|Gazebo roof is finished off with white lattice and blue trim.|
Mary Ann's Tropical Building Page
September 9, 1997
Summary: Since our August 22nd, 1997 report about building on a Caribbean island, we have
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visit the Site Map for previous and
future progress reports, house plans, bookstore and references.
As you can see in the plans, the cistern is on the right (or western) side) and the front (or north, oceanfront side). This is because the property slopes to the west and toward the water. The east side of the villa will be level with the ground at the entry point, but the right side will be elevated by up to 6 feet. The west side may be latticed and filled with landscaping boxes to reduce the drop and to cut off the afternoon sun.
The first step in the foundation is the cistern. You need a cistern in Anguilla because there are few other sources of water. Some areas, not ours, do have municipal water, but it comes from wells it The Valley is somewhat brackish.
You dig a hole for the cistern and level the bottom for the floor. Then pour the concrete floor, build plyword forms for the walls with reinforcing steel coming up, then pour more concrete into the forms.
After the cistern you build up the rest of the foundation walls, creating an enclosed space that varies in depth. We filled that up almost to the top with rocks and excavation rubble. The top level which will contain the utility conduits and support the slab floor should ideally be sand, but in Anguilla people often us crusher waste or non-organic dirt for this purpose. The dirt is packed down tight over the conduit--in our case it then rained, which helped pack it down even more. Then you apply a layer of plastic and a wire mesh to strength the concrete, which is poured last.
Work on the guest villa started on August 18th and
has consumed 14 working days so far.
We managed the final pour of the slab, just before shutting down
the site for Hurricane Erika.
Preparations for the approaching storm
included emptying the water storage containers and
storing them in septic holes, strapping down the office
container to pilons sunk in the ground, and
pulling our Laser sailboat up from the beach and finding
room for it in the container! Luckily this was just
a close call -- there was no damage.