November 19-26, 2005 // CONSTRUCTION LOG #59
Contact phone numbers
New York 315-279-6711 // Toronto 416-907-5758
Cell 506-305-3965 // Land 506-282-4142 Ext. 101
NOTE: our land line in CR has changed;
we are now integrated into the compound network.
Pictures: misc. of all areas under construction-106 /
121 / 122 / 123 and 117-120.
Weather: The change in seasons is underway - the dry
season is definitely on its way. The weather has been
Unit 106: Unit 106 A is in the final cleaning stages
and will be ready for occupancy on Monday. There will
still be a few exterior things to finish. The
finishing touches on Unit 106 B should be completed
this next week. The upper units C and D are
progressing; painting, doors, tile, windows will be
starting this next week.
Units 121, 122, and 123: The second floor
structural and roof framing of units 123 and 122 are
now completed. The substrate roof for 123 is
finished and nearly finished for 122. The welders
will spend the next week increasing the structural
integrity and cross bracing will be added to each
unit. We raced ahead with that structure that was
required to support the sub roof. Not we will go back
and add all the structural elements. Unit 121: the
block walls are in place; we are framing the collar
The area around these three units has been cleaned up
and the rocks and some plants have been relocated. The
next week should see the addition of the walkways.
Units 117-120: We've laid terrace tiles on three
Units 101 and 102: I have redesigned the floor plan
based on Lita's comments. I now have what I hope is a
Electrical System Up grade: We continue to wait for
ICE's approval on the transformer. Our cables are
pulled, ready for connection. The meter bases are in
waiting for ICE. The electricians have been focusing
on finishing 106 and on roughing in on 123 and 122.
Walkways and landscaping: We've done some clean up
and the addition of good dirt in preparation for the
final landscaping. We've re-started the tiling of the
walkways where the construction is now complete.
Cabletica and TV / Internet Service: As I write, the
next phase of Cabletica installers are on site
installing the splitters to which we will attach the
house feed cables and each household can then set up
their account for the service package they way. We
will continue to provide our high speed wireless
service at an advantageous price.
Marketing: Lita is probably the biggest distributor
of brochures. We've had several clients from these.
I'm having more printed.
The e-mail campaign is now finished. We ended up
getting a number of additional leads.
We're beginning to work with a group of investors
interested in purchasing multiple units. They plan on
visiting during the second week in December.
Next Project: Paul and I plan to viewed some beach
front property on Wednesday. This property resulted
from my trip the previous week. The land was
interesting-about 2 hrs. from San Jose, just 15
minutes south of Puntarenas and 10 min. north of
Puerto Caldero, the Pacific international container
port. The CR owner has 77 hectares or about 175
acres of land. He's taken it through the zoning
process and is willing to divide it up into chunks.
He's looking for builders. One area not fully
developed on his site plan is a beach front knoll of
about 3.4 hectares (7 acres) which fronts onto the
public beach, river on one side, public road on
another. It has a very steep incline from the beach
and from the upper area, it commands some pretty
special views of the ocean, and mountains. This is
the section which most captured our interest. The
problem is that the sand is black volcanic and the
location is near the bottom of the Gulf of Nicoya and
south of Puntarenous; that means the water is not
that clean. The problem I have is looking for an
answer as to why would I want to travel 2 hrs. from
San Jose for the view????? Re. price? Don't know;
the ball is in the vendor's hands.
Other: I'm in the process of commissioning a
feasibility study on a product which I feel has
potential here. I've wanted to do this for a number
of years but have now found someone who wants to run
with it. Perhaps at the end of the study I'll have a
new opportunity or be able to put the product to bed.
The proposal has been reviewed and it has been sent
to others for review. I want to make sure we ask the
right questions such that we have a useful document
when we are finished.
Useful Websites on Costa Rica
Last week I wrote: Between a root canal and future
restorative work, a cold, being the meat in the
sandwich and getting chewed on , and a computer
problem, it's been a rather lousy week for me and not
much better for Lita.
A prompt rely from friends in Canada was:
Just thought you'd like to know Friday Nov. 18 we had
our first major
snow fall that stayed on the ground. I was working on
a roof in Pickering fixing a no heat call. I left the
sight at 3pm it took me till 5pm to get back to the
Beach and I was driving in the opposite direction of
traffic. Its been dark cold and damp for the last few
weeks and each day it gets a little colder.
If you really want to have a lousy week I suggest you
Toronto. I don't want to read any more about your
lousy weeks in paradise. All we have to look forward
to is escaping Canada and returning to CR, so stop
raining (snowing) on our parade.
I think I'll take the root canal any day.
Conclusion: "good" and "lousy" are relative; how
soon we change our yardsticks.
I've found myself pretty stressed out this week on a
number of issues:
Last week I found myself the "meat in the sandwich
being chew on"; That issue has been resolved and all
returned to the previous state which was fine. Life
will continue without damage.
The "overview" issue of several weeks ago is largely
settled with the admission that this is an important
issue and a resolution has been arrived at which was
supplied by the affected party. Due process and
consultation did it.
Most purchasers are straight forward and honor the
agreement. Honest disagreements might arise; those
can usually be dealt with. A few people (purchasers)
like to squeeze for more just before closing and
engage in a game I call "silly-bugger"- it seems to be
the way they negotiate, live their life, and it does
not endear me to them. In my previous building
experience, perhaps 20% of purchasers might be so
described. Usually at the end of a project, a
developer is strapped for cash and needs to close; in
this situation, the developer normally just bends
over and... I know, I've been there. I vowed never
to be in that situation again. In fact, I'm now in
the enviable position of not giving a damn if a
purchaser closes or not because I know I can sell the
unit and probably for more than I did the first time.
Regardless, the past experience has been brought back
to me by a person wanting to play silly-bugger. He
can't win because I hold the trump card-I don't care!
This game should end Monday.
And now the case of an honest issue: One of our
purchasers was always behind the curve on changes made
to the unit he / they were interested in purchasing.
Since no commitment had been made, I changed the
orientation of the unit and that improved the end
result. I also changed the price which had been based
on a lesser view. This latter change seems not to
have been fully or clearly communicated by the agents
who were handling this transaction. When it came time
for the first payment, this discrepancy came to light.
Obviously the purchaser was concerned and so was I
since my credibility was at issue here. We had never
met and he had / has never been to the project-this
was a sight un-seen purchase (in fact, their second
one). He chronicled the events as he knew them; I
did the same. We identified where the breakdown
(unintentional) seems to have occurred; in normally
prefer direct communications partially for this
reason. We are now back on track. He / they wrote:
Thank you for the explanation/clarification. Of course
we were aware of
and pleased by the design and orientation changes,
just didn't translate into more $$. Yes, we're
disappointed, but we know we're still getting good
value, so we'll just leave it at that. And a $5K
discount is still a $5K discount. You communicate your
passion for the project well, and I like that a lot.
Here's a person I'm going to enjoy building for and
having a drink with later.
One of the things which makes my current situation
different than previously is that my partner is also a
builder and has experienced the same things; we can
understand what's going on and are like minded in
dealing with it.
Our Thanksgiving party of last Sunday was great. We
had 37 people on a bright, sunny afternoon. Lots of
delicious food-two turkeys, ham, dressing, gravy,
mashed potatoes, vegetables, cakes, pies, wine, meat
balls, etc. This week we've enjoyed the remnants.
Tonight we take the maestro de obra (site
superintendent) and his wife to dinner.
My dental work continues: Lita continues with the gym
and with the distribution of brochures. She's
enjoying it; I hope she get rewarded and I'm able to
pay her a commission.
Hugo and Vicka, the parrot, seem to be doing fine.
Brian, Lita, Hugo and irreverent Vicka, the pigeon