The Blueprint for Ambergris Caye,Belize

With no work on our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize yesterday I was denied my daily fix. Tried to substitute it with a look at the Sunset Boulevard project but , not unsurprisingly, didn’t get the same high. So am really pleased that the building site was ‘all action’ again today ( more about that later).

From comments/ feedback I have received ( all welcome) I sense that a good number of regular readers ( and perhaps some infrequent readers too) have a keen interest in the more technical aspects of our build in Ambergris Caye,Belize. So – although not by popular demand – I thought I would let you have a look at the blueprints that Daniel and his team are working to. I will do my best ( memory fails me sometimes – either age or the heat, or a combination of both) to include the relevant blueprint at each stage of the build.

In earlier editions I used a lot of words and perhaps even more photos when describing the piles required for our house. I never went into a lot of detail though as to what the dimensions of them should be nor where they had to be positioned . The blueprint below hopefully addresses my earlier oversight.


Work on the 25,000 gallon water tank ( as regular readers will know) has been going on for a few weeks now and I have tried to describe and illustrate how it will ‘sit’ under the structure of the house. The blueprint below will hopefully fill-in any gaps.


When we got to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize this afternoon we could hear the hammers hammering and saws cutting wood so we knew straight away that work continued on putting the forms in place .


Nicholas at work with the hammer.

The walls of the forms were being put in place .


Form walls in place in the south-west corner of the water tank (apologies for the poor quality photo but the sun was starting to move around).

There were so many forms in place that it really did look crowded. And so different to the open space of just under a week ago.


Even so we could see that work was still going on fixing the remaining rebar frames into their positions.


Anhill and Alfredo fixing a frame in place.

All looked good but then we got the disappointing news that the remaining forms will not be fitted until tomorrow which means that the concrete pouring will not take place now until Wednesday. There is an upside though. Estel’s doesn’t open on a Tuesday but will be open on Wednesday for my early morning breakfast before going to the site to watch the pour.

The headline is influenced by’Blueprint’, a 2001 album by Jay-Z which was his forth consecutive album to reach number one in the US Billboard 200 chart.


  1. Mark Hoover says:

    I didn’t see the print before asking my last question. Are cisterns common there?

    1. Mark, I assume your question relates to our water tank? If so, they are reasonably common on the north side of the island because there is no mains water. Some people though depend on wells.

  2. Jane says:

    John, each morning ater I read your blog, I forward it to my husband in WA, who is an avid reader too. He’s so interested in talking with you after the family leaves at the end of the month. Hope you and Rose can squeeze in a lunch with us and visit to the site.

    1. Jane
      Really pleased that both your husband and you are finding the blog interesting. Must admit though that some days I am just putting out ‘more of the same’.
      Rose and I would be more than willing to meet you both when you next come to Belize and will more than happily show you around the site.
      When are you next coming here?

    2. Oh, I meant to say Jane, that your husband can view the blog just by going to :


  3. Alan Slater says:

    Hi John,
    I find your details on the build of your house fascinating, as I have always been interested in building and architecture. I think I should have become an architect, instead of an electrical engineer and aeronautical engineer. ‘Course, that was the days when Pontius was a pilot and Mortice was his rigger and planes had those funny fans on the front!!! It is so interesting to see the construction details for a house that is in a hurricane prone area and without fancy modern day machinery being used. They built the foundation for a two story, four bedroom, three bath house, with cellar, in one day, next to my lot. Forms up concrete poured and the whole job lot done and dusted in 81/2 hours. But, of course, not as much rebar as in yours. Very labour intensive, but done correctly, in Belize.

    1. Hi Alan
      First of all I am pleased that you find the blog interesting . It was always I intended to include and impart as much detailed information on the construction as possible . It then might be of help to others contemplating doing the same thing.
      I am envious of the speed of the build that you referred to . How many people did they have working on it ?

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