17 June, 2009

Another One Down the Road

It's been a while since we've seen a Mennonite house coming down the road. Like, since ours moved down the road. We had it easier though - there were no other houses nearby to cause problems with clearance. Once a few more properties get developed here, they're going to have a very hard time moving these things down the road in fully expanded form.

Case in point. Yesterday, this house, heading down the road to a lot next to Mike and Mary's place, about a half-mile south of us, had some problems negotiating the area where our property and Elsie's is across the street from Dan's place. All our lots are fenced, pointing up just how narrow this road really is, and as near as I can tell, was never intended to be a major road - which is what it's shaping up to be, as the major thoroughfare between the Northern Highway and the Copper Bank/Progresso ferry.

I was alerted to it's coming by a phone call from Doug and Twyla. They had mentioned a few days ago, that the Mennonites had asked if they could maneuver the house through their yard to avoid a couple of un-cooperative power poles. I said then that I wanted to shoot (camera-wise) the house as it came through.

Well, naturally, the timing didn't work out quite right. Dianna and I were on the phone (yea Skype!) with our financial advisor in Olympia (My magic date of fifty-nine-and-a-half is speedily approaching to begin drawing on my IRA). Luckily, I was able to take a quick break from the conversation while Dianna Brought John (our advisor) up to speed, grab my camera and snap a few shots as the house trundled by.

Here's my first shot just as I got out on the back porch of our house. As you can see even from here, there's just not a whole lot of clearance to either side of the road.
The House Approaches
And as it sails past, you can see there's not more than a foot or so from the house to our fence.

Passing Our Gate
Passed Our Gate
Just past our gate, in fact, right in front of Dan's gate, things came to a halt. There is a sea grape tree right beside his driveway, that normally is quite unobtrusive, but with such a wide load, it became a major problem. The tree was damaged as was the house at the roof line. It took a while to sort out the problem and how to fix it.

Meanwhile, traffic builds up on either direction of the road. Alright, so it's only three cars on this side. But, when you only get about one car an hour normally, this is a big deal. I hot-footed it out onto the road, talked a bit to Mike (their house will be neighbors with this one), and took a few more pictures.
Mike, Trying To Figure How To Get Past
Once the problem with the tree was sort of resolved, they still had to figure out how to get around the thing. Luckily for them, the lot directly across from the house is vacant - as it almost no growth at all near the road, so they opted to try to drive around the problem. Of course, the potential for a cave-in or other soft spot since we've gotten a fair amount of rain lately could present a whole different set of circumstances to deal with.
The Truck Begins To Swing For the Turn
There was just enough room for the house to make the turn without impacting the fence of the tree again. Now it just had to make it through the vacant lot.
Heading Off the Roa
Whew! No sinkage. But there was some rather vigorous shaking side to side of the house, so once they got it back onto the road, they spent some time checking to make sure the load was still fairly well balanced before continuing on it's way.
Getting Back On the Road
In the photo above, you can see some of the roof damage that occured thanks to the collision with the trees.

And below, it's ready to head on down the road to its final destination. The police officer isn't a responder to the situation. He's required by law to accompany any house movement, probably to help with situations such as this, if cool heads don't prevail - which they did in this case.
Ready to Roll
As soon as it was almost on it's way again, I was back in to continue our conversation. The whole thing only took a few minutes away from the phone to document. I understand there will be at least a couple more coming down to be put up in the same area. A few years from now, this whole area will be unrecognizable.


Anonymous said...

I cool pictures.
Are these type of house always put on top of an elevated foundation,like stilts or the way your house is elevated? I don't know if I have seen one on ground level. Are reasons for elevation of houses for cooling, floods, or a good view?
Does elevation protect from wood infestation of termites? Also, do you know who is buying these houses that are going down the road? I am interested
in if it is expats or Belizeans? We look forward to all your blog postings.

Dave Rider said...

Hi Viv,
Not always. I would guess more than likely elevated ones belong to expats, simply because of the additional cost to build the foundations. They're usually elevated at least 3', for all of the reasons you mentioned. Elevation really does nothing down here to protect from termites. Periodic application of chemicals works to a certain extent. Eternal vigilance is what pays off as far as protecting wood.
Hard to say who's buying. I know of several expats in the area who have Mennonite houses. The white one in this posting is owned by Mr. Pech, a Belizean. I understand it's going to be his vacation home.
Hope this helps.