Happy Monday! I am guest posting today on Mo Money Mo Houses about the cost of having an extra room, check it out!
With the 13 money resolutions for 2013 series, I haven’t given much of a Guatemalan update since the new year. So make yourself comfortable, this is a big one.
A lot has been happening since the beginning of January, mostly with the new room being built. The three stone walls are ready, and the fourth side of the room will be a big French door (I saw that is what you call a sliding door, although I don’t recall seeing more in France than other parts of the world!).
This is how the walls look from the outside. They are partly buried to keep the level with the upper garden where the house is, and to stay cool during the hot summer days. The walls are pretty thick, around 30cm (1ft).
Those wholes are on the upper part of the walls and are meant to be a natural AC. There will be a mosquito net on them to avoid any animal getting in, and the breeze coming from the lake on most days will refresh the room. We also bought an AC unit against my will that I guess we will use 10 days a year or so. It gets really warm in April, other than that we are always in the 80-90 degrees range (22-30 celsius) which is pretty pleasant.
When you get inside through the French doors to be, that is the bedroom. The weirdly shaped whole leads to the bathroom and walk in closet. There will be a full door behind it, that will allow to either close the bathroom, or just the toilet to the left, allowing access to the bathroom if someone is using the toilet.
That one is an old picture since the roof was not built yet. We were afraid that the room would turn out very dark, and humid but it looks ok. I hope out clothes won’t get moldy, that is the worst thing. I’ll have to make sure I store them when they are 100% dry or that could happen.
Here is the bathroom, it has a small sauna on the left that you can’t see, basically it is a hole with a metal door where we can start a fire from outside to warm the bathroom and sweat to our hearts’ content. The shower already has a skylight and will have a transparent door to make sure it isn’t too dark.
Then the roof was built. It took a long time as the rain started to prevent the workers from doing their jobs. We used the 1,000 or so wooden sticks that we brought from the ranch to do a first ceiling, and hold the concrete, then small stones, then the layer of concrete.
This is the iron and stone layer.
And now, the panoramic terrace is ready! It has a wall to the neighbor’s side that won’t hide the view, and plans are to make an outside kitchen, dining area and lounge.
The floor was painted red.
The terrace is the same level as the old house. We spent a lot of time learning about three way electricity which is basically when you have two switches up and down the stairs and each can turn the lights on or off. We should be able to light a path from one house to the other, with switches on each side. This we had to do ourselves as we only met an electrician and he did not impress with his work. It was actually quite straightforward, but you can’t go wrong since the wiring will be melted in concrete and if the whole thing doesn’t work you just have to do it again with visible wiring.
In order to work on that electric system, we had to install an on/off switch at the entrance of the property. That meant cutting the main electric cable on the street and linking it to a switch. One of the workers said he would do it, that the electric shock was not bothering him. He is still alive.
On the animal side, we have three new guests. The first one is a turkey lady for our fighting turkey. He is so happy with his lady in tow that he spends the whole day inflated making the seduction dance, and almost completely ignores BF, after being in love with him since Christmas.
Check it out! Normal turkey:
Turkey looking good for Mrs turkey.
The other two new guests are old friends from BF’s ranch, a couple of geese. They are quite beautiful and super happy to be there. In the ranch, they only had a very small pool to swim in, and were too lazy to go to the river, now they swim in the lake all day. In the ranch the pool was kind of disgusting to swim in since they were pooping in there and leaving feathers, now the lake takes care of the cleaning as well!
Aren’t they beautiful?
Everyone is living in good harmony, except that the turkeys were eating a LOT of bird food, so now they aren’t allowed inside the hen cage and everyone’s food is rationed. They are free to run around all day so they should eat worms or whatever they eat! Too much food makes them lazy. During the adjustment week, everyone seemed to be following me every time I went down to the beach (where the cage is) just to check if I had changed my mind and would give them more food.
The hens coming after me
It is quite amazing how animals get used to a new habits in just a few days. Where they sleep, how they eat or at what time… Something we could learn from.
One hen is still hatching and we are anxiously waiting for the first chicks!
On the money side, I have been in total denial about the costs of the work since my last cost recap on December 31st. I think the room will still come to $10K or so, and would have preferred to use that on the land development rather than something that will not produce any income, but as usual I can find three positive things about that too.
- we will be really comfortable. New bed, new appliances, cool room. I practice what I teach about enjoying life and money not meant to be hoarded.
the costs are quite low for a room and now I can rent the little house as a whole for a family of 4.
It will force me to put more effort on selling the plots of the 90 acres land, to bring in money instead of sitting on my a** all day.
*start my rant, please hold*
Other than this, I can’t wait to have the workers out of my property. With the rainy days, they have been coming early in the morning (waking me up with all the noise) then leaving at 8am because the weather was bad, only to come another day and bother me again. I know they are doing their jobs, but every day they come and go is as annoying as having them around for a full day.
*end my rant, thanks for holding*
I’ll end this monster post with the life side of things, I was happy to come back to my little paradise after spending a few days in Guatemala City (and getting a root canal, sigh), days are not as sunny as December but it is still heavenly to relax in the hammock and watch the lake, the animals, the waves… Can you believe that with a private beach I barely swim? I avoid it when the workers are there, so it only leaves lunch time, and I am usually busy making lunch, and after 4pm, when it is a cloudy day, it starts to be a bit cold.
I feel a goal coming for February!