July 17, 2020

Casa Bianca’s roof is complete and now the team is moving on with the exterior accents of this new house.

We have installed a series of natural tree trunks to create the roof of the upstairs patios.

 

Then we added a layer of hardwood planks.

The final step is to add the metal roof on top of the planks to protect the wood.

Also we are continuing to ‘stucco’ the interior and exterior walls with a layer of wet cement.

From the inside we can see the skylights and roof really coming together. The wood looks fantastic in the full sunlight.

Here is a look back at our wood preparation process:

July 13, 2020

Now that the concrete pours are all finished and the roof is in place, you’d think that the boys would be looking for a break…not this crew!

After constructing new scaffolding to reach the second floor, work began on the front patios for the two upstairs units.

Take a look at this hole punched into the cement dividing wall between the two patios; this is where a giant single log will go through to both patios.

Once installed, it creates a look of perfection from the front:

The forward posts are all seated on pedestals.

The patio project continues to reach skyward as the crew is running at full speed to get this project finished.

 

July 7, 2020

What turns four walls into a house? A roof of course! It has taken thirteen weeks of pushing and grinding to get to this point.

Now that it’s time to install the roof, let’s take a look back the the progress of this wood:

It looked great on sawhorses, but truly shines once installed.

The conduits for the overhead lighting in the apartments are neatly tucked away in between the ceiling and roof.

Our crew has pulled off a stunning feat by getting this building out of the elements before the rainy season in September.

Now we are primed to finish the cement work on the interior walls and proceed with painting and furnishings. Super excited to see Casa Bianca to continue to take shape.

July 2, 2020

Casa Bianca is approaching a major milestone as the roof installation has begun.

It takes all hands and some deft rope-work to get the ceiling joists in place.

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Then the team works in concert to secure each rafter tie.

This labor is not as physically taxing as the concrete work, but it is essential to work in concert to make sure the planks are set perfectly.

A second team below the roof secures the wood from the bottom.

From a distance you can see the striking silhouette of the new house.

A look from inside gives us a glimpse of the finished product. This wood had us salivating when it was sitting on sawhorses, and now that it’s in place we can’t wait to see the final result.

June 25, 2020

Casa Bianca is looming large…literally, look at how big this house it!

After pouring tons of concrete and taking endless trips up-and-down the ramp, we are nearing the end of the concrete phase. The final step is to pour the lentils over the windows.

The end result will be similar to the existing skylights in Casa Surfeando and Casa Tranquilo:

These pours are very challenging and (much like the guys doing the work) seem to defy gravity.

Take a moment to respect this scaffolding. It takes a lot of guts to work up here, but our guys have plenty of that to spare.

Meanwhile, Yoseph and Alexander are putting the final touches on the refurbishing of the main office.

We are so excited to get open and back to business soon. We really, REALLY miss our guests.

June 19, 2020

Casa Bianca is now striking a sweet silhouette against the jungle.

Progress accelerated in late-March. Now the second story is nearly complete.

It’s clear that our makeshift crew of boat captains, mates, and office staff has found their stride on this project. It’s an inspiration to see everyone working together on a common task.

Once all the blocks are in place, the final step in this phase is to build the concrete supports that will hold the roof and upper windows.

Here you can see Foreman Dieter showing the young guys the method:

The crew broke for the weekend of Father’s Day, but they are primed to keep pushing on this build. This roof wood is just dying to get installed:

Stay Tuned!

June 16, 2020

Lots of great progress this week on the new construction of Casa Bianca.

All of the window headers and door lentils have been framed and are currently being poured.

Once these are solid we will proceed to build the roof. Here is the sketch:

If you’ve been staying up-to-date on this build, then you know that we have a second crew set up in the boat shop sanding and preparing the wood for the roof. Check out this video for a walk-through of the wood shop.

June 10, 2020

What a week it’s been! The team was on a high after finishing the second story slab, and took the weekend to recuperate.

They were ready to start stacking blocks for the second story on Monday, but a fluke rainstorm forced them off the ladders. The crew showed their ‘never surrender’ attitude by going down below to get a jump start on spackeling the interior walls.

Speaking of work that can be done rain-or-shine, check out the rehabilitation done on the main office by Yoseph Castellon and Alex Hernandez.

It is safe to say that this wood has never been sanded this deeply in the last 20 years.

Great work by these concierge-turned-woodsmiths!

They also put the finishing touches on Casa Tranquilo.

Once the weather cleared up, the whole crew got back to Casa Bianca and started piling up the second story of the house.

Captain William is leading the charge with his classic can-do attitude.

Just like on the first floor we are splitting the walls to prevent potential earthquake damage.

On June 9 we took a special break at lunch to celebrate Javier’s birthday with the whole crew. Javier’s son Dario came by to share in the party.

After the party, Javier showed the boys his technique for pouring window headers and door lentils.

The team has followed his lead and kept on battling up and down the ladder to complete this second story.

We have heard from an engineer friend in San Jose who has been watching this project that in his opinion we are working at double the normal pace for this kind of project.

With a crew this good, the sky in the limit!