I have been writing a lot about forms. At this point, the last forms on the outside of the corridors are up, filled with concrete and ready to be removed. Although this step of the construction is close to being completed, the process continues.
The back side was finished first and is already free of forms and showing the arches that will be surrounding the house on the outside of the corridors.
For those of you who have been following our blog, you will notice the bananas are ending up quite close to the edge of the house. Easy picking!
This view of the finished beams and arches is from the back of the house. Once the forms are removed, the beams are wet down frequently to create a very hard, strong concrete. You can see the supports are still in place as well as the forms that create the arches
The road side of the house is also coming along. The forms have been removed and the concrete being hardened with morning and evening water showers.
The arches will require more cement and troweling to be actually "finished". When complete, the form board marks, ridges and holes will be trued and smoothed and with a more gradual curve where the arch meets the column.
The area around the house, the work site, is constantly changing with the different products needed for the job. However, the concrete mixer is somewhat permanent, as the wheels seem to be sitting in concrete. Not sure if that is something that was planned or has just happened.
For now, the Guest Bedroom is storage for the forms that are not being used.
Now that the beams forming the outside perimeter of the corridors are completed, the same process of re-bar, forms and then concrete will repeat on the inside to create support beams above the walls tying the whole house together. Here, you are looking at the arch that is between the Dining Room and Kitchen while standing at the Kitchen Island. These particular supports will be the base for our second floor Bedroom.
Another Kitchen shot. The large window will be the view we have while doing dishes! Looking to the right a bit more we can see the beautiful hills, valleys and the ocean in the distance.
More beams being created, however, this window will have a wood lintel instead of an arch. Most of the doors and a few of the windows will have wood lintels rather than arches. We are hoping this feature adds to the rustic feel we are trying to create.
The smaller window arches are formed with a solid block of rounded wood. To give you an idea of their size, this particular window is 80 cm. by 165 cm. Both types of wood frame arches create a starting point for the shape of the arch. At a later date, the arches are formed to the exact shape and made smooth ready for the windows to be inserted. Currently we are waiting to hear from the window company that we hope to use if their bid isn't out of our range.
These two arch forms were added after the concrete was formed because of the earlier error of a10 cm shortage in their height mentioned in an earlier post.
In this photo you can see the thick concrete beam to the far left, the door where there will be a wood lintel and the arched windows that have had extra concrete added and smoothed.
Bright blue sky and the work goes on! This view is of the Kitchen and shows both types of wood forms used in creating the arches.
Once the re-bar and arch forms are complete, work will begin on our second story Bedroom. Until then, the Art Room is storing the foam blocks that are used as a form and sound barrier for this next step.
While others are busy working on our house, we are off doing other things. Recently, we went to see some puppies that belong to a friend, Roberto, but decided we weren't quite ready to replace Skeeter. Maybe once we are in the new house and not so close to the sad memories. Still, they are very cute and if anyone is interested in a new puppy just let us know. There are 6 adorable fur balls and all will need homes! "Auntie" sits watch in the background!
Roberto, Don and Jeffry have been busy working on the finca cutting back old coffee plants and pruning new ones. Coming up our driveway now is quite different with all the plants cut back.
Many of our plants are old and either need cutting back or replacing. Each year we have cut some and planted some trying to improve our coffee production. This year we will do the same, probably cutting more than previous years. The old plants are very tall and difficult to spray, walk through and pick. We are hoping to make spraying easier and less expensive and coffee picking easier in the years to come. Once we cut back a coffee plant, it will take two years to start producing coffee and three to start producing well.
These photos only show one section of our coffee finca, however, we have been cutting down coffee in many of the others as well. We have 12 different sections of varying sizes. A total of 6.5 Manzanas or about 10 acres. Everything here grows so rapidly there is always work to do controlling the growth of the unwanted plants as well as maintaining good coffee plants.