Home Expat Blogs My Summer Remodel Project in the Hills Above Puerto Vallarta

My Summer Remodel Project in the Hills Above Puerto Vallarta

Hillside homes in Puerto Vallarta
Credit: Christopher Howey | Fotolia

In my last blog, I made a passing reference to my summer remodel project in the hills above Puerto Vallarta. I’m very happy to report that it’s finally over and I am a very happy person.

Summertime is the best time to have remodel projects done in Puerto Vallarta for several reasons: It’s a lot less busy in PV at this time of year, many condominium buildings restrict construction work to the summer off-season and homeowners want to get their properties ready for the upcoming high-season.

I chose the summertime to do my apartment remodel project because I had the opportunity to stay in the home of friends during the construction. They leave town each summer and are happy to have someone watch over their house. I was thrilled to be their house sitter as I am only a half block from my place and can easily pop over to see the progress of the remodel. And, importantly, I can visit my many cats I left in supervisory positions.

Maria O’Connor's apartment in Puerto Vallarta
Credit: Maria O’Connor

My remodel project was to be simple: New floors, new kitchen and bathroom counters, redo the electric wiring (really old wiring was causing me to have huge electric bills) and repaint everything.

I had an idea of what I wanted done but due to my workload AND the fact that I have no idea what I am doing, I hired an architect I have known for years to get the job done. He is someone that I trust and his work speaks for itself. He is not flashy or showy but delivers an exquisite result. I had two hurdles that concerned me. First, I had no place to store my furniture and second, I did not have a place to board my 13 cats (yes, 13!). Jose Luis did not bat an eye and said that they would work around it, and so they did.

As most of you know, there are many old jokes related to remodel construction costs and time frames. One famous joke advises that you get three estimates, add them up and that will be your actual cost. For time frames, most say to double the estimated time. On both counts I have been very pleasantly surprised. Work began on my apartment on May 9th and the finishing touches were completed July 11th. Not bad given that the initial estimate was 6-8 weeks.

My initial budget was very reasonable, so much so that I added things to the scope of work as we went along. I had them build a new brick kitchen counter to shore up the old construction, raised the height of my “Flintstone” sofas (the typical cement built-in sofas that are common in Mexico) because they were too low and uncomfortable and redid the wall on my terrace in natural brick. Everything has turned out beautifully.

My biggest concern and my biggest surprise in all of this was the welfare of my cats. They are all rescue cats and fairly used to other human beings, but as a rule, cats do not like dirt, dust or loud noises. Kudos to the remodel construction team who LOVED the cats, calling them by name, petting them every morning when they arrived, making sure they did not get out and taking care of them as if they were their own.

That is priceless.