installation is unique to the architecture and location of the stairs. I laboured over good detailed drawings of the vertical and the horizontal views, and Daniel and Jesus “Chucho” are using it as a guide.
The top deck is pino, nice BC pine 2 x 12s running full 14 feet. (Once again I am in Imperial measurements) that will take stain and varnish very well. The local wood, sapote, is very dark, very hard, and very heavy. The 4x4’s that run under the stair treads are hand-cut (with a chain saw) are at least twice as heavy as treated 4x4s up north. The treads themselves are 9 inch logs cut in half, with a light outer ring around the dark red core, making one of the more beautiful details of the palapa design.
Everything is then bolted together with ready rod. The crew worked late on Saturday, and then returned Sunday morning, asking, “is it all right to work today?” “Si bueno” and by early afternoon the stairs were in. “Me gusto mucho” ( “I like them very much.” Which literally translates appropriately, “It pleases me very much”)
We now have an upstairs!