This week the crew split in two with one group starting work on the walls of the master side of the house while the other worked on footings/walls for the office slab. I worked on finding the right solar guy and finding an AC installer. These guys need to do a tiny bit of work in or I have AC units picked out and have an idea of what I want to do with solar. The plan is to do a 2-3KW solar panel system in addition to installing a solar hot water system. We also plan on putting up a wind turbine, but that may come later on. We considered doing just a wind turbine but have broadened our plans a bit. When we moved to St. Croix in 2008 electric cost us 52 cents a KW, roughly four times what we were paying in Dallas and about five times what my family in Pennsylvania were paying. Thanks to the price of oil dropping considerably since then our rate currently sits at 36 cents a KW. In any case we figured that producing some of our own electric was one way to fight the rising cost of electricity since it doesn’t appear that WAPA (Water and Power Authority) will be fixing things by harnessing alternative energy themselves in the near future. For those interested, the three solar companies I have spoken too this week are Solar Delivered, West Indies Solair, and VI Solar Depot. No decision has been made yet.
The week was spent preparing to pour the slab for the master side of the house and the guest bedroom. Both the plumber and electrician had their crews there on Friday. Saturday morning was the pour (23 more yards).
Another productive week. The large cistern walls were poured on Thursday afternoon (34 yards of concrete). We probably went a little overboard with the size of the cisterns because if they ever fill up we shouldn’t need water for years. 48,000 gallons is not a small amount of water. The small cistern ceiling is ready to pour as well, but we are awaiting electrical permits so the electrician can do his thing prior to pouring. The guys have worked each of the last two Saturdays, but will lose a day on Monday because of MLK day. Onward we go.
The 2011 St. Croix Carnival Parade? (aka St. Croix Crucian Christmas Festival Adult Parade) took place last Saturday (January 8th). This was our third parade and each year we have a great time. The new barriers to keep spectators off the street was a bit of a drag, but it didn’t slow the beers down.
In light rain on Wednesday morning the cistern slab was poured (26 yards). This is what is basically the lower level of the house. It consists of the electrical room and two compartments of the larger 30K+ gallon cistern. Thursday was spent starting to get the forms for the cistern walls up as well as getting the forms in place for the smaller cistern’s ceiling.
The cistern floor is scheduled to be poured in the morning and the small cistern forms have been removed.