From “House of Possibilities” to Casa Tagomago #2
The “before” and “after” of Casa Tagomago
On our next visit to Restábal in October, the demolition of the animal pens, rotten beams and ceilings was well underway. We arrived just in time to deal with what could have been a major crisis! Originally, we had planned on chestnut beams but found them a tad over budget, so had decided on pine instead. Unfortuantely, these were unavailable at that moment and were needed the following week! We hadn’t realised that the beams are not just decorative, they actually support the ceiling and the floor above. In the way ceilings have been built in the Valley and the Alpujarra for centuries. Fortunately, while we were sourcing beams, we had found a supplier in Trevelez. On contacting him, he told us that he had no quota that year – only so many trees can be felled each year – but that in Busquistar there was a supplier. So off we went to the Alpujarra where we found the most beautiful chestnut beams that would be delivered in time for our new ceilings to go into place.
The estimated time for completion was six months and we had to return to Ibiza and leave everything in the very capable hands of our builders and the foreman. We returned in January 2007 to find a big change had taken place and again to sort out a small crisis or two! The foreman made a couple of excellent suggestions to overcome these problems and work continued at a good pace.
Meantime, in Ibiza we were buying all the small accessories that would be necessary to furnish the house. We had decided that we just wouldn’t have the time for all this in Granada. In our free time we gradually filled a room in the house with boxes of goodies!
As for the furniture, we had been able to buy most of the principal pieces at a trade fair in Madrid. Even so, back in Restábal again in March, the beds, matresses, the TV and the kitchen appliances still had to be bought. Some of these items we had already located and ordered but we still had a very busy time ahead of us. The house should have been ready to move everything into. The furniture was due to arrive from Madrid and we had a van load with us. Our lovely carpenter had got behind and the outer doors and the windows weren’t ready, so we couldn’t risk leaving anything inside the house! I say “lovely” and I am sincere, he is such a kind man but, like all carpenters, lives up to the reputation of not getting work done on time! He himself saved the day and lent us a room for storage in a house he has in a nearby village.
When the time came to move everything to Casa Tagomago, he did it all for us, even taking the very heavy acacia wood TV cabinet up to the first floor. (I had to leave the house at that point!). So he redeemed himself but we were behind with our schedule. The plan had been to finish the best part of the moving before the end of our visit. We did what we could. On our return in April doors and windows were in place but no kitchen as yet. We got down to placing the furniture as well as cleaning the terracota floor tiles. This we had presumed the builders would do, silly of us! Nearly five days on our hands and knees cleaning cement off and painting linseed oil on the floor – never again! The finished result is not exactly what we wanted but is easy to keep clean and makes a good stage for the rest of the decor.
The end was in sight. At the end of July we went down for a weekend to attend to a few more details. Our son, a photographer, came too to take photos for the planned web site. Another frustation – Spanair “lost” our luggage, tripod included. We didn’t get it until 2 hours before we were due to leave for the airport once more! So the photos were difficult to take but he took enough good ones to start advertising the house on Internet! The last week in August we had our first rental – “The House of Possibilities” had at last become Casa Tagomago.
First published by Susan on 1st. October 2012 on casatagomago.com