Moving along, here are pictures of part two of the project. That was to install a large tinaco (aka cistern) of 2500 liters to augment the current tinaco on the roof, which holds 1100 liters. We get water from the city when they feel like sending it, which lately has been every two weeks. The water comes in for several hours, which is no good to you if you have no place to store it. The new tinaco has a pump and the roof tinaco has been fitted with an electric float to tell the bottom one when to send up water.
This is a "before" picture. That area just past the cardboard box is an open knee-high cistern. A cement base was mounted on top of it and the new tinaco sets on that. What you are looking at in the picture is now covered by a wall.
This picture shows the top corner of the spiral staircase that brought the contractor to grief. The big black thing is my neighbor's tinaco. It holds 1100 liters. My roof tinaco is identical, but you can't see it in the picture because it's on top of my roof, above that window in the photo.
And here it is -- the big, the really big 2500 liter tinaco ~
Any and all questions will be respectfully answered, as I realize some of this might not be entirely clear. At any rate, many thanks to all of you for your interest and for following along.
It's a hundred times better and you now have a big box of light. Well done for putting up with the process and I'm sure there's a lot more that goes in to doing something like this than appears, especially interacting with the workers, going out choosing stuff etc etc, putting up with the mess and so on. I hope you have many trouble free years and enjoy the pure fact it has been done.
The conversation regarding the 'it is finished', 'have you tested it', 'tested what?' is quite irritating at the time but I know I've had a few of those - but I admit, without the mansplaining at the end of it. That nice shiny orange pump - when it's on, does the noise resonate through the concrete block and floor?
I like the photo with the dogs inspecting safely through the doorway.
Me too!! It looks a million times better Bixa and I know you will enjoy living there more than ever now. This morning your alterations were being discussed inbetween mouthfulls of breakfast avocado. Mr.Tod did say he would have preferred a corrugated polycarbonate over the new outside corridor just for strength and also added that he would have put flashing/or membrane where the polycarbonate meets the wall, and a fall of between 15/20. That's just his 2cents worth. Let us believe all is okey-dokey now.!
From a builder's point of view I can see where the thought of corrugated polycarbonate comes from but as long as the flat panels are supported well enough I expect it will be fine. It's not as if there'll be a big build up of snow and as long as they are fastened down well enough then wind shouldn't be a problem either. I'm not sure of the transparency of the corrugated stuff and the aesthetic to me with the flat panels make it look more like a room than a concrete shed. I agree flashing may eventually be needed but I'd see how it goes and as for the angle of the roof, more may be better but there are flat or reasonably flat roofs worldwide that seem to manage. Also trying to get a water tight seal between a corrugated panel and the flat side of a wall, as in the house wall, is quite a different thing than a flat straight edge.
I'd be quite happy with the whole thing how it is and have a wait and see approach to having to tweak it somewhere if needed. Floor is good and a sweep and a mop will sort out any dirt, marble window sill I like and the feature of the glass blocks. The upper windows are a good idea and curious as to if you'll need to open them. I'm inclined to nip round and stick you up a new light fitting and lampshade and as a personal preference, I might well add a bit of colour, like a framed poster/picture or two but that isn't necessary, just what I'd have. The white walls certainly brighten up what was once a dingy outside space that is now a functional and attractive inside space.
Your stories only reinforce my existing resolve to never be within 1,000 miles of any ongoing more than one-day house renovation work I might have done. I will only hire a contractor that I have full, 100% trust in and who is bonded, licensed, and insured, and then instructed not to call me under any circumstances until the job is completed. I couldn't be any less interested in any dramas that might occur in the work process. If details turn out differently than I might prefer, that would for me be a very small price to pay.
Bixa, having spent the last few years, off and on, dealing with contractors and workers, I feel your pain. Hopefully the kinks have now been thoroughly worked out and you can begin to enjoy your new bright and airy space. How is the light in the dining room? Did the change make the hoped for difference?
That nice shiny orange pump - when it's on, does the noise resonate through the concrete block and floor? I've only heard the pump once, when it was turned on to test it. Yes, it is noisy, but I chose it over a submersible for maintenance reasons. Pumps are a fact of life in this water- & water infrastructure- deprived place, so I'm willing to put up with the occasional noise. ... a new light fitting and lampshade and as a personal preference, I might well add a bit of colour, like a framed poster/picture ... You & Bjd both mention the light fitting, not realizing that a) yes, I know it's an ugly bare bulb dangling from the ceiling and b) the ugly basket shade has been roughly cut off. ----- It will not remain that way, but I just wanted the workers to go the blankety-blank away because I can deal with the light in my own time. You all both also mentioned color. I live in a colorful country and have colorful furniture and doo-dads all over the place. This came up about the bathroom renovation, too. There is a part of me which also yearns for the occasional stripped-down monastic space, which is what is appealing to me about the new room.
"Are we allowed to go there?" They are of course allowed in there, but their dearest desire is to get out into the yard that doesn't belong to me and to pass through it to go shit in the landlords' garage -- something they've achieved a few times with deep satisfaction.
flashing/or membrane where the polycarbonate meets the wall, and a fall of between 15/20.
I don't care for the idea of corrugated roofing at all, since I wanted the space to feel like part of the house. As far as the fall, we have had two violent rain storms in the past couple of days & the roof has come through just fine. Absolutely agree about flashing -- a subject I've raised any number of times in different circumstances in the past, only to be met with blank looks. I can only imagine that it's a rule here to have roofs which encourage rain to roll back under them.
How is the light in the dining room? Did the change make the hoped for difference? Htmb, you mention one of the main reasons for wanting to create a way to bring light into the house. Yes -- it is as hoped. Anyone can now sit in the living room without wondering what is that mysterious dark cave adjacent to it.
Pee ess ~ Shortly after replying in the last post about the noise of the pump, it came on automatically. That was either the first time it has done so since it was installed or else the first time I noticed it. Even though I had the kitchen window open, the sound inside the house was a pretty innocuous hum. You could stand right next to it and have a normal conversation while it's running. It's way more tolerable than the average blender, for instance.
I have no problem with the pump, just wondering as we've had the same set up in all the countries we've been in part from now in Bosnia with the pump being external. At the house in Spain we also have something similar for the pool. Apart from the Spain one the noise level has varied between hardly noticing and a drumming through the house. The reason for asking was that I see it is just resting on a block and on the concrete roof - mine have always been the same, it's as though nobody has heard of insulation - I've usually had to put a couple of old rubber car footwell mats or some equivalent directly underneath to lessen the noise vibration level. Good to know yours is fine.
I can understand about the colour subject. When surrounded by it whenever leaving the house which I never though of, it's good to have you own clean and crisp space. Is it mansplaining to remind you to switch the electric off when you do the light fitting?
I did think the pump was going to have a little house of its own, rather than just being perched on a couple of concrete blocks. There is an awful lot of what I call "just enough" (often, just barely enough) that goes on around here. The contractor did say that pumps get louder with age, before adding that he'd be around in a year to give it maintenance. (Uh-huh.) That is a great idea about putting some muffling material which should also cut down on vibration & attendant wear. If I had not been so pistol-whipped by the incessant presence of the workers, I might have thought of it.
I shan't be the installer of the light fitting. That wasn't mansplaining, but hits on kind of a sore subject. I had a plumber/electrician named Leo whom I like a lot as a person, even though he was not a very good plumber nor electrician. He didn't do very many electrical jobs for me, but every single time I would say that I thought he should turn the electric off before working on stuff. Every single time he would repeat the mantra of the Oaxacan male: "No pasa nada." I'm not clear on the details, but poor Leo had an accident with a cable and lost a leg and part of one hand. So yeah, I know about turning it off!
Bixa - Mr.Tod has a question. The new roofing is looking great but in a few weeks or months "rain dirt"or leaves will settle onto it - how are you going to clean it? Is it strong enough to carry a person weight or will you just get a long broom and a hose onto it?
Insulation can still be put under the pump but it takes two of you. One to hold the pump up so there is no strain on the pipes and connections and one to slip something else underneath that has been prepared to be at the right height be it other bricks or blocks or whatever. I used to make a sandwich, rubber at the bottom, block, rubber just under the pump. Not urgent, maybe something to think of in a year or so after you've reminded the builder he should have come back to check it like he said.
The space looks quite attractive and squared away. I too was picturing the tinaco up high on the roof. That tradition probably dates back to when electric pumps couldn't be relied upon and a gravity feed system was preferable.
how are you going to clean it? Is it strong enough to carry a person weight Tod, there are two windows upstairs overlooking that roof, so I could clean it from up there. Supposedly that material would support 115 pounds, but who wants to test that?
I too was picturing the tinaco up high on the roof. That tradition probably dates back to when electric pumps couldn't be relied upon and a gravity feed system was preferable. Fumobici, here tinacos are on the roof and the system is a gravity feed. So tinacos are essentially roof cisterns. But I referred to the newly installed ground floor tinaco/cistern as a tinaco because that is what that receptacle is called and also to differentiate it from an in-ground cistern.
Thanks so much, Lugg. I do adore the new room and it's a treat to flush the toilet without wondering if I'm using my last drops of water.
There was another chapter to this today. I had told my landlady that I would help her clean out the old original cistern, which was full of water and pieces of rubble and other crap from the construction. We bailed that thing for what seemed like forever and discovered that the (may they rot in hell) workers had been using it as a garbage bin. We finally got everything out except for a skim of wet cement sludge. Once it's dry, we'll finish sweeping or vacuuming it out & then she'll see about fixing the drain hole. I still don't see why she wants the damned thing, but whatever.
In terms of percentage, how much do you think that your home has grown, Bixa? 5%? 10%? More? Obviously the quality of your improvements is extremely important but over here the first thing that comes to mind is the official size of a dwelling because that is the very first element for estimating the value depending on the location.
In 'serious' countries, that would also change the property tax (which the owner pays, not the tenant, but the owner could decide to change the amount of rent). Not even France is a serious country for this sort of thing because the last revision was made in 1974. Too complicated! They use laser pointers here now, but even so it entails a lot of crawling around on their hands and knees and nobody likes this.
Thank you so much, Cheery ~ that is exactly how I feel!
Kerouac, what makes you think that there was any building permit, inspection, etc.? I vaguely mentioned that and was met with the same expressions horses have right before they spook & bolt. Technically, none off the new stuff even exists.
There is no doubt that the rentable value of the house is enhanced, not least because of the new tinaco. And changing that hideous always dirty patio into a real room just makes the house look worth more. (Ditto the upstairs bathroom & the slight spiffing up of the downstairs one as well, if I do say so.)
Maybe you're good at judging square footage by eye, in which case you have a rough idea of the size of the house before the new room. The new room is 415 cm x 170 cm / 4.15 meters x 1.7 meters / 13 feet, 7 inches x 5 feet, 7 inches
Thanks, Mich! And yes, I had my eye on that spot for the airfryer even before they started work on the room. What do you think? The room is airy and cool. For one thing, it cools off more than the rest of the house during the night. And for another, I had figured out the air flow in this house (which is quite good, generally) & knew that the new room would not be a hot box.
Last Edit: Apr 15, 2021 4:03:07 GMT by bixaorellana: must proofread
And yes, I had my eye on that spot for the airfryer even before they started work on the room. What do you think?
I think it is an awesome spot for it! A lot of space for it and space for where you can place trays, cutting boards underneath, and lots of prep room for whatever you are putting inside it! Wonderful that it is also a cool space. One of the best decisions I made in redesigning our kitchen ended up being the large industrial fan over the stove that could be installed because we moved the stove to an exterior wall. It had been in the middle of the kitchen and it was always so hot and the fan could never operate properly.
. We get water from the city when they feel like sending it
Bixa, Do you pay for the water they send you - if so is water very expensive? Where we live we pay for water the Municipality supplies just as one would pay for electricity. And water is not cheap - At one time we found our water bill excessive and on further investigation found one of the pipes underground was leaking like the proverbial sieve. They were not interested in our troubles and we had to pay an enormous bill or be cut off.