As the title (I know, cliche) might suggest to some, we are in fact moving upward. Work on the roof began this week. Yay! It was supposed to begin last week, but for some unknown reason it didn’t begin until Tuesday. But the good news is that it has begun.
Whenever I mention to any of my friends/family in the states what it is costing us to build this house they are generally shocked. I am shocked too, but I do understand, to some extent at least, why it is so expensive. In terms of materials, nearly everything has to be shipped in. The cost of shipping is borderline ridiculous. An example: the three bundles of lumber in the two photos below came from Miami last week. I spent around $3K for this lumber. For me to get these bundles from the lumber yard in Miami to my site involves three different shippers. A local in Miami, the freight shipper from Miami to St. Croix (CaribTrans is who we are using), and the local in St. Croix to get it to the job site. Total cost of the shipping was right around $1200. Your first question is “why not just buy it locally”? And of course that is a great question. Unfortunately, even with the cost of shipping, I was still saving money. In addition, the local suppliers didn’t have quite a bit of the sizes of lumber I needed. We try to do things local when it makes sense, but most times it is just too cost prohibitive to do so.
What else have we accomplished these past two weeks? Let me walk you through it. First we were able to get the back/ocean side garden wall up. I was a little surprised by the height of the poured walls. Not including the footers, the walls stand nearly 8 feet high, with half of that being above ground. This wall isn’t moving, it is solid. The original design called for a gate in the middle, but since we are keeping much of the sea grape the gate would end up opening right into it. So we shifted the gate to the one side.
In addition we decided to take advantage of the space underneath the office to use as storage, so we put in a small opening for a door and poured a floor under there.
We also poured the slab/floor for the guest bathroom and the office. This puts us at nearly 200 yards of concrete used so far. Shortly after the office wall forms started going up.
As mentioned above, the rafters started going up for the roof over the master.
And finally, a few random photos.