September 12-17, 2005 // CONSTRUCTION LOG #49
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: (6 pictures in all) 114-116; 106.
This was a short week due to Independence Day on
Thursday, Sept. 15.
Again we were firing on all cylinders this week making
progress on all fronts...
We currently have 58 people on the payroll (about
$4,300 week plus 50% various labor /social taxes)
and that's where we expect to stay for the near term.
Units 114, 115, and 116: Two units are ready for their
final painting and the primer is installed on 115.
Ceramic floors are substantially completed in both 114
and 116 and started in 115. Cabinets are about 80%
installed in 114. A number of finishing details were
finished up this week. The entrance to 115 was
enhanced with a rock exterior.
Unit 106: Perlins (steel joists) for the 2nd. floor
are about 80% installed and the ground floor on both
sides is ready for concrete. This should happen
Thursday.. We would like to have a truck and pumper
but the area is really tight for such huge equipment.
Units 121, 122, and 123: Unit 123 went through a
major redesign. When I looked at the foot print I
realized it had design flaws which I should have seen
before. I was able redesign the ground floor within
the same footprint. Basically, I eliminated two
terraces on the ground floor and converted them into
interior living space. The foot print was simply too
small to provide the living area needed if we were to
keep the two terraces. Now we have a den or living
room a family room or living room and a dining room or
office or guest bedroom. Most of the structural
columns are poured and we are now installing the
We've started backfilling and compacting the substrate
for Unit 122. This is a longer and more expensive
process than normal because we had to excavate the
clay and now make up for that same amount we had to
Units 117-120: The sub roofs are now installed-we
have dry interiors. Virtually all the walls had to
have the "miracle" parging coat meticulously and
laboriously hammered off. We are now in the process
of redoing the parging. This is probably about 3 man
months of work. Some builders might have let this go
but we didn't like it.
Units 101 and 102: No time to focus on this other than
to visit an aquarium to begin thinking about building
in the things necessary for easy mtnc. Lots of
Problems: We're having problems getting appliances.
The ones we used and were very, very happy with, are
no longer available in Costa Rica. The substitute
products are far less desirable and more expensive.
We're still working on this.
Price Increases: Electrical wire increased 9% and PVC
will increase 7% on Monday. We are buying what we can
before the increases but increases are a fact of life
here and in the construction industry. I'm
considering increasing the price of the remaining
houses again. Purchasers tell me after they purchase,
that I'm not charging enough. I've heard that now for
6 months as these units began to finish up. Perhaps I
Electrical upgrade: We have continued to run the PVC
leads to their distribution points but other than
that, not much progress. We have secured the wire,
however. I just learned that PVC prices were
increasing next week so we'll have to see if we have
purchased the bulk of what we need. We made a major
purchase of house wire this week as well before the
price increase took effect.
Marketing: We confirmed the sale of 122 and will be
building the design the purchasers want.
I'm working with a person to make up some printed
brochures. He's resourced them here and the display
stands. We now just have to finalize the design on
the brochures. They seem to be amazingly inexpensive
and of superb prinking quality.
Telemarketing campaign: no progress. This continues
to be discouraging.
Landscaping: we will soon be to the stage of
finishing off the landscaping around 114/5/6. That's
always a rewarding stage.
Weather: We've had little rain and the temperature
had been great for working.
Christmas Decorations: are going up in the stores.
In CR, there are no major marketing points between now
and Christmas unlike in N. Am which has Thanksgiving
INDEPENDENCE DAY: from Spain was celebrated here and
elsewhere in Central and South America, on Thursday.
Lita looked for an excuse for a party and found
someone with a birthday so... First pool party
we've had for a while-too busy doing other things.
The weather cooperated.
VOIP phone and friends: I took time in the hammock on
Sunday to catch up with friends. The internet phone
is wonderful for that.
Orchid garden: it is showing signs of beauty. I've
located a wholesale place-actually I knew of it before
but I met a person who works there. I hope to
purchase a number more.
The parrot: it's still alive and well-this is a mixed
The boat: the saga continues-CR isn't the only place
where things can move slowly.
Brian, Lita, Hugo and irreverent Vicka, the pigeon