13 February, 2016

Pool House Expansion Project, Days 104-108 - 09-13/02/16

Front and Back Steps, Water heater, Burglar Bars, Vanity Mirrors, Backsplash

Days One Hundred Four - One Hundred Eight, 09-13 February, 2016

The days now are just filled with little things. Little detailed things that need doing, fixing, or  re-doing. Most of it isn't worth shooting a picture or writing about, but it all adds up to the job becoming very close to being done.

Here's a shot of the front, or is it the back of the house. I'm going to say the back, because, the view is still toward the canal.
The Front or Back of Our house
Here's the Front or Back Steps. Either way, they look very nice. The guys did an exceptional tile job on them.
Front Steps All Nicely Tiled
The water heater is finally leak proof. It's ready to go. I just have to remember to get two D-cell batteries so the igniter will work. BTW, there will be burglar bars over the heater, as well as all the windows. Our Godson, Isiael is coming this Sunday and will get them all installed.
Water heater Ready to Roll Jut Need Batteries
He's also bringing a burglar bar door for the front (or is it back) door.
Our Front or Back Door From the Inside
The green rollup button box is now a pale blue. Much better.
Rollup Button Repainted
Just a shot of the bathroom vanity with the base and medicine cabinet installed. The backsplash tiling has started. The mirrors are still waiting to be contact-cemented to their plywood backs. The granite is looking wonderful, and an outlet still needs to be wired in below.
Bathroom Vanity and Medicine Cabinet
Vanity plumbing with a little extra. You can just see a second shut-off valve. That and the strange pipe going up are both parts for the Cat Genie - its water supply and waste line. It is a self-cleaning system, after all.
Sink With Stuff for Cat Genie
The shower is all done and ready for action. Everything is grouted. I installed the shower head and hose this morning. Omar got the valves installed, so it's good to go.
Shower All Grouted and Ready
Backsplash on the vanity is nearing completion here. Once it's grouted, it too is good to go.
Backsplash Tiling Going On
The pantry, freezer, laundry, and storage room is clean as a whistle. the board is half a sheet of furniture plywood. That will be ripped and used as part of the shelving in this room.
Utility Room With Wood for Shelving
Finally, making the cuts to install hammock hooks so we can relax in style on the veranda and walkway. We bought two hammocks with wood bars as separators. But with the way we had to install the hooks, the bars just get in the way. So, we're selling those to Carl, our contractor and will be shopping for two hammocks sans bars.
Cutting Hole for the Hammock Hooks
Speaking of bars, I went out this morning, hoping to find a couple of bars for the closet. Villa's Imports didn't have anything, neither did Lano's, but Dragon Hardware had exactly what I was looking for. I came home and installed them right away. I even used epoxy in the screw holes to help hold everything together.
Closet Rods in the Closet
Speaking of the closet, it now has handles on all four doors.
Handles on the Doors
Now, isn't that gorgeous? the Medicine cabinet now has mirrors in place (they really need cleaning), and the tile and grout work is finished.
Mirrors in the Medicine Cabinet
There's many more photos than appear in each posting. You can see all the photos of the construction project on Flickr at: https://www.flickr.com/gp/winjama/0wVc3s. There will be new photos added each day of the project.  

12 February, 2016

Golden Caterpillar

Not only is the construction project nearing the end, but Wednesday morning, Carlos, our caretaker, struck gold. He found this golden caterpillar in the garden near our parking palapa. The photo really doesn't do it justice. It is a very bright and shiny gold in color. I have no idea right now what kind it is.
Gold Caterpillar
I've sent off a couple of pictures to the What's That Bug? (http://www.whatsthatbug.com) website, but, as yet, haven't received an answer.
Here's a copy of the message I sent to What's That Bug?. 
On Wed, Feb 10, 2016 at 9:21 AM, Winjama wrote: 
Subject: Golden caterpillar 
Location: Corozal Belize February 10, 2016 10:21 am 
Hi Bugman, 
We found another caterpillar. This time, it one about an inch and a quarter long and about a quarter inch wide. But what is really cool is its coloration – shiny, bright gold. My photo just doesn't do it justice. I hope you can tell us what kind a caterpillar it is. 
Signature: Winjama
It's followed by a copy of the response:
From Daniel Marlos, Feb 12, 2016 at 2:30 PM
Dear Winjama,
This was once a caterpillar, but now it is a chrysalis of a butterfly in the family Nymphalidae.  We have not had any luck finding any matching images.  We will contact Keith Wolfe to see if he can provide a species name.
This is followed with a copy of Keith Wolfe's response:

On Saturday, Feb 13, 2016 at 9:32 AM, Keith Wolfe Responded:
Greetings Winjama and Bugman,
This is the very beautiful pupa of the Mexican Fritillary (Euptoieta hegesia) . . .
. . . a fairly common butterfly in disturbed habitats throughout Belize.
Best wishes,

He included a beautiful photo of the chrysalis. I wish my photo had captured the shiny gold like this.

So, there you have it. A butterfly chrysalis. Still pretty cool looking. BTW, Daniel is the same bugologist entomologist who helped me with the caterpillar identification a couple of weeks ago.

Big ups to both Daniel and Keith for such knowledgeable and timely help.

Pool House Expansion Project, Day 103 - 09/02/16

Garlic Vine, sliding glass door, Mr. Matute and Stacy, Granite, Shower Shelf

Day One Hundred Three, 09 February, 2016

Tuesday morning, I was heading from the Mennonite house down to the pool house to see what was going one with the project, when I noticed the garlic vine was in bloom again. We have about 100-feet of garlic vine along our northern fence. It's gorgeous when the lilac-colored flowers show their stuff.
Garlic Vine Flowers 9 7.40
After getting side-tracked for a few minutes with the garlic vines, I made it into the pool house. There were a couple of things going on early in the morning. One, taking up a couple of tiles beside the sliding glass door in order to add Thinset under the door track to made it rigid.

We'd noticed that around the middle, where you're likely to step on the track, it had some sag when it was stepped on. We wanted to stop that, so the easiest way was to take up the two tiles and feed as much Thinset as we could under the track.
Prying a Couple of Tiles to Fill Under Track 9 - 7.44
Then Mr. Matute and Stacy showed up and began working on the counter once again. Here, he's using the rubber grit pads to polish the oval. In this stage, it's necessary to have running water to flush away the debris as well as to provide lubrication for the rubber pads.
Smoothing the Oval Cut 9 - 8.23
The oval is especially hard on the pads as pretty much just the outside edges of the pad get used polishing the granite, so pads tend to wear out sooner.
More Smoothing the Oval Cut 9 - 8.24
Back inside, the Thinset has been mixed up and is ready to trowel under the track. You can see the places where the tiles have been removed.
Thinset to Go Under Track 9 - 8.24
Outside, the back drain pipe elbow has been persistently leaking. This time, it was taken out and really glued up. Now, no more leaks.
Down Spout Really Glued Now 9 - 8.25
Caulking the basebaord and door trim is proceeding. There's times when it seems that it might not be necessary, but after it's done, it's apparent just how it spiffs up the woodwork.
Caulking Basboaards and Trim 9 - 8.26
This shot of Dianna appreciating the fact that the vanity pieces are finally in place was when I realized she may have a problem using the mirrors in the medicine cabinet doors. This was something she herself hadn't even thought about.

As a result, we've added to the to-do list, that the medicine cabinet needs to be lowered about five more inches.
Dianna Enjoying New Vanity 9 8.38
I mentioned the rubber polishing wheels that Mr. Matute was using to polish the granite. Here's one as an example. They come in many different grits, all color-coded.
Rubber Polishing Wheels 9 - 8.43
Mr. Matute brought a whole assortment of the discs with him. Normally, with flat polishing, he can get a disk to last for around ten to eleven pieces of granite. With rounded surfaces, he's lucky to get seven or eight. Since he has to order the disks from the states, that in itself becomes quite an expense.
Whole Assortment of Wheels 9 - 8.44
Here, Mr. Matute is rounding the bullnose a bit more. Working with granite, everything is done in small steps, especially with cut openings. You have to be careful not to overheat any one part of the stone as that could lead to its cracking.
Putting Bullnose On Granite Slab 9 - 8.46
A final step is washing away the dust debris.
Hosing Off the Debris 9 - 10.30
Here, they're laying out the centerpoint for the two faucet holes.
Figuring Centerpoint for Faucet 9 - 10.45
Checking to make sure the faucet actually empties into the basin is a good idea too.
Think It Will Go There 9 10.46
Once they're done cleaning the debris off the granite, it's time to move it into the house and place it on the vanity. Because of the large hole in it, the granite is now more fragile than ever, so extreme caare and caution is the word.
Bringing the Slab Inside 9 - 11.02
Heading through the house, going into the bedroom.
And Through the House 9 - 11.03
And now into the bathroom.
Into the Bathroom 9 - 11.03
They've set it on the leading edge of the counter.
Resting on Front Edge of Counter 9 - 11.03
  And will now gently slide it to the back.
Slide It Toward Back 9 - 11.04
And, ever so gently, begin lowering it down to the counter top, being careful to avoid light switches and outlet covers. We did trash one outlet cover in the process. Granite took it out very fast.
Lower It Down 9 - 11.04
Finally, it's resting flat on the counter.

And It's Down 9 - 11.06
But then, it needs to be raised back up for Mr. Matute to apply the very expensive epoxy.
Propped Up for Glue and Positioning 9 - 11.16
Here, Mr. Matute is mixing the epoxy.
Mixing Expensive Epoxy 9 - 2.00
As you can see, it's being troweled on. It does have a slower setting time so there is enough time to trowel it onto the surface.
more Trowel Work 9 - 2.02
And another type of epoxy is used to cement the sink rim to the granite. Here Mr. Matute is spreading that over the rim of the sink.

Spreading Glue on Sink Rim 9 - 2.08
As I mentioned before, work is continuing elsewhere, like in the office, grout is being applied to a couple of tiles near the laundry piping (hidden in the wall).
Grouting A Couple of Tiles in Office 9 - 2.03
Now, the template that Mr. Matute made outside is positioned and the holes for the faucet are drilled.
Drilling Faucet Holes 9 - 2.18
A common problem with working with drills, is the vibration tends to loosen bits as below.
Oops 9 - 2.20
And, there we are. It all fits.
The Faucet Fits 9 - 2.27
A final step is adding epoxy to the interface of the sink and the granite counter.
Adding Grey Epoxy to Rim 9 - 2.35
Then cleaning up, using both solvents and water, depending on what's being cleaned.
Cleaning Up 9 - 2.40
Continuing to show what else is going on at the same time, Omar has just finished grouting the shower shelf. it looks very nice.
Shower Shelf Done 9 2.41
And the shower controls, that were problematical from the get-go, are now under control and looking good.
Shower Faucets Almost Done 9 - 2.41
There's many more photos than appear in each posting. You can see all the photos of the construction project on Flickr at: https://www.flickr.com/gp/winjama/0wVc3s. There will be new photos added each day of the project.