Saturday, June 16, 2012

Rotten Wood

This is a fun post today.  Well I didn't like getting up early on a weekend, but I did love that homeowners got together and removed the terribly terrible rotten wood around our property.  There are several phases going on right now at El Presidio.  We are revitalizing a 30 year old property that had not been properly cared for over the years.   One of my rants, if you've been following my blog for awhile, has been that it's not a good idea to use a lot of wood in your desert landscaping.  Why? Because it rots and breaks down over time with the hot hot sun.  Also dry rot termites love to dwell in old beams that have not been water proofed over the years.   For 4 years, I've watched the beams almost come crashing down onto homeowners moving furniture in and out of the property.  We removed the pool, cleaned out the planters and now....are removing the rotten wood. 
There is a special quality about an entrance with overhanging Wild Grape Vine.  It's beautiful.  For the homeowners of El Presidio who follow this blog, I'd like to state that we are going to keep this entrance to the property the same way it was built.  The front gates will be addressed at a later time, but for now, we will be looking at the shed area that required a heavy amount of removal.  This look is going to change.  And we will NOT be using any wood in this area.  Let's take a look at what we've done.
Those old rotted beams were removed carefully and examined to see if they could be used again.  Sadly most of them were so badly weather and termite damaged that they couldn't be salvaged.
Powersaws and manly man tools were used to remove all this wood.
One remaining cactus on the beam grew over the years in the rot of this wood.  Many homeowners enjoyed this solitary soldier.
Everyone was careful about the nails as there were plenty of these rusty guys in the wood.
 The removal was a success and it was determined that these beams will not be replaced as the natural canopy of the oaks and mesquite will act as our own canopy.  Plus it looks nice open.  The issue we have comes from thousands of acorns and birds droppings.  A shade cloth is not the answer nor is placing more wood that will have to replaced and maintained for years to come.  Most of the homeowners want something low maintenance.  And that's what we are going to provide.
 The shed will be re-stuccoed where the wood beams were originally and the 4 posts will be cut in half.  I am thinking cobalt blue pots with lovely flowers on these posts will add a lovely impact for visitors and homeowners coming in through the western and eastern gates.
 Currently the shed looks like this.  We are hoping to get this done before monsoon season begins.
 You can see the size of the beams we removed.  The pool has a plan as well, and I'd like to remind homeowners.....It's going to get ugly before it gets pretty.  A homeowner became upset  with the removal of the dangerous beams and I understand his feelings.  I'd love to have it all done right away but it costs money and our time.  And it's going to take time to repair and beautify our property.  But it's happening.  And slowly unless we have more homeowner participation.  
 We cut these beams up and now they sit in our parking lot.  I am a total lame-o.  I need to weight lift.  I can barely bench 40 pounds. I was the younger guy and had the most difficult time lifting heavy objects.  Hey, but I'm good with design and ideas:)
 The pic above is of the columns that will be cut in half.  They will be tiled with the similiar brick on top.  The question is....lights or cobalt blue pots with agave etc?  What do you all think?  Okay and for my wildlife friends here are some fascinating finds from our gardens here at El Presidio.
 Here are some of the honeycombs after our bee swarm a month ago. Cool!!
 The first cicada of the summer.  Awesome....and one of my favorite bugs to have around this time of year.
 And the butterflies in the garden are out of this world.  Here's a swallowtail doing a little jig around our tangerine tree.
 Here's one last shot of the honeycomb found within the rotten structure.  Very very cool!!!
Thank you to all the homeowners who came out and helped out around the property.  Phase 2 of the rotten wood will happen soon.  Stay tuned for an email from our Vice President Jon.  Please remember, there is a vision and a plan for the property.  It's going to look great when it's all finished.  Right now, it's in the ugly phase.  It will all come together.  For El Presidio, it comes down to money and in particular making sure everyone pays their dues on time.  We had two units severely behind in dues.  One was foreclosed and a check is forthcoming for several thousands of dollars and the second has been paid up with the new ownership which is why we could go forth with the shed area.  With the foreclosed unit over 3000 dollars behind, one can only imagine why progress has been slow.  More tomorrow.....

17 comments:

  1. Those were some big beams. I like the idea of shortening the pillars and giving them an accent. Too cool about the single cactus and the honeycomb. Hope it all gets done soon. Projects are always messing to start.

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    1. They were HUGE!!! So we cut the pillars down and WOW! Everything is so open now. It looks great. I like the look of the beams, but it's so much wood! Little by little:)

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  2. A job well done, Chris- congrats to all those who volunteered.
    Bee's honeycomb is amazing.. I favor the cobalt blue pots with pretty flowers for visiting swallowtail butterflies.
    cheers

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    1. The project is almost complete. I'll have the final product with pots included next month:)

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  3. I love reading about the ongoing work at your gardens Chris and seeing how things are progressing. Love the little lone cactus survivor - were you able to transplant it somewhere safe??

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    1. A homeowner did save the little guy and is caring for it somewhere inside their home:)

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  4. Welcome Back, Chris. I am sorry I didn't get here while you were away. Busy time here too.

    I love seeing the progress you are making. It shows what hard work and a vision can manufacture.

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  5. What a lot of work, but the difference will be fantastic when this is all done.

    Cher Sunray Gardens

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  6. That must be some hard work! Love that cute cactus. BTW, I've awarded you for the Versatile Blogger award.

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    1. Thank you for the award Aaron. I try to keep it fun for everyone:) Hope you are having a good weekend. No studying!!

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  7. the last country place we lived had an HOA, of which i was secretary for about 6 of the 8 yrs we lived there. the dues were to pave our private road. it was terrible - some homes did not pay at all. same thing, over and over. dreadful. good luck with your projects!

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  8. Good work there and good thinking that you don't want to have to go through this again.

    The blue pots would be stunning with a low maintenance plant there. Soft leaf yucca is safer than agave at that height.

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    1. I like your thinking:) We're thinking on the same page here. Can't wait to put it all together. We're sealing the tile right now and have an electric line to bury. And then....it will all be done:)

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  9. Wow, it's nice to see people at hard work, ain't it.

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  10. Hi Chris, That is so neat of you to help with home renovations... Looks like alot of work, but oh how needed it is! You are such a good guy!

    Have a great Sunday.
    Betsy

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  11. Great work, ...and a wonderful set of images.

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  12. You're right...sometimes things have to get a little ugly before they get pretty. Glad you have the support that you do.

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