St Barts Renovation:
Azu Villa

Anguilla Construction:
Guest cottage.
Tech center.


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Mary Ann's Tropical Building Page

This is the web site for the three villas that I built on Anguilla and the villa that I am renovating in St Barts (see Azu Villa Renovation Page), plus tropical construction tips and resources as well. These construction projects started in 1997, although land acquisition and architectural planning started in 1995. Every stage of the construction is recorded here.

We rent the villa in St Barts and the guest cottage in Anguilla (La Vanda) and the villa at the top of the Anguilla property (Mimosa), but we keep the beachfront house and pool for our own use. And we have created a name and web page for the overall completed property: Bellamare

For details on the main Anguilla beachfront house, visit the Residence Construction Page.

For the technology center, visit the "Clubhouse" Construction Page.

And finally, for the guest cottage, our first attempt at construction on Anguilla, visit the La Vanda Construction Page.

-- Mary Ann Green

Construction Tips

Wednesday, September 06, 2000   Permalink

Preparing for Hurricanes.

With the threats of the first tropical storms of the season, we prepared the construction site and the buildings for a hurricane. If you have ever visited a construction site, you can imagine how much work this is. Every piece of lumber or construction debris left loose can be a lethal missile during a hurricane. After numerous trips to the dump and hours of packing into the basement, garage, and mostly completed new buildings, we were cleaned up.

The new buildings must be sealed against the storm as well, both to protect the wooden floor and to protect the unused bags of stucco in the garage! This means boarding up the buildings to be weather tight.

accordians - open

For the 12' wide openings in the master suite, we purchased accordian shutters.

accordians - shut

During the catastrophic Hurricane Luis,, we had accordion shutters over numerous large glass sliding doors in a rental house, and they did an excellent job.

hurricane panels

For the corner porch off the kitchen and study, we decided to close in the porch with corrugated metal panels instead of covering the wooden louvered doors. There is limited wall space for covering the doors, and the closed in porch provides a place for the pets to do their business during a storm.

rollup shutters

For the garage we selected a motorized rollup shutter, which will also act as a garage door.

curved window

For the curved opening of the study, we ordered a custom-cut hurricane-resistent plate glass window. This is created from 2 panes of glass with a mylar sheet between. The glass may crack but the window should not give way. Because of the cost of removing and replacing this curved window, we plan to put transparent lexan over it as well. However, neither the custom window or the lexan sheets arrived in time for shut down. So we used plywood instead.

The lexan is a virtually unbreakable glass-substitute that is used for burglar-proof storefronts and hurricane windows. We plan to cut custom lexan protections for most of our louvered windows and install them at the start of hurricane season (June). Thus, when going through a storm, there will still be light in the building instead of total darkness. Since June is also the start of the warm season, we will replace the cooling breeze with air conditioning.


Here you can see openings protected with plywood. By next year these should be replaced with lexan and according shutters.

Today is September 6, near the peak of hurricane danger for the year. In spite of the closeup, work continues on the site. Here you can see a planter being created for a palm tree.

battery room

Another small project completed in September is the battery room at the back of the garage. This will hold the batteries and invertor for the solar panels on the roof. Note: normally you should not put both in the same shed (as we did in our office that we built earlier), but this time we are using catalytic batteries that do not give off destructive fumes and require no maintenance.

traditional door

The back door of the smaller villa opens into a walled garden which will also have shower and ocean view bath. For this opening, we used traditional West Indian shutters as the door, so it only needs to be shut.

french-style shutters

For some of the louvered windows we are installing French-style shutters, like this one (the latching hardware hasn't come yet, so the shutters are sealed with a board!). Eventually there will be a mixture of solid opening shutters like this and semi-permanently mounted, transparent lexan panels, providing both light and air.

Construction will probably be very slow for September and October, so don't expect any updates to this site until November. Caio.

Read Earlier News Reports

Site Map: Links, Plans and Other Info

Building the Anguilla Beachhouse

Building the Anguilla Software Center

Building the Anguilla Guest Cottage

Tropical Construction Bookstore

Links to Related Sites

Building Material Sources

Beach Shack Contact:

Click for Home Page Mary Ann Green
931 Shoal Bay Beach,
Shoal Bay,
Anguilla, Eastern Caribbean
Fax: 264.497.3295
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