Architectural error

Photo shot from a chair. I had just swept.

ARCHITECTS KNOW things you don’t, which is why you hire them. We did not hire one. Perhaps we should have.

Above you see one of the reasons. What should be one of the best aspects of the Hacienda is essentially useless, and we rarely go out there. It’s the upstairs terraza.

We initially intended to have a tile roof over most of it, but it was one of the last parts (expenses) of the construction process back in 2003, and I was weary of spending money.

The tile roof was scaled way back, just large enough to cover the hammock that was out there for years. I wanted my hammock, and I used the hammock for about eight years.

Then I didn’t. Finally I removed it because it was an obstruction to walk around every time we stepped out there.

Let’s count the architectural errors. You see the biggest in the photo at the top. If you sit in a chair, this is your view. The yellow wall. It you’re standing, or even in a hammock, the view is spectacular. If you’re sitting, it’s the yellow wall.

Here’s another: During the rainy season, which lasts about five months, a fourth of this terraza is a lake. The drainage is lousy. We’ve added extra drain holes, but the problem is the floor’s complete lack of incline.

And another: That floor tile is super slick. During the rainy season, well, you can guess. Swan dive!

And another: Plants out there almost always die. It’s freezing cold in the winter, and blazing sunlight in the spring. About the only things that survive are cacti.

Most of these problems could be eliminated by adding the entire tile roof I initially planned, but the primary problem would remain. If you sit, you’re looking at that yellow wall.

That too could be done another way, but then you’re looking at major work and expense.

Meanwhile, sitting on the downstairs veranda is just great, so this upstairs area remains low on the priority list.

It likely will stay the same forever.

Should have hired an architect.

View in the other direction. Both photos shot this morning.

(Note: The house design is mine, and it was written on sheets of graph paper. The workers took it from there.)

24 thoughts on “Architectural error

  1. You just need some tall furniture to lounge on. Problem solved for a fraction of the cost of a lower wall.


    Kim G
    Redding, CA
    Where there seems to be a distinct lack of architects.


      1. OK. How about you build a platform deck with a couple of steps up? You could put normal furniture on that. That could also support a pergola that you could use to create shade. And depending on how big you built it, you might even be able to avoid walking on the slippery tiles.


        1. Kim: Just found this comment of yours in the trash bin. Go figger.

          As for your suggestion, it is a fine one. You’re the second to suggest a deck, but your idea is more elaborate. I like it. Who knows, maybe one day?


          1. I was kind of wondering why you didn’t answer it, since you seem to mostly answer 100% of the comments here. But I didn’t get worked up over it either. But the more I think about it, the more I like the deck idea. Is it hard to get wood to build such a thing? Most stuff in Mexico seems to be built of concrete block.


            1. Kim: Getting the wood would be a piece of cake.

              As for comments, yes, I answer them all with very few exceptions, and they would be follow-ups that people leave to their own earlier comments, things that really do not call for a response.

              I think ignoring people is rude, especially those few, percentage-wise, who are good enough to leave comments.

              Liked by 1 person

    1. Shelagh: I had never heard of “bar height furniture,” so I did an internet search. And there it is. Live and learn. But everything I see is a variation on a bar stool. The only thing that makes a bar stool even reasonably comfortable is that you’ve got a margarita in your hand, you’re fairly buzzed, and you’re leaning forward on the bar. Back to the drawing board, both of you!

      Or I could put a bar out there, but since I don’t drink …


  2. What kind of a Mexican house do you have anyway? Way too Americanized. I do not see any rows of rebar sticking up from the walls. All your walls are finished, painted and great looking!

    You can solve your problem by just adding another story to the house, you already have a tile floor, all you need is to enclose the current roof, adding another room, then the top will have an unobstructed view to clothes lines, tinacos, miscellaneous storage of garbage and clutter.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tancho: I fail to see how enclosing this space will solve the view problem while sitting in a chair. It would, however, solve the freezing in the winter and the glaring sun in springtime.


      1. Adding another story will. Then the new top level will have the better view.
        I know, too much construction and stress in this stage of life.


        1. Ah, you meant another story. Of course, that would solve the problem and, of course, it ain’t gonna happen. Actually, the view from the roof, accessible via the circular stairway, is more than magnificent.


  3. Could you not have a couple of levels of cinderblocks removed from the wall ? I guess that would be messy, expensive and defeat the purpose of having a wall. I think you’re right to just leave it and use the downstairs veranda. The top level is beautiful for a sunset or night time star gazing.


    1. Brent: Oh, there are a number of ways to alter the yellow expanse.They all would be messy, moderately costly, etc. I could make a space and fill it with decorative ironwork. Or whatever.

      But I almost certainly will just leave it as is and use downstairs.


  4. Felipe, We enjoy wonderful views of the surrounding mountains just outside of Tucson. In order to take advantage of those views many of the low walls have been replaced by open metal rail fencing. Doing this at your casa may even improve drainage along with the views. I enjoy your blog, mi amigo!


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bienvenidos, Gregorio. What you suggest is the obvious solution. I considered it while we were building the place, but I don’t remember now why I went in another direction. Doing it now would be a relatively easy and inexpensive solution were it not for the solid wall that sits out there. It could be done, of course, a removal, anything can be done down here, but the thought of the workmen traipsing all around up here for God knows how long is off-putting.

      So, it’s likely to stay just as it is. Sigh.


  5. Your yellow wall would need to be at least that high in the States due to our massive need to regulate everything. After all, people aren’t intelligent enough up here to to walk around on their roof tops.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ray: As we both know, the regulatory state in your country has long since flown totally out of control. Down here, that mostly does not exist. We are personally responsible for our own stupidities or just plain lack of paying attention. If we fall off a roof or into a hole right there in the middle of the sidewalk, and there are lots of holes right there in the middle of the sidewalk, there’s no one to blame but ourselves.

      In other words, it’s as it should be.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Friends and neighbors: From the suggestions here and others via email, I have come to the conclusion that the best, easiest and cleanest solution is to build a deck, and maybe one day I will do that. I hope so.


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