January 30 - February 4, 2006 // CONSTRUCTION LOG #69
Contact phone numbers
New York: 315-279-6711
Toronto: 416-907-5758 // 416-461-2203
Land: 506-282-4142 Ext. 101
NOTE: the New York and Toronto numbers are "local calls" for people in the area codes; calls from outside the area code will be billed at the normal rate from the caller's area code to either the "315" or the "416" area code.
Pictures: 122 and the west roadway.
The Story: Roadway, new arrivals, and planning the
Weather: Strange indeed: fantastically perfect during
the day and a soft rain almost every night-the garden
loves it and we don't mind. In the six years I've been
here, I've never seen this much rain. It helps the
garden and lessens our dependence on irrigation.
117 and 118: Both units are now finished. Unit 118
was again finished just-in-time with the final bed
arriving an hour after the occupants arrived. Unit
117 is slated for occupancy Feb. 8-we actually have 4
day's breathing time.
119 and 120: These units should be finished in about
three weeks-kitchens are going in -bathroom tile work
is nearly done, and a myriad of minor, but important
finishing details are yet to be done.
Units 121, 122, and 123:
121: The drywall is ready for painting and the
molding is mostly fitted around the windows. Floor
tile will follow next week.
122: This unit is now the priority and it is coming
together rapidly. If Murphy remains on vacation, it
will be ready for the occupants on Feb. 14.
As the stairs pass thru the 2nd. floor, there is an
area, about a foot wide. I felt this area would take a
beating were it to be finished as painted drywall.
I directed the site superintendent to cover it with
tile having some type of design. I hadn't had time
to follow up on that until I was walking around on
Wednesday evening. The design is a fantastic (my
opinion) mosaic made from surplus tile we had on site.
It beach mural showing sand, sky, palm trees one side
and another showing the ocean / sky, and a porpoise
jumping. So many of these guys have better ideas than
I do and it's fantastic when they exercise them. We
had seen some things like this when we took a trip to
see what others were doing. I expect my wife and I
will incorporate this same idea in our home... I
expect the mosaic will include a parrot (maybe a cat )
and if I'm lucky the will be eating the parrot).
123: The floor ceramic is installed and grouted.
Interior and exterior moldings are done.
Note: the exterior work is finished on these three
homes. We will now begin to landscape them. This
will make a big difference in the appearance of this
Units 101 and 102: We're waiting for the Min. of
Health's approval for the septic system. In the
meantime we are planning and preparing for the work.
Electrical System Upgrade: Not much progress... more
promises -we're looking for someone to finish it. This
experience is fairly typical -"professionals" start
but don't finish; talk is better than substance; BS
is better than all else. Broken promises and good
whining seem to be my experience with what passes for
"professionals". (My assessment is based on numerous
associations with lawyers, architects, and
engineers-give me a tradesman and I'll get the job
Roadway: This is now done. It makes a big difference
in appearance and is quieter since there is not the
crunch of gravel. We have to paint the parking lines
and no-parking areas yet. That is scheduled for next
Lockers: We are laying out the building and planning
for the 2nd. floor house. We heard from most of the
purchasers re. our proposal and all are in agreement
so it looks like it will happen.
Marketing: our purchasers from Florida of units 118
and 119 arrived as scheduled. I've spent time with
them purchasing some specialty appliance items and
getting them oriented.
I showed some interested people from Hawaii around.
They went on a fact finding tour for three nights/four
days and tried to contact me on their return. My cell
phone relayed the messages three days later so I
never caught up with them other than by e-mail now.
We have another purchaser to get settled in this
Employee Raffle: Over the years and through various
stages of this development, we have accumulated a
variety of furnishings which we are not likely to need
in the future. In addition, there are some useful
things in our house which is to be torn down -windows, cabinets, doors, etc. We held a raffle of
these items with the workers on Saturday. We put a
new life to many of these surplus items and into the
hands of the people who help us every day. It was a
pleasure to be able to do this. Now our storage area
is clear of items we no longer want. This will become
the construction warehouse for our two homes. We can
begin dismantling the current warehouse and finish the
construction of the covered parking area for 4 cars
where it now stands.
Note: Internet unreliability: we've experience some
disruptions in our internet service this week.
Annoying since we want it to be reliable. We believe
the problem to be our provider's. If that is the
case, we'll have to consider changing from ICE to
CableTica. It seems to be a toss up as to who has the
better service at any given time.
Transition: We're beginning to focus more and more on
managing the property following the construction
phase. Mike Newhouse, the property manger for the
past several years, will be getting married and will
be moving on to other things at the end of February.
For now, Paul and I will do the management during this
transitionary phase. We'll set up the systems
necessary and make sure all is working properly and
then take a longer term perspective. Our bookkeeper
will be picking up many of the office functions;
she's in her training phase now for the next month.
She is bilingual and can track the money and look
after people accounts as well as our accounts with
various organizations as well as the government.
She's grown up with the project so is familiar with
all aspects of it; this should not be a difficult
aspect of the transition. I've also identified a
person who we will train as the resident maintenance
person. He, too, has grown up with the project so is
familiar with many aspects of it. We're beginning to
phase him into those aspects that he is not yet
familiar with, eg. pool maintenance. I've nearly
finished a information / orientation documents which
is designed to answer the most frequently asked
questions. When completed, this should help residents
and new comers to become more familiar with and more
Next Project: We're waiting for the soil studies on
the one property we've decided to focus on. We've
questioned and have, I think, confirmed the size of
the property. Following the results of the soil
study, we need to confirm the availability of water or
what will be required to ensure we have an adequate
and reliable water supply. We've set a goal for
ourselves to have this information in time in order to
make an offer on Friday.
Phil and his family arrived for a week's stay in his
house here on site. We spent some time with them when
they were not touring the country. They've been are
off to the Caribbean coast the last few days. I'm
sure they are getting rained on very heavily but they
wanted to go to Tortugero and other areas south of
Limon. We'll relive their experiences when they
Other friends from the marina in Canada arrived
Saturday afternoon with their two children; they will
be staying for a month.
Our friends and long term residents, Tom and Susan,
will be moving to a house in Atenas. It will be sad
to see them go and while we won't loose contact with
them, it won't be the same-no more coffee and cake and
Since Paul's arrival, he's been thrown right into the
swing of things helping out on a number of fronts. He
has skills and knowledge that I don't. It's nice to
have the help and it's good experience for him getting
his feet wet here in Costa Rica.
Sunday afternoon, Lita seems to be organizing a
hamburger feast at the pool. It's sunny and warm so
it seems like a good idea.
Note: Today is election day. The campaigning has
been peaceful yet spirited. Liquor sales have been
banned for the past number of days. Fortunately, I had
a good supply. Oscar Arias was the front runner but
his lead began to fade in the last few days. Whoever
wins will likely change the course (?) of the past 4
years. I have my preference but it's not my place to
voice it; I'm a guest in the country and avoid
political arguments. Each to their own even though
those who do not agree with me are wrong headed (my
opinion), they are entitled to their opinions.
Brian, Lita, Hugo and irreverent Vicka, the pigeon