Sunday, March 16, 2008

Madera for the pergola!

Hola mis amigos!
If you are reading both Debi’s and my blogs then you know about the pergola we had built in the jardin (garden). In case you aren’t aware of it here is a picture.

Overall the jardin is “ours” but Debi is the lead “our” in things regarding the jardin. We mutually agree on placement and all that but she has been the purchaser of the things that need planting. I am the planter for the most part especially when it comes to the bigger holes. I picked a few plants that I wanted as well but those were more that I liked them than what was best for the jardin layout, size, etc. and Debi worked them in. I’m a great hole digger! LOL!

We designed the pergola and we hired an albanil (mason) to build it. (It was completed the beginning of December.) We bought the materials, had them delivered and he did the rest. The base is 9 x 9 and it sits in the pathway that Debi has formed in the jardin. She plans on doing her yoga there and it’s a most wonderful place to just sit and contemplate stuff! Oh yes, and to watch birds, lizards, iguanas, gatitos (cats) and zorros (possums).

Anyway, on to the madera (wood) side of this subject. I was in charge of locating, securing and installing the madera. All well within my ability with the need of a little help on the last part. So a few weeks after the completion of the pergola proper itself it was suggested by “someone” that they would very much like to see it completed. With inspiration and enthusiasm I started finding and going to the Madera tiendas (stores) and pricing out the madera beams and cross members. Much to my surprise….wow, it was very expensive. So I kept trying to find more tiendas to check on prices and make comparisons. Two beams were needed and 20 cross members. The hunt lasted a few weeks and then it was put on the side burner as I was not willing to pay 800pesos per beam and 150pesos per cross member. I just couldn’t bring myself to believe that that was the best price.
At this point I’ll share the concern I had about the prices I was being quoted. Now this doesn’t happen everywhere or all the time but it does happen. What I refer to is what we gringos refer to as “the gringo factor”. All it means is that the price can sometimes go up a bit when a gringo is asking to purchase something. We are perceived to have more expendable cash and there are those here who would like to have some of it! It is a big thing in the heavy tourist areas as the terms “buyer beware” and “what the market will bear” should be emphasized. Well that’s what I thought was happening but I came to find out that it was not the case. Within reason all the madera tiendas were within a few pesos of each other. So anyway I stopped looking but knew it had to be done.

After a few more weeks “someone” says to me, “if you don’t go get the lumber for the pergola I’m going to go purchase it and have it delivered!” Well that was easy enough to understand and I knew I had been dragging my feet on the project…..lo siento! But hey, I’m retired, I’m in mananaville and all that! Yea, ok! So I went to the madera tienda of choice, and ordered the beams and cross members. Now due to the cost we decided to cut back on the number of cross members from 20 to 5. Deb decided that we can cut the sun and create shade by planting a vine called zapatos de reina. Very cool vine and it grows fast. Ok, they said that the madera would take a week to be cut out of the logs, etc. Oh, and they don’t deliver, no truck! I said ok, gave them a deposit and departed.

Well, it was plain as the nose on my face that within the next week I would need a truck and a manly hord of madera movers. So of course the first call is to Walter whom I mentioned in the last blog as the proud owner of a full size pick-up truck and everyone’s friend! (Yes, he’s a really great guy even without the truck!) Walter said yes so I had one body and the transport set up. Next call was to Geo as he likes adventures and he’s always up for helping out. He’s a super guy and I really appreciate knowing him and having him as a very close friend. The cast was set and all we had to do was wait. Time flies when you’re here and the big day arrived.
The morning of the day of the move was scheduled really well as I had a trigger point massage w/Britta, a semi-annual dentist appointment/cleaning and then I walked from the dentist’s office to Geo’s casa and then we walked to Walter’s. We motored over to the madera tienda. I paid the remainder on the ticket, Walter checked some prices and found that they were the best he had been able to find to date and ordered some madera he needed. The truck was backed in and the employees of the tienda loaded the beams and cross members. It wasn’t a large load but it was very heavy. The wood I got was puc té and it is a very hard wood and very durable. The employees attached a flag type item to the load hanging out the back of the truck and we questioned their flag but they said it was just fine.
You can be the judge! LOL!

We drove the short distance to the casa and I had the manly Madera movers pose for a picture.

Then the madera was unloaded and placed in the bodega with stacking blocks so that it will dry faster.

It has to sit for 3 weeks before it will be dry enough and ready to be installed on the pergola. The installation will certainly be fodder for another blog. You’ll get to meet a new person, Richard, as he told me he wanted to help with the madera installation when we first started talking about a pergola last year. So stay tuned and in a few weeks we’ll be ready!

1 comment:

Tom and/or Debi said...

I'm so excited that the wood is currently drying in the bodega. But better yet will be to get it up. The vine seeds have been planted and I sure don't want them to have nowhere to go...
Gracias amor!