I wanted to upgrade the AC for the house and get a mini-split put in for the living/dinning room and also get a mini-split put in the Airstream. I got the two ton unit for the house and the one ton for the RV. I could have gotten an RV AC for the Airstream but they aren’t as efficient as a mini-split. This RV isn’t going anywhere so the mini-split seemed like a good idea even if I almost cried when the installers cut into the skin of the Airstream. I’ll get over it and so will the Airstream. Later on there will be a roof built over the Airstream and a wall around the bottom with a patio and steps made of brick and lots of plants to break up the austere look of metal and brick.
Still a long long ways to go on this project.
For those not familiar with the Mini Splits here is a link that tell all about it; https://learn.compactappliance.com/mini-splits/
Here are some photos of the work;
control head of the mini split inside the Airstream
Compressor on the tongue
The work still needs to be neatened up this is a work in progress photo.
I am having a patio put in the garden because when I sit in my chairs on the gravel the chairs keep settling down and it is hard for me to get out of the chairs and walking on gravel is not pleasant with flip-flops. My contractor and I have had discussions about how big and where it will be and now how high the bricks will be sticking out of the ground. So far the top-level of gravel has been removed and more sand has been added to make the ground level. Today three men have worked on this project, seems there is more to laying bricks on the ground than meets the eye.
The plan includes space for a fire pit, I have one I have never used it uses real wood. I’m not fond of using real wood because of the smoke I may buy a portable camp fire from Camper’s World to use and avoid the whole smoke in the eyes thing.
Here are photos of the work so far;
Where the new patio is going in
My next post will be when the work is done and I have put some furniture on the Patio.
There is a light shower today hence the cloudy day in the photos, still lovely here in Baja Mexico by the Sea Of Cortez.
After a little thought I decided that I needed to have some shade on the south side of the house and the wall that faces the west and hottest side in the summer. I contracted for a Pergola that covers most of the walkway and shades the west wall too.
These photos are the preliminary work needed to get the structure into place. It seems like a bigger project than I envisioned, but it will do the job of keeping things cooler during our very hot and humid summers.
Buganvillas are blooming
Poinsettias doing well
Texas Rangers starting to bloom
Birds of Paradise doing well too.
Yellow Tape to keep me out of the post holes
I have been back for a while and for a while I had a glow from studying spanish. The trip back was longer than I expected it to be, as I took the northern toll road from Ensenada to Mexicali through the Guadalupe Valley. The Guadalupe valley is the wine and cheese region of the Baja peninsula so lots of vineyards and cheese making. I stopped to get coffee at one place and sample their wine. The wine was excellent and so was the coffee. However the wine was too expensive for my taste. I found out later that the prices are inflated because of the tourist traffic.
Upon arrival at my house I didn’t see a huge difference in how the extension to the house looked before and after the two weeks. I take it that there is a competing project for my contractor’s attention and things will go slower for a while. One good note, I hope, is that the water company came by and fitted a water meter to my pipe to the main line in front of my house. I talked with my contractor and he has plans on how to make the connection with the least labor and fuss. We have been told not to use the water yet as the lines need to be purged and that won’t happen till everyone has a meter and at ten meters being installed per day things are still a long ways off before we get city water. We will get the water, not as soon as we all would like, but we will get it.
On another note; after being home a while and thinking about my experiences in Ensenada I’m less inclined to feel satisfied about the whole event. The living with a Mexican family part was a total disaster; no family and not enough food, not enough hot water or water for showers and sharing the shower with buckets wasn’t pleasing either. The classes themselves did get me using spanish more than my self-study. However it was not an intensive spanish experience that I was expecting I didn’t speak spanish all day. The instruction was in english which was fine for a beginning student, but I’m passed that stage and wanted more, even though I would have struggled a lot more. Value for the money-wise I’m disappointed. The same teachers made a big deal about coming to San Felipe to teach for two weeks and said over and over they wanted me to be in their class. We exchange telephone numbers and they had my email and said several times they would send me an email about the classes in San Felipe. None of that happened I guess I was forgotten, why I don’t know. Maybe I’m too much trouble to deal with or they were just being nice.
I think that my being sick while in Ensenada also colored how I felt about the experience; for several days I was concerned about my health and that took away energy from my studies.
So as far as spanish goes I will struggle on learning what I can where I can until I can communicate in spanish with Mexicans without screwing it all up! I can get my point across in simple situations, but I want a lot more than that I want to understand and be understood at a functional level. I will always make mistakes and mispronounce some words I just don’t want it to impede communication.
I have decided to add on to the house in Mexico and the work has begun. I want a room to use for a living room and to be large enough to invite friends over. I also want a fireplace. At first I was just going to build a walled patio but then I thought about it and went for the room addition. The grey water tank had to be move so that took time and labor. The ditches for the footings have been dug and the cement, block and rebar have been delivered. next week the footings get poured and the beginning of laying up the block begins. It is getting exciting seeing a plan come together.
Here are some photos of how it looks at this stage.
Long view of the construction
Cement mixer and more blocks
Cement and more blocks
Sand and gravel for the cement
Pile of blocks just delivered
I was talking to a friend and she told me about a house for sale in town owned by a man who is not returning to Mexico except to visit and it was at a very reasonable price. I have been to see the house twice. It has some issues that need to be addressed. I’ll list the issues later first is the photos of the house. It is small, it has two bedrooms and other that has to be finished so three bedrooms and three baths, a small patio with a laundry room, the living room is a good size and has a fireplace. The garage holds two vehicles end to end and the garage roof can be used as a patio as it has a spiral staircase that is very sturdy. The kitchen comes equipped with stove and fridge. The stove is gas there is a gas hot water heater.
End of living room
View of the patio
View of the Sea of Cortez from the garage roof
Roof looks in good shape
View of the lighthouse from roof patio
View from the roof patio
Some of the issues are; Electrical wiring needs replacement, plumbing and toilets replaced, floor joists replaced in kitchen, floors leveled or replaced, unfinished room completed, patio redone, gas lines replaced, kitchen tiles replaced, AC installed. That’s the short list. I am still in the “Thinking About It Stage”.
Today made the second day of the home inspection business. The first day was getting the electricity on and checked as well as the water. The electricity seems to be fine all plugs are wired correctly only one fan in the back bedroom doesn’t work, but I don’t like its looks anyway so it will be replaced and wired properly. The water turn off valve for the house leaks badly and needs to be replaced as does one toilet tank seal. All this is an easy fix.
Today we had the gas turned on and found that the water heater needs to be straightened so the flue will work correctly and that there are no racks in the oven, the oven looks clean which surprised me as the rest of the house looks grimy. I was most concerned when the heating/air-conditioning unit didn’t come on when we had electricity. The HVAC man checked it out and it is a problem with the cable going to the unit from the thermostat and or the thermostat. I’ll have that replaced once the house is officially mine.
So far nothing serious has been found to be wrong just little things that need repair. A bit of good news today while at the house there was a strong down-pour of rain for about fifteen minutes giving the roof and windows a good test and they passed the test. The small amount of damage to the back windows was mostly caused be condensation and not a water leak as I first thought.
I am eager to get going with cleaning up the place; such as removing the carpet it stinks like someone or some animal peed on it and with the humidity the odor is stronger. Once the interior of the house is painted and new floor coverings are installed it will smell a lot better.
So, all-n-all I am more confident that this place can be made into a nice home once I get working on it. I did get to observe the neighborhood on a weekday morning and it is a quiet neighborhood just a few cars and small trucks passing by, the land drains fairly well and so far I’ve heard only one rooster, some horses and the train far off not using its horn at the crossing which is nice. I may like this place after I get it fixed up to my satisfaction. In a few weeks I’ll be trailer trash again maybe I should practice scratching in in-appropriate places and wiping my nose on my shirt-sleeve-nah, I’ll get by with the blank look on my face 🙂
Yesterday I had up to five men working in my kitchen. That’s a lot of men in a tiny kitchen. The tile work is coming along in both the kitchen and bath and should be done this week. I may even have sinks installed this week also. I got three new light fixtures installed; one in the hallway, one in the kitchen and another over the kitchen sink (or where it will be).
The tile work is looking very nice and the tile man is a very careful, if slow, worker. but with tile it is best to be right then fast one lives with the tile for a long time.
Categories: Baja California MX, Building a house in MX, Mexcican Real Estate, Mexican motels, Mexican Style, Mexico, moving to Mexico, Pete's Camp, Retiring to Mexico, RV Baja, San Felipe Baja MX, Uncategorized
Tags: Construction and Maintenance, Home and Garden, Kitchen, Kitchen and Bath, Light fixture, Tile