Excitement has been brewing as my new studio (Casita de Carlos!) at the top of the hill has been getting a face lift. One of the many desirable attributes our new house has (Patziac) is that it came with a concrete casita about 150 steps up on a winding rocky path above the main house. When we first started looking at the house we noticed the casita looming high above and I immediately saw a light bulb go off in Rache’s head…”studio!…now I can get rid of him the whole day!”
But really, it was the ideal situation as I have been using makeshift bedrooms, patios, living rooms etc. for studios as we moved around from place to place. This casita looked ideal as it had two large rooms with giant empty walls and an amazing view of the lake. I can get some serious work done here.
The casita was in horrible shape and the caretaker of the property, Ventura, said the rook leaked. It was full of junk, dirty as hell and really dark. But with Rache’s help, ideas and vision we knew we could make an incredible place for me to work.
The first job was to get it cleaned out and find a good contractor to replace the roof and do some other work like add lighting and vent slots for air flow. Ventura and his ayudante Pasqual immediately set to work and had it cleaned out in about a day. Great start. We found a great contractor named Charlie Rendell who works out of San Marcos where we used to live. He gave us some great ideas for the roof and some suggestions for the lighting. We needed to replace the old rusted metal with new metal and add in opaque white corrugated plastic for nice diffuse lighting. Also, there were no lights inside so Rache had the idea to add track lighting with LEDs. Yea, sounds expensive. In New York it would have cost us 10k and would never have been feasible. Here the budget was about $1500.
We also wanted to add an internet router, replace the locks, and replace the windows with some secure lockable iron frames, still for under $1500. Charlie said he could do it and we set to work.
The first day, the metal and plastic arrived on a private boat and we carried it up. Once the metal was at the top they started to rip off the old roof.
Part 2, adding the new roof, in the next post!