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California Spanish Villa Update

image dsc20842.jpgHere is a progress shot of the very stylish and modern California Spanish Style Villa being constructed near the Pattaya area by Cruzing and Mr. Cruzing. I first reported on the house here California Spanish Style House. The project is on track and moving rapidly to completion.

From the previous article there were some questions on the method being used to build the house without foundation columns. The wall in this case is extremely strong, as the larger higher quality cinderblocks are used, and filled with concrete over rebar strands. As far as the foundation, large cement pads were poured about 4 meters apart. Then and heavy concrete footing was poured, supported on the large concrete pads. The size, dimension, exact placement of the pads and footing is all exactly laid out in the plans, done by the architect owner/builder himself, Mr. Cruzing.

Mr. Cruzing cannot stress enough how important it is in any building project to start at ground zero — this is the real soil which has been there for thousands of years. One mistake he often sees is brining in mounds of fill and then digging the foundation column holes an inadequate depth into terra firma (the real original soil). In this project the foundation pads were poured on the read soil level throughout.

image dsc20841.jpgHere is a close up of the terracotta Mexican tiles, which are a fairly light weight. The tiles are laid in a pattern with and equal number of up facing tiles laid on down facing tiles. In this shot you can also see how cement is used to seal and support the tiles on the top. There is a thin (about 1cm thick) layer of cement laid over the tile to support the tile laid over it.

image car013rdwkstucco.jpgThis shot shows the back part of the house and the rough finish stucco application. As you recall from the previous post, cement is mixed with a special dye to color the stucco. This eliminates any need for exterior painting. This particular color requires a proportional mix of two different dye colors with a ratio of 4 to 1. One of the problems encountered using dye mixed with cements or concrete is the consistency of the color achieved. This has been a problematic area on this project: some areas have had to be reworked and they have assigned just one particular worker to do all of the stucco work. If you embark on a project which requires dyed concrete or cement, make sure the workers proceed carefully and with caution to get the mix levels correct.

Here is a nice note I received from Cruzing welcoming anyone to inquire on their progress on the house:

Things are moving much more quickly now. So much work and preparation went into the foundation and the crawl space walls, including electrical and plumbing, that after the floors were poured it seemed like the house sprouted.

Stop by whenever you get a chance. Like I told you the other day, if anyone is really interested in how we did a project on the house have them stop by and talk to Mr. Cruzing. He said he’d answer any questions if they stop by. We also buy 95% of the materials used in the house ourselves so that keeps us busy.

He is consumed with the house as he has to show and tell our builder how to do everything since it is all new to them. Thankfully, he has designed private homes in San Diego, but has swung a hammer on many building projects there besides being an architect. His specialty the past 20 years has been hospitals and in particular clean rooms, so he’s pretty particular.


  1. I have one more comment to add about the Bayer colorant we used. After pricing a good quality paint (one that won’t rub off on you or wash off in the rain) I’m convince that the cost of the colorant is much more economical in the long run, and it was worth the few bumps we had a long the way to get what we wanted. Carlyn

  • blog » Peter M: Use of colorant mixed with concrete
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