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New Construction

Lease / purchase

Phase 3: The construction of the remaining 11 residences.

Scheduled to begin in November with completion expected
by January 31.

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Progress Report

Feb.  13-19, 2005 // CONSTRUCTION LOG #19


Synopsis: A number of little things got addressed this week along with advancing the major items.

Little things

Electrical Site Services -west side: The new electrical and telecommunications services on the west side of the property were put into service this week. This is a project which had been on going for several weeks. The old services worked but were unsightly and had been spliced so many times that the signals had degraded. My Canadian electrician friend and advisor said: "This won't do; it's got to go; bite the bullet now and relax later" So, it's now done. He loves spending our money!!!!! But I am now more confident of reliability of services.

The front roadway: a strip about two feet wide had NOT been paved;; only tarred. Now that we have the curb in and that all construction has been finished along the street, we addressed that strip.

Large Swimming Pool: this has been in service for 2 1/2 years. The wiring that the builder of the waterfalls did to light them and the water at night, wasn't done right and the lights began to fade. We had identified the problem and the only solution was to rewire it. Easier said than done because the installation of the wires themselves was the problem. However, it is now done. The pool was drained, scrubbed down with muratic acid to freshen it up and the rocks will have their touch up coat of paint applied. I expect this pool to be back in full service by midweek.

Walkways: It is almost possible to now walk from one end of the garden area to the other end on a continuous walkway. The concrete has been mostly poured. They will now begin to be tiled. As a friend of mine said, the walkways have lots of "sensuous curves" and "meandering through the garden" is now has a new meaning.

Chipper/hogger: this has been a disappointment. An 8hp Honda engine was beaten up by palm fibers. We burned out one of the bearings in less than an hour's use. We'll have to experiment with what we can chop for composting and how to do it. As far as I'm concerned there is a design flaw in the machine but I'm in CR so I simply have to live with the limitations. Just another realization that not everything designed and made in N. Am. is well done.

Curbs: we've started to pour curbs on the main interior road(s). This is a project which will be on going for some time. I have yet to figure out how to surface the roads. Lots of options but none is perfect (in my mind).


Unit 104: it's taken the full week to finish it off -including decorating and cleaning. It has now been 5 weeks that we've been working on it. We've gotten some fantastic deals on pictures, as well as sofa and chairs. We having some wrought iron furniture being made for end tables and coffee table. Curtains were hung on Friday.

Unit 108: This is the focus of our attention now. As work has wound down on 104 we've shifted the crew to 108, I would love to have a PERT chart drawn of this construction process. So many things are going on in parallel -framing, wiring, plumbing, drywall boarding/taping and molding installation are all going on simultaneously. The drawings have proven to be not very good. Dimensions are inaccurate and/or missing, spaces simply too small that they don't work, etc. Lots of on -site adjustments. The owner wanted to have a balcony large enough for two people to enjoy coffee in the morning overlooking the pool and mountain in the background -not an unreasonable request. The space was so small that it would not accommodate two chairs and a table. Solution? I had several options but opted to extend the balcony across the front of the master bedroom. I think it will work out great. There are lots of other drawing flaws as well.but we'll manage. The trick of the architectural trade is that when it doesn't work, don't dimension it and/or use a different scale for furniture and fixtures.

New Construction

We are pulling electrical wire, leveling the window sills and preparing them for the finish coat. We've started to add the re-bar reinforcing cages for the structural beams in areas.

Permits: The application for co-op status continues. Target date for permit on this is not later than March 15. We are actively exploring the requirements for conversion to conventional condominiums. I've been given some information but have a number of questions which are left unanswered. More on that later.

Marketing: We've accepted an offer to purchase #111.

Errors In Judgment: I should have brought more of the medium sized moldings from Canada. I underestimated the amount we would be using. I can get it here but it is an inferior product and takes much more time to install. I should also have brought more insulation but I really didn't have any more room in the container. Again, I can get it here -fiberglass insulation but the Roxul mineral wool from Canada is my preferred product.

Our lives

Our friend Terry has left for the Queen Mary II where he will be entertaining many for the next 4 months. Sorry to see him go as we've enjoyed his company and his great cooking. But he has to make a living and sailing around the Caribbean and the Mediterranean is not that hard a lifestyle. He has difficulty getting tears from anyone when he leaves.

Lita has decided she is too heavy so has taken up exercising at a gym in Santa Ana. She has a driver who picks her up and helps her up the stairs; he brings her back as well. At the fitness center she has bribed several of the people to help her find and operate the machines and the same with her locker. She's spending a lot of time at this -I think she has an admirer there- and is enjoying her new activity. She expects instant results (which doesn't happen) so hope she doesn't become discouraged.

She also became frightened when someone said the parrot might suffocate under the covers (I was hoping it would so didn't say anything); I'm sleeping better now that the bird is back in her cage!

This is the time of year that seemingly dead trees, trees with no leaves and no evidence of life, burst into bloom. The countryside is dotted with these trees -dark to light pink. They are absolutely amazing. They have cousins as well -brilliant orange and brilliant yellow. They last for 2-3 weeks and return to "dead" trees until the rainy season when they leaf.

Five of us returned to the pool table on Friday night. A 9 yr. old girl was playing when we arrived. After we determined she was not too good for us, we invited her to even up the boys against the girls -which is the way Lita had divided us. The little girl was great. The good guys won and everything is still right in the universe but she was a good sport. Her parents looked on encouragingly.

Lita, Vicka, Hugo, and Brian

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