Finally I found time for an update! The last month has passed mainly travelling: wonderful vacation in Thailand with our girls, exciting visit in Singapore, a few days at home in Sweden, repacking and finally off to Spain to check the building status.
I took a late flight to Alicante and was picked up by our friend at the airport. Arriving to our temporary Spanish home in the middle of the night, I went to sleep without knowing what has been done at the house. As I’ve been involved with building business for several years now I know it takes time to get all permissions etc in order and start the works on building site. Therefore I was positively surprised meeting so many people wearing helmets at our house! Of course, for any inexperienced person the site looks like a total mess and catastrophy – the process has just started – but I know very well that the main part of the time consuming work will be carefully hidden behind the tiles and wall paint.
The most visible progress was made with the stone walls. We had to move the 90 m long outer wall just one meter towards the house in order to leave space for a sidewalk by the road. This was a requirement from the townhall that we had to accept to be able to get the building permission. This made things much more complicated and costly, as the angle of the ground got even more steep and additional walls were needed to create terraces for plants and pathways. The inner walls are made of original outer wall stones that have been saved when the wall was taken down .
We are really lucky to have good leadership for our project: we have a Swedish talking project leader who has a team of experienced builders, hand-picked for different tasks. We decided not to engage a big building contractor of several reasons of which the most important is to have total control over the building process and possibility to communicate directly with the builders. If we had contracted a big building company I could not go to a worker and say “stop, this is not correct” even if I saw things going totally wrong… The decisions would need to be taken high up in the hierarchy leading to time loss. Now I feel free to hang around at the building site thinking, visualizing, measuring and taking photos. Below our project leader giving instructions to the electrician, our foreman in the future kitchen and the installation of the small cabin for builders.
Any normal person would like to be done with this part of the building process as fast as possible while I wouldn’t like to miss any part of it! I even like to hear the sound of the machines drilling holes for pipes for drain and water – from the distance though… I was terrified when I saw that the guy working with the drill machine didn’t use ear protection!
During this short visit – only five days – I focused on going through the whole house with the foreman and deciding details concerning inner walls, doors, windows, bathrooms, stairs, outdoor lights etc. I also decided and marked out on the drawings all the spots for lamps, spotlights, power outlets, fans, TV-s and AC-s. Those were handed over to the electrician who immediately started to work with wiring. I spent hours choosing tile samples for floors and bathrooms. And I still had time over for morning walks, nice lunches and dinners with our Swedish/Spanish friends! I was amazed by the climate – we were sitting in the sun enjoying nice food and wonderful views in a mountain restaurant the middle of January! Looking forward to relax on our south-facing roof terrace next winter!
Bye for now!