Progress report on the dome

Now that is a blue sky. Frame only partially painted when I shot the photo.

THE BLACKSMITH and his boys finished the installation of the dome.* But it still lacks most of the paint. They began to spray it Monday but ran out of paint.

A visit to the paint store revealed that no more of that shade (Seacoast Red) would be available till Friday, mañana. So we hope they’ll finish the paint tomorrow.

As you can see, it’s partly red and mostly still brown.

A guy from the glass store came yesterday for measurements. It’s gonna be a whale of a lot of glass. We should know the price by this afternoon. We’re bracing ourselves.

An earlier post on this huge project is available here.

Here’s how it looked before the work started. There had been a relatively small roof of red clay tile up there, but we removed it before taking this photo.


* Mexicans call these things domos (domes), and they come in various forms, some actually domed and others flat like ours. Most have aluminum frames and polycarbonate sheets. Others are steel and glass. Domos are very common in Mexico.

28 thoughts on “Progress report on the dome

  1. I’m a little concerned about all that weight that you are putting up there. Is the structure below strong enough to support it? Maybe some clear plastic would lighten the load. You could even try shade screen like landscapers use, with glass over a small area for when it rains. My folks used lightweight canvas, with rings held by very tight clothesline-like wires. It could be retracted when they wanted sun, and stretched out when they wanted shade. Good Luck. Phil


    1. Phil: Don’t worry, be happy! That’s the best attitude to adopt south of the border. Yes, the weight thing occurred to me, but as I mentioned in another comment just now, Mexicans add floor upon floor to houses as time goes by, and they never collapse. Mexican construction is rock-solid. Ours is full of rebar and concrete. The domo beams are hollow, not solid. I think the glass will weigh more than the metal. As for your other suggestions, it’s a bit late now. The horse is out of the barn and running free. Too late to change styles now.


  2. Felipe: Being in the engineering design and construction business, I can see hundreds of solutions to your problem, and you have chosen the one you like best; so no more comment on that. I will mention though, polycarbonate and plastic in general have the life expectancy of a paper towel in the sun you have.

    What I do wonder about is the columns on top of the roof. What are they bearing on? Not doubting your builders, I am familiar with their knowledge and ability, in the same vein as the original masons. I am just curious, because it’s part of the wierdness that makes you appreciate me.


    1. Kris: I asked the blacksmith about the weight issue. No problem, he said. Of course, he would say that. Keep in the mind those girders are hollow, not solid. And you see people adding complete floors one atop the other here quite often, and the bottom floors do not buckle. Mexican construction is very solid. There is rebar and concrete all over the place. I think the glass will weigh more than the beams.

      But the domo is atop our bedroom downstairs. If it goes at night, all our problems will be resolved in a heartbeat.


      1. Felipe: I’m not talking about the ones above the terrace. I’m talking about the short ones right on the tiled area. I can’t see where they go.

        I have a friend who is a concrete contractor. I told him about Mexican construction methods. When he was in Playa del Carmen, they were building a new hotel next door, mixing concrete on a mesa by hand, and running it up stairs in 5 gal. pails in their bare feet. He asked if that was how his hotel was built, and they told him it was. He helped them mix a few batches and marvelled at them. They typically overbuild everything in case another floor is added.


        1. Kris: You mean the verticals? You mean the even shorter verticals on the top roof? Well, anyway, they go down to the roof floor. They are not on the tiled area. Those tiles you see are just decorative and only run around the edge. The only ones that are not just decorative are the ones over the downstairs terraza to the left.


          1. Felipe: Gotcha. For our further construction discussions, columns are vertical, beams are horizontal. If you want me to bore you any further, I’m at your service.


  3. Will the glass be applied as individual pieces fitted to the quadrants of the supports? So that if one were to be damaged somehow, the damaged piece(s) could be replaced one by one?


    1. Carole: Exactly. There will be individual pieces the size of each rectangle. I think that is done more for convenience of installation than anything, but it will make it far easier and cheaper to replace is one breaks.


      1. Relieved to know the installers will not be hefting bigger pieces up by hand, too. Thick glass is so heavy.


        1. Carole: Glass can be astoundingly heavy. We have a glass surface over the stairwell of the Downtown Casita, something we added ourselves. It’s not connected. It just sits there. We can scarcely budge it for cleaning. The two of us.


    1. Peggy: It varies, of course, but it usually comes from over thataway. If you look at the photo, more often than not it rains from the right. We’ll be installing some canvas curtains at some points, the kind that can be rolled up when not needed. Just gotta find out where to get them. That will be the next step after the glass is installed.


    1. Ricardo: We did not anticipate the frame of this thing being so massive, but no matter. It is what it is. Now, if I could just get a price out of the glass place, we could move along. They keep telling me mañana.


  4. That’s quite a massive construction. So you’re going to put pure, clear glass? Or something frosted? If it’s just plain, clear glass, it could get very hot (not to mention bright) up there.

    As for budget, I’m truly AMAZED that you’ve moved forward without having any idea of how much the glass will cost. It looks like you’ll be using pretty big panes of glass. I hope you know that the price per square foot of glass goes up with size, e.g., a large panel will cost more per square foot than an equivalent number of small panels.

    In any case, good luck! I’m dying to see the finished product.


    Kim G
    Redding, CA
    Where we’re seeing a very rare break in the rain.


    1. Kim: Clear glass would be nuts, so no. We’re getting the darkest glass available, and it’s pretty dark. And I do have an idea of the glass cost because I measured the space and went to the glass place to get a general idea a couple of weeks back. The thickest glass, which is what I asked about at first, would run around 100,000 pesos. But the fellow told me that I very likely would not need the thickest glass, that a thinner version is typical for domos, and that would cost about 50,000 pesos.

      The fellows finished the paint job about an hour ago and cleared out with all their equipment. Peace has returned (temporarily) to the Hacienda. Got workmen coming next week to repair some of the damage the domo installation caused. Minor stuff but it needs to be addressed.

      I’m dying to see the finished product too!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. As you may recall, I questioned the ability of the bottom floor to carry that weight (in the post in which you pictured the beams).

    When I look at this photo, I see how your builder handled that. Looks fine to me.

    Ready to see the finished product.


  6. Dom is house in Russian. If you happen to see some cracks in your bedroom ceiling, get out fast.
    I bet every kid in town is going to want to be the one who throws the rock.


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