Apr. 11-16, 2005 // CONSTRUCTION LOG #27
Pictures: finally some progress on new construction
which is worth showing and #107.
Synopsis: Permitting is the story this week.
Permit: We got the approved drawings from the Min.
of Health on Tuesday (Monday was a holiday).
We submitted them to the City and they promptly showed us
the door and told us to go to SENTENA. We did. I won't go
into the details of one of the most anal procedures I've ever
seen, like going to a designated bank to pay 1,000 colones
(about $2) and getting a receipt and returning to SENTENA
before they would accept the application. Anyway, the application
-about 30 pages of beauracratic papers with 2 pgs. of actual
new information that the architect filled out in about 20
On Thursday afternoon, we received a 2nd. stop work
order and were given 3 days to comply. On Friday we
presented our case to the City via the Maestro de Obra's contacts.
We explained that we had the approvals of the Colegio of Engineers
and Architects, as well as that of the Min. of Health. We
had applied to SENTENA and had the receipt and tracking number
to confirm our statement. We also said we could produce several
other documents which they may want as well as a tax receipt
of all property taxes paid for the year. What was the problem
? -the development is consistent with the land use stated
by the City, lower density than zoned for, that we had dealt
with rain water as requested by the City, we had paved the
street ourselves, and had put in a 24" rain water culvert
at our own expense. This is not a controversial use and we
have not contravened any of their stated rules or regulations.
The bottom line is that we have a stay of execution for at
least two weeks after which time it's not certain but we will
probably have to show that we are continuing to make progress
with SENTENA; SENTENA has a month to turn it around-yea, a
month and I'm 10' tall. At least we can continue for the next
two weeks with relative ease of mind. It will be full speed
ahead!!!!!! We took a calculated risk in pushing on with some
construction but complied with their main requests as we interpreted
them. It seems to have paid off.
I've given instructions to the maestro de obra (site superintendent)
that the near term goal is to have the roof on ALL seven houses
two weeks from now. This will allow us to finish the interiors
and will protect us from the coming rains. He will need to
hire a few more welders and a couple more cement/block people
but this is not a problem. Each house is to be worked on each
day to advance it. This is to be done without affecting the
renovation of 107.
Units 114 / 115 / 116: We finished pouring the collar
ties, laying the upper layer of blocks, parging the new block
and adding the terrace structure. We'll have the roof on by
Wednesday and will be able to begin finishing the interiors
and exteriors. They should go fast.
Units 117 / 120: We've poured more columns and collar
ties as well as finished the shower stalls. Forming for more
columns and collar ties will continue. Now that we got a break
on the stop work order (see Permit below), we should be able
to get the roof on in the next two weeks. The interiors will
finish fast at this stage.
Units 121 / 122 / 123: no progress here-design pending
completion of working drawings for 107.
Unit 108: We are working on a number of minor deficiencies.
Nothing major. The coral stone for the master bathroom has
been ordered; it will take about 2 weeks; the frosted glass
and designs has been ordered as well.
Unit 107: We continued to tear it apart as needed
and have started to put it back together in it's new life.
I had to modify the owner/architect's design because it didn't
work well -the ground floor bathroom was too narrow- but a
2am inspiration solved the problem. We now have a great design
for this unit and I'm looking forward to putting it together
for the owner. Exterior boarding has started, roof restructuring
is moving along, new floor slab extension has been poured
complete with roughed in plumbing for kitchen and two bathrooms.
Granite has been secured for the kitchen counter.
Marketing: I put ads in Sunset and Harper's magazines
and have yet to figure out how to place an ad in The Wall
Street Journal. I'll begin working on ads for CR publications
this next week; I have a person to help with that..
A temporary resident arrived on site as scheduled. Within
two days he wants to talk purchase. We'll see. At least one
of the purchasers wants to waive the conditions we established
for ourselves and I suspect several others do as well. We
are exploring advancing the turnover of the units.
Two parties seem to be interested in Unit 116.
VOIP phone: It seems to work some of the time. I haven't
yet mastered it.
My Toronto phone number
My New York number is: 315-279-6711.
Calling either of those numbers rings here. I'm usually here
around 6pm CR time.
After Joe and Phil left on Monday, I started getting
caught up on paperwork and kept myself available for whatever
was required to advance the permits.
I made a significant discovery this week. I have decried
the quality of CR beef and have kept looking for something
which was edible without first grinding it into mince meat.
I happened onto a vacuum wrapped tenderloin which was labeled
as black angus tenderloin from Argentina. We cooked it this
week and it was equal to any I've had in N. Am. Tender, juicy,
flavorful. Absolutely delicious. I now know what to look for
and can purchase with confidence.
This next story should fit under the heading of: You know
you are getting old when >>>>
We invited a guest to dinner to share our tenderloin of beef.
We had the normal crunchy veggies with a curried cheese sauce,
hard sliced mango salad which Lita does so well, pene pasta
with alfredo sauce, and for desert fresh pineapple and yogurt.
The meal was good but our guest didn't eat much. Come to find
out toward the end of the meal, he didn't have any lower teeth.
From now on, I guess I'll not only have to ask if new guests
have any dietary restrictions, but also if they have a full
set of teeth! Regardless of that, we had a wonderful time.
Joe and Phil brought some used but unneeded clothing (especially
shoes) here which will be distributed to the workers. After
walking around in wet concrete, their shoes no longer qualify
as dancing slippers. Some of the cabinetry we removed from
the renovated houses is being recycled to the workers. It
is of no use to us and is prized by them, so... In the future
when people ask me if there is anything they can bring, I'm
going to suggest used clothing which they no longer need.
We all have it and probably don't think about it much. Less
and less do I need construction items; sometimes some small
dried food sauces are a nice touch but there should still
be lots of suitcase room.
Lita is back to her fitness schedule. One of the people on
the property is joining her. The parrot squawks when she's
not here and finally shuts up. But he get's really excited
when she returns. Hugo and I run for cover.
Brian, Lita, Hugo and Vicka (the pigeon toed parrot).