Raising the roof

Roof tiles removed, they’re about to take down the rotted wooden beam.

No sooner had our guys finished the banana tree removal and filled the space with rock and concrete than they moved onto the second phase of this week’s toil, which was replacing a rotted wood beam and cross boards on the side of a carport.

The carport did not start life as a carport. It started as simply a covered area in one corner of the double lot we purchased in 2002 to build the Hacienda. It had been used as a party space by the lawyer’s family who previously owned it. There was nothing more on the double lot except a stand-alone bathroom on the far end of the property.

We began using it as a carport on one side and a junk-collection area on the other side. In 2014, we converted most of the trash area into my child bride’s pastry kitchen. That’s one wall of the pastry kitchen you see in the top photo.

But this week’s problem was rotting wood on one side of the roof. The guys removed tons of clay tiles and then the outermost beam, purchased a new beam, trucked it here, stained it, replaced it, and re-covered it with the clay tiles, all in just four hours.

New beam gets stained. The fellow on the left is fond of observing.
New beam is now in place, and cross boards are being laid down.
Voilá. The roof is ready to last another 20-plus years.

The rock-and-concrete “table” that was finished Thursday was dry by today, so we hoisted a couple of decorative pots atop it because we’re all about art, green and otherwise.

Far better-looking than the dead stand of bananas, ¿no?

Looking to next year

Every second morning, more or less, after biscuits, honey and café Americano negro, I head outside to sweep and view the dawning day, which is most always a pleasant sensation. Today was no exception, cool, clear and blue.

I stood on the yard patio and looked up at the house, parts of which have not been painted in 17 years. The area up there, around the glass-brick windows, has the original paint, and it looks better in the photo than it does in real life.

The main reason that has not been repainted is its relative inaccessibility. You cannot walk up there without removing the clay tiles which, now that I think about it, also need to be taken up, cleaned and replaced. And some are broken, and they need replacing with new ones. This work would disturb the bats and the workmen who find them.

Renovation work here almost invariably takes place in December through May, which is to say when it is not raining every day, so I’m thinking about this now.

Perhaps even more than the paint and tile, I want to remove this section of grass below and replace it with concrete and something or other that has yet to be decided, anything but the grass and weeds currently in residence.

I really want to do this, but I really do not want the hassle and disorder it will require for a couple of weeks, guys coming every morning and hanging around most of the day.

But it will happen. Some things are inevitable.

Might even install a fountain there. That would look snappy.

I would keep the aloe vera and philodendron.

By the way, yesterday’s post about having to put comments into full moderation has been deleted because the problem has been solved. FYI.

Adding a new hole

Just after dawn today. Sweet. Cool too.

GUYS WILL ring the gate bell tomorrow about 8:30 a.m. — they wanted to come even earlier, but I said no — to add a drain hole to the upstairs terraza.

When the floor on the upstairs terraza was built in 2003, the then-guys were not aware that it would be an open space, so the floor is completely level. And then it was left open to the elements. When it rained, a sizable lake formed on the floor and stayed for months, which was one reason we decided to cover it entirely last year.

There have long been two drain holes, but they don’t work for two reasons. One is that they are tiny. The other is that the floor is level, not even slightly tilted to the drain holes. The glass roof has eliminated most of the flooding problem but not entirely, especially when the rain blows from the sole direction where there is no canvas curtain.

The direction you see in the top photo.

The guys will cut a low, 18-inch-wide space in the terraza’s brick wall at floor level, and that will let me sweep the rainwater to the other side where it will fall to the ground.

There is nothing a Mexican brick mason cannot make right.

One of the two useless holes we now have.

A good scrub


SOME MAY RECALL that we totally renovated the upstairs terraza a year ago, putting a glass roof overall and improving the space 100 percent.

Over the past year, it’s gotten dirty up there, so we hired José to clean it with his pressure washer. He arrived this morning. You’ve heard of walking on water? José is walking on glass, but it’s 1/4-inch tempered glass. That’s shade cloth over much of the opaque glass.

The yellow building with the red roof just beyond is the sex motel next door.

Here’s how it looks below. Due to the Kung Flu, we’ve been spending more time there with limeade on late afternoons. Come sit a spell. It’s sweet.

José is standing atop of this in the above photo.