A couple of years ago we did a number of posts showing our friend Jackie’s house as it was being built. Jackie purchased a vacant lot, built up the level of the land, had a wall built around the lot, and then had her dream home built from the ground up. It was fascinating watching the work progress and our readers seemed to appreciate the insight into Ecuadorian construction techniques.
Last year a young couple named Tony and Lauree moved to San Clemente from Canada and decided to build their own home. Tony has done quite a bit of construction work in the past and the two wanted to do most of the work themselves. They purchased a lot near Jackie’s house that had an old house on the property. The first task for Tony and Lauree was to tear out most of the old home’s walls and start anew.
The couple soon discovered that their home was already occupied by lots of murciélago. We will spare you the effort of searching the Spanish/English dictionary and let you know that murciélago is the Spanish word for, “Bat.” The old home had been vacant for some time and the open areas above the rafters invited scores of bats to adopt the home as their own. The resilient couple completed the task of removing the bats and began calling their house, “Casa de Murciélago.”
We do not get up to that far north end of town very often, so we did not get pictures of the bat removal effort. When we heard about the new home being built I rode out to see Tony on the job site. He had already completed most of the demolition work. I asked Tony for some early photos so that we could catalogue the refurbishing effort.
Tony advised that the bats were not the only squatters they found in the house. After tearing out the bedroom walls upstairs he came upon this.
High up in the top rafter this large boa was coiled up trying to look small.
After Tony and a friend coaxed the snake out of the rafters it was possible to see the size of this big guy.
He coiled himself up around the board and was safely transported to more suitable housing.
Here are a few pictures Tony and Lauree took during the early stages of the demolition.
Tony found much of the structure was still sound, but other posts had to be removed and replaced. He and Lauree removed all of the old walls, fixtures, and tile. They also dug and lined a new water cistern, poured concrete footers, leveled out the land and built new concrete and brick walls.
When I visited the house I was impressed with Tony’s workmanship and learned that he is also an artist. We will not show many pictures of the home in this post, but this will give you an idea of the quality craftsmanship shown in the construction of the kitchen cabinets and dining area.
The dining area floor is custom made of wood and stone.
And the artist in Tony comes through in the details he put into the dining area wall.
The tree of life grows out of the dining room floor as Tony and Lauree work to complete their beach home.
We will try to do regular updates as the house develops. For now, Tony has the hand crafted front doors in place ready to welcome visitors to the Casa de Murciélagos.
Life is good in Ecuador!