Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Second Phase–Walls


I had plans of showing the erecting of the walls a bit more studiously. But last week I had to go to Tequis every day! Frustrating…  Anyway, the walls were first erected to about the half-way mark. This to allow for the castillos to be filled with concrete, after which the second phase would begin. Phase One was finished last Friday.

Yesterday, the east side of the living room was built up to where the dome ceiling will be. Here’s the plan I designed and drew in metric, the system in both Canada and Mexico:

Plan front & lvg East 002-1

Here’s how it looks at present:

view from the outside showing the castillo form in which concrete was poured-

Second phase walls 005-1Second phase walls 002-1

this one on the right is the view from the inside of what will be the living room.

The top part of each window and door is poured concrete as can be seen on the right. As one reader once remarked to me, they build to last here.


Demetrio and Ruben are now erecting the facade of the living room; here’s the plan:

Plan front & lvg East 001-1

I have had to make a lot of adjustments to this original plan, all done in pencil. Sorry for the erasures which blur somewhat the sharpness that I would have liked to present. In short, the height of the walls will be 2 1/2 metres. Each wall will end in a cadena made of armed concrete to support the weight of the brick dome wall. The latter will be 80 cm for the living room.

The photo below shows the southwest corner from inside.

Second phase walls 001-1Second phase walls 004

This next one looks toward the southeast from inside.

Demetrio watching me taking the photo.




At this time, Demetrio is preparing the base on which the arch for the window will be built. I’ll have to until tomorrow to take the photo.

A note on the wall building. When I had the fence built, I chose to have it made of cement blocks only. Not the best choice but I was ignorant of the implications. There is always the danger that cement blocks may crack, especially if there is considerable weight resting on the walls. That will be the case with the dome roof made of bricks and elevated from the edges to almost 1 metre high. By having 3 layers of bricks for each 3 layers of blocks all the way to the top, this would allow the bricks to halt any cracking and thus keep the walls intact.

Further note on building. Level is checked at every layer; level both horizontally and vertically. Once the horizontal level is established, a string is run from side to side to serve as a visual help to the mason. Click on the above photo to see the string. The vertical is checked regularly with a plumb line.

About 10 days ago, I met with Roberto Mora, an architect who has a shop selling decorative tiles for a score of purposes. I submitted my plans to him and was assured that everything looked well balanced, even in good taste (his comment). I suggested that since I live in Mexico, the design was totally Mexican and that given that it will be a woman’s house, it will show some curves. His response? As it should be!

I just loved it. On my report tomorrow, I’ll show the continuing work for the front of the house and will indicate what the expenses are.


Anonymous said...

I love your design. It is just the size I would like. Even now we use our travel trailer as a guest house so one bedroom would work great. Will your roof have a cupola to let the warmer air escape? I'm so excited for you.

Stargazer said...

I do not foresee a cupola, which here have no openings, just windows to let in light. For coolness, I have windows on the east, west, and south walls to catch the breeze. Instead of the cupola, I'm having an hexagonal opening in the middle of the dome. It will receive a double glazed glass framed and ornamented with metal. I'm very excited seeing the walls going up! Once the house is built, I'll send you a copy of my plan if you wish. It keeps being modified as we go along so a redesign will be necessary.

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