Monday, December 11, 2006

Dega Dega

I realize that this blog is starting to have quite a few "when I first moved to Cayman" recollections. I hope that you can stick with me. (Yes, I realize that I have been here for 8 years, but the novelty of first impressions apparently doesn't fade with me.) The most recent "when I first moved to Cayman" recollection was the manner of building homes in concrete...and just what that looks like.

There is a term here that people use to describe an area that is run down or not the nicest part of the island. "Dega, dega". Is that a great term or what?

The thing is...concrete construction looks sort of dega dega to me. Not the finished product, but as it is going up. There's always broken blocks and slop all over the place. This is a terrible way to describe the current state of our home, but it's not that far from the truth.

Take a look at that picture on the left. That's the bottom layer of foundation on the house. Dega dega for sure. Would that sight bother you? My head screams that the entire footing is solid concrete and fine, but my heart worries whether that corner could compromise the house. Fortunately for little Ms. Worrywart, this was fixed when I went back today. Honestly, am I crazy or what?

So moving away from the psychological part of building and into the good stuff, they have almost completed the foundation of the house. They have built up to about 8ft above sea level and will shortly begin filling in the blockwork with more compacted fill. The slab will follow shortly thereafter. Here is a shot from the back of the site:

Despite what you may think, those are not the walls. That's the foundation. The slab, and therefore the first floor, will sit about a foot higher up than the top row. Of course being Mr. and Mrs. Big, we had a momentary thought that "maybe 9ft was too high"? (You know you were thinking it...). But as time has passed, we're more and more pleased with our decision.

In fact, we didn't even plan for the best part...there is a whole new view of the canal from 9ft! We'll wait to share comparison pictures until the slab is poured, but it's pretty amazing. And yes, we need to figure out how to landscape up to the first floor...the fill guys are going to love us by the time we're through.

So there you go...the Stepaniuk house is out of the ground. It may be dega dega, but it our dega dega. :)


rfrizzelle said...

Jen, I discussed your building process with grandfather Don and he just laughed. He said it brough back many memories of various homes he built for clients. He thinks you might have been one of his most challenging!! I will keep him posted on the progress, he is anxious to see the finished product.


Jenny said...

I know, I know! He was giving me suggestions on how to deal with our builder, which was basically to trust him on what he is doing. I try to keep his advice in mind when I am out there, but I'm sharing my honest thoughts here! :)

Interestingly enough, I caught an oversight that they made when putting the footing of the house down. It was in the wrong position by about 8ft. I honestly didn't think that the wrong placement would be a problem, but when I asked about it, there was a lot of scurrying that took place. Next thing I know, the builder was thanking me for coming out to the job site so often. Hmmm...don't know if he'll say that in a few more months!

Lisa said...

Jenny, I love the photo of Andy standing beside the suggestive piece of lumber!