Sunday, January 28, 2007

Slinging Mud - The stucco begins

I'm trying to pull the tire out before we begin the stucco part of the project and find the tire doesn't want to move. No problem, we'll leave it in, at least for now.
Our first time stucco job. We started with chicken wire and found it just got in the way, so we took it off and started to apply the stucco directly to the bags and it seems to hold just fine.This isn't as easy at it looks our arms were killing us....
End of day one, we managed to get a rough "green layer" applied. All we did was cover as much area as we could in the shortest amount of time.The results of day one....
Here's a closeup view of day one results. Hopefully tomorrow the second layer will grab hold of the rough layer and we'll be off to the races.
Pretty rough huh?

Well, it seemed to have worked. Here is the results of day two. We didn't make it all the way around, but we got three of the four walls covered really well. Now we just need to apply the final stucco coat the level it out, then we're going to apply the Textura stuff we'll get in Mexicali, it's a breathable plaster/plastic coating that is colorized so we don't need to paint. Plus it doesn't crack.

Another view of day two...The tire may get a little tougher to get out, we'll keep you posted. I think we're gonna cut the tire and remove it that way.
Max and Rachel posinf in the tire. Max is loving all the running around in the sand he gets to do.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Finally a to the next step...stucco

Rachel standing on our new roof, waiting to wrap it in even more bags.
Rachel getting ready to position another bag, to wrap the roof.
Rachel taking a break to pose for the camera.
You can see clearly from this picture our staircase of tires, this will go another couple or rows to reach the roof before we wrap it in chicken wire and cover it in cement stucco.
Rachel always stops when she knows there is a camera around...what a showoff ;-).

Raising the roof...kind of

Here is how the doorheaders are setup, no need for nails, just heavy bags to hold them in place. Once the additional two rows of bags go on, along with the concrete's as solid as a rock!
The door is very simple as you can see, if you look close you can see the 2x4 pieces stuck between the bags (again no nails) and once it's complete the can nail the door from the exposed 2x4's.

This give a good idea of how high it actually is from the inside, here is Rachel posing under the soon to be roof.
You can see from the the two roof shots that the cross beams, that they are also heald in place by the snadbags to either side.
Max found himself a good place to site and watch while we worked.

Tamping the bags down one row at a time, it stregthens the bags and continues to tamp all the bags below creating an even stronger wall.
Of course it took us nealy the entire shed to figure that is was much faster to fill severl rows of bags at once, then we can just lay them in place in a shorter period of time.This shot show me in the window, but it also show the tire retaining wall we started and the leveling of the sand in front of the shed where our greenhouse will be built to house our vergel (Garden).
That's me peeking over the wall from inside.

Monday, January 22, 2007

January 22 - The morning after

Last night the wind picked up and start blowing sand around too much, so we stopped early and forgot to take pictures, so instead we took them this moring. It's another beautiful sunrise over the Gulf of California (Sea of Cortez) and our nearly complete tool shed/generator room.
This is a shot looking north, the tire in the foreground are the beginning of a retaining wall the will go around our garden. The walls will be tires stuff with sand and then covered in stucco and painted in bright mexican colors.

Here's a better shot of the shed and garden retaining wall. The picture is very deceiving, because they appear to be ground level when in fact the shed is an additional three feet underground on the inside and the garden wall is another two feet down on the other side of the tires.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

January 14 - Now it's coming together

Here's Rachel poking her head through the arched window of the shed. Cool huh, it requires no concrete or rebar and anything other than the bags of sand and barbed wire between them for tensile strength (the tire is removed when the wall is complete). The arch is very strong, much like the arches of ancient construction when there was no concrete yet.

We had to stop for the day because the sun was going down behind the mountains. Beautiful cloud formations above the Sea of Cortez behind Rachel.

What a poser she is...

The tire in the arch is there only for support and will be removed once the wall is complete. The tires in the forwground are stacked and filled with compacted sand and wrap around the building as a staircase to the roof. When completed it will be wrapped in chicken wire and covered in stucco. The roof will house our solar panels and satellite dish.

January 13 - The First Row Goes Down

The task begins. Rachel is showing the first two row of sandbag, the first row is below the sand.

I'm posing on the top of the first two completed rows...easy so far...

This is a shot of Rachel and I filling the sandbags.
The end of day one, this is about 3 hours into the sandbagging, we feel pretty good about the project.

Monday, January 8, 2007

Sewer System for RV

The first thing we had to do was have our RV site leveled and compacted. Last trip down we had pads for the RV put in and this week we added the sewer hookups from the RV to the new septic system.

Now we're ready to start building the storage shed to hold all our tools for building the house. You can see the stakes that indicate where the shed will be placed. We also positioned the shed in this location to help protect the sewer pipe.

This picture is to show the postion the septic and shed will be in relationship to the entire property.