Tag Archives: remodeling

Rainy Season Projects

With the rainy season upon us, some of our proposed construction projects have to be put on hold.

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On the other hand, my sister-in-law has started construction on her house across the street from us in La Yacata because building in the rainy season means you don’t have to buy any water for the cement mix. My husband, son, father-in-law and one of my brothers-in-law are working like a machine to get the foundation done. My sister-in-law is also out there every day after the tortillas have sold to bring nourishment and help out.

That’s not to say all construction on our house has ceased. Our little projects this month included the installation of a small window in the spare room and the front porch screen door.

The front of the animal side of our property was also patched with cement and the roof bit angled ready for tejas (roofing tiles).

I also found what I think might have been part of a gun cabinet at a junk store and lo and behold it’s just the thing for some kitchen shelves.

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Next month’s projects may or may not include a banana tree, so stay tuned!

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A bit of remodeling–Sitting around the house

I think I may have gotten a bit carried away with chairs.  For so long, we haven’t had a decent chair or sofa to sit on.  Now we have plenty if anyone is thinking about coming for a visit.

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First, from one of the carpenters that we didn’t get the bedside tables from, I bought this Adirondack chair for the back porch.  I adore it.  My son said I look like a little kid in it.  I guess because maybe my feet don’t touch the ground.

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Then from the guy who sold the bedside tables before we could snatch them up, I bought this rocking chair.  I love it!  But yet again, my son says it is too big for me.  It’s supposedly for the front porch, whenever that gets done.

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Then there are the 6 chairs from the indigenous tent guy with the wife, twin toddlers and 4 year old, plus a couple of puppies.  We weren’t as happy with these, mostly because of the poor stain job.  Plus, it took 3 trips to pick them up.  Each time a new finished time was given.  The chairs, however, are sturdy and should last a good while, although not too comfortable.

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Before

Then we had carpenter Harley redo the legs of the last 3 chairs that came with the table my mom gave me for our wedding.  The tops were still good.  The legs not so much.  Remember that spectacular fall? While he was at it, he restained the table.  Looks good, doesn’t it?  The chairs came back much shorter than they went, so it was a good thing we had already purchased those 6 other chairs for the table.  They’re still good though.  I use one for my sewing machine and two for my puzzle table.

After

I also had carpenter Harley make me a bench for my piano–another sitting place.  

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And finally, we brought the cute little brown chairs from the Little House in Sunflower Valley for this little sitting area in front of the window. These are the only sitting spots that were not handcrafted, although the table was made by my son.

So while we do not have a couch, there certainly are plenty of places to just sit around the house these days!

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A bit of remodeling–The stairs and backroom

Pictured above you can see the stairs and back room when they were just the stairs and back porch.  This was our son’s fifth birthday party.  A number of the attendees are no longer with us, sadly.

In the remodel, the stairs were more time consuming than the huge expanse of floor that made up the upstairs living area because of all the angles and cuts.  There was also a limit that could be done each day which was the reach of my husband’s arm.  But little, by little, he tiled the stairs.

We had decided on the wooden handrail, but we had to wait a bit for that.  Carpenter Harley’s business was booming and he couldn’t get to it right away. When it was finally ready, my husband changed his mind on where he wanted the first post to be.  I had to work so I let them duke it out on their own.  My husband won the battle but the railing is one post short.

The stairs after we made a room out of the back porch.

The railing was sturdier than I imaged it would be for the price Carpenter Harley charged us.  Of course, installation took all day.  It didn’t help that the carpenter left all his tools at home and had to go and get them before he and his son could even get started. Despite all that, I am so pleased with the finished result!

No, these are not Christmas lights.  The steps are very dark at night and in lieu of actual electricity, I ordered a string of solar lights.  My husband installed the recharging panel outside and ran these little lights through a hole in the wall.  Now, there are twinkling (or not) lights at the top of our stairs to aid in ascent and descent.

The backroom

We mostly used the backroom for a lot of junk storage.  We don’t have any closets and some things (like my school supplies) are just too costly to replace.  So the room was piled high with boxes of stuff.

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After

My husband and son made some awesome bookshelves a few years ago for me.  Before that, my books were in piles around the house.  (No closets remember?)  He added some doors to the top shelves for a new storage space. My husband left a gap between the bottom of the bookshelves and the floor for that tile we were going to put down someday.

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Well, that someday finally arrived. As you can see, the tile on the lower floor is not the same.  I think they complement one another.  I have hopes of having French doors installed right here at the intersection of flooring, but that will have to wait.  Maybe a throw rug at the junction of the two floors?  

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The back room needed some additional work before we could call it done.  This is the area where the boila (hot water heater) is located.  Remember, this had been a porch before.  Now that the upstairs was closed in, the gas fumes gathered on the second floor when we lit it to heat water for a shower.  Not good.  So my husband installed an air outtake tube. I also ordered a carbon dioxide sensor to install upstairs, just to be on the safe side.  The boila still wasn’t pretty, so we asked carpenter Harvey to make a cancel (screen) to hide it from view.

The door also had to be altered to allow for the tile to fit underneath.  This entailed getting another power inverter since the previous one had fried.  With the power inverter and his handy-dandy tools, my husband fixed it right up.

Of course, the room was repainted too.  It really has a nice homey feel to it now!

 

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A bit of remodeling–Moving on up

The design of our new living space was intended as a living room/bedroom combination.  We couldn’t move upstairs until the stairs were tiled and the bathroom completed but had to move most things before the handrail on the steps was installed.

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The first items to get moved were those in the backroom.  That way, they would already be out of the way when my husband was ready to tile the backroom.  So my treadle sewing machine, the table, and chairs from my mother plus the cupboard where I kept all my fabric scraps found a new spot upstairs. My husband lengthened the shelves in the cupboard so that it was more spacious. It now serves as a mini-kitchen cupboard, the bathroom closet and fabric scrap storage.

Then the piano and the chairs I bought which were at the little house in Sunflower Valley came over.  We had to enlist a helper for the piano because even though it was a spinet and not an upright, it still was as heavy as a horse.  The neighbors thought we were moving out, but we aren’t.  I still will continue to rent in Sunflower Valley because we do not yet have electricity and internet services in La Yacata.  But we won’t be moving the piano again. Of course, now the little house is all drab again.  Guess I’ll have to work on livening things up there for my next project!

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Curtains needed to be made for those new curtain rods from Harley the carpenter.  We went to 10 fabric stores in town.  Yes, there are 10 fabric stores in our town. In fact, I would estimate there are at least 30 since Moroleon is known for its textiles.  In 9 out of the 10 we stopped at, I didn’t find anything I liked.  In the 10th store, I found a lovely brown embroidered fabric but the girl working there said they didn’t sell by the meter, but by the roll.  Umm, ok.  Well, I didn’t need a roll of fabric.  I toyed with the idea of ordering fabric online, but in the end, I found a large curtain at the Bodega which I cut into 6 smaller curtains.  I also picked up a bath mat set there. I cut the elastic off the toilet tank topper and made a second little rug for the stair to the bathtub. Who needs a fuzzy toilet tank anyway?

Once the bathroom was finished, it was time to move the bedroom things and occupy our new residence.  Our king size bed went out the front door and was lifted onto Joey’s roof.  The large armoire is made up of two pieces, so it was brought up piece by piece.  The smaller armoire wasn’t so heavy.

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I got it into my head that we needed bedside tables. I’m well into middle age and have yet to own a pair of bedside tables. It was time. In the past, I had seen some at the weekly tianguis (flea market). But you know how that goes.  Now that I was in the market, there weren’t any to be found.  We went to a place in town and he did have end tables, only they were $3,200 each, not for the pair.  That definitely was out of our budget. We stopped at the roadside tent where an indigenous man, his wife, twin toddlers and four year old have set up shop or camp or business or something. They had end tables but they were too short.  Our bed is quite a bit higher than the typical beds found around here.  We did end up getting some chairs from this place.  More about that in another post.

We happened on a truck full of furniture one day while picking up the tortillas and we stopped.  The guy had the perfect size bedside tables and we liked the style.  While we were negotiating a price, some lady on a motorcycle came and claimed both.  Drat.  We saw the same guy another day (bought a rocking chair but more about that later) and put in our order for a pair of bedside tables just like the ones that were snatched out from under our noses.  They were ready at the beginning of January.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also ordered two water stands from the same guy, one for upstairs and one for downstairs.  My husband and son just rolled their eyes at that, but quality craftsmanship is worth the price and the wait in this case.  It was another 2 weeks for the carpenter to finish them and arrange to meet us for pickup.

Things were certainly shaping up!

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