Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Done with the roof, on to the floor

Fortunately Tom and the crew made far better progress on the kitchen over the past few weeks than I have made on blogging! The following pictures should give you a pretty good overview of what they’ve done.

With Tom passing leaf to the guys on top of the roof…

…they made pretty quick work of getting the rest of the leaf tied onto the roof. The key was to get enough guys tying that nobody had to move back and forth too much. They just waited for the next leaf to be passed up, and then they tied it to the roof beams.

What amazed me was that while Tom was barely comfortable climbing the ladder to pass up the leaf, most of the tying crew completely ignored the ladder and just went up and down from the inside of the roof using the poles and the sticks in the roof.

When they had completed both long sides almost to the top, they put a couple extra layers of leaves over the gap.

Then they stuck short metal poles through the thatch perpendicular to the roofline…

…so they could set long metal poles on them, against the thatch, to hold down the roof cap.

Here’s a view of the completed roof from the inside.

And here’s a few of the work crew under the newly completed roof!

The next step was the floor. The biggest problem with the floor is that the very rocky ground in the back right corner was about a foot and a half higher than the ground in the front left corner. So, one day while Tom and I were out, Julio and Byron build a rock wall around the perimeter of the building and topped it with a level strip of cement that would be the floor level. They then started to fill in what was a rather obvious large hole with dirt and rocks from around the property, but it soon became clear that it was going to take weeks of back breaking labor for a few men to get the level up to where they could pour the concrete.

So, Tom ordered a truckload of sand, and it took less than a morning to move the sand from where the truck dumped it to under the palapa. The next problem was to get the sand mashed down so it wouldn’t settle after the concrete was poured. Tom tried pulling our little blue truck in and running it back and forth over the sand, which helped, although when the clutch started stinking they were back to a more manual method of flattening it.

The more manual method of flattening was basically wetting it enough to make it settle. Fortunately for us our water supply has been pretty dependable lately, so Tom and I didn’t get too anxious about it. We’re going to have different floors in the kitchen and the dining room. In the kitchen, we’re just going to have a flat concrete floor, while Tom is going to inlay some wood into the dining room floor. Since we don’t have the wood for the dining room floor yet, the floor is being made in two parts, starting with the kitchen. They cut some long boards to pour the kitchen section of the floor in two pieces.

They put some cage material in the floor, and then started pouring and flattening in four sections…

… making it level with another long board.

When it was all poured, it was left to dry overnight.

Byron has spent most of today working on giving it a smooth finish. I had to make the decision about what I want on the floor in the end, and I opted for the smooth concrete. If I wanted tiles, they would have left it rough because the tiles would adhere better, but I think that tiles tend to get slippery when wet – and my kitchen floor is always wet – so I think that a smooth concrete finish will be the safest and the easiest to clean.


Terdal Farm said...

It is huge! I didn't imagine how large it would be. Look forward to seeing it soon.

sandy a. said...

that is amazing! Thanks so much for posting the pics! Its going to be great for your guests, and you two!