Building a grilling station

When we lived in Colorado we grilled year round. Rain, snow, shine, hot, cold, didn't matter, we grilled. We saw no reason to change this habit once we moved to Merida.


We almost changed our mind once we saw the price of grills. We like gas grills, It's just to difficult to always be buying and hauling charcoal, fluid, etc. Gas is so much easier, and cleaner.

So we did it we spent just at 4000mxp for a grill that would have cost us tops 125usd in the States. The grill we had in Colorado we had had for going on 12 years, it was sun faded, grease stained and wired together in a few places but worked like a champ. The grill we bought here lasted less than 3 years before it was so rusted through that the burners fell apart.


We've decided to build a grilling station and get the iron man to build the grilling racks and burners.


This is the space where the old grill sat, and where we want the new grilling station. We had a gas line run from our roof top tank when we bought the old grill.



This is Tom's example to show the albaniles what we want. We also have a flat diagram with all the measurements. Not to mention the drawn out lines we put on both the floor and walls.




Here are the supplies being delivered.


I can't even beleive the amount of weight these guys carry with each load.


We gave them each a 20mxp tip.

So on day one, the albaniles, Manuel y Manuelito chipped out the walls where the rebar would go for the countertops and shelves. And then started to build the outer support walls.



Here's the end of Day 1 activities



 
Day 2 found the arches roughed in

Day 3 and the arches are poured


Day 4 and 5 were for getting more supplies and setting the forms to pour the tops, and for pouring the tops.

These were also 2 VERY stessful days because Tom decided that rather than having parillas built he would use parts from the old grill and order replacement burners and parts from the States. This requires very precise measurements which are incredibly difficult to accomplish here for even the most seasoned tradesmen.





Now we just have to buy tile to be installed and the albaniles work will be done.
Then it's Tom's turn.
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At this point in the project our trip to Holbox caused us to halt work from Wednesday to the following Monday.  At the end of the day on Tuesday we said to the Manuel's "Hasta Lunes", which means 'Until Monday' or 'See You Monday'. 
They smiled, said the same and we haven't seen or heard from them since.  We waited till Wednesday in case they  or we were confused...it's been over a week - Anyway, they're gone.   We got a recommendation for two other guys who although a bit expensive are said to be very good.  And hey, we're rich gringos, we can afford it...

So we now have Ramon, Rodrigo, and Manolo.  Ramon cuts the tile, Rodrigo lays the tile, and Manolo is apprenticing and mixes cement, soaks tile, watches, learns, plays with Techie...
The grilling station is being tiled in a 'fake' saltillo tile,  with inesrts in the top for broken talavera panels. There will also be a 10cm band of broken talavera framing the arches.   
I went to a local store that specializes in talavera and productos de barro and got a big bucket of broken talavera for 60mxp.  A single piece runs 5.4-6.9mxp each.  I also bought 4 whole pieces that had a very specific color of yellow/gold I wanted, those 4 pieces cost me 24mxp.  So the bucket of broken tiles were a great deal!

Here are some of the broken talaveras.
Here are the 'new' guys busy working.  What seemed to me to be a 2 day job, and they say 4 days, is because things have to be done and re-done so many times.  These are professional tradesmen, they work for some big leaguers here, including one of the biggest Real Estate groups;  But need constant watching, consulting, supervising, advising....

Hey, it's getting done!!!  Quitcherbiitchin!!


Here is the end of Day 2 of Tiling
There were a lot of tricky cuts in the middle at the corner, and around the openings for the grilling hardware, add to that that they had to remove and replace most of the top at least twice....


Here are some details of the broken talavera panels in the top of the counter area. 
There are 2 of these panels. 
Day 3 of Tiling
End of Day 4 of Tiling
End of Tiling, actually, they had to come back for a few hours on Monday, Day 5,  because they ran out of boquillo, or grout.  And and of course they ran out Sunday afternoon, so we had to wait till Monday morning and we had to get it from the same place as the original bag to hope the colors would be the same.
Detail of arches
I'm quite pleased with the final result. 
Don't be confused and think we are ready to grill, oh No.  Due to the decision to re-use some of  the old grill we had to order a number of replacement parts from the US.  Now this grill was made specifically for Mexico, but we can't get parts for it here,  hmmmmmm!
So expect another picture with food on the barbi!