Retaining Walls Seaside

Thursday, February 8, 2024

The building of the retaining walls

Walls, Drainage, and Earthworks

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Walls and Earthworks

The swales designed and described in the prior post did not survive the Category 4 hurricane that visited the property in...

Swales and Pools

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

The most critical erosion problem was caused by our neighbor building a retaining wall and stealing our large rocks which had stabilized the earth for...

Earthworks Week: Septic System search and Clean Out

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

The last 10 days of August I attempted to finalize the project: find and connect the septic to the new bathroom; prepare the ground for more annual water...

Electrical and water infrastructure

Friday, August 4, 2023
Electrical and water infrastructure

Infrastrucure Photos and Summaries
Electrical and Water Connections
The main water pipe and 2 conduits (one electrical, 8 guage wire and one ethernet...

Building Shelves and Shower Walls

Monday, June 26, 2023

Building Shelves and the Shower
This is the frame that Andres and Cesar used for the new bathroom sink (called a ‘vento lavababa’ or window sink)....

The Dome Village Thus Far

Thursday, June 1, 2023

Looking at pics from 16 years ago when we built the original complex of domes, look how much my neighborhood has changed:

Niches #2 - Learning from Mistakes

Thursday, June 1, 2023

The niches I made in the Sunrise dome are two of my favorite (and most useful) attributes of dome living.  One is my bookshelf and the other my 'art...

Plastering - Pollido and Fine Coats

Monday, May 29, 2023

The finishing coats of plastering (‘fina' which uses sand and is smooth,  ‘pollido’ which is pure cement + water and brushed on is much smoother) are...

Fixing the 'Dimples' We Made

Monday, May 15, 2023

Because we over-tamped Eli’s dome, the rustic plaster layer attempted to ‘smooth out’ the error (for a narative on this see the Nov 26 2022 post titled...

Plastering the Domes - Rough Coat

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Benito and Carlos Victoria, two gentlemen from Oaxaca, have been hired by Jose Maria (Chema) to plaster.  I haven’t helped much, except to share the...

Framing the Doors and Windows with 'Eyebrows'

Sunday, December 11, 2022

‘Ceja’ is the term for ‘eyebrow’ and we use one on each window and door.  They serve two purposes:
Provide a visual break to the dome's flat surface...

Niches in the 3 Domes

Sunday, December 11, 2022

I was commited to making niches before curing took place, as during Hootenanny I we didn’t do the ‘carving’ early, before the concrete 'cured’.  This...

Framing vs Cutting: the pros and cons of two approaches to Windows and Doors

Thursday, December 8, 2022

This was the main motivation for trying another set of domes: by avoiding the framing process, it would provide significant time and material savings....

The Bathroom Dome - freestyling with the metrics.

Monday, December 5, 2022

The bathroom is an appendage onto the Bedroom Dome, accessed via an interior door.  As such, it can ‘lean' it’s weight onto the bigger dome.  The plan...

Closing the Bedroom Dome

Friday, December 2, 2022

This was a long project, as it's a big dome, using 16” bags the Dome is 176" inch (14.6 feet) diameter.  With the ‘keyhole’ door, 3 arched windows, and...

Ending of the Hootenanny Phase - was it worth it?

Sunday, November 27, 2022

The Hootenanny will end today with the leaving of Scott and Amy Hartwell.  There are no more gringo visitors planned, and Kate and Eli have just two...

Can a dome be built in 2 days, from foundation to closure?

Saturday, November 26, 2022

I certainly had confidence a dome could be built in 2 days, from foundation to closure.  But I was 14 years removed from actual earth building work and...

Teen Dome Closing, Notes on how to close a dome

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Once the Hootenanny cast dispersed back to N America, we were left with the core Mexican team of Blas, Raul, Gomez, and Ceasar; with Kate and Eli and...

The Hootenanny Was a Success

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Hootenanny II was an amazing experience. The team started to arrive on Monday night and we spent Tuesday getting to know each other. Starting early (7...

Let the Hootenanny Begin

Monday, November 14, 2022

The preparation has been laid to rest. It’s time to begin the Hootenanny!  We finished laying all foundation and buttressing bags over the last week....

Foundation for 3 new domes is ready

Friday, October 21, 2022

The chalked lines I had readied in June were completely erased by the September hurricane. Luckily, the ability to edit my earlier markings yielded better...

Earth preparation with piping readied

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

When I was in Baja in late May, I met with Jose Martin to prepare the site for the November build. What we decided:
Teen Dome
This will be dug...

Hootenanny Two Takes Form

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Welcome back to Earth building. It’s been 14 years since I last practiced this art form, and I’m GLAD TO BE BACK!  
The plan is to start with a 12’...

The Table Rises - Stronger Than Ever

Friday, October 15, 2010

Santiago and Arthur came to install the power and drill a hole for the lights that will bring ‘Baja Christmas’ to Las Domas each night we turn ‘em on....