Building your new home in Belize, the Good, Bad and yes, Ugly.

Just when you think everything is going smoothly, there’s a “bump”!


I’m sure I have told you in the past that my building crew work then days on the four off.  This has caused some “anxiety” on both myself as well as my crew foreman Ricco. With the upcoming rain season looming over us, time is of the essence when it comes to getting the roof and walls installed. With the delay in lumber delivery that put us behind schedule, the guys really got on it when they arrived at 6 AM this past Monday.


Upper rafters and walls roughed in.

Finishing the roof rafters and support structure was the main concentration so that they could start installing coining wood tongue and groove panels. So the guys really got on it, finishing the upper rafters, and starting framing out walls inside the house.


Roof tongue and groove panels painted.

Meanwhile, down in my concrete room beneath the main house, they were busy painting the underside of the wood roof panels white. They will be installed pain side down over the exposed wood rafters, stained dark after roof is completed.

Then finally the day arrived when I looked out of the Cabana and saw the first sheet of roofing going up on a corner of the house, then the next, and next. The first day they almost installed one whole roof section, and started laying tar paper over it to ward off moisture and rain.


Roofing panels going up

The next day, as I watch them installing more roofing, I decided to walk to the right of the house for a roof photo. To my surprise I see the guys starting to install wood siding panels! WOW! Shortly after Kevin my builder shows up, and I ask him about the siding.\He tells me he screws those wood panels on the side of the house for strength, then installs that wood tongue and groove wood panels for staining. Makes sense to me.


Siding panels going up, then wood siding will follow.

So as I sit on the Cabana porch with Oliver, smoking a Cuban Cigar and sipping rum, I concentrate, sort of, on the left side of the house where the outdoor shower will be. It starts to become obvious that we may have a problem with the roofline and shower. The architectural plans show the main roof coming out over the side deck, but a separate roof will come out under that one over the shower area. Thats where the 18 inch flat “rain shower head” will come down from.


Before re-configuring roofline over shower. Was to have 2nd extended roof under this one.


Much better roofline for the outdoor shower !

The problem I was seeing was that it appeared there wasn’t’ room for a second roof under the main, to install the shower head. Well, there was if I was 5 foot tall, but I’m 6’1′. So up I go to the main floor of the construction, tape measure in hand, and shortly realize that I was correct! Not enough room for a second roofline!

I bang off an IM to Tracy our Architect, and Kevin my Contractor, explaining the problem. Within a short amount of time get a reply from Tracy that she will get together with Kevin to solve the issue. It seems that we did make a slight change to the plans, which altered the pitch of the roofline, to where it was a bit lower over the shower area, thus causing the situation.


New  re-design allows for designer shower head.

The next morning when Kevin was on site, we went over what needed to be done, a simple fix, Eliminate the second roof, and just use existing roofline. Also that morning I received an email from Tracy with an updated architect drawing with the new roofline.

The only issue was now that the guys had installed rafters that only came out halfway over the shower area, and they needed to actually extend over the edge of the deck by two feet! The next day the guys starting removing the original shorter rafters, and building longer new ones, and installing them.


Roofing, siding, front deck roof and new outdoor shower roofline completed.

The outdoor shower area is now built in, and really looks great to me.

Also, most of the roofing is installed, and tarpapered, getting ready for the metal roof.

And, the guys have completed building the front deck elevated roof.

So lots of progress this week, with the roof structure 75% completed at this point. Things are moving along fine.


My designer shower/spa unit being installed in Master Bedroom outdoor shower bamboo surrounded area.

However, to my point about the “Good, Bad and Ugly” of building your home in Belize? Had I not noticed the issue with the shower area roofline, more than likely the 2nd lower roof would have been built. Everything would have been finished, and when the plumber starting installing my $2,000 shower unit, which would only function for “little we people”, it would have gotten a lot more ugly. Case in point? Being here is everything!

pirate rum

After all, if I wasn’t’t here, who could possibly judge the Rum Punch Competition ?

On that note, everything is fixed, everyone is smiling, and life is good.

Cheers all,


Gary …The Pirate



About storiesbygary

I am a Freelance Writer / Photographer, writing travel related articles for international magazines, blogs and websites and my own published books.
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