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Friday, January 29, 2016

Ecuadorian Construction

I must confess that we've been spying on our neighbours...well, okay, not spying so much as watching in fascination tinged with a mild horror as the people across the street put an addition on their house.

Construction, in itself, is different here. There's no wooden construction (at least for the most part), instead everything is made of concrete and brick and silly things like insulation and vapor barriers aren't de riguer here. We didn't have the best vantage point, as the addition is tucked in behind a sharply slanted roof, but we still marveled at the process.
Lower right is roof line prior to changes (ignore the view)
It all started with a new fence. The one you can see out front used to be a simple chain link, but things are obviously going well for them and they upgraded. Then we noticed that the entire front yard had been dug out to create a new parking place for the car and that the garage was sporting a new rebar grid in the front.. Finally the rear wall of the garage was pulled down and construction started in earnest.
Shiny new fencing to keep out prying eyes!
A cinder block wall went up, abutting the neighbours' house. This is hardly unusual and caused no fuss as other parts of the house also shared walls with next door. This new room(s) was quickly shaped by red brick and rose two stories and above the slopped roof line. We watched in fascination as they workers used an old (actually, very old and battered) 2x10 to check the wall for level. 
The cinder block is new, as are the bricks

Once the wall had reached a certain height forms were placed on top of the brick and a unifying layer of cement was poured to hold the works together (presumably a wall plate?)..That's when the investigation of the connecting roof began. They took away part of the roofing, I'm guessing to see how they might merge the three different pitches. They only took away a 2x2 section at first and eventually most of the facing roof was removed as they started on the addition's roof.
The yellow building belongs to the neighbours
Further layers of brick were built up to pitch the roof and then round wooden poles were put in place to act as joists. The incomplete work was covered (rather haphazardly) with plastic until they could start laying in the roof sections. The roofing material is made of corrugated metal sheets. I can only imagine what it sounds like in the house when it rains heavily. We have yet to see them installing any sort of barrier between the metal roof and the interior, but who knows?
Not exactly 2 X 4 construction, right?
There was a bit of drama between the neighbour and the workers, but I couldn't hear the discussion. There was some pointing to where the two houses joined and some minor repairs were made and I think all parties are now satisfied, but it remains to be seen.
The interior work will continue, away from our prying eyes, but the re-bar in the front needs to be dealt with and we wait with baited breath to see if a larger window will be installed in the front. 
Note the Re-bar on the right...building continues (?)
 A week later and nothing has been done with the Re-bar and the hole between the brick and the wooden siding remains. We're anticipating them expanding out the slanted room, but who can tell?


  1. Very interesting in the use of those poles instead of
    2x4 or 2x6, it almost looks like construction from
    100 years ago. They didn't seem to worry about measurements or getting things straight as well.

    1. They did put up a a horizontal string to do the brick work, but I have no idea how they checked for level. Straight-smaight...they believe in the concept of not sweating the small stuff.