Waste Not, Want Not – Making the Most of our Wood and Rental Equipment

Our house building project officially began in March of 2012 when we bought enough electrical cable to make it up the hill. The water tubes came next so we could test the water pressure to what would become a two story bath. We inventoried the wood we had available, tallied the trees we would need to buy and designed the plot and the driveway. Well here we are in September of 2013 and everyday still includes a walk up the hill, a survey of the day’s work and the hope that we can be moved in by Thanksgiving.

So while you are thinking “Aren’t you finished with that damn house yet?” all I can think to say is “Not far now”.

Rental Equipment

We recently rented metal scaffolding that reaches 12 feet high. I have been pretty much scared to death since then. Accompanying my courage, I take my orbital sander, an extension cord, extra sanding discs and two tubs of wood putty. I’m completing the water stain removal project on the underside of the eaves and filling in wood defects with putty.

We found out about this company, Pretal, a little late in the game but are thankful we found them at all. If you ask any contractor in a 30 mile radius of our farm they will tell you that rental equipment is not an option in Costa Rica and no such place exists but I found a location in La Alegria just West of Siquirres. There are two others one in Guanacaste and one in Alajuela. They rent compressors, cement mixers, scaffolding etc. We rented two 6 foot sections of scaffolding with a walking plank for $30 for a month. They have a $50 delivery/pick-up charge but we didn’t need it due to the large surface area that is the roof of our car.

Metal Scaffolding metal on roof rack

A Precious Commodity

We know the value of environmentally resistant, durable and beautiful hardwoods. Using wood for building is a more expensive option over-all with regards to cure time, sanding, varnishing and continual care but the base product is unbelievably inexpensive. We paid approximately $.70 to $1.00 per square inch of wood for a someone to cut down and deliver to us the remnants of a living thing that had provided shelter to other animals and survived this earth for 50 years before we needed it. We don’t take that lightly. We organize and save every piece of scrap wood that we have.

wood scrap

squares of colored wood

The squares above will be used as extensions for our gutter supports.

Any long scrap piece that is to thin to re-use for the house is used to mark newly planted trees or in this case the vegetables that now reside in what was going to be our pool.

Markers for vegetables

Delays in our project have come from several sources including bank transfer delays, issues’s with our builder and a water tank that spouted a leak AFTER it was installed 15 feet in the air.
atmospheric water tank towerThis shot, taken from the outside corner of our living room, shows where the stairs will be placed, the door-less guest room, downstairs bath and kitchen area.

house interior through gate

If I survive the fall my next post will be about the sealing and varnishing of the wood, the budget and a progress report. 

5 comments on “Waste Not, Want Not – Making the Most of our Wood and Rental Equipment”

  1. Darby Reply

    Two steps on a ladder is “IT” for me. It scares me to see you up there!! Bless you for your courage and willingness to do all of this. g’ma

  2. Cindy Reply

    I surely hope you can move in by Thanksgiving.. I can’t even imagine doing what you are doing.. Bless you for respecting the lives that the trees have given for you..!

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