Tag Archives: construction in mexico

Quarantine Project #4 — Back Porch Planters

Once the tinacos were moved to the new roof, my husband started on the back porch. I wanted some additional planters and had him make them from the bases where the tinacos had been.

Since growing our own food has been a priority for some time, I used one to plant leafy greens and the other for root vegetables. 

After we got Fuzz, the planters were completely ransacked after he figured out how to climb that high. I replanted with some larger plants instead and that seems to be more to his liking. He hasn’t bothered them yet anyway.

My husband also ran a tube from one of the tinacos on the roof and attached a short hose for watering. Since we have a rain barrel there as well, there is plenty of water (at least in the rainy season). 

He hasn’t finished the patching of the wall on this section of the house either. I know it is his least favorite part of construction, so I’m sure he’ll put it off indefinitely. Meanwhile, about those tejas from Quarantine Project #1….

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Quarantine Projects

While we were in quarantine, we decided to work on the outstanding projects we have on the Ol’ Flores Ranchito. Much like the quarantine, these projects have gone on and on with no sure end point in sight. 

We had purchased the materials for these projects earlier this year or as a last minute dash to the ferreteria the first week of the #QuedateEnCasa campaign since everything was still open. Little did we know that, just like the work on the house, businesses would be open and closed in fits and starts. 

Quarantine Project #1 Tejas

Putting tejas on the pestana (overhang) on the front of the house was actually begun in February but was interrupted by this and that and it still isn’t finished here in July. There are 3 tejas that need to be placed yet. So here’s how that project went.

If you’ll recall, one of my house goals of 2020 was to finish the front of the house decoratively. The ledge on the front of the house that serves as an overhang needed to be covered with roofing material. We hemmed and hawed whether to get the old fashioned tejas or the newer flat ones that come in more colors. To determine which would be more economical, we went to three different places that sold them in Moroleon.

The first one has the two browns and one orange I was considering. I thought if we had multiple colors it would tie in the color of the doors, the color of the chimney and whatever color we decided to paint the house (which is still under debate). For pricing purposes, we went to two other places and found that the tejas were $100 per square meter cheaper there. 

The next day we went to the closer of the two cheaper places to pick them up. Well, guess what? They didn’t have the color I wanted even though we had asked the day before. So we went to the farther place. They didn’t have the exact color, but one was close enough and in stock. I gave up on the three-toned design. I was tired of hunting stuff down. 

My husband had done the calculations and we bought the amount he had calculated. It took about two days for him to install the tejas on the pestana. Only, he hadn’t included the length of penstana on the animal side of our ranchito. And that meant another trip to the ladrilleria (brick and roofing tile place) 

Only by then, the first period of quarantine started so the tejas (roof tiles) sat in the garage for several months. Meanwhile, we started on the second project.

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Adorning the Chim-chiminy

If you remember, one of my goals for 2020 was to finish the front of the house. There are several small projects that need to be done for that to happen, one of which was the adornment of the chimney face. 

My husband had a bee in his bonnet that he wanted to use what he called “pasta” to make a design. So we spent nearly three fruitless weeks looking for a place that sold pasta. Every place that we were referred to had gone out of business it seemed. Finally, we found a ferretería that sold this pasta–which is actually called PegaDuro Piedra en Polvo. 

Examples of molds. We wanted the top one.

In order to make the design, you need a mold of some sort. The PegaDuro spreads on with a play-dough like consistency, then the mold is pressed into it while it’s still wet to make the pattern. We looked through the catalog and picked a color and molding design. 

Of course, when the supplies were delivered, the ferretería had sent some sort of texturing device instead of a mold. Back to the store we went. It turns out, the piece we had paid for was the texturing thingy, not the mold. The mold would cost $1,500 pesos and they didn’t even have the design we wanted. My husband was having none of that.

He decided that he’d make his own mold and he wanted to use my bath. I objected. Then he said he’d use the car mat. I was still making faces at the idea. Finally, he said we could get a tile piece and use that as a mold.

This is the design I wanted.

We went to the tile shop and bought one tile for $83 pesos. I wanted to tile the section to begin with, but my husband said it would cost over $2,000 pesos just for the tile plus we’d have to get the grouting and adhesive and stuff. My second suggestion was that he use rocks from around La Yacata. There are plenty of those, it would be free, and I already know he can do a fabulous job based on our two fireplaces. Nope, pasta it would be.

Well, the tile didn’t work as a mold. As I mentioned, the consistency is like play-dough, so it just stuck to the tile. While my husband was hemming and hawing, my son decided to try and draw a pattern with a stick. I have to say, it didn’t turn out too bad. It’s not exactly what I had in mind, but I suppose it will do. I also noticed that the very top of the chimney seems a bit lopsided, but I think I won’t mention that at all.

Currently, the three of us are in a heated debate about what color to paint the house, so the next step might take awhile. 

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