"El Refugio" - Construction

To enlarge the thumbnail in place, click and hold down the mouse button.
For a high-resolution view in a new window, click on the magnifier to the right (zoom to 100% to see full details).

26 Nov 2006

Internal Doors are Here

Most of the internal doors are here; still waiting for the curved and arched entrance doors. All doors are of solid wood, except that for the small door to the room under the stairs.

26 Nov 2006

Railings and Painting in Covered Balcony

The covered balcony has now been textured and the railings fitted. A plastic-covered handrail will be added to all railings to prevent people being burnt.

26 Nov 2006

Two Types of Texture

A view on the rear terrace; different textures are used for the exterior and interior.

28 Nov 2006

Dining Table Not Too Good

More work has been done on the dining table, but it’s not quite what I’d hoped for. About half the expensive hammering work has now been done on the main staircase.

01 Dec 2006

Railings Fitted on Terrace

Railings have been fitted on the terrace and exterior texturing done on the north side.

02 Dec 2006

Textured Concrete at Front of House

The exterior of the front of the house is now mostly finished; textured rústico concrete for the upper floor and textured paint for the lower floor. Also the master bedroom balcony railings have now been fitted.

03 Dec 2006

Kitchen Units are Here

The kitchen cabinets have arrived, but the doors have still not been fitted.

05 Dec 2006

Textured Concrete by Stairs

The exterior at the side of the stairs is also finished in the rústico concrete. This will also be applied at the left of the entrance to complete the structural element.

09 Dec 2006

Jacuzzi Bathtub and Fitted Lighting

The upstairs passageway, showing the Jacuzzi bathtub and more lighting.

09 Dec 2006

Textured Concrete on Living Room Wall

The front of the living room has been given the rústico treatment, and the terrace lighting has been installed.

09 Dec 2006

Window Frames have Arrived

Some of the aluminum frames for the windows are here, and more lighting fitted.

09 Dec 2006

Tiling is Nearly Complete

Tiling of the second bedroom and covered balcony has nearly been finished.

09 Dec 2006

Sinks and Toilets are Here

The sinks and toilets have now arrived.

10 Dec 2006

Textured Concrete now Finished

The front entrance, showing completion of the rústico finish and more lighting.

14 Dec 2006

Sloping Roof Tiles being Fitted

At last the roof tiles are being fitted. The type is “El Aguila” made in León, Guanajuato.

16 Dec 2006

Base for Bathtub being Made

The partially-made base for the bathtub; there is a hole for access to the motor.

16 Dec 2006

Roof Tiling and Painting now Complete

A view of the back; the roof tiling and texturing of walls are now complete.

17 Dec 2006

Flat Roofs now Waterproofed

The final impermeabilizante on the flat areas of the roof; originally it was to be white, but this would have been quite overbearing on the eyes in bright sunlight.

17 Dec 2006

Completed Bathtub Base

The base for the bathtub is now complete; it just needs tiling. The motor has been connected to a newly-fitted power outlet.

23 Dec 2006

Fitting of Internal Doors

The carpenters are fitting the doors that were delivered a few weeks ago.

23 Dec 2006

Installation of External Doors and Windows

The aluminum frames for the doors and windows are also being installed; to the right are some of the internal units for the closets.

23 Dec 2006

Main Masonry Work now Done

The main masonry work in the house finished last week, leaving only a few details to do, such as tiling the risers in the stairs. There will also be cleaning, repairing and final painting of the finishes on the walls; this will be done last.

23 Dec 2006

Work in Progress Fitting Internal Doors

The double doors to the living room have still yet to be fitted; all other internal doors have been hung but not finished off.

23 Dec 2006

Fitting Window Frames in Bedroom 2

The frames for the windows in bedroom 2; presumably the arches will be formed in situ.

24 Dec 2006

More Internal Doors Fitted

Doors to the family room and the room under the stairs; there is a frame for the window between the family room and kitchen.

24 Dec 2006

Fitting of Kitchen Units

Some of the kitchen units have already been positioned.

24 Dec 2006

Doors Not Quite Finished

Doors for the half bathroom and cloakroom; the handles will be fitted after Christmas.

31 Dec 2006

Sink and Other Plumbing Fittings Now Installed

The sink in the half bathroom; also installed now are the toilet and shower in the master bathroom, the washing machine, and the stove on the patio. Still trying to get hot water. Water pressure is not too good, but this will soon be remedied by a pneumatic tank.

31 Dec 2006

Shared Bathroom Tiling

The tiling in the shared bathroom is now mostly complete.

31 Dec 2006

Still Fitting Window Frames

Fitting of the windows is taking place slowly. Most of the arches have been formed, but there is no glass as yet, and quite a lot of frames to be installed. Nothing new on the carpentry - they are making the curved arched doors for the front entrance.

06 Jan 2007

Door Frames and Railings in Master Bedroom

The master bedroom balcony showing the door frame having been fitted. All railings have now been painted black with gold accents, and will have a gold-painted handrail.

06 Jan 2007

Supports for Wooden Floor in Living Room

These piles of bricks in the living room are to support the wooden floor. Audio and video equipment and cables will be housed under the floor, so access is important.

06 Jan 2007

Some Glass Fitted, but Much To Do

Some of the glass has now been fitted, although much work remains in fitting doors and windows. This turquoise-green mirror glass will be used for the west and southwest parts of the house to reduce glare from the sun, and also for privacy. Most of the other glass is plain tinted glass of the same color.

06 Jan 2007

Telephone Service Connected

The telephone connection has been made to the metal pole at the left of the gate. All the wiring inside the property is already done, and we hope to get DSL within a few days. The gate has been painted black with gold accents.

06 Jan 2007

Water Pressure System Installed

There is now a water pressure system installed, and the stationary gas tank has been filled. So one can now have nice warm showers and do the laundry. An enclosure to protect this equipment will be made later.

06 Jan 2007

Shared Bathroom Toilet and Sink Installed

The toilet and sink have been installed in the shared bathroom.

06 Jan 2007

Wall Being Built Round Well

A wall is being built around the well for safety and to protect the water. Next week we plan to dig the well 6 meters deeper for better supply of water; this will also clean out the well. Then a 2 meter diameter plastic cover will be put inside the brick wall. Finally a tiled roof will be added to both keep the rain out and impart a fairy-tale appearance.

14 Jan 2007

Railings Fitted with Handrails

At last the railings have been fitted with gold-colored handrails. The original plan was for black covered with plastic, but these look better and should not get hot in the sun. This is the most exciting thing that happened this week.

14 Jan 2007

Window Fitting Going Slowly

A view from by the casita showing more windows fitted, but this is going VERY slowly. The carpenters have not appeared for weeks, and moving in will not be possible without all the aluminum/glass and the entrance doors.

14 Jan 2007

Both Mirror and Plain Tinted Glass

The door to the patio from the living room is normal tinted glass, since little sun will get through this way. The four windows at the front are mirror glass, which reduces glare, gives privacy and better security, and also looks cool.

14 Jan 2007

Window Frames Being Formed

The front of the house; in the foreground is some equipment for shaping the aluminum window frames. Cleaning of the masonry and some painting have also been taking place.

14 Jan 2007

Windows by Stairs Nearly Done

Fitting of the windows by the stairs is nearly complete.

21 Jan 2007

Aluminum Frames and Glass now Done

All the aluminum has now been done; some of the last pieces were the sliding doors over the bath tub and the door for the Jacuzzi motor.

21 Jan 2007

Sink for the Master Bathroom

The sink for the master bedroom has arrived at last. This must now be installed, together with the tap/valve for the bath tub.

21 Jan 2007

Front Doors Now Lockable

The curved and arched front doors are more or less complete, and may be securely locked. There are still some details to be done with the fitting of the wooden doors.

21 Jan 2007

Carpentry Now Moving

More wood has arrived for the closets and kitchen units. After a long time without seeing any more carpentry, things are now moving quickly.

22 Jan 2007

Kitchen Units and Appliances

With some of the kitchen units fitted and appliances moved into place, it’s looking more like a kitchen. A dishwasher and hood for the stove are being purchased in Guadalajara.

22 Jan 2007

Finished Skylight Windows

These skylight windows have been fitted over the master bathroom and dressing room.

22 Jan 2007

Patio Now Being Resurfaced

The front from the outside with the entrance doors. The patio area of about 300m2 and path to the storage house are now being resurfaced with river stones in concrete.

22 Jan 2007

Built-in Pantries Being Made

Another view of the kitchen, looking towards the built-in pantries.

22 Jan 2007

Wood To Be Removed

The path from the storage house at the south end has been resurfaced with river stones in concrete, and this same finish will be applied to the whole 300m2 of the patio. First there is a lot of old wood to remove from two dead sabino trees that were felled last March.

28 Jan 2007

Master Bathroom Closets and Sink Installed

The master bathroom, with the closets and sink unit having been installed. Bathroom accessories have also been fitted.

28 Jan 2007

Start of Curtain Fitting

Some of the curtains have been fitted; this is over the door to the covered balcony.

28 Jan 2007

Most of Patio Now Resurfaced

Most of the patio has now been resurfaced, leaving spaces for the two new trees – a guava, and the date palm shown in this photo. Both the massive old tree stumps have been cut, burnt out and covered over.

28 Jan 2007

Lights Fitted, Closets Not Quite Complete

Bedroom three, showing the last of the lights to be fitted, together with the new curtains and closets (these are not quite finished yet).

28 Jan 2007

Shared Bathroom Sink and Fittings

The sink in the shared bathroom, showing some of the bathroom fittings.

28 Jan 2007

Master Bedroom and Laundry Closets Done

The closets have been fitted in the master bedroom and here in the laundry room. By the middle of next week all carpentry work upstairs should have been completed.

28 Jan 2007

Start of Fitting Patio Lighting

Three of the lights along the patio have now been fitted (the PVC tubes will presumably be removed when the concrete has set). There will be 10 of these, 5 each side of the house.

04 Feb 2007

Patio Lights Fitted and Patio Resurfaced

Now the full line-up of lights has been installed and the patio resurfaced.

04 Feb 2007

Living Room Wooden Floor Being Fitted

The lower section of the living room with the wooden floor under construction. All curtains and blinds in the house have been fitted, but are not quite finished yet.

04 Feb 2007

Carpentry Work and Blinds in Kitchen

More carpentry has also been done in the kitchen, including fitting the doors to the two pantries, the sink (the wooden rods are holding it in place while the adhesive sets), more units and handles. The vertical blind has also been fitted.

04 Feb 2007

Path Being Built Round House

Further to the resurfacing of the patio, a path is being constructed around the house; this will have cosmetic and functional benefits, and also protect the house from damp.

04 Feb 2007

All Wooden Doors Now Fitted

The arched doors to the family room and living room have now been completed. All doors in the house are lockable.

04 Feb 2007

Most of the Path round House Done

The south side of the house with most of the path having been built. There will be a step down to the section by the steps and covered patio.

11 Feb 2007

Curtain Fitting Nearly Done

The curtain fitting is in its final phase, with tie-backs being installed as here in the family room. All curtains are made from Italian fabric.

11 Feb 2007

Kitchen Sink is Now Installed

The kitchen sink has now been installed, but the appliances and furniture that were purchased in Guadalajara will now not arrive for another week.

11 Feb 2007

Still a Little Path To Do

All river stone and concrete surfaces (from the storage house, on the patio and here around the house) are complete, except for a section to the left that they seem to have overlooked.

11 Feb 2007

Final Curtains Now Fitted

The last curtains to be fitted are those shown here in bedroom 2.

11 Feb 2007

Living Room Floor Nearly Done

The living room floor is nearing completion after several days work. The machine by the door is an air compressor for a pneumatic sander; there is dust everywhere.

11 Feb 2007

Cover for Well has Now Arrived

The cover for the well has arrived. This with a double-sloped roof over the top should protect the well from contamination.

11 Feb 2007

Problem with Formica on Island Unit

The next problem is to fit the Formica surface over the plywood top of the island unit. Unfortunately, trying to bend it round the curved edges causes it to crack.

18 Feb 2007

Housing for Pressure System Being Built

Part of the housing for the pneumatic tank. On the subject of water, the well has been dug 2 meters deeper and the pump lowered accordingly. The well now recovers a depth of about 1.5 meters in 24 hours after being emptied.

18 Feb 2007

Island Unit Poblem Solved

The Formica problem was solved in an attractive manner by making a curved wooden edge. The only carpentry work remaining is fitting carousels plus a few small details.

18 Feb 2007

Resurfacing of Area by Gate

The final masonry work is this verge and providing a good surface to the area by the gate. The next job is to remove all the construction debris from the property.

18 Feb 2007

Irrigation Now Recomissioned

Now that the irrigation will not be used for making concrete, 12 fixed sprinklers have been redeployed from the two irrigation stations to cover the main areas of the land. An additional 60m hose from irrigation station 1 will be used for intensive irrigation.

28 Feb 2007

Garden Now Needs Work

Now the carpentry and masonry work have been completed. The next major task is the garden. The grass has been cut in the area from the gate to the casita. Many places are seriously overgrown and the grass will probably have to be replaced. The trees have also been treated to keep the bugs at bay.

06 Mar 2007

Trash Clearance in Progress

Outside, there has been a lot of work clearing trash; in particular removing innumerable pieces of steel and rubble from the ground.

06 Mar 2007

THE END - or is it?

The major work is done; however, there is still a mountain to climb with cleaning, painting, gardening and other finishing to transform the house and land into a nice home.

Significant further development work includes: fitting the intercom; making and fitting a mail box; fitting a balustrade by the stairs; fitting mirrors in bathrooms; fitting windows in the patio WC and storage room; fitting a tiled roof over the well; internal painting; finishing the tops of the columns; planting more Virginia creeper by the wall; fitting windowsills by the stairs and living room; sealing the roofs of the casita and patio building; painting the casita and storage house; various masonry cleaning work; resurfacing the sand and gravel part of the patio with elegant paving; planting numerous new trees and flowers; leveling the garden and replacing the grass; various improvements to the outbuildings ...