22 October, 2016

Saturday Has Arrived

That is, Saturday, 22 October, 2016. Of course it's a work day here at Casa Winjama. I would just as soon take the day off myself, but we also want to get this project done.

Not that we're in a hurry or anything. Just tired of having workers hanging around. It's the same with any construction project. It starts off with hugs and kisses and towards the end it's 'Don't talk to me. Just get done and get out of here.'

Not that we don't like Mario Zetina's crew, we do. They're excellent people and their workmanship is superb. We just want our privacy again.

In the mean time, like I said... It's a work day.

Blocking in the Beams
Mortaring shortened blocks in place down the whole length. As I understand it, there will be like a veneer of blocks across the front to block off the opening of each of the beams. As Endher says, 'To keep the geyco's from moving into the beams. Thanks to the GEICO gecko and those cute TV ads, nearly everyone down here calls them 'geyco's' and not 'gecko's.'

A Little Better View
Here's a little better view showing the beam ends and the blocks going up. It's going quite fast too.

The Reverse Side
And a view from the back side of the blocks. The beams are certainly strong enough for the workers to lay boards over them as a walkway.

Raised Pad for the Filter
Moving from the beams to inside the pump house. This is a newly cast pad for the pool filter to sit on. It's about three-inches high. You can see openings in the wall for the skimmer line, main drain, and backwash.

Window Louver Reinstalled
The window louver got installed late yesterday afternoon. They did a very nice job installing that. This is the louver from the old pump house. In fact, most of the stuff going in here is returning to service from the old pump house.

Skimmer and Main Drain Labeled
A little better view of the openings for the filter. I think this is going to end up being a very clean and well laid out pump house.

Sample For Deck Drain
We've been hoping to find something to use for a deck drain. I'd like it to run along the house, in front of the sliding glass doors, bathroom door and utility room door. It would be nice if it was all one run.

There doesn't seem to be anyone carrying actual deck drain material down here. We thought about shipping it in, but then this alternative showed up.

Detail of Sample
Mario found this. It's 1-1/2" or 2" electrical conduit. It also comes in 3". I opted for the 3". Now, Mario is looking how he can get grooves cut in the top to allow the water to enter the pipe.

If you look close, the lid or top pries off, so that would be perfect as a deck drain. I think the 3" is necessary for the potential amount of rainfall we could likely get.

Old, Crappy Hinges on Door
While the welder was here working on the beams yesterday, he was going to install the pump house door. It's welded in place with rebar sunk into the wall around the door and then the door is welded to the rebar. It becomes quite strong and long-lasting.

What isn't so strong is the crappy hinges that are used by almost everyone around here for metal doors, hatches, etc. He told me there is a good hinge available that can be lubricated and it only costs about $2.50 BZD per hinge.

Compared to the $0.20 BZD per hinge, they do seem expensive. Until you think that I've had the original installer back either two or three times to replace or repair broken or damaged hinges on this door, a gate, and our well-house door. For want of a little grease, we're keeping somebody in business. The welder will be bringing three lubricatable hinges on Monday. If those work as well as he says, I may spring to get the whole batch replaced.

Overall Shot of the Beams
Here's a nice view looking from the patio to the pool showing the beams and the block work. Pretty impressive, I think.

Filling Ends of Beams
The veneer of blocks going up with some stuffed in the ends of the beams to fill the hole, then it will be all plastered over.

Cutting Blocks Down to Size
The rock quarry, where the blocks are being cut down to size with a grinder and a  cutting blade. This brings to mind the song 'Breaking Rocks in the Hot Sun' by the Bobby Fuller Four , released in 1966. It was written by Sonny Curtis of the Crickets - Buddy Holly fame.

The Debris Pile
And here's the debris pile. Hot and dusty.

Hanging on the Laundry Line
I was on my way back from snapping the rock pile and this caught my eye. Hanging upside down, it's my drawing for the ramps. Looks like it might have gotten damp or something.

21 October, 2016


Ok, it's Friday, 21 October, 2016, and work continues. This is turning into one of those days where it's like a three-ring circus. There is a lot of activity going on.

Ramp Slope is Looking Good
After a lot of filling with fairly fine marl (no big rocks) and a lot of tamping with the very heavy home-made tamper, the slope on the ramps is looking very good. I think Dianna is going to be quite happy with the way the ramps will work for her.

Running Electrical and Plumbing
Plumbing and electrical is being shoehorned into various spaces. One of the things we're having done is re-positioning things like the pump timer and the pool fill valve to be inside the utility room up on the deck. No more running around into the bushes to turn the water on or off or reaching way over the edge of the pool to do that. likewise, we don't have to run down the ramp and into the pump house to turn the pump on. We can just lean into the utility room on the deck and turn it on or off.

Main Water Line
The main water line, that at this point feeds only the house and the pool is being re-routed just under the deck. Hopefully, there will be no more leaks with that system.

Old Deck Lumber
The old deck lumber is going away bit by bit. I'll be glad when it's gone as it gets in the way of parking vehicles.

Column Forms Being Saved
Endher has kept all the small column forms. I don't know if they're going to use them at Bruce and Colleen's place or somewhere else. I guess I don't really care that much either, as long as the forms go away too.

Cutting Plywood for Plastering Guides
If you're wondering what they're cutting plywood into 4-inch strips for, here's why. It's used as a guide for plastering the large columns. They're clipped to the side of the columns and control how thick the mud is applied to each side. Then they can be moved to the other sides and same thing done.

Cleaning Pump House Floor
One of the necessary jobs - that of cleaning all the plastering (parging - although no one calls it that down here) debris off of the floor of the pump house.

New Pool Fill Location
This is just a shot showing the new fill spout to the pool and it's feed line coming from the main line against the house, all just under the deck, once it's concreted.

Pool Filling Pipes
This is the water line going into the utility room. There will be a valve so we can turn the water into the pool on or off easily.

First of Five Span Trusses
Roof Beams or trusses, made of welded C-beams to form a rigid box, have arrived and are being hoisted into place. Two guys, the welder and his assistant, are doing the hoisting and positioning. Each beam is about twenty-four feet long, or so, and weighs in at about 350 pounds.

As They Arrived off the Truck
Here's the remaining five trusses waiting to be carried over, hoisted up, and maneuvered into place. Lot of work for two guys.

Hoisting A Truss Into Position
They jockey the trusses along the edge and adjust them to the tabs that are anchored in the concrete of the chain. Precarious work for sure.

First One In Position
Here's a shot of the first truss in position. They put that one the furthest away so that each succeeding truss seemed easier each time because they didn't have to carry them as far.

Next Truss Coming Up
Here they're bringing in the second truss. Long hummers aren't they?

Hoisting the Next One into Position
Hot, heavy work manhandling each one into position.

Endher Starting Work on the Pool
This is the start of Endher finishing the pool. Finally. It's been a long time to get to this point.

Plastering the Spa
He's moving fast with it too. In just a few minutes, he had advanced through all of the spa and around the far corner behind him.

Putting Roofing Felt Under Beams
They're putting heavy roofing felt under each of the beams to help retard corrosion and rust. That means each beam must be raised and held again while the paper is placed.

Felt Under All the Beams
You can see the paper is wrapped around each beam, and at each end.

Curbing Coming Out by Palm
More changes on the ground. We had a small portion of curbing near the west ramp that really wasn't doing much as it was just a remnant of the previous design. Out it came.

Drilling Additional Anchor Holes
The welder is drilling additional anchor holes adjacent to each beam on the opposite side of the in-place bracket to help reduce any tendency of torsional rotation.

Inserting Steel Anchor Points
His helper then pounds in steel anchor points into the holes. The steel is then welded to the beam.

20 October, 2016

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday

Not that there wasn't any activity going on Tuesday or Wednesday, (18-20 October, 2016) it's just that there wasn't much to photograph or really to write about. One of the guys was plastering, one of the guys was moving lumber, blah, blah, blah. That kind of day - both days.

So, I've combined the three days into one posting, that'd be this one.

Capping the Column
Here's how to get a uniform tapered cap on the post. Start with a smaller square centered on the cap. Let it cure a bit.

Finishing Cap Slope
Then add more mortar, trowel and sponge it to a uniform faceted shape.

Yesterday, this was the way some of the columns were at the end of the work day. Not a problem. Well, unless you count on Mr. Klutz (me) coming back to the house via the ramp up to the deck, after letting Mr. Nelson out of the basement from his day-long nap. I inadvertently put a couple of fingers on the still wet slope of the cap. Oops. I tried patting it back into shape as best as I could, and trying to straighten out the corner as well. I got it close, but you could still tell it had been mangled.

Luckily, the finish coat of mud would be applied today, so there was really no harm done, other than me feeling like a dolt, especially since I had watched them work on the caps.

Daniel Sanding the Cap
When it's cured, well, at least set, sand off any rough spots and apply a finish coat over the whole column and cap.

Deck Form Starting
You can see the wood being applied to form the deck. Actually, I think this wood is for the string lines, so they get a good idea of how much marl fill is needed to get a uniform level deck.

Electrical Run
At the same time, Bani the electrician, is running wires for the various switches and outlets around the deck.

Plastering the Columns
Here's the east columns being plastered. That was done yesterday. The west columns are being done today.

Spa Jets & Filter Return Lines
Couple of holes knocked in the wall to expose the lines for the spa jets and the filter return lines.

String Lines for Deck Fill
It's tough to photograph the string lines. They use fishing mono-filament line to do this and unless you catch a glint in the sunlight, the stuff is pretty much invisible.

Douglas Measuring
Douglas is measuring to set the string line level that they're using today to fill the deck area.

Another Bucket of Mud
Here comes up another bucket of mud for the plasterers.

Leveling Out Deck Subsurface
Daniel was going around the deck chipping out stubborn bits that refused to be knocked down.

Tamping the Fill
The tamper they're using is home-made and weighs probably two to three times what my tamper weighs.

Finally, the project is beginning to look the way we imagined that it might at the very beginning of the exercise. I'm excited to see the finished product - and to get into the pool once again.