Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Harvest 2011

OK, some work to do here.

In other news, we went up to meet a new ¨Aparejador¨ or technical architect, who supervises the construction process and is in charge of health and safety. We met another potential builder at the Architect´s office and discussed the revised budgets for a shell, not finished house.

The main good news is that the budget numbers are coming down, mostly due to revising our expectations. Our new goal is to have a more or less weather tight structure, foundation, roof and walls, and phase in the systems and finishes afterward as time and money allows. Other sacrifices have been the chestnut ceiling and beams (replaced by pine). We want a dark stain, so springing for chestnut seemed unnecessary.

More good news was that the ruin doesn´t appear to be deteriorating, even with the drought followed by torrential rain this fall. The creek was not particularly full, either, despite increased rainfall. So far so good.

The bad news - we´re still in limbo, now awaiting Aguas de Galicia to submit a report judging that the creek, which we don´t plan to touch, will indeed be unaffected by our project. The Secretary at City Hall told us of a case who had been waiting since December 2010 for a response, so this is a problem. Estimates vary between a 4 to over a 6 month wait, which wouldn´t be such a big deal if it had been applied for back in July when the project was submitted. The Architect suggested a permit for ¨Consolidation of walls¨ which may allow us to at least begin work while the water people get their act togther. In the meantime, we´ll be gently harrassing the water department. Squeaky wheel and all that.

The area was alive with woodcutting and pruning. Great stacks of cut trees and enormous burn piles of weeds and bramble trimmings were on fire everywhere. The ruin across the road had cut down the entire hedge along the road and removed several trees which were overhanging the road and the electric lines. Looks entirely different.

Before - Neighbor pre-haircut.

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