Building a House in “El Rancho”; minus the tendedero(clothes line)!

My husband, Ramiro, is from a rural town in Guanajuato, México.  When I say rural, I mean, the houses don’t have addresses and there are no street names.  My husband has always wanted to build a house there, and after I visited for the first time, I fell in love (granted it takes time to get use to not having internet at my fingertips)! Project Ranch House got the thumbs up!

My husband already had the lot of land; we picked the contractor (albañil in Spanish) because we liked his work that he did on my brother-in-law’s house.  His name is Chimpas, well actually that is his nickname, and no one knows his real name, and dripping wet probably weighs no more than 150lbs.!

When I was little, my parents added on to our house, plus other DIY projects, I considered myself somewhat versed in how construction goes.  Well not so much on how things work on house in Mexico.  From chalk line marking, to brick laying, to the “castillos” (metal framework), to wood being used to hold bricks in place as the cement dried, to breaking rocks with a sledge hammer for the foundation! I tell you what; it is an awesome process to witness! My husband and father-in-law helped Chimpas all the way through, digging, hauling rocks; breaking rocks…it is nice to know that our house has the sweat of Ramiro and his dad.  It is considered a blessing so that it is a strong house.  Everyday Ramiro, his dad, and Chimpas and crew would take a break to eat at my in-laws house.  I and my mother-in-law would make them their daily meals.

It is a humble house by U.S. standards, but it is one of the larger houses in the farming community.  It is for sure the first house in the town that will have a dryer.  In fact, I had to buy the dryer electrical connection here in the U.S. and take it back to Mexico with me…the Home Depot in Mexico didn’t even carry it.  It was interesting to hear the women in the family stop by and comment,

“Nettie, y ¿dónde vas a poner el tendedero?…no dejaron mucho espacio atrás dónde llega el sol” (Nettie, and where are you doing to put your clothes line? You didn’t leave much room behind the house where the sun will be?)

Our house is just about done.  As I write this post, my kitchen is being built by the one and only Chimpas, and then the floor will be put down.  After that, a little interior paint and furniture and it will be a done deal.  From ground up with furnishings, paint, etc. the entire build cost roughly $25,000.00USD.  For a two bedrooms, bathroom, utility room, living room, dining room and kitchen, I don’t think that is bad at all.  Each room is 4×4 meters except the bathroom and utility room are both 2×4 meters and the living room is 5×5 meters. (1 meter = 3.28 feet).

Enjoy the pics, and look for the final product picture in the not too distant future!

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