Enter Mother Nature La Neve

Soon after I published the previous post about project timing, Marche got hit hard, first by a major snowstorm and them by a series of fairly strong earthquakes.

january 2017 snowstorm in le marcheSnow fell over a number of days in mid-January, piling up as high as two meters (6.5 ft) in some villages. (Kevin said there was less in our area, but over 4 feet.)

Then, on January 18, there was a series of four earthquakes in the magnitude range 4.1 – 5.7. These quakes follow the even stronger quakes of last October and August. (There have been more than 45,000 aftershocks since August.)

Rigopiano Hotel before and after avalanche
Hotel Rigopiano – Before and After
Click image to enlarge

The biggest catastrophe was in the region just south of Marche, Abruzzo, also hit hard by snow, where the Hotel Rigopiano was buried by an avalanche set off by the quakes and 29 of the 40 people inside died.

The impact on our project is only on timing. Very little work has been or will be able to be completed in January. Kevin reports that the contractor, Francisc, has been able to do some work in his shop, assembling some of the steel needed for the support columns.

An Update

I showed a list of Marche earthquakes of magnitude over 5.0 in my post about the October quakes.

Here’s an update to that list:

Oct 20166.6
Aug 20166.2
Oct 20166.1
Sep 19976.1
Oct 19305.9
Jan 20175.7
Jan 20175.6
Oct 20165.5
Oct 19435.5
Oct 19365.5
May 19875.1

So the top 3 and 6 of the top 8 have been in the last six months.

First image: | http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/01/18/italy-hit-four-powerful-earthquakes-four-hours-bringing-terror/
Second image: By TVSEI - CC BY 3.0 | https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6La91fbpbbg
Map icons: Maps Icons Collection | https://mapicons.mapsmarker.com

Project Timing: Starting 2017 A Month-by-Month Work Plan

We feel like we’ve made excellent progress on the building project in the last six weeks of 2016.

Kevin sent us a timing plan for the rest of the work, roughly showing activities by month. It stretches the project out until February 2018 — which was the completion date he proposed in October.

Looking at the plan, it feels conservative. There are few concurrent activities, maybe because one contractor and his team are doing much of the work.

Anne can’t understand how it can taKe over a year from where we are now. She really wants to be able to be in the house for Christmas 2017.

I’m a bit more relaxed about the date. I don’t see us being able to furnish and have the house ready until the spring of 2018. That sets us up perfectly for “introducing” the house in the summer 2018. Also, I’d rather take an extra month or two than rush the contractor into cutting corners.

Here’s the project flowchart Kevin sent along.

Workplan for house construction in Le Marche
Workplan Flowchart
Click image to enlarge

Image: Copyright © Our Big Italian Adventure

Watering It Down Water, at a Reduced Price

They’ve been trucking water to the site so far, but we need to get a direct water connection to allow construction to continue, so Kevin has been working with the local utility company. Today, he gave us an update. It’s pure Kevin:

In mid-December we conducted an on-site assessment with the water company – TENNACOLA. Just before Christmas we received an estimate from them. The estimate, which I attach to give you a chuckle (it elicited a decidedly different physical reaction on my part!), was for €13,511.25 + IVA. Obviously, complete BULLSHIT.

water supplyKevin’s approach was to sit down with Tennacola and our contractor, Francisc, and work out what could be done by the contractor and what Tennacola absolutely had to do. (Either way, Tennacola will oversee the work and be sure it’s all up-to-snuff.)

The reduction is cost was dramatic: to less than a third of the previous number. Great work by Kevin.

Installazione grupo presa
Electrical switch installation (?)
Allaccio a corpo con scavo fino a 5m
Connection to the system, excavation up to 5m
Allaccio a corpo con scavo maggiore a 5m
Connection to the system, excavation over 5m
Posa in opera tubo maggiore 5ml dm 1′
Laying additional pipe
Riduzione 20% scavi su ghiaia
20% discount, excavation over gravel
Pozzetto coperchio in ghisa
Cast iron cover
Gruppo misura DM 1/2
Group measures (?)
Anticipo consumi.
Deposit for consumption
Total Tennacola€13,537€1.649
Total Contractor€0€2,800
Value-added tax
Total Project€14,888€4,729

The next utility up is the electric company, ENEL. Kevin says this will be a crap shoot as well, They don’t provide estimates in advance, only when they show up to do the work. So Kevin will take the same approach to try to peel off whatever Francisc can do at a lower cost.

Image: Pixabay CC0 - No attribution required | http://www.pixabay.com

Special Carpentry Prices for Doors and Niches

One thing that has been TBD in the budget so far and not included at all, even as an estimate, is the special carpentry for the hall closet doors and the nicchie.

Now, we have an estimate for this work. My first reaction was that the costs seemed high, but Kevin reassured me that the carpenter was very good — the only one he works with these days after trying others — and that the costs are reasonable, actually even better than others charge.

In total, the carpentry will add about 2,500€ to the project budget.

Carpentry ItemNotesCost
Two hallway closet double doors
(Coat and linen closets)
Will custom fabricate
Timber to be aged and distressed as per house style
Delivery and mounting, included
Four wall nicchie
(3 bathrooms and study)
Four shelves to be made in solid 3.5cm oak, custom width and overhang detail, to 25cm deep.
Timber to be aged and distressed as per house style
Delivery and mounting, included

I mentioned to Kevin that the total nicchie cost should probably be somewhat less. as the three bathroom nicchie are only 15cm deep and have three shelves. I expect this will get reflected in the actuals.