Monday, April 23, 2012

Pouring the marquesina

They poured it on Saturday starting about 9 and finished at 1pm. Rented a mixer and hired two neighbors to help. They dumped the cement on the ground and shoveled it in buckets because there were not enough guys to form a bucket brigade. The machine cost 250 pesos for 4 hours (they gave us no gas) and each of the workers paid 200 pesos each.

It will sit there with supports in place for almost 2 weeks. They will put a leveling finish on it soon. I've been watering it down a few times a day and I removed the cardboard tubes this morning.

Waiting for the cement to cure they are now working on four columns around my ugly cistern top that is over a foot above ground level because my last workers didn't measure the depth of the tank correctly. Hopefully there will be a palapa over it and a tile floor made from the extra house tiles. Just trying to make the outside more livable in our outdoor weather.

Actually finished but can't see from this angle

The first pour

Mixing the cement

Finished product

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Coladores and marquesina supports

The guys that put up the wooden supports for a cement roof are called coladores even tho colador mean a strainer. Guess that will remain a mystery for awhile. In the foto below they are only half finished but had it completed in one afternoon. 5 guys working and they only wanted 1000 pesos. We keep the wood in place for about two weeks while the cement dries.

My workers are starting on the rebar network that will sit on top of the wood to hold the cement together. We needed another load of sand for the cement mix and his price was only 180 pesos

Coladores at work

Sand delivery

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Cutting up my house

After two days of digging this trench in the side of my house they are finished and the wood support guys are ready to build the forms in the afternoon tomorrow. Only a half day job they say so my guys are going to knock down the lower one foot "awning" in the morning. We waited for over 3 hours for the wood support guy to show up and just sat, talked and thought about future projects.  I had no problem with them taking it easy after a day and a half of operating that jackhammer.   Not nice work!

We cleaned up the mess from all the falling concrete but will have another pile tomorrow including a bunch of wire mesh Styrofoam .... not easy to get rid of. In the afternoon my guys will start on two more columns for another ramada over the very ugly cistern that sticks up out of my yard.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Circular columns in place

The columns are up still in the cardboard tubes. They say it doesn't matter when you remove the tubes because the cement shrinks as it ages making it easier. I had them cut off almost a foot and a half from the tops today as the outside edge was just too high and would give less rain protection. Also thinking it would look better lower. For something this heavy (20 sq meters of cement) it has to attach to the re-bar in the roof so height adjustment is not totally flexible. The old marquesina is only a foot wide and made of Styrofoam panel. This will be over 4' wide

With the new angle we're talking about using curved tiles instead of flat over the cement. I really like the look of curved tiles but you can't walk on them if you need to paint or work above. Only the bottom edge of curved tiles are cemented down so maybe the uppers can be moved for access. Next week is renting a machince to cut into the roof and it's rebar and rent some staging so they can work safely 3 meters up.

Foundation footing

Columns in place

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Slinky in a Tube

The guys that worked for me last year have been busy with other projects over the winter and I told them when other work runs out I would have a project or two. This project is to build an awning (marquesina) along the whole side of the house. We built one but lower and it's only about a foot wide. I wanted more shade and rain protection. This will also be above the air vents which leaked in the past.

The circular support columns will be four with a diameter of 25cms which should give good scale to the house and the awning will be at least a meter and a half wide. I was surprised the footings will be the size of house footings -- a meter deep and filled with rock and cement. I was also surprised to find the Sonotubes were not that expensive. These were only $145 pesos and 3 meters long.

The most interesting thing is that they can't use the normal rectangular rebar design in a round tube so we bought a bunch (40 kilos) of wire that's about a 1/4 inch thick. They form it by wrapping it around a 6" drainage pipe until they have a slinky that stretches to 3 meters. Then they wire wrap 4 pieces of rebar inside. I imagine this will take the better part of a month.

Filling up the yard with sand, gravel, cement and next - rocks

Three of the column supports made - and holes where they will go in the grass

Wrapping rebar inside the slinky

Form the slinky on a tube
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