Monthly Archives: July 2014

Help us Raise the Roof!

So as I indicated in our last post, we are pretty stressed out about the construction of our house right now. Since that post, things have unfortunately gotten worse instead of better. We have had a complete falling out with the person who was “managing” our building project, and have decided to not continue working with him and the crew of workers he had provided for us. The ending of that relationship has been stressful to say the least. We have lost quite a bit of sleep and money over it, and probably have a few new gray hairs because of it. Major bummer. I could go into all the gory details of why it didn’t work out, but I’ll spare you the pain. Suffice it to say that one of the things we have learned in this process is not to go into business with someone who you think is your friend but you really don’t know that well. Don’t trust unless you have previous experience to know a person is trustworthy.

Somehow through all the yucky drama of our dissolving business relationship, our house is finally ready for the roof to go on, but now we are totally out of money and don’t know how we are going to pay for the roof. An even bigger major bummer. DSC_1535 (1024x685)

Despite our best efforts at making this all work on our own, we have unfortunately arrived at this point where we need to ask for help. All the beautiful wood we have used in the framework of the house is getting damaged daily by the sun and rain, and we need to get the roof on as soon as possible. Perhaps you will consider helping us. In return, you will have a place to stay in beautiful Costa Rica when our house is finished! It is going to be an awesome house in the end, once we get through all this, I promise!

Here is the link to our fundraising campaign:

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts and we look forward to welcoming you to our home!

What we have learned

Here are a few of the things that we have learned so far in our process of trying to build an eco-friendly house in a Central American country.

1.  It REALLY helps to be fluent in the language if you want to manage a building project.  It’s not just recommended, I now consider it to be mandatory.  If you don’t you will just end up very confused and frustrated and you will not feel in control of your project.

2.  If you are buying wood be sure to visually inspect it before paying for it.  Be sure you have the right to reject pieces of wood if they don’t meet your approval.  Treat it properly before installing it.

3.  To maintain good vibes with workers, lavish your appreciation on them liberally.  Act even more grateful than you really may be.  Not that they don’t deserve it…..our workers have been putting in 10 hours days in very hot temperatures and they definitely deserve praise and appreciation!

4.  Despite your appreciation, know that it is often necessary to double check every thing, even if it doesn’t seem like you need to.  While this can sometimes result in workers feeling like you don’t trust or appreciate them, you still need to be vigilant. We have found errors in things as simple as counting to 12.

5.  Choose very carefully who your builders will be.  Try to find someone who can communicate well (not always an easy task, we have found)  and that you can give direction to.  Try to see samples of their work beforehand.  Ask around about their reputation.  Understand that most carpenters and builders do not have much experience in alternative building techniques and you may have to look hard for people who are experienced in the type of building you want to do.

6.  Have a ton of patience.  Things take longer than you think they should and for some unknown reason, that is just how it is.


I’m sure we will have many things to add to this list by the time we are done, stay tuned for more helpful hints from our experience!