The secret is out

July 14, 2009

Ok, so a couple of people asked about the secret project and it just doesn’t take much to twist my arm!

Our sala fresca is a lovely room, if you remember it’s the one where we had the mural painted.  One side has windows on either side of a double door to the new back patio, and the other side is open to the courtyard, with just wrought iron and some beams.

There were a couple of things going on.  One, not enough support for the vigas, two, water causing failure of the gutter and some problems for the vigas, and three, I was sick and tired of being so at the mercy of the wind and rain.  I mean when it is stormy the whole room is soaked and papers scattered far and wide.  But when it isn’t raining we love how open it is, and didn’t want to change that!

We had our contractor take a look at the gutter issues, and did some brainstorming, and one thing he suggested is that we come and look at the windows he had salvaged.  Oh my.  We fell in love.

They’re gorgeous windows, not sure of the wood but they are really heavy.  Handmade, no nails. Each pair folds together when they are opened so the left one will fold against the left wall, the two center ones to the middle, and the right one against the right side.  Perfect for us since most of the time they’ll be open.

Another thing we needed to do was stabilize the vigas on that side of the room.  For some reason the other side had supports already, but this side needs the same thing.  Our contractor has salvage vigas for this use, too.

The job is expected to take 5 or 6 weeks, and they’ve been working for a week.  With Paul in Guadalajara at school I am the jefe here!  It is going great, though.

We’re also planning on using the big wrought iron pieces that were removed somehow as a screen for our bodega, which has been a nagging issue for us.

There are more photos of the project on the Photos page.

Share and Enjoy !

More about Nancy

I'm Nancy, a US expat living in San Antonio Tlayacapan, Jalisco after 11 years in Mazatlán, México.

    1. How wonderful Nancy! You are going to love this. It is unrealistic to tolerate the wind and rain even when it’s just for a few months. I would do this too. What a great project. I, too, love being the jefe!!

    1. I am always pleasantly surprised by the projects you have undertaken for the house. One of these days, it would be nice to see it.

      It appears I need to return to Oregon to get a replacement license. I have not yet decided whether to drive or fly. If I drive, I will stop by Mazatlan.

    1. Jan, This is probably our favorite room in the house so we weren’t planning on messing with it…until we saw those windows. I think it is going to be a knockout. Plus we’ll be able to put a couch or loveseat in there which will make waiting for Paul to peel my grapes very comfortable!

      Steve, Yes, you will have to come over if you are ever in town.

      Jillian, I ALWAYS like to be the jefe! Sorry that your kitchen requires more work, hopefully it won’t take too long.

    1. Fantastic mural. What a fun project to restore a house in Mexico and get to live in it!

    1. That will be gorgeous! I love the doors, it is so fantastic that you found a builder that finds these old things. I think the room will be more livable in all weather and you will love it even more.

    1. Alice, Yes, we love the mural, too. It’s really such a pleasure to live in this house, it has such a nice feel.

      Jonna, Thank you! It is going to be exciting to see it come together, right now we are just tap tap tap tap tapping as they remove the planter. Then they’ll chip out on the wall to set the monitos (little monkeys?) that hold up the viga support beams. Once that’s done they can start fine tuning things to fit the windows. He salvaged all the jambs, etc so they will fit perfectly. The contractor is an old salvage guy from San Francisco, he is trying to figure out if there is a market for it here.

    1. Awww…I’m jealous! LOL – in a good way of course!!
      You just can’t find homes like yours in Cancun! Your home is just beautiful!!! Can’t wait to see the finished project!

    1. Nice use of recycled materials. I think it is a good project. I predict you will be wondering when it will end quince dias hence.

    1. Great pics, looks like they are making good progress, must have a good jefe.

    1. Lauren, Thank you! Yes, a beach community with a historic downtown is hard to find in Mexico, and the combination is perfect for us.

      Chrissy, Thanks, I’m just in the taking it day by day mode, dust and pounding is already getting on my nerves.

      Michael, Please don’t say that! I need to beeeeelieeeeve!

      Paul, Thanks, today if I actually WAS the jefe somebody would have been in big trouble! They don’t know how lucky they are!

    1. Wow!! that’s a very impressive project. I do love watching a project come together… glad you shared the secret. Great photos.

    1. Mic, Thanks, originally I was just going to post about it when it was all over but I can never keep a secret!

    1. The windows are wonderful. I can’t wait to see the finished project photos.

    1. How are the conure’s doing with all the noise? I bet they are screaming their heads off. Tango would be beside himself trying to out talk the banging. Oh, and if they are carrying any tools, that just gets extra decibels of screaming, clicking and stomping around the cage.

    1. Nancy!
      I can relate on so many levels.
      Our first home in La Paz was the winter escape for some people in Oregon. So no screens and no A/C. We moved to La Paz from California in August 2000.
      I did not realize I was also entering menopause.
      The heat was like a hammer that never stopped, oh that was the demolition crew starting on removal of unfortunate decorating decisions.
      We had a mini split installed in our bedroom the first week.Screens the second.
      I kept the temp. at 17 at night. Frosted the windows. My beloved was under blankets and wearing a knit cap, begging to be allowed to click it up one notch.
      After running one of the interminable daily errands, we would escape to the bedroom with books.
      I am sure the workers thought we were having mad sex.
      When the architect needed to discuss plans that did not require us to be downstairs in the heat and dust, he came to the bedroom to meet with us. We had more than one meeting with us all sitting on the bed.
      If we had not paid in full for the house, we would have moved out within days.
      We had no pool, just a spa. It was conveniently located under a palapa, so I kept it cold and lounged in it for hours.
      Once the demo was done downstairs we installed a mini-split that could cool the entire open floor plan lower level.
      We had fans to also move the air.

      It was misery, and I still get goose flesh when I think about it.
      We thought we had made the most expensive mistake of our lives.
      After we installed a pool with a movable shade cover, I was more comfortable, and would even swim in the wee hours.
      Four years ago we built a house on the beach, with insulation, dual pane windows a salt water pool and good electrical. Summer is still hell here, but I am more comfortable.And i am never at a loss for a house sitter!
      I am now cold with the mini splits set at 26!
      Our hot season is miserable to be sure, but mild compared to Mazatlan.
      Our electricity is subsidized as well. I am careful not to over cool the house, only run the mini splits in the room I am using, and of course conserve water and electricity just like I did in CA. But, I did not come here to be miserable , so I use the A/C as I need it. I did not need A/C in CA. but I certainly needed heat in winter and used it w/o guilt.
      But, I treat summer like one would treat Winter, I modify my indoor climate, dress accordingly (like naked) and don’t venture out in the worst part of the day.
      I think I am going to have to write a post on my blog. This is going on a long time here!!
      The point is, we would not consider being without heat in winter. Why do we feel that keeping cool is less important? Something from our parents who grew up in the Depression and never let us forget it?

      Oh and thanks for commenting on my blog and my upcoming book about buying in MX.
      Your house is gorgeous, and I hope the work stops eventually so you can sit back and enjoy your efforts.

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