Saturday, 11 February 2012

How to build a Casa in the Dominican Republic

It seems nearly everyone wants and are working toward building and owning a Casa in the Dominican Republic

Everywhere you look at least in our neighbourhood people are either clearing small plots of land or are building a small to medium size casa on land that has been recently cleared.
Here the land is usually cleared by burning which of course creates a great deal of smoke which sometimes is hard to take.
Many casa's begin with nothing more than a few small walls made of cinder blocks and a roof made with galvanised tin. Over time rooms are added either on the original site or because a lack of land they may add a second, third or even fourth story on the casa. Many also open some kind of small tienda (store) on the first floor. As they build the cinder blocks will be covered with a very fine  and smooth coating of cement and when most or all the casa is done the whole building will be painted a bright colour.

Follow along and I'll show how they build a casa in the Dominican. This casa is being renovated and being prepared to accept a second story on top of the existing structure.
Meet Victor and one of his workers. Victor is a civil engineer and making sure the re bar is exactly the way he wants it.

This is Ilda, Victors esposa (wife) she likes to keep an eye on him making sure that the work meets her expectations.

The original roof has been removed and the men have plywood forms to take concrete for a new roof which will eventually be the floor of a second story.

These workers are adding gravel to a concrete mix that will be moved to the second floor by hand

Mixing gravel, concrete, water and sand by hand. Back breaking work

The crew. Everyone here pulls their own weight. No slackers.

Here the whole crew is involved mixing and shovelling the mix up to the second story. It didn't take long but it has to be hard work. I like this picture. I waited until I could see that everyone was involved then took the picture.

Whew! I need a break

Not everyone shovels concrete. Gloria and Ilda watching with great admiration the hard work involved.

This fellow is the oldest worker next to his boss Victor on the crew. They said he 53 but he looks older. He never took a break until it was done. Interestingly he is one of the very few Dominicans we saw smoke. For some reason it doesn't seem to be a habit that they indulge in.

All that cement will find it's way to the roof. Four or five inches thick with re bar it will make a good strong foundation for the second story later this year. And that's how it's done.

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