Happy New Year!
It's the new year and we have a new member to our building team. Here's Mike Feierabend, a long time St. John resident, friend and a man of many talents. He, Mike (aka Mr. Concete) Tommy and Harley are completeing the the deck frame.
Sheila, Mike Feierabend's dog and faithful companion is currently over seeing of the deck project and is in charge of security.
The cottage walls are now framed up and ready for the stone mason. He has already delivered a pile of stone (in the foreground) to begin. Sweet! One half of the front of the deck will sheathed in shiplap Ipe tropical hardwood and other half with stone.
POSTED ON January 3, 2017
A Private Inspection
Our friends, Bernd and Mindy were away for our "2016 Champagne Inspection" and requested a private viewing... we were happy to oblige. Paul was still on island and joined us. Of course the "engineer extraordinaire” should attend every inspection! After the sun went down the "Wind Spirit" sailed by. A beautiful sight!
POSTED ON January 6, 2017
The major concrete work is finished and it's time to clean up and get ready for the next phase. Next up are two things. More excavating for the final landscape grade with boulder retaining walls. At the same time the stone walls will be going up on the cottage. Both the stone mason and the excavator are coming on Monday. Boopy (the excavator operator) told me that once he done I can begin to put my garden together. Ya-hoo!
POSTED ON January 11, 2017
A Beautiful Day
Water smooth as glass and vistas all the way to St. Croix... nice!
POSTED ON January 19, 2017
The Cottage Stone Walls
Back for an encore performance is our master stone mason, Deli Laudat. Deli was our man for the stone arches in our previous build, Arc du Soleil. He is the consummate professional and artist; a great guy and pleasure to work with. We appreciated his work so much, that this time around we decided to do all the walls in stone. The maintenance free and enduring beauty of the stone is compelling. While initially more expensive than poured concrete walls, when you factor in other expenses such as plaster, paint, and up keep, once a stone wall is in, that is it! Really no maintenance whatsoever, and the thick 12 to 16 inch walls gives you a warm sense of security; particularly during those occasional tropical storms that menace the islands from time to time.
POSTED ON January 24, 2017
With the arrival of the stone masons for the cottage walls and big boulders delivered for excavator Boopy, I just couldn't pass up on the "pun". Bucky Paris of BC Transport delivers a couple of dump truck loads filled with boulders for the packed rock retaining walls in front of the main house. Boopy is one of the few that has mastered the art of boulder retaining walls; it really is a different skill set from regular excavation. A "Zen frame of mind" is needed when trying to manipulate 500 lb. boulders with a daft touch of the controls, for minute adjustments through a 17.6 tons excavator.
POSTED ON January 26, 2017
Walls are going up quickly! Deli is almost half-way up with the cottage walls. In just one day, Boopy completed a good sized section of the boulder retaining walls.
POSTED ON January 28, 2017
Boulder Wall Done!
POSTED ON Febuary 3, 2017
Here is a view of the cottage from the back corner of the main house. The stone walls are near completion. And the back area of the main house got another layer of top soil to bring it up to grade. Things are shaping up and should be garden ready soon :)
POSTED ON Febuary 5, 2017
The Boys Are Back
Mike, Tommy and the crew are back. We dug them a nice big hole (sand box) for them to play in. Really, they are busy building the footers for the main house pool and deck. Concrete pour later this week.
POSTED ON Febuary 7, 2017
Stones go up on the "outdoor" shower. I placed parenthesis on "outdoor", as one still has to go inside the cottage to access it. Perhaps "open air" shower is more descriptive? Oddly enough, the framing up and steel, prior to the stone made it look more like a bird cage for Big Bird. "Outdoor" showers seem to have a big appeal to the vacation home renter. Is it that being naked and showering under the stars and sun part of the experience that you just can't get at home? And here is a question to ponder: "What if it is raining outside"? Do I still turn the taps on? Hmm…
POSTED ON Febuary 9, 2017
The cottage stone work is about 95% complete. Note the "monolith" stone wall framing the exterior pool wall; think 2001, A Space Odyssey. This is the defining feature that will greet you upon accessing the property. The outdoor shower (that new little bump in the back of the cottage) looks great with four shelves built into the walls for various items and of course for an orchid or two. And next, we have the double sided stone walls with ribbon windows and large slider framing the view, deck and pool. Can't wait for sunsets and dining Al Fresco by the pool.
POSTED ON Febuary 17, 2017
More work being done on the final grade and landscaping. Lot's of earth and stone going nicely into place.
POSTED ON Febuary 26, 2017
POSTED ON Febuary 28, 2017