Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Devil is in the Details

Over the past few weeks, we’ve begun to understand why houses here in our corner of Costa Rica all look more or less the same. The truth of the matter is, design options are severely limited by the supplies the hardware stores are able to stock. Basic building materials are easy to find ~ concrete, wood, nails, tubing ~ but special items needed to finish a “non traditional” house are about as easy to find as a Democrat in South Carolina.

For the past couple of weeks, we’ve been searching for the hardware to make our sliding doors actually slide and shut. We were finally able to find one company that imports rails and rollers from Italy, so the sliding issue has been resolved, but we’re still struggling to figure out how to keep the doors shut. We found one nice “American style” mechanism with a simple butterfly lock at a specialty store in San Jose, but at more than $1,000 to outfit our 18 doors, we need to go to Plan B! Patrick is considering altering another mechanism he found with super glue, but glue and locks aren’t usually a very good combination. We’re starting to wonder if we really need doors after all…

We’ve had similar problems finding the length of glass we need for our restaurant windows and the nails we need to construct our deck. It took more than a week to receive our exterior paint (special order from San Jose), and when we realized we needed a darker color, we were reluctant to change for fear of the delay.

Needless to say, we’re in the final stage of construction and are almost done. Unfortunately, we don’t quite know how long “almost” is going to last, but we’re hoping to resolve these devilish details sometime before Hell freezes over.

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