30th May - Work starts in earnest.

We spent the morning shopping for tiles for the bathrooms and kitchen, much disagreement between Robyn (yes she’s just 10) and myself with an eventual compromise. We popped back to the cave after work and was amazed to see what had been done in just one day. The rooms had been completely cleared and the floors lowered ready for levelling.

We’ve also decided what to do with the two external rooms that we didn’t know about. The one next to the bathroom on the left is going to be an outside sitting area. It will offer good shade and be a nice place to sit and read a book. The other space on the right will be used for an external sink and food prep area for that most essential house accessory, the BBQ.

New kitchen windows from inside


Indoor corral removed from master bedroom


Fireplace cleaned up and floor lowered


Lounge Door with increased headroom


Robyn in Bedroom


Study Area Cupboard opened up for new door


2nd June - Plugs, switches, rates and medical.

A quick visit tonight before heading back to the UK. Being both an IT Professional and a dedicated gadget freak means lots of power sockets, switches and of course the obligatory RJ45 ethernet for the Internet connection. We like the tile lights so had to mark those up as well. All that was required was a pot of blue paint, a brush and some idea of where things should go. I’d used Microsoft Visio to do all the plans and luckily had done one of the wiring.

We also found a number of interesting documents about the cave that helped add to the authenticity. Firstly a rates bill from 1940 for 15 Centimos and a medical bill from 1950, we also found a fertilizer licence but as that has the address I won’t show it.

Hall with electrical sockets


Bedroom with TV and RJ45 sockets marked




Trench from the master bedroom to the front






6th June - Materials arrive and outer walls well under way.

Well we’re back in the UK, unfortunately, but at least the weather here isn’t too bad today. In our absence Matilda, our Project Manager, will be sending regular photographic updates. Today she tells us there are a team of men on site doing all sorts of things. Photos show the outer wall being constructed. The metal rods are used to tie the wall into the cave structure to ensure stability.

Foundations dug for front wall


Concrete being poured into the footings for the outer wall


Metal tie rods


Outer wall under construction


Wall from lounge to bathroom


Cleaned walls with my Visio plans attached


14th June - Outside wall nearly built.

A week on and the outside structure is nearly completed. We’ve decided to have wooden lintels installed above the windows and doors. You can also see the outside sitting area with an arch over it on the left. To the right you can see the kitchen windows, outside storage and the external food prep area.

Things are also starting to take shape inside as well. The blurred picture is of Pedro digging out a wardrobe. Having built-in wardrobes gives us more space in the bedrooms. They are expensive as they take two days to dig out each, then they have to be sealed and finished and then wooden shelves and hanging rails fitted. We think the extra space will be worthwhile. Of course you need thick enough walls to do this!

Sexy seating area


Left hand side of cave


Front door and study area window


Right hand side of cave


Pedro digging out the fitted wardrobes


20th June - Roof goes on.

The outside structure is now virtually complete and the roof tiles are going on.

Inside the wiring is well under way with Macaron (trunking) everywhere. We have a hugely expensive wiring bill as copper isn’t very cheap these days and we have wire everywhere. We have plenty of power sockets, often missing from a cave reform, one per room would not do! As mentioned earlier we have TV points and RJ45 Ethernet in most rooms. This will allow us to distribute the TV signal to the inner rooms of the cave where an internal antenna wouldn’t be any good. The RJ45 is to allow us to use VOIP for the phones as well as the Internet and hopefully keep the phone costs under control. A teenager (in actions if not age yet) will need to be in constant touch with friends back in the UK so MSN Messenger and VOIP is cheaper than SMS texting and mobile charges.

Roof nearing completion


Happy Harry the roofer


The floor in the kitchen


Metres and metres of Macaron for the wiring


Macaron in place ready for wall sockets and switches


22nd June - Walls and roof structure finished.

Not a lot to say in such a short space of time other than these are some photos of the wall and roof structure finished. Once the wall is up then door frames and window frames can be installed.

The final picture shows what used to be the wall between Robyn's bedroom and the kitchen. The old wall seemed narrower at the bottom than the top, and now I quote, "So that Princess Robyn doesn't have one hair on her clearly angelic head come to any harm we're replacing it." The Spanish do love their children!!!

This shows the length of the new walls


Another longer shot showing the whole of the front wall from the left hand side


Detail of the roof and walls


Once the walls are up the door frames are then added.


There used to be a wall here


23rd June - Walls and roof structure finished.

In earlier pictures you can see what I call the return at the left and right hand side. It was just stepped down and I asked would it stay like that. The answer was no we’ll find a way to finish it off. Well “the way” is excellent and uses roof tiles to to give it a really clean finish. They have also started the rendering of the outside wall which will give it a great finish before final painting.

The third picture shows back bedroom has also started to take shape with master builder Pedro posing for the camera. The final picture is the substantial wall between Robyn’s bedroom and the kitchen now finished.

Edging tiles along the outside walls


Test rendering of the outside walls


Building the wall between the living room and back bedroom


Robyn's new wall in place


29th June - Windows, doors and arches.

The outside walls are now completely rendered and ready to have the stone cladding added to the bottom. This cladding not only looks attractive but has added functionality in protecting the lower part of the wall. The window and door frames are also now all in and there are tiles being added to the bottom of the window to finish them off. The firs door to be hung is the door to the external storage area shown with Pedro.

As it gets too hot to do much work outside after about 11:00 there is more work going on inside. The en-suite has been built and a finishing arch has been created between the ensuite wall and the wall of the bedroom.

Walls rendered


Stone innit!!


Window sills


Pedro and door


The en-suite being built in the master bedroom


Arch into bedroom


30th June - Wall cladding being added.

This is how the stone cladding above is added to the outside wall. As the bathroom will be completely tiled, floor to ceiling a flat surface is needed. These narrow blocks are added to make the flat surface without losing too much space from the room. The arch is also finished now.

Just to prove we have more than Pedro, Antonio and Manolo working on the cave here is a picture of Javier. Javi is Jose-Miguel’s right hand man and a pretty mean plumber and electrician to boot. The last picture is for Robyn’s benefit and shows the new guard dog that has adopted the cave. Not quite sure who he belongs to but Rob is already asking if she can name him!

Coming on!


Bathroom 1


The finished arch




No idea where this came from!


And now on to July

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