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Housework, work on our house, what’s the difference?

Tomorrow morning at 8:30am we are having workers come to our house. We accepted a bid to do the work on our bedroom ceiling and to seal the roof of our house. We’re really lucky in that the previous owners actually did the routine maintenance, therefore our house is structurally very sound.
Our little ceiling problem came about because our old tinaco (water tank) on the roof started to seep, since it appeared to have been repaired before and was made with asbestos in the cement, we decided to replace it with a new rotoplas tank. If it hadn’t started to leak we would have kept it, because the old cement tanks keep the water cooler than the new plastic tanks even the beige one like we bought. I still don’t understand why anyone would buy a black water tank in Merida. The house we rented had one and by mid afternoon the water that came out of the taps was unimaginably hot! Since we were replacing the tank we took advantage of the opportunity to move it to a better location ( one which would provide a tiny bit more water pressure). The spot where the old tank sat needed to be sealed. Since we were planning on resealing the entire roof once the rains stopped anyway, we decided to do it all at the same time.
The engineer who had built our terraza did such a good job we wanted him to bid on the roof sealing. Unfortunately, TIM (this is Mexico) , because he had to go out of town for family reasons. If he has come back from his trip, we don’t know about it, because he isn’t answering his cellphone or returning calls. Meanwhile, we had some unseasonable rain, and the rain filtered in the roof. It didn’t cause any visible leaks but got in and rusted portions of the iron mesh in our ceiling, the rust caused the iron to swell. This expansion popped the acabado or finish off our bedroom ceiling and onto the floor.
What the architect is going to do is repair the damaged portion and re plaster and paint our ceiling. The other thing he is doing is sealing our roof. The roof sealing is actually the bigger and more expensive job. It’s guaranteed for five years.
So tonight we moved everything out of our dressing room, where we had dragged the bed when the bedroom became too rustic for us, so that the polvo (cement dust) wouldn’t cover all our belongings when it inevitably finds it way through the door. The architect is going to seal the opening with plastic as best he can, but cement dust is very fine and it spreads easily.
Therefore, if you are looking for us, you will find us at home for the next ten days. Which is how long the architect said the work will take. I will be pleasantly surprised if this is so.

About Theresa Diaz Gray

Born in New York City, I grew up in California, and have lived in 3 countries and 6 states. I'm a first generation Cuban-American who lives in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. I'm committed to living an abundant and creative life and helping others do so too through DIY!


  1. Wow! What a job! I’m sure our job will just whizz along, after all it’s relatively minor.

  2. Wow! Good luck with all the Obras!

    I remember when we had to refurnish our appartment before moving in. We only had 3 weeks between the closing of the sale and the time we had to give up our previous place!

    Fortunetly someone recommended us to this guy that had HIS guys do all the work (and even come in on weekends too!).

    Basically they had to knock down 2 walls (and replaster the ceiling), put in wood planks (over the ugly tiles the previous owner had installed), install all our kitchen furniture and appliances (the previous owner took off with EVERYTHING, sink, cabinets and counters included) AND retile and refurnish our bathroom (the previous bathroom was in a yucky-I’ll-never-sit-on-THAT-toilet-state)…

    Despite our aprehension that they werent going to finish on time as they’d promised, they did just in time too. The last wood plank was set in at 10pm the night before the movers came!

    So good luck with all the obras and keep us posted. 😀


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