While it is several months later than I was hoping, we have begun construction on some of the Casitas we’ve sold. Actually, we began back in August, but as we have been starting slowly, there hasn’t been much to show until now.
And frankly, even now there isn’t even that much to show, nor will there be for the rest of this year: sitework, infrastructure, and foundations never look like much. And since we are entering the rainiest part of the year now (as well as Panama’s unofficial “month of vacations” in November), we are mostly just preparing to “hit the ground running” when January rolls around. So I’ve been spending time with the crew for the last two months making final adjustments to building locations and orientations, determining how to minimize site disturbance with grading, and letting them do the infrastructural and preparatory work to ensure construction can move briskly and with minimal intrusions on the environment and guests.
This short “silt fence” on the right helps keep graded soil from running onto the beach and into the ocean below the sites of our first homes. The batten boards, strings, and concrete pins mark the exact corners and edges of the Casitas we will be building. (Note how Vera the Island Pup thinks she is helping by sniffing for animals at the future location of this home’s powder room.)
Before getting too involved in construction, these guys are putting up a 16-foot tall, 100 foot long sound barrier fence, to help minimize the potential noise from construction activity. The fence runs along the highest point of the ridge between our Casita home sites and the Estate Rooms, about 80 yards away.
When building on an island, preparation also means getting materials to the site, which is no mean feat. The concrete alone requires about 5 barge runs (of sand, gravel, cement, and rebar) for each individual Casita’s foundations and pool walls.
That’s about all there is to show you for now, since so much of the work is “behind the scenes”, so to speak. In addition to the above, we are doing final take-offs and finishing up design details. I’m doing most of this design work personally, which is making me excited to see these start to go up next year, and looking forward to this time next year when the homes will have really taken shape and everyone will be able to see how sweet they are going to be: the master bathrooms are going to be gorgeous, if I do say so myself.