“Dead in the water in Belize!”
You may have noticed that for the past three weeks there have been no blog posts from “The Pirate”. You may also remember that we were supposed to be in our new home by the Christmas Holidays, and by contract, in by December 31st !
House from the water
Three weeks ago my builder shut down his business and went on vacation, returning yesterday, the 4th of January. Not sure if this was good or bad for his workers, but at least they got to spend time with their families. Kevin took off for the holidays last year as well, and I am not begrudging anyone from taking a vacation with family and friends. I am however telling you that some things about building are out of your control no matter where you choose to build.
A recent visitor to Pirates Paradise
So here we are, two days after his return, waiting for the crews to show up and take up where they left off. The half leveled lot still has a few large piles of lagoon sand to spread, no underground utilities to the house, although they are at the road and cabana.
Piles of lagoon sand, waiting to be spread
During the “shut down”, we purchased and had delivered a whole house gas generator, which needs to be raised up on a wood platform on the concrete area we had poured before the guys shut down.
Whole House Generator waiting for install
Now we get to the “fun stuff”, doors, windows and cabinets for the house. You may remember me talking about the large folding glass door to deck, and the folding window over sink area. This matter is yet to be resolved, and in fact, the company in Guatemala has yet to confirm that they will actually come back and replace both of them.
During the “break” we had our architect come and measure the kitchen window area, and where the existing window is installed, and she finds them unacceptable. In fact, they are not what she got approved with the Central Building Authority of Belize, who set standards. The windows are three large glass panels, but should be six panels and should fold outwards over the deck. The ones installed are fold inwards over sink, blocking access to where sink and faucet will be.
Another issue she found was the fact that the window was installed to low and will cause issues with the kitchen counters when installed. As we do have more time to resolve this issue, because of delays with cabinet maker, we are hoping when cabinets arrive, the correct window will be installed and in the correct height.
Until the kitchen window is correct, we also have had to wait to build the outdoor barbecue center, because it needs to match the kitchen counter and window height.
So you see, we are truly “dead in the water” so to speak, until the window and door issues are resolved.
The water we are “dead in”, still warm enough to swim 😉
Yesterday we had a surprise visit from Belize International Bank, who is financing the house build. They were quite impressed with the house so far, that is, until we got to the folding door and kitchen window. They were not very happy with whats going on there. The fact is, before we can accept the house as ours, and complete payments Atlantic Bank must do a “Final Approval” of the finished project, and it must be according to approved plan.
On that note, I will say that even though we could have waited a bit to start the build, and not financed the project with the bank, its a great advantage. All along the way during the build, Atlantic International Bank, has done inspections of the house before releasing funds. This is a check and balance on the builder, to see if what your builder says he;s doing, and asking for funds, has actually been done.They literally send a bank approved Architect down from Belize City to inspect the house.
As so many projects go wrong here in Belize, and many private home builds will see multiple builders before completion, this could really be in your favor, and you might look into it. The fact is, to the best of my knowledge, Atlantic International Bank is the only bank that will give you a construction loan, once you own your building lot.
So, Kevin my builder said the equipment and crew would be here to finish leveling our lot today, so that the rest of the issues that can be worked on could be completed. And that’s where I will start off my next blog post.
Remember and heed my words, if you can be here during the building process, you will experience two things, hair loss and accomplishment. The first from pulling it out when occasionally frustrated, and accomplishment when things finally get done, correctly.
Cheers and Happy New Year !