Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Cinder Blocks

It is somehow amazing what simple block of cement can become - a wall - a shower - a planter - for all their squareness, they can suddenly become a curve - or so Christian is showing us.

The landscaping around the pool is creating two additional outdoor rooms and a shower.

Tonight's conversation however is all about details - deciding on the stone finish and the composition of the pathways - two weeks left, so we are right down to the wire!

But progress is being made - I just love the red orange and yellow tile border in the pool!

So, the shower - painted bright orange with a great stone pattern on the upper patio

Pool area will be done in time for our visit - then on to the drive and the walkway into the jungle!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Paperwork, Documents and Process

There is a saying that goes something like "While the English invented bureaucracy, the Spanish perfected it".

The past few weeks have been full of paperwork details.  Those organizational things that that you can't live without, but would rather not have to deal with getting in place.

Internet service - actually this was not so bad, once we understood the options.  The aggravating part was trying to get people to respond to our enquiries - need to turn off the North American expectation of instant response.  But you would think what appear to be large companies would have customer service and sales staff.  Guess not! The local guy was responsive, checked out the lot and reception and is arranging for installation.

Insurance - Ah yes - never an exciting topic and never easy to deal with.  Insurance is a monopoly (not sure if it is actually state run, but the only choice).  We have heard that they are not the most customer focused and some people use a broker to liaise with the company - others say it doesn't matter - and some say it just isn't worth it and go without!  We choose to use the ARCR (the Association of Residents of Costa Rica) a group that supports expats - emails get us the policy information.  A few more clarify the documentation needed - passports, corporate documents (we put them someplace safe - where was that?!?!?!), house values, listing of all contents valued at over $750 (that is almost every item).  Often seems like broken telephone with repeated emails on the same topic, but I think we now have insurance on a monthly billing plan! 

Guess it was easier than the cellphone!

Electricity is in place and will be transferred over to us - I think the last piece is property management - hopefully that is a breeze!

The Excitement Builds

3 weeks today!  The official 'unveiling'!  While landscaping and details will continue for a couple of months, this is the ceremonial end to a very long process. 

Last week I noted we hadn't seen photos of the progress for a few weeks - this week there was a flood of them - construction and landscaping.  Each piece is moving the project closer to completion.

Take a look!!  April 16 cannot arrive too quickly.

The pool deck and patios take shape - the curved structure in the middle of it all is the outdoor shower.

Kitchen and bathrooms suddenly become a reality

The staircases look like sculptures instead of raw metal

Light fixtures appear inside and out

Windows and sliding doors are in place

And the front door is stunning!!

Monday, March 14, 2011


I think there is a conspiracy at the moment!

We are so close to the end and we keep hearing about progress.

The windows are in - the front door is amazing - the neighbors who thought it would never come together are now believers (thanks to the work of Robert and Sheila!!!).

But there are no photos!!!!

I am convinced they want us to feel the shock and awe of the final product without the benefit of a preview.  I get it - and I think I am grateful - but the suspense is killing me!!!!!!!!

Pool Patio

Christian has taken the feedback to heart - and so we have it - an amazing pool patio
and it is really happening

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Rumour Has It ...

The windows are in

The front door is on site and "SPECTACULAR"

The Cabinetry is coming to conclusion

The landscaping is moving ahead rapidly and we should see final drawing any second now

The contents are well in hand and we will be delighted

Even the neighbours who were skeptical like the colour of the house (WHEW!)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Puzzle Pieces

Early on there were lots of things happening - big things - design, site prep, building.  Big decisions and big steps forward.  We were really creating something substantial.

Now, it is like a jigsaw puzzle - 1000's of little pieces that all fit together somehow - progress is slow, thoughtful, exact.  And then suddenly, something makes sense - Just what you thought, like a staircase.

or lights

and suddenly it is a house!