31 October, 2007

A Fence Is A Fence, But A House Is A...

A House? A HOUSE?!?!

Yesterday was a RED LETTER DAY! Our house arrived!

First things first though. The fence work has been continuing for a few days and continued yesterday with an early start. A lot of progress was made throughout the day. In fact, construction of the original project will probably be completed today. Then they will begin parging or plastering or stuccoing the blocks for a uniform finish.

So, the house arrived. It's here! Yeaaaa!!!

Two days ago, we were working on getting our fence completed, and the guys, as evidenced by the photos below, had made some extraordinary progress on doing that.

At about 10:00AM, Franz (our builder) called to let me know they were leaving Shipyard with our house. Totally unexpected. I assumed the road from Shipyard to Guinea Grass was still in terrible condition. It may have been, but Franz managed to push things through and get the house on its way here.

Here's shots of the fence construction activity.
Our Fence Nearing Completion
Stitching Fabric Together
Stretching the fabric is done virtually the same no matter where you are. Thanks in no small part to having a "come-along". It's a tool that lends itself to pulling/raising/etc., just about anything that can be hooked or attached to it.
The Fabric Goes Up
Esidoro Attaching Fabric
It's not easy adding a roll of fabric to another that is already mounted on the railings. A 60-foot roll weighs the better part of 75-80 pounds, so it takes some effort.
No Easy Task
It's a group effort every time you tighten up the come-along. Each man has to hoist the fabric so it doesn't snag on the ground, etc.

At each end of the run is a concrete column where the chain link fabric is actually anchored into it.
Jockeying the Fabric
An End Column
Here's the crew adjusting the forms for the end columns.
Just a Little Bit More...
As I mentioned the end set-up with the come-along... and adjusting the fabric to remove kinks from being rolled up. We almost had to set the post that the come-along is anchored to out in the street so it could stretch the fabric.
The End Post
Adjusting Fabric
Believe it or not, I just washed the Isuzu three days before. It's gotten to the point, I wash it about every four or five days - when the windscreen has gotten so bad that the wipers can't keep it clean anymore, seems to be the gauge I use.
This Was A Clean Car
We first saw the house rolling down the road and coming to a stop. I had to run up there with my new machete so Franz could whack a branch off a tree to allow the house to get by.
Our First Sighting
Taking Up the Road
Here it is finally on our property. It looked so small on the road, and magically became larger once it got on the lot.
Jockeying It Into Position
Beginning to Jack It Up
Jacking it up is a very complex and dangerous process.
Initial Placement of One of the Jackstands
Still On the Trailer
Once they get it high enough, it's time to pull the trailer out from under the house. They hooked a strap up to it and hauled it out backwards, had to jockey it around to re-connect the hitch.
Removing the Trailer
Manhandling the Trailer Into Position
Here's where the jacking up begins in earnest. They put an awful lot of trust in their equipment. This is an extremely dangerous process. Wood can break, chains can snap, jacks can fail, it goes on...
Up and Up to 9-Feet We Go
Adding Bars As It Goes Up
On the Jackstands Alone
Moving Timbers Into Position
Trying to Keep It Level
While the house was being positioned, the fence work still was going on. Below, the hat he's wearing on the right is traditional for this work. It's made from a half cement bag and is used as padding as they carry the five-gallon bucket on their head - full of concrete!
Mixing the Mortar In the Road
Funny Hat For Pouring
Darkness is No Excuse
Attaching Fabric to the Rebar Post
Now for a bit of an interlude...

We have vultures down here, just like we had when we visited Florida. Here's a shot of one of the huge birds circling overhead. They glide along on the thermals all day long.

This next one, I missed the shot 'cause I couldn't get the camera ready to shoot in time. I looked up to see three guys, evenly spaced, coming toward us, carrying this really long pole. They were matched in cadence and it just really looked comical. So, here's what I did shoot.
Looking for a Meal
Hauling a Lo-o-o-ng Pole
A bit out of sequence, here's Franz whacking the branch with my machete. The photo to the right is Franz's brother, John. Franz is in charge of building, John is in charge of moving.
Franz At Work
John At Work
This shot is a two-fer... It shows the post almost in the road to anchor the come-along, and it also shows a ready-made profit center in the waiting. This cistern being hauled to the New River is corn squeezings from the tortilla factory. They haul this twice a day and dump it in the river. An enterprising entrepreneur could take that and create some fine Belizean whiskey. A bone-fide business opportunity!
Caustic Byproduct - Squeezings to the River
All By Itself
Going Up Slowly
Still Wrestling With the Fabric
Final Tensioning
Buckets of Concrete
Elsie's Side of the Fence
Our Side of the Fence
Our First Cave-in
How Deep Is It?
Rocks - The Only Solution
Just About Done
All Finished
Lot's of Poles
Our Side of the Fence
Stretching At The End
End Post Forms Ready To Use

What's That In the Background?
Carrying A Bucket of Concrete
Dianna and Esidoro Coming To The Site
Traffic Stopped While House Is Moved
Setting Cribbing
Disconnecting the Trailer
Back of the House
Discussing the Plan
Setting Cribbing


toupeeo said...

Yeah! A house, A house. It looks great. Be looking forward to the photos to come. Great Great.

toupeeo said...

The pictures of the house being moved into place were just great. I just spent time looking at each one. Wish I was there to watch first hand. Keep them coming. I'm addicted

Anonymous said...

To D & D:

Yahoo! Overjoyed to hear the new house is under completion. It’s nice to have your own personal bungalow once again. Now, Dianna can spend her time decorating new abode while Dave finishes the outside. You’ve come along way since landing in Belize. Congrat.