Tag Archives: remodeling

A bit of remodeling–Upstairs

Although I had my heart set on a solar electrical system, even gone so far as to price it, I realized I was putting the cart before the horse.  Before we make manifest electricity (my home improvement goal for 2018), we needed to finish the upstairs.  So since my husband decided not to return to work in September, that’s what he’s been doing.  Of course, it’s now January, and we still aren’t completely finished, but we are closer than we were.

In 2016, we were able to put the roof on the second floor and then put in windows but for quite some time it remained uninhabitable. We used it to store junk.  It was dark and dusty.  But all that was about to change!  

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The first step was to patch the walls.  This is my husband’s least favorite construction activity, so it took about 2 months for him to complete it, one buto (bag) of cement at a time.  Not only did the walls need to be patched, but they needed afinado (refined), which meant a second round of patching, only this time with beach sand rather than brown sand.

As for flooring, oh my, was this a hassle.  When we built the house 10 years ago, we installed a lovely brown tile in the kitchen, both bedrooms, and bathroom.  The outside porch eventually became an interior room but did not have any tile.  Therefore, we hoped we could find something similar to it to tile the back room, stairs and then continue upstairs.  No such luck.  The tile we had used had been discontinued. We went to 10 flooring places and looked at floor models and books until we were cross-eyed. We’d find something we liked only to be told that they only had 3 boxes left.  Or the color was good and there were enough to complete the job, but it was WAY out of our budget. We weren’t just tiling one room, but an entire floor, steps, and the back room. Finally, we found something that had similar tones although was completely different in the patterning and went with that.

Buying all the tiles at once was a major purchase and construction had to be delayed just a bit since we also needed to buy the pegasolejo (cement for laying the tiles) and bujilla (grouting).  But just like the wall patching, little by little it got done.

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Filed under Construction

Building a dream–constructing a life

 

Welcome to the September 2014 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Home Tour

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have opened up their doors and given us a photo-rich glimpse into how they arrange their living spaces.

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cement

The first of the home building supplies arrive!

Once we established ownership of our two little lots in La Yacata (See Buying a Piece of Heaven –part 1) we decided to start building our castle in the desert.

My husband is a builder by trade, but not an architect, so our house and adjacent animal area have undergone several remodels in the 8 years we have lived here. Our home isn’t finished, not by a long shot. However, we determined that we wouldn’t get into debt during construction, so only do what we can afford when we can afford it.

little helper

Our home has been built with love rather than skill!

We began with a kitchen, bathroom, 2 bedrooms, garage and back porch. We enclosed the back porch about a year later and added the laundry room upstairs. We are currently in the process of adding a bathroom and studio apartment, complete with fireplace, on the second floor. The idea is for our home to function as a multi-generational home when the grandkids arrive. As our son is 12, we think we’ll have time to finish it before then.

kitchen

Our finished kitchen

door

Our bathroom door!

floor

Our partially tiled floor

fireplace

Our toasty fireplace

ajibe

The aljibe

laundry area

Our second-floor laundry area, complete with hand pump connected to the ajibe (dry well).

We had to make allowances for the fact that we have no running water, electricity or sewer system in our neck of the desert and no idea when those things might be installed. (See The beginning of the revolution). Therefore, we designed our home with plenty of natural light, a centrally located fireplace, the aljibe (water storage area) and means to recycle our gray water.

builders

Working on the second floor!

We used brick made in a little town nearby and stone from our own backyard for our lovely fireplace. Wood is dear here, so we weren’t able to put doors on the rooms until recently, and we still don’t have a bedroom door, but at least now the bathroom has one. We have also been able to tile the kitchen, bathroom, and bedrooms and hope this year to finish at least the downstairs. As a special treat for me this year, my husband and son made me a bookcase. I can now boast of having the first library in La Yacata!

library

My library

As our animals are an integral part of our life here, as much attention as we have given our home has gone into their sheltering. Miss Piggy had her own bungalow, Mr. & Mrs. Muscovy and family had their own swimming pool, the chickens have their own swing, the goats their own corral, and the horses their own stalls. Kitty is the queen of the backyard and Chokis the puppy is king of the barn. Right now, only poor Fiona the donkey is left without a proper space to call her own, a situation which we are trying hard to rectify.

chicken swing

The chicken “swing.”

goat corral

Goat area

swimming

Duck pond

entrance

Horse area

Miss Piggy

The bungalow

 Our backyard also has undergone some changes. When our son was smaller, he had a clubhouse/swingset. When he was quite done with it, we removed it and planted more fruit trees as part of our quest for self-sufficiency. As a growing pre-teen, he enjoys the “free food” as much as he did the swing!

swingset

Clubhouse

chirimoyo

One of our ever producing fruit trees

Building our own home has not been easy, but it has its own rewards.  We built this house as a family, we constructed our new lives in Mexico as a family, and we continue to remodel both our home and our lifestyle as we try to get it right.  And if we never get it finished, well, it’s the journey, not the destination after all.

builder

 

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disclosure

Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be updated by afternoon September 9 with all the carnival links.)

  • Being Barlow Home Tour — Follow along as Jessica at Being Barlow gives you the tour of her family’s home.
  • Dreaming of a Sisters Room — Bianca, The Pierogie Mama, dreams, schemes and pins ideas for when her younger daughter is ready to move out of the family bed and share a room with her older sister.
  • Building a life — Constructing a dream — Survivor at Surviving Mexico-Adventures and Disasters shows you a glimpse inside the home her family built and talks about adaptions they made in constructing their lives in Mexico.
  • Why I’m Sleeping in the Dining Room — Becca at The Earthling’s Handbook welcomed a new baby but didn’t have a spare bedroom. She explains how her family rearranged the house to create Lydia’s nursing nest and changing room in spaces they already had.
  • Our Home in the Forest — Tara from Up the Dempster gives you a peek into life lived off-grid in Canada’s Yukon Territory.
  • natural bedding for kids — Emma at Your Fonder Heart shows you how her family of 3 (soon to be 4) manages to keep their two cotton & wool beds clean and dry (plus a little on the end of cosleeping — for now).
  • I love our home — ANonyMous at Radical Ramblings explains how lucky she feels to have the home she does, and why she strives so hard to keep it tidy.
  • Not-So-Extreme Makeover: Sunshine and Rainbows Edition — Dionna at Code Name: Mama was tired of her dark, outdated house, so she brightened it up and added some color.
  • Our little outdoor space — Tat at Mum in search invites you to visit her balcony, where her children make friends with wildlife.
  • Our Funky, Bright, Eclectic, Montessori Home — Rachel at Bread and Roses shows you her family’s newly renovated home and how it’s set up with Montessori principles in mind for her 15-month-old to have independence.
  • Beach cottage in progress — Ever tried to turn a 1980s condo into a 1920s beach bungalow? Lauren at Hobo Mama is giving it a try!
  • Conjuring home: intention in renovation — Jessica at Crunchy-Chewy Mama explains why she and her husband took on a huge renovation with two little kids and shares the downsides and the ups, too.
  • Learning At Home — Kerry at City Kids Homeschooling helps us to re-imagine the ordinary spaces of our homes to ignite natural learning.
  • My Dining Room Table — Kellie at Our Mindful Life loves her dining room table — and everything surrounding it!
  • Sight words and life lessons — The room that seemed to fit the least in Laura from Pug in the Kitchen‘s life is now host to her family’s homeschool adventures and a room they couldn’t imagine life without!
  • A Tour of Our Church — Garry at Postilius invites you virtually visit him in the 19th-century, one-room church where he lives with his spouse and two kids.
  • Preparing a Montessori Baby-Toddler Space at Home — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares the Montessori baby-toddler space she’s created in the main living area of her home along with a variety of resources for creating a Montessori-friendly home.
  • The Old Bailey House — Come peek through the window of The Old Bailey House where Erica at ChildOrganics resides with her little ones.
  • My New House Not-Monday: The Stairs — Claire at The Adventures of Lactating Girl shows you her new laminate stairs in her not-so-new-anymore house.
  • To Minimalist and Back Again — Jorje of Momma Jorje shares how she went to the extreme as a minimalist and bounced right back. Read how she finds it difficult to maintain the minimalist lifestyle when upsizing living space.
  • Our Life As Modern-Day Nomads — This family of five lives in 194 square feet of space — with the whole of North America as a back yard. Paige of Our Road Less Traveled guest posts at Natural Parents Network.

 

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Filed under Animal Husbandry, Carnival posts, Construction, Water issues