408 Gets a Face Lift … Mui’s Handiwork

Monday, 20 October 2014
Gulf Waters RV Resort — Port Aransas, Texas
Temps: Hi 80F (27C) / LO 74F (23C) — Raining cATS & DOGS

The contractors wrapped up their part of the facelift in late September.  Then it was time for Mui to get his hands dirty and put the finishing touches on the project.  The daytime temperatures were still quite hot, and most days were humid, but with the heavy lifting out of the way, he managed to get his to-do list completed by the second week in October.

Sealing the storage space under the kitchen counter to keep it critter-free and dry.
plenty of room for a few plastic shelves and the propane tank for the grill.

The pipe is for the grey-water discharge from the sink; connects to the sewer line.

an ordinary cutting board gets customized as a sink cover.

Adding esperanzas to the landscaping near the ‘TV room’ — for color and privacy.
The area around the tree and the esperanzas is going to be one big planting bed.

Some succulents for variety.
The driftwood — we’re collecting from the beach ;-)

MBZ gets in on the landscaping action, pruning the esperanzas
to help the roots get established more quickly.

The first of the solar lights gets installed.

Time to get the mortar up on the backsplash of the patio kitchen.
The yellow-stuff in the holes is self-expanding foam — used to plug
the holes and prevent the mortar from oozing out the back of the wall.

With the design for the accent tiles drawn on the mortar, the individual pieces go up
and are taped in place with duct tape — the only thing that worked on the mortar.
Thanks MBZ for finding the perfect talavera tile that served as our inspiration.

With the construction glue adhering the tiles to the backsplash dry, the duct tape is removed,
the tiles are covered with masking tape, and the second layer of mortar is applied.

Cleaning up the mortar and painting the backsplash is the last step.

A fresh coat of paint brightens the shed.

The reveal of Site 408 comes next.

408 Gets a Facelift … Contractor Work

Saturday, 18 October 2014
Gulf Waters RV Resort — Port Aransas, Texas
Temps: Hi 82F (28C) / LO 74F (23C)

I mentioned in earlier posts that we were doing some work on our home pad here at GWRVR.

As you can see from the image to the right, site 408 already had the basics.  The facelift we gave it was to add our touch and make the site “our own.”  Primarily, our goal was to plant a few more trees for shade and privacy, and create a few ‘rooms’ — as MBZ described the new living spaces — in order to take advantage of the shade on the patio at various hours of the day.

The bulk of the work was finished before the end of September.  We’ve entertained friends; enjoyed a couple of meals on our own.  With the hot and humid summer days giving way to nice fall weather, we’re taking every opportunity to sit on the patio … making the most of it before we take off for a few months at the end of October.

I’m going to do the unveiling in three parts.  This post will focus on the work done by a contractor — Johnson Greenhouses, a family-owned business that has been in operation for about 25 years.  Forrest and his crew are well-known around GWRVR for the quality of the work they do.  From the plans drawn up for the previous owner of #408, it was obvious to us that Johnson had done at least part of the original work, so when the company was recommended to us by several satisfied GW owners, our decision was made easy.

[Click any image for a larger photo.]

Digging out the ’library’.

Digging out the ‘TV room’.

Tamping down the base for the pavers.

Ditch for the electricity and water lines … from our utilities to the cooking area to
convert it into a patio kitchen.  A gray-water line was also put in, but I didn’t get a photo.

some of the Bricks and the tile counter from the cooking area (left)
are removed in the conversion to make it a patio kitchen.

Once the retaining wall is built, small wedges are cut to fill in the gaps in the cap.

After filler bricks are placed over the door to fill the gap created by the
removal of the tile counter, the base for the concrete counter is secured in place.

Left: the yellow foam will give the concrete counter top a rounded, dimpled edge.
Right: The cutout for the sink is covered and framed to keep the concrete out when it is poured.

Just for fun!

Here comes the first batch of concrete for the counter top.

If you can’t scoop out the concrete with a bucket, just upend the wheelbarrow.

Putting the finishing touches and …

… calling it a day; Mui now gets to wet down the concrete for a few days so it cures properly.

Here come the two fan palms we’re adding for privacy.

Admiring the fan palms before getting to work digging holes to plant them.
Note in the photo on the right the symmetrical placement planned for the trees.

As the fan palm goes in on one side, Mui waters the Texas Sabal Palm we added behind the kitchen.

Those fans are going to look gorgeous after they are untied and continue to mature.

Tim smoothes out the floor of the ‘TV room’ for the pavers to be laid.

Basic layout done in the ‘TV Room’ and the ‘Library’ … now to fill in the gaps with pavers cut-to-size.

Polishing the concrete counter is the last step before the sink goes in.

Could Mui have done the work Forrest and his crew did.  Yes; we all know he is handy when it comes to such projects and he could have easily done at least some of it.  But we decided that tackling the digging, paving, and concrete work at the height of summer was best left to people used to working under such hot and humid conditions.  The guys did yeoman’s work … and for that we thank them.

Next up: Mui gets his hands dirty with the detail work for the project.