Mexican life

Ton of steel

long

side

WE’RE INSTALLING a metal-and-glass roof over the upstairs terraza, as some readers may recall. This decision was made after 16 rainy summers in which the upstairs terraza turned into a small lake, rendering it useless for anything.

The lake problem resulted from the builders’ not installing the terraza floor with any incline toward the small drain holes. It is level. This was done because we did not explain adequately that the space above the downstairs bedroom was going to be open.

Maybe even we did not know it at the time. I don’t recall. We hired no architect, and we were winging it. It’s akin to being your own lawyer at your murder trial.

We lived with the annual six-month lake out there until a straw broke the camel’s back last summer — a small leak into the bedroom below. We had previously replaced some of the ceramic tile in the terraza because it had buckled. That happened twice in recent years. But the leak did the trick. Serious action was required.

Two neighbors of our Downtown Casita had installed a glass-and-steel ceiling partially atop their house, making a nice roof patio. It looks good, so we decided to do something similar. They told me what it had cost, and it was reasonable. And they had hired a contractor to handle everything, making things simpler for themselves. Smart.

I contacted the same contractor, but he never responded. Screw it, I said. I’ll do it myself. And it will cost less.

First, we hired the same blacksmith who did the work on the neighbors’ house. After he installs the framework, we will buy the smoked glass elsewhere and pay to have it installed by that separate business.

The blacksmith arrived Tuesday with four guys to deliver the steel beams and columns, depositing them in our yard. Be back later this week, he said, to do the installation. While the neighbors’ price seemed reasonable, I had neglected to notice that our upstairs terraza is far larger than the domo (that’s what it’s called here) over their home.

We were flabbergasted at the quantity of it all.

The size of our framework dwarfs that which tops their house. After the installation, the metal will be painted the same color as the Hacienda. Rojo costamar. Seacoast red.

But first the blacksmith must return and install the frame. Hope he doesn’t take long. You never know with those folks. It only needs to be fully done before the rains start in June.

But I want it done far before then. We’ll buy some patio furniture. Maybe throw a fiesta. You can all come. Whoopee!

22 thoughts on “Ton of steel

  1. Hey I used to sing Sixteen Tons. it wasn’t all that long ago. Well, maybe it was.

    Please let me know when the fiesta begins. I want to show up fashionably late but still get there.

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  2. Actually, that does look like a big load to be installed on a roof. It would be interesting to me to see how your smith positions those steel girders. Take some photos as the work progresses.

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    1. Ray: The saving grace, as it were, is those beams are not solid. They are hollow, but they’re still very heavy. And yes, I will be shooting photos during the work. Now if they would only return and get started. Haven’t yet. Maybe Monday. Hope so.

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    1. Kris: Nice name suggestion. Might actually use it. As for its being a good spot for cool sunny mornings, I hope it’s a good spot year-round. Time will tell. First priority is eliminate rain and reduce sun.

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  3. For a moment, I thought you were building a Broadway set for the revival of Titanic. Then I remembered, you will have a glass ceiling. You must be remaking The Poseidon Adventure.

    I will show up at the fiesta wearing my Mae West.

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  4. That does look like a lot of weight. Will it be born by the walls rather than the roof? A shake may bring it down on you.

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    1. Señor Gill: The roof very close to the walls. As for a good shake, our area of Mexico is more stable than most. Let it stay so because all that metal and glass will be right over the bedroom.

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