"El Refugio" - Construction

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30 May 2006

Raising of House Walls Underway

An overview showing more of the house walls having been raised. All walls will later be covered both inside and out with about 2cm of stucco.

31 May 2006

Living Room Steps and House Walls

The steps in the living room, with more house walls.

31 May 2006

Start of Septic Tank

The base of the septic tank, which is 2.5 meters deep.

31 May 2006

Start of Rainwater Drainage Well

The base of the rainwater drainage well, also 2.5 meters deep.

02 Jun 2006

Steps from Living Room

The steps from the living room to the covered patio. All the external walls here are one and a half times the standard thickness (one brick width plus one brick height). As can be seen, a further coat of tar is used between the foundation and brick walls.

05 Jun 2006

Curved Walls at Entrance

The curved entrance; the front has double thickness walls (one brick length).

06 Jun 2006

Overview of Partly-raised Walls

Another overview showing the walls raised to about the level of the bottom of the windows.

07 Jun 2006

Rainwater Well and Septic Tank Drainage

The drainage to the rainwater well and septic tank.

08 Jun 2006

Front Entrance with Walls at 2.1 Meters

The front entrance, showing the walls built mainly to a height of 2.1 meters; this is the height of the top of most windows where dalas will be laid. One exception to this is the left of the entrance hall which has higher walls with stepped windows by the stairs.

08 Jun 2006

Building Arches in the Half Bathroom

Construction of the two arched windows in the half bathroom.

08 Jun 2006

Covered Rainwater Drainage Well

The concrete cover applied to the rainwater well.

08 Jun 2006

Chamber in Septic Tank

One of the four chambers of the septic tank with stucco having been applied to the walls. Each chamber is 2.2 meters deep and 1.7 meters across. The width of each chamber is 1 meter, except for that nearest to the canal, which is 1.5 meters wide. Total capacity is about 17000L, and output to the canal should be very clean water.

12 Jun 2006

Overview from Across the Canal

A view of the construction from the other side of the canal.

12 Jun 2006

Dalas Laid by Half Bathroom

Dalas laid at 2.1 meters in the half bathroom.

12 Jun 2006

Building Arch in Family Room

One of the two window arches in the family room under construction.

12 Jun 2006

Poured Dalas in Living Room

Molds over the window arches in the rear half of the living room hold the concrete for the dalas.

14 Jun 2006

Window Arches in Living Room

The completed window arches at the back of the living room.

14 Jun 2006

Building Arched Internal Doorways

Construction of arches above the doors to the living room and family room.

15 Jun 2006

Building Arched Entrance Doorway

The arched front doorway with the dala above; this also curves outwards.

16 Jun 2006

Finished Family Room Arch

A completed window arch in the family room.

16 Jun 2006

Dalas by Entrance Hall

A view from the entrance hall of the reinforcements under construction.

18 Jun 2006

Covered Septic Tank

The covered septic tank with the kitchen and family room in the background. The house walls are currently 2.5 meters high; a 20cm dala will take this to the ceiling height of 2.7 meters.

21 Jun 2006

Kitchen and Family Room Dalas

The kitchen and family room with the dala partially made.

21 Jun 2006

Living Room Dalas

The living room with the top dala for the lower floor being made.

21 Jun 2006

Side of Living Room with Completed Walls

The side of the living room with the top dalas completed. Steel beams for the ceiling will be placed on these dalas.

21 Jun 2006

Windows by Side of Stairs

The other side of the house, showing the windows by the stairs being built above the level of the lower floor.

21 Jun 2006

Family Room Exterior

The outside of the family room. The entry point for the power supply can be seen to the right.

22 Jun 2006

Start of Installation of Conduits and Pipes

Conduits for the wiring and plumbing are also installed at this time, as shown in this view of the kitchen. The raised conduit in the floor to the left is for the island unit power supply; the power supply and water supply for the refrigerator are on the right.

24 Jun 2006

Electrical Installations Inside and Out

All walls are at a height of 2.7 meters. There are numerous orange conduits for electrical cable. In the foreground is one of the service hatches for the underground cabling. To the right, the three rear columns are encased in tubes, later to be filled with marbled concrete.

Yesterday, we received permission to begin construction of the house. WE ARE NOW LEGAL!!!

24 Jun 2006

Conduits and Covered Pipes

A view from the dining area showing the doorway to the living room and some of the plumbing having been cemented in place.

24 Jun 2006

Stair Windows and Family Room Doorway

A view of the windows by the stairs, with the arch over the doorway to the family room at the right.

24 Jun 2006

Start of Application of Stucco in Living Room

The upper section of the living room showing the start of application of stucco to the walls, and power and communications outlets.

30 Jun 2006

Start of Fitting of Steel Beams

The next stage is to fit steel beams for the ceiling. Although very heavy, they are lifted into place by hand. This view is from inside the family room, and also shows beams over the entrance hall.

30 Jun 2006

Large Beam from Entrance Hall

A view from the entrance hall showing the 8x5¼ I-beam that runs down the entire depth of the house; this beam alone weighs 360Kg (800lb). To this are welded 6x4 and 8x4 beams that will hold the bóveda ceiling.

30 Jun 2006

Flying Beams for Master Bathroom

This view shows that the beams laid across the entrance hall overhang ("fly") to support the floor of the master bathroom and dressing room on the upper floor.

30 Jun 2006

Application of Stucco outside Living Room

At this time, both inside and outside walls are covered with stucco. This is thrown at the wall and smoothed with a trowel to give a thick rough first coat. A thinner second coat is then smoothed over using a rectangular aluminum bar about 2m long to give a flat and even finish.

30 Jun 2006

Beams in Entrance Hall from Kitchen

A view from the covered patio showing the beams in the entrance hall and family room; the wall has had the first coat of stucco.

06 Jul 2006

Laying Beams and Stucco Nearly Done

At this time, the work on the steel beams is almost complete, as is the covering of the inside and outside of the house with stucco. Work has just started on the bóveda ceilings in the family room.

07 Jul 2006

Start of Staircase Construction

The beginning of the construction of the staircase.

07 Jul 2006

Bóveda Ceiling Started in Family Room

A view of the bóveda ceiling in the family room. This type of ceiling consists of brick arches between steel beams, and is inherently strong.

07 Jul 2006

Overview from Gate with Stuccoed Walls

A view from near the gate with application of stucco to the walls nearly complete.

10 Jul 2006

Overview from across the Canal

The construction as seen fron the other side of the canal.

10 Jul 2006

Staircase with Reinforcements and Molds

The staircase with steel reinforcements and molds in place ready for pouring the concrete. PVC tubes cut in half are used to form the bullnosed edges of the steps.