[Click to see the finished gazebo.]
Gazebo roof is finished off with white lattice and blue trim.

Mary Ann's Tropical Building Page

Report #6:
September 9, 1997


Summary: Since our August 22nd, 1997 report about building on a Caribbean island, we have

Hints: Click on any small picture below to see it larger and visit the Site Map for previous and future progress reports, house plans, bookstore and references.


As you can see above, the roof of the gazebo is covered in wooden shingles and the area between the two roofs is finished in white lattice work with blue trim. Click the picture for a full view showing the setting on the site as well. Later we plan to add gingerbread trim to the gazebo and to shut off the west side with lattice and plans for privacy and shade from the afternoon sun.

Rock Wall, Fence, Gate Posts

[Plastered concrete gate posts.] The last piece of the rock wall puzzle was concrete gate posts. These could have been painted, but instead we are experimenting with an adobe colored plaster composed of concrete and local dirt. This is an idea that came to Anguilla via South America but has not been used yet. We will let you know how it works. [p.s. Notice Gabi Wester, Griffin's young daughter, giving her seal of approval to the gate posts -- they lead right to the beach!]

The Guest House Foundation

Guest Villa is a one-bedroom structure including a small kitchen and space for a desk and computer! It has a shading verandah all the way around it. (Villa plans) and should have a view of the beach, at least until the landscaping grows to its intended height. The foundation consists of the cistern for catching rain water, the foundation walls, and a slab with utility pipes laid out carefully in it.

[Foundation Plan for the Guest Villa]

As you can see in the plans, the cistern is on the right (or western) side) and the front (or north, oceanfront side). This is because the property slopes to the west and toward the water. The east side of the villa will be level with the ground at the entry point, but the right side will be elevated by up to 6 feet. The west side may be latticed and filled with landscaping boxes to reduce the drop and to cut off the afternoon sun.

[Step 1: layout floor of cistern] [Step 2: Pour the floor of cistern]

The first step in the foundation is the cistern. You need a cistern in Anguilla because there are few other sources of water. Some areas, not ours, do have municipal water, but it comes from wells it The Valley is somewhat brackish.

You dig a hole for the cistern and level the bottom for the floor. Then pour the concrete floor, build plyword forms for the walls with reinforcing steel coming up, then pour more concrete into the forms.

[Step 3: Create the walls of the cistern] [Step 4: layout utilities before final pour]

After the cistern you build up the rest of the foundation walls, creating an enclosed space that varies in depth. We filled that up almost to the top with rocks and excavation rubble. The top level which will contain the utility conduits and support the slab floor should ideally be sand, but in Anguilla people often us crusher waste or non-organic dirt for this purpose. The dirt is packed down tight over the conduit--in our case it then rained, which helped pack it down even more. Then you apply a layer of plastic and a wire mesh to strength the concrete, which is poured last.

[Last step in foundation work.] [The finished foundation.]

Work on the guest villa started on August 18th and has consumed 14 working days so far. We managed the final pour of the slab, just before shutting down the site for Hurricane Erika. Preparations for the approaching storm included emptying the water storage containers and storing them in septic holes, strapping down the office container to pilons sunk in the ground, and pulling our Laser sailboat up from the beach and finding room for it in the container! Luckily this was just a close call -- there was no damage.

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Beach Shack Contact:

Mary Ann Green
Box 931, Shoal Bay, Anguilla, West Indies
Fax: 264-497-3295
[Home] [Mail] URL: www.beachshack.ai
Email: maryann@beachshack.ai