Monday, April 09, 2007

Our caretaker’s new home is coming along. Building a prefab concrete and steel home is a unique learning experience. Last week we picked out the color for the interior and exterior walls. Our choices came from a palate of 5 colors, not a lot of choice. It is my understanding the color will be impregnated in the stucco. I’ll let you know how that turns out, or if I understood correctly.

Then we had almost as many tile choices but only two actual tiles to look at. These are my choices? No, no, we have more, look at the computer monitor, you can choose from these tiles. You’re kidding right? I know the color on the monitor is never the actual color, come on, I know how color works. “Simular”, the architect tells me in Spanish as she displays little 2 inch icons of tile on her screen. Right!

This is all very amusing. She understands English; I know this to be true, because she replies to my questions or statements, in Spanish.

At this point, I just don’t care. The interior and exterior are now a color I would not have chosen, put a solid earth tone color tile in there and make the grout the same color. We are done.

Well not quite, today the architect returns with two more tiles. One that looks like it must be a reject from a bad batch and another with some texture. I wonder if either of them were on the computer monitor, how would I know? Who could tell?

Phil has kept his eye on the project, recognized potential problems and pointed them out, the architect and or contractor said “good thought”, and then they went ahead and did it their way. Now for example, they had to move all of their supplies (concrete panels) so the gravel truck could get in with the foundation fill. Had they taken Phil’s advice, they could have saved a half a day of hard labor.

Well at least the front door is facing the street. It is not uncommon to show up and find your house facing the wrong direction. When pointing this out to the builder you may hear,” I thought it looked better this way.” I personally loved this one, “I thought the pond looked better over here.” Both of these owners went ballistic. The pond was filled in and redug. The other owner is now looking at a different view, nice, but not the one he had in mind.

Building in Costa Rica is a different game. Don’t take your eye off of the ball, don’t even blink. Yes of course they heard you, but no one was listening.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I own a lot on the southern pacific coast of Nicaragua about 30 minutes from the Costa Rican border. I am very interested in using pre-fab construction for our future vacation home in Nicaragua. What company did you use and any thoughts on the feasibility of using them at our property.