19 April, 2008

And It's Done

Here's the finishing touches on our palapa. Florencio and his crew showed up at about 0615 this morning and got right to it. As you can see from the picture below, there's still a bit of haze in the air. It was nice and cool too, so they were able to really make some progress today.
Not Much More To Go
Twist, tuck, braid, slide. Repeat as necessary say, about a couple of thousand times. That's thatching a palapa roof in a nutshell.
Twisting Leaf To Tie It Into the Roof
A couple of more examples of the lines used to haul leaf to the upper level so the guys can tie it all into the roof structure.
The Leaf Elevators At Work
Raising More Thatch

Now, we're getting into the home stretch. Suddenly, it began to look like there wasn't nearly enough roof on top for the three or four guys doing the thatching.
Finishing the Last Row
Working Along the Peak
Here the guys are working the peak, There's one log on either side of the peak. They're feeding leaf under one piece of lumber, over the peak, and then attaching it under the other piece of lumber. They put a lot of leaf on just the peak.
Running Out Of Room
Barely Enough Room
While they were finishing the roof, I installed the rest of the water and electric piping to the palapa. I hooked up a faucet, and added a hose and hose rack. The electrical, I ran up to a junction box mounted about waist high on the pole where it can be used as a switch or plug and the rest of the wiring for the palapa can be branched off from there.
Utility Run
Of course, Cindy did her part. Grabbing stray pieces of leaf and shaking the daylights out of it.
Cindy At Work
Extra leaf is applied over the major wood joints that formed the basic "A" of the roof. Especially to keep the threaded rods used there from rusting.
Finishing It Up
Here, Florencio demonstrates large and small pieces of leaf. Large leaf is infinitely more desirable than small. As you can see from the next photo, that where it takes one large leaf, the workers have to place three small leaf pieces. Too much work, and also, the coverage isn't as good down-slope. Large leaf will cover about 3 rows, whereas small leaf only covers one-and-a-half to two.
Florencio Showing the Big and Small of It
Big And Small In the Roof.
Immediately after completing construction, the guys sprayed Selignum On the lumber as well as the leaf in the ceiling.
Done With The Sprayer
Here's an example of how neat and tidy this job looks. All the wood is bolted or screwed in place. All the leaf has been uniformly cut. It just looks huge inside. I'll be able to store lumber, etc., up there.
Beautiful Basket Weave Look To the Roof Interior
Now, they're done. Dismounting is a careful slide down to the ladder. Last man down, and it's all done.
Sliding Down From the Roof
Last Man Down
Here's the finished product. We'll finish out the electrical setup, fill in the trench, and begin using it. Dianna already has the far stall staked out as "hammock country". As cool as it stays under there, I'm joining her!
A Beautiful Job
It certainly wasn't the cheapest palapa around, but I'm willing to bet, it's one of the best constructed, with quality wood, leaf, and enough threaded rod, lag screws, wood screws, etc., - no wonder I had to make so many trips to the hardware store!


Anonymous said...

The palapa looks great. I now have a good understanding of how they construct this type of building.
We look forward to the the start of the next project. Vivien

Anonymous said...

I love the palapa! Looks like a great place for swizzles. I really like the colors you're painting the house. Everything is looking great.