Monday, April 14, 2008

Plans are coming together

As the buildings are springing up on our new property, many of the details for other buildings and for certain systems are still being decided upon.

Some interesting and unexpected questions have come up. For instance, today we discussed whether or not we will be putting screens in the windows. The windows will certainly be open much of the time, so normally you would expect window screens to be a given. However, our current rental house has no screens, and we haven't found that to be a particular problem. Of course, we have the occasional large bug or bat flying in the window, and once in a while a bird, but we haven't had a problem with large numbers of gnats, flies, mosquitoes, etc. Now ants, they are everywhere, but I've not found that screens keep them out anyway.

Right now, Kirstin and Allen are working on planning the water systems. We will be piping in water from a not-so-nearby river. There is a significant part of the year where we can expect to get no rain at all here in Lempira. Because of this, we hope to make use of our waste water, for watering plants. So, the garden plans are wrapped up with the plumbing plans.

We are building thick brick walls, which will be finished to look like adobe, as these should be more durable and secure than adobe, and can be expected to be cooler than poured cement or block walls. This week, the design of the doors and windows will be determined, and a local carpenter will begin construction of these.

Of course, all of our plans have to take security into account. Bars on the windows are a must. Will a balcony or porch in a certain location endanger our security? How will the dogs be contained, and what parts of the property will they roam, for our protection?

We also have to plan and install the water and electricity lines over several miles, to get them to the property.

Can you tell we're busy these days? But we're very excited to be seeing so much progress on the construction.


Akinoluna said...

Wow. It also seems like it would be awfully interesting to plan all that stuff out!

Aaron Ortiz said...

You may know this already:

The oldest houses, those built by the Spanish, have high walls on the outside, with metal balconies on the windows, which are shuttered from the inside, deep-set and sometimes have built-in furniture.

Then there are windows that face inward, where there's an inner courtyard / garden, with a pillared corridor around it, and a metal grate above to protect the house from thieves. In this they are very similar to ancient Roman houses.

This design is good for keeping houses cool. Ah, and the walls are very high! That makes for higher ceilings and cooler temperatures inside. But maybe in Gracias the temperature is not a big problem?

Here are some pics:

Honduras Sprout said...

That is good to know about the brick walls. I'll be curious to see how that works. My husband and I have had discussions about when or if we ever build, that we wanted something other than poured cement since it's so hot. Our first thoughts were adobe, but like you said, it could be not the best for upkeep. It's like living in an oven here sometimes in these cement block homes. I've heard a little about insulated cement now.