Saturday, April 19, 2014

Texas Casita (how we are spending our spring and summer)

Roger here...  Our infrequent posts during this past winter focused on retrospects of our first five years of travel in our motor home as well as lists of our favorite places.  We still have a few more of those to do; however, it is time to move back to the present.  

We recently decided to sell our coach house at Retama Village in Mission, Texas so that we could build a one-bedroom casita just down the street (still in Retama Village).  This photo shows the site of our new place prior to the digging of the footings (shown in the photo below) and the pouring of the concrete.

We decided to do this for a number of reasons:

1).  We love Retama Village in South Texas and plan to live here when we eventually stop traveling.  2). This will be a real house with a full bedroom, walk-in closet, full kitchen, living area, and full bath.  When we eventually stop traveling, we will not need a motor home in order to live here, but we will have a large area right outside the side doors with full hookups for our home on wheels.  3).  This property will be fenced in so that our dogs can roam the backyard without a leash.  4).  The back outdoor living area will be huge (more than double what we now have) with a covered porch extended by a pergola.  5).  The lot is one of four that have a configuration that backs up to a tree-line and a farmer's field (complete with Brahman cattle) --- very private.  6).  When friends and family come to visit we will have a bedroom and full bath for them in the motor home.

It has been fun and interesting watching the construction progress.  The picture on the right shows the rebar just before the concrete was poured.  The actual structure will sit on the raised area in the upper left-hand corner of the photo.

We were glad to see the vapor screen over the living area.

The pouring of the concrete was quite the event.

We lost count of the number of concrete trucks that took turns dispensing their loads.  Suffice it to say, we have plenty of deeply poured concrete.

Time for a few days of drying.  We were lucky to have several cool, cloudy and misty days --- good for the concrete at that stage.

The framing happened so quickly!  The photo shows how much was accomplished by the time we returned from our morning walk with the dogs.

We look forward to inspecting the progress at the end of each day after the workers have gone home.  Bandido and I thought it would be fun to show you where everything is.  Here we are sitting in the bed...

...Watching TV in our recliners....

...Emptying the dishwasher....

...Brushing teeth....

Warning:  R rated photos ahead.....

...Getting in the shower....


...Grilling salmon on the outdoor grill.....

... and taking a nap under the pergola.

The roof went up quickly, and the shingles were installed in half a day.

We took pictures of the water lines, plumbing pipes, electrical wiring, electronics and heating/cooling vents.  We wanted to be sure that everything that was supposed to be there was indeed there.  It was.

We contacted the contractor when we noticed that wires had not been run to one of the specified electrical outlets.  It was corrected the very next morning.  We have found the construction manager to be very accessible and responsive to us.

On the outside...  the large windows were installed and the structure was wrapped in Tyvek.  The two sets of double doors that you see in the various photos are temporary.  They will be replaced with glass French doors with enclosed mini-blinds.

Metal grid was added to the Tyvek to provide a surface for the first of three layers of stucco.

The stucco was applied  by hand.  We appreciated the plastic that was laid to protect the concrete at this stage.  

The third layer of stucco contained the deep brown color that we selected for the exterior.  Decorative trim was fashioned around the windows, doors and walls that was painted a cream color.

On the inside, spray foam insulation was added to the interior of the roof and every wall.  It looked like the inside of an igloo.  We expect this to be a great energy saver during hot days and those occasional cool nights.  

The drywall and the ceilings went up quickly.  

The ceilings were painted white.  The first coat of wall paint was applied and the baseboards were installed.

Shelving was installed in the walk-in closet.

The kitchen area is ready for cabinets (which were delivered a couple of days ago).

We love the interesting ceiling that will have indirect lighting and a ceiling fan.

The outdoor living area is starting to take shape.  The covered porch is complete except for the ceiling fans and the electrical outlets.  We met with the construction manager to design the outdoor landscaping (important to us).  We will arrange for the pergola to be built after we close.

It is starting to look like a home.

The next steps will include another coat of interior paint, installation of the kitchen cabinets, installation of the tile floors and installation of the underground drip watering system for the lawn and landscaping.  We'll keep you posted.

We have not included a pet picture of the day for a while.  However, we could not resist showing you this one.  These are our friends Larry and Sharon walking their pets --- two dogs and two rag doll cats.  Leash-trained cats that actually heel!  Pretty amazing.


Bill and Nancy said...

WOW...your new place sure went up quickly. Looking great and hope it continues to go smoothly:o))

Gayla said...

Looking good!

Margie and Roger said...

The casita looks like a house to me. How many square feet will you have? Our lives even in retirement continue to change.