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We're Building a New Suite--and you can watch!

Our new suite from last year is so popular that we have decided to build another one.  Now building here in Ecuador is very labor intensive, compared to the US, so we decided to show you all the step by step process.  See more about the suite:  http://www.vrbo.com/332018

For some of our readers, this might be about as interesting as watching paint dry, but for many of you who are here or are on the way here, it might give you a little insight into how things are done here.

For starters, labor rates are lower than low...we almost always give our guys a pretty good raise from their last job.  For example, when we remodeled our kitchen in Grants Pass, we paid two contractors $35.00 per hour, each.  Here our chief guys get paid,  for a 45 hour week, the same amount that we paid each of those contractors in four hours!

Here are some shots of the start up...

This is our scientific approach to calculating dimensions...moving the sticks...

     

 

Here are the guys setting the corners, where the snap-lines will square things up.

 

Of course, we have to have a basic load of supplies...

 

Re-bar comes in really long lengths, and it is important not to take the easy way and bend them into a horseshoe (you will pay and pay)...

 

 

We'll need over 300 110 pound bags of cement, plus tons of sand, gravel and boulders...that is the first 100 bags...

 The job begins with digging deep footings for the pillars...

 

Then adding boulders to the bottom...

 Then covering the boulders with a foot of hand mixed concrete...

 

All the while that the guys were digging, Alfredo (Papa Noel), was forming up, what will be !000's of little re-bar squares which will hold the long re-bar lengths together and make them tougher than tough...

 

 

This base is attached to the pillar skeleton, after it is lined up in the hole...

 Alfredo makes sure that everything is squared off before continuing...

These pillars wait to begin a lifetime of work holding up the building...

 All of this hand made fabrication would be a lot harder without the use of this re-bar cutter, generously loaned to us by Shell and Marsha...not to mention a ton of other stuff...thanks guys!

 

Here are Alfredo and Junior setting the pillar skeleton in the hole...

After wiring the pillar to the base, they pour in another layer of concrete...    

These pillars make for an eerie shot when shot with the waves crashing in the background... 

The really hard digging is trying to connect the pillars with perfectly squared out trenches for the footings...

 

The guys build the forms, pour a layer of concrete in the bottom, then add boulders...

 Of course...all the filling is done by hand...

 

Manual and Junior are tying the horizontal re-bar to each upright--Manual just told me that they are building this to go up four stories if we want...and it surely looks like it!

 

 We have a special grass here that stays green all year and doesn't need mowing, so we were sad that a lot of it would be covered up by the new construction.  That worry was solved when two young soccer players asked if they could take the sod over to the community soccer field to be used to fill in a bunch of holes...everyone was happy on this one!

Can't buy those smiles with money!

 Just to show you how important this sod is, here is a shot, generously provided by Jim and Michele, of over 1000 fans watching the girl's game, just down the street from us. 

Well that's it for this week...stay tuned...

 

Posted on Sat, October 1, 2011 at 12:24PM by Registered CommenterBob & Roxanne | Comments4 Comments

Reader Comments (4)

Fun, looking forward for the updates.
Cheers
Shelagh

October 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterShelagh

Hi Shelagh...Wow!! You are fast on the trigger...I just finished this entry about a minute ago! As usual, thanks for the continuing support and good wishes...

Bob & Rox

October 1, 2011 | Registered CommenterBob & Roxanne

I have been to Bob and Rox´s place and it is just the most beautiful setting. Loved the pictures of your new building going up. I cannot wait to stop by again. The iguanas must be freaking out. I know they love to run in the yard and climb up the trees. They have the best vantage point for watching the construction.

October 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKimberly Quintana

Great pictures and very informative. Looks like you are going to have one heck of a sturdy garage/suite - impressive. When we built our last house I was told that we needed to do a monolithic pour to eliminates a cold joint between subsequent concrete pours, that does not seem to be a concern there? That sure looks like a heck of a lot of re-bar. We hope to use a lot of your ideas when we start our place. Look forward to seeing all your progress.

October 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJim Rodoni

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