Sunday, July 22, 2007

House Update #6

On July 30 or 31, we will move into our new house. It has been a long 7 months since we started the renovations and an even longer 9 and a half months since we bought it, and it has been over a year since we made our first offer on it. Whew! I am tired just thinking about it.

Every thing is about finished so I went to the house today and took pictures based on what we saw before renovations began and posted BEFORE and AFTER shots to Flickr. I will post a few more next week after things get cleaned up a little more.

On August 18, we are planning on having a house warming with everyone we have ever met (well almost) in Querétaro, along with our architects, masons, electrician, some neighbors, etc. If they all come it will be well over 60 people.

This house is the nicest one we have ever owned, and more charming than most we lived in growing up. Only the one we lived in in Newport R.I. (near Cliff Walk) and the one my parents owned on Main St. Glastonbury, Connecticut (1745 Colonial), were nearly as neat as this one. It has a great mixture of traditional construction and basic layout with modern convenience and light. Our architect did a tremendous job of adding the nice little touches like the back patio floor and stairs, the rooftop terrace, and the skylights in the bathrooms and front bedroom; and he was very creative in adapting an old house to modern needs.

I just like to go there, with or without the workmen, and stare.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

House Update #5

Since the last update (#4), about a month and a half ago, things have picked up speed as we have consistently had 10 people working. Click here for some recent photos.

All the tile in the baths and the kitchen; and the interior floors have been installed and grouted. They really look nice. The floors are of terra cotta tile and will need to be sealed, but that will wait until all the painting and other heavy work is done. The brick in the back patio is finished and a new drain has been installed. They are putting the quarried patio stones back in the main patio, now that the electrical and plumbing work is mostly done. We still need to install the light and plumbing fixtures. The light fixtures in the bedrooms, baths, study and kitchen will be modern; and in the living room, dining room and patios they will be traditional handicraft style which we bought in San Miguel de Allende, where there is really a wider selection even if the prices are a little higher.

We bought a new stove and a dishwasher which will be installed in the next week or so. The main question will be whether the gas company will accept our pipes or require that they install the pipes (on the outside of the walls) and hook up the stove and hot water heater on the roof.

The interior doors are all of wood, but since the doorways are all different widths and heights and because we want an “authentic” look, they have either been made by hand (hand hewn tongue in grove, all pegged together and no nails, and mortice and tenon) or are being adapted from the original exterior doors, which were also hand-made and pegged together. The carpenter has also repaired the original front window using the same methods as the original builder. It is really fascinating watching him work.

The doors leading to the patios will all be metal door frames with glass. And these are being installed even though we have not gotten the quarried threshold stones yet. It seems that the little village where the thresholds are being made has been cutoff from the outside world by the recent rains, making it impossible for trucks to get in and out.

All of the walls, inside and out, have now been stuccoed white, and only need to be painted. They look pretty good without paint. The 12-foot ceilings have all been painted.

The pergola on the roof was finished today, and they will start putting in the terra cotta floor tile tomorrow. We still need to tile the steps to the roof, put guard rails on the stairs and the puente (bridge), connect to the water tanks on the roof, put in the hot water heater, build and install the kitchen and master bathroom cabinets (by hand, of course), install the rest of the doors, put in the light and plumbing fixtures, paint, and few other things. We have told our architect and our landlord that we plan on moving in at the end of the month.

I hope they get it ready on time.