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#1 Xuxan

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 03:37 PM

So, on the one hand, we can't be more excited that we have closed on our Cozumel property. Rita Reesh's COZUMEL CAPITAL Realty company and her team are the BEST! Every detail was discussed prior to the signing; her team literally walked us through the process of settling in -- tax; electric; phone; garbage pickup. That's such a relief.

We're chuckling (what else to do, it's doing business in Mexico) at the price some -- ok, most -- vendors are quoting us. YES, we're the new kids on the block. So we may not speak the language as smoothly at this point, yet -- but that doesn't mean that a square pine wood base platform is worth US$500 to build! Or a kitchen, where we bought all the appliances is worth US$ tens of thousands!!

Ok, a carpenter that anyone can recommend that speaks "some" English?
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#2 jsmflake

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 03:56 PM

Congratulations on your new house, Xuxan! I'm sure you will have many new experiences getting settled. Please do some of us a favor and share your experiences on this board, both the good and the frustrating! This could be a learning experience for many of us! :D
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#3 Coz2wonder

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 05:15 PM

Congratulations...

The Carpenter we used to build our cabinets, and doors has moved and I have no idea where he is at, which of course is of not help as to whom to choose, but I have some suggestions on things you might want to consider when your having your cabinets built.

I would go online and pick out the design you want, and take that to the carpenter. Also, if you have a sample of finish you want them to use.

When mine where built, the carpenter used a heavy coat of polyurethane to protect the wood, and makes it easy to clean the surface. It also protects the wood from cracking, and splitting.

I would bring down with you the handles, and pulls. I NEVER found anything I liked here, and the "brass" finish handles will pit, and are just junk, besides being ugly.

I also insisted that a wood base be put into the bottom of the cabinets so that the concrete was covered. Concrete smells funky, regardless of how old it is.

Another feature we installed was a plug inside the upper middle cabinet. This allowed us to drill a small hole and install rope lighting above the cabinet and use it as a lighted displace for large glass pieces, and it provides nice ambiance in the evening (we have it on a timer).

In addition, we had a plug installed under the sink for the garbage disposal. I wish I had installed additional plugs in the bottom cupboards that could be put on a switch when the door was open a light would come on so that I could see what to heck I was reaching for.

I have had a headboard made here, and am quite happy with the results. The store is Maderas del Caribe on 30th, a few blocks before the airport road (heading north) so you might want to check there on your journey to find a carpenter.
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#4 hillbilly

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 09:02 PM

Being a cabinet maker who owns a house there but does not live there yet I can tell you a few things I found out. Wood is awfully expensive there. Plywood not too bad but solid lumber certainly is. We visited a lumber store on 30th I believe when there in november and was surprised to learn that you can give a detailed size list to the shop and they will produce all your wood parts for you. Pine is fine, but for longevity I would want mahogany as it is moisture and bug resistant. There are other species of wood but probably not as readily available. I would suggest finding that shop and asking them for a carpenter. It is hard to tell that they sell lumber as in the window they have all kinds of wood turnings and little shelve supports to look at and buy. They have an area you pull into that has all their wood for sale.
I know this sounds easy but we found somebody to translate for us and found out allot more . The suggestion about covering the concrete with plywood is good but the bases are concrete to prevent moisture and bugs from destroying the bases so be sure they do that. I have seen several door styles that the local carpenters prefer and one is to make doors out of hollow core doors similar to ones found on a closet door but cut down. To me that is incorrect.
European style (hidden) hinges are best with at least a plywood door with edging on it,raised panel doors will qualify the cabinet maker as somebody who knows their business.
Counter tops, granite say for instance will be very expensive as tile is the ready choice and many installers all over the island.While we love Cozumel to death I find the standards for perfection to be worlds apart from what I am used to and it is something to get adapted to also. What they do works so as they say when in Mexico do as they do. Patience,patience patience! Coz to wonder had some good ideas.
I know this probably did not help much it is just frustrating not being able to be there and help out.
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#5 Carey

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 07:12 AM

You are correct that wood is exceedingly expensive here, Hillbilly. I'm not sure which lumber place you're speaking of on 30. There's one known as Pech around 8 and 30 near the church on the east side of the road and I think that might be the one you mean. Also one called DiMaco about two blocks further north on 30 also on the east side of the street.

I've used four carpenters here over the years. Three their work made me exceedingly unhappy and the prices were high to boot. Finally I found Jeff Ferguson and that may be the high-priced carpenter being referred to at the start of this thread. But let me tell you, as far as I'm concerned, if you need carefully done built ins in particular with moving parts -- like drawers that actually slide in and out easily instead of flopping on the floor if you pull them out too far for example, Jeff is the only game in town and he is good. I have stand alone pieces, doors and closet and drawer built ins all over the house from him.

I had someone come in yesterday who was picking up my tv and on the way out he remarked on the lovely teak credenza I had in the corner storing food and other kitchen items. That was aged pine -- hand rubbed to a lovely stained and polished finish. It's one of the things his guys specialize in. Very high labor item so takes advantage of the fact that labor is so comparatively cheap here. I have handrubbed pine that looks like mahogany, cherry and walnut at various places in the house and it is lasting very well. First piece was a rollintg tv stand with doors underneath that I had made about 6 years ago. It is holding up beautifully. No splitting/cracks.

So to answer the original posters complaint -- you're not getting ripped on carpentry work. It's expensive here no matter how you cut the mustard. But if you are having something made that uses drawers in particular I would pay the extra and have it done right by Jeff Ferguson.
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#6 sailsgal

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 08:55 AM

I will second the post from Cary about Jeff...He did all our cabinets/doors in our house as well as some add on stand alone pieces that we designed. His prices were excellent and the work was top notch. His shop is on the corner of 21 south and 40th...check him out for his great work and prices were very reasonable.
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#7 Xuxan

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 11:40 AM

Congratulations...

The Carpenter we used to build our cabinets, and doors has moved and I have no idea where he is at, which of course is of not help as to whom to choose, but I have some suggestions on things you might want to consider when your having your cabinets built.

I would go online and pick out the design you want, and take that to the carpenter. Also, if you have a sample of finish you want them to use.

When mine where built, the carpenter used a heavy coat of polyurethane to protect the wood, and makes it easy to clean the surface. It also protects the wood from cracking, and splitting.

I would bring down with you the handles, and pulls. I NEVER found anything I liked here, and the "brass" finish handles will pit, and are just junk, besides being ugly.

I also insisted that a wood base be put into the bottom of the cabinets so that the concrete was covered. Concrete smells funky, regardless of how old it is.

Another feature we installed was a plug inside the upper middle cabinet. This allowed us to drill a small hole and install rope lighting above the cabinet and use it as a lighted displace for large glass pieces, and it provides nice ambiance in the evening (we have it on a timer).

In addition, we had a plug installed under the sink for the garbage disposal. I wish I had installed additional plugs in the bottom cupboards that could be put on a switch when the door was open a light would come on so that I could see what to heck I was reaching for.

I have had a headboard made here, and am quite happy with the results. The store is Maderas del Caribe on 30th, a few blocks before the airport road (heading north) so you might want to check there on your journey to find a carpenter.



Good suggestions about handles and added plugs. I'm shipping it off to my husband who is staying behind in Cozumel to get a few things done, but will be coming back to the States. Thanks.
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#8 Xuxan

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 11:53 AM

Being a cabinet maker who owns a house there but does not live there yet I can tell you a few things I found out. Wood is awfully expensive there. Plywood not too bad but solid lumber certainly is. We visited a lumber store on 30th I believe when there in november and was surprised to learn that you can give a detailed size list to the shop and they will produce all your wood parts for you. Pine is fine, but for longevity I would want mahogany as it is moisture and bug resistant. There are other species of wood but probably not as readily available. I would suggest finding that shop and asking them for a carpenter. It is hard to tell that they sell lumber as in the window they have all kinds of wood turnings and little shelve supports to look at and buy. They have an area you pull into that has all their wood for sale.
I know this sounds easy but we found somebody to translate for us and found out allot more . The suggestion about covering the concrete with plywood is good but the bases are concrete to prevent moisture and bugs from destroying the bases so be sure they do that. I have seen several door styles that the local carpenters prefer and one is to make doors out of hollow core doors similar to ones found on a closet door but cut down. To me that is incorrect.
European style (hidden) hinges are best with at least a plywood door with edging on it,raised panel doors will qualify the cabinet maker as somebody who knows their business.
Counter tops, granite say for instance will be very expensive as tile is the ready choice and many installers all over the island.While we love Cozumel to death I find the standards for perfection to be worlds apart from what I am used to and it is something to get adapted to also. What they do works so as they say when in Mexico do as they do. Patience,patience patience! Coz to wonder had some good ideas.
I know this probably did not help much it is just frustrating not being able to be there and help out.


We have a house that will need a lot of carpentry work -- closets, shelves, kitchen cabinets. We're realizing that it won't be happening fast. The wood place on 30th will be a stop for us (is there a crossroad or landmark?) Any suggestion for a tile shop?
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#9 Xuxan

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 11:57 AM

You are correct that wood is exceedingly expensive here, Hillbilly. I'm not sure which lumber place you're speaking of on 30. There's one known as Pech around 8 and 30 near the church on the east side of the road and I think that might be the one you mean. Also one called DiMaco about two blocks further north on 30 also on the east side of the street.

I've used four carpenters here over the years. Three their work made me exceedingly unhappy and the prices were high to boot. Finally I found Jeff Ferguson and that may be the high-priced carpenter being referred to at the start of this thread. But let me tell you, as far as I'm concerned, if you need carefully done built ins in particular with moving parts -- like drawers that actually slide in and out easily instead of flopping on the floor if you pull them out too far for example, Jeff is the only game in town and he is good. I have stand alone pieces, doors and closet and drawer built ins all over the house from him.

I had someone come in yesterday who was picking up my tv and on the way out he remarked on the lovely teak credenza I had in the corner storing food and other kitchen items. That was aged pine -- hand rubbed to a lovely stained and polished finish. It's one of the things his guys specialize in. Very high labor item so takes advantage of the fact that labor is so comparatively cheap here. I have handrubbed pine that looks like mahogany, cherry and walnut at various places in the house and it is lasting very well. First piece was a rollintg tv stand with doors underneath that I had made about 6 years ago. It is holding up beautifully. No splitting/cracks.

So to answer the original posters complaint -- you're not getting ripped on carpentry work. It's expensive here no matter how you cut the mustard. But if you are having something made that uses drawers in particular I would pay the extra and have it done right by Jeff Ferguson.


Someone from the Real Estate office that we worked with mentioned that she used an American carpenter for all her closets. She did not mentioned any name, but I wondered whether that might be him. Do you have Jeff's phone#?
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#10 Xuxan

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 12:00 PM

I will second the post from Cary about Jeff...He did all our cabinets/doors in our house as well as some add on stand alone pieces that we designed. His prices were excellent and the work was top notch. His shop is on the corner of 21 south and 40th...check him out for his great work and prices were very reasonable.




Yep, thanks, will certainly stop by and pay Jeff a visit.
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#11 Carey

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 12:24 PM

Someone from the Real Estate office that we worked with mentioned that she used an American carpenter for all her closets. She did not mentioned any name, but I wondered whether that might be him. Do you have Jeff's phone#?


Jeff's cell is 044 987 871-9132 If he's working on the south end of the island, he can't get reception. Just keep trying. Tell him the people on Cozumel My Cozumel recommended him. I'm not sure he realizes the power of the internet to spread the good word and this could be an eye-opener for him.
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#12 Xuxan

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 12:28 PM

Congratulations on your new house, Xuxan! I'm sure you will have many new experiences getting settled. Please do some of us a favor and share your experiences on this board, both the good and the frustrating! This could be a learning experience for many of us! :D



Don't mind if I do!! :))
Great neighbors! I don't remember when was the last neighborhood we moved to where ALL our neighbors (up and down the street) stopped by and introduced themselves. After the "hola" and "bienvenido", the next sentence is that "they're there if we need anything" and to "ring the doorbell anytime". Then there's the lady across the street who showed up the next day with a plate of delicious pie (which I only managed to get one bite out off before my husband made off with the whole thing) food to welcome us!

A GPS will be a handy thing to have (until you figured out where everything you need are located).
* Some of the addresses we're given just doesn't.... not sure what's the word I'm looking for -- well, having a GPS helps!!
* Even though you may find yourself in one of the many "One Way" streets -- going the wrong way you want, as long as you have tagged the location, you'll be fine!
* Not all One-Way street has a sign indicating which way the one-way happens to flow to.

Couldn't wait to be completely moved in!!



3)
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#13 Carey

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 12:29 PM

For tile -- the place on the corner of Juarez and 30 -- I can never remember the name -- carries a large assortment of machine made tile. If you want the beautiful hand baked ceramic stuff you need to travel to Playa and Cancun where some of the big national Mexican tile companies have local offices. terrajal is one and I'm sure other people will mention them.

I prefer the hand made tiles but they get very expensive unless you buy them from the mainland and from a larger company and in bulk. But the stuff they sell at that corner place is quite nice. Oh. Also check Boxitos (pronounced bow-SHE-toes) on Avenida 65 about 5 blocks north of the intersection with Calle 11 on the west side of the avenida. And there's another large building supply place I've not been to yet that's about 6 blocks or so north on Avenida 65 also and on the same side of the street. Both stores are super now for bathroom fixtures, track lighting and the like. I can't tell you what an improvement in stock there is now over what I had to choose from when I was building 11 years ago. Night and day.
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#14 Xuxan

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 12:33 PM

Jeff's cell is 044 987 871-9132 If he's working on the south end of the island, he can't get reception. Just keep trying. Tell him the people on Cozumel My Cozumel recommended him. I'm not sure he realizes the power of the internet to spread the good word and this could be an eye-opener for him.



I absolutely will mention to Jeff where the recommendation to his business came from. I am still astonished by what the Internet can do! This whole experience in relocating to another country would not have happened if it's not for the amount of information and knowledge that are accessible and shared through this medium.
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#15 Xuxan

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 01:28 PM

For tile -- the place on the corner of Juarez and 30 -- I can never remember the name -- carries a large assortment of machine made tile. If you want the beautiful hand baked ceramic stuff you need to travel to Playa and Cancun where some of the big national Mexican tile companies have local offices. terrajal is one and I'm sure other people will mention them.

I prefer the hand made tiles but they get very expensive unless you buy them from the mainland and from a larger company and in bulk. But the stuff they sell at that corner place is quite nice. Oh. Also check Boxitos (pronounced bow-SHE-toes) on Avenida 65 about 5 blocks north of the intersection with Calle 11 on the west side of the avenida. And there's another large building supply place I've not been to yet that's about 6 blocks or so north on Avenida 65 also and on the same side of the street. Both stores are super now for bathroom fixtures, track lighting and the like. I can't tell you what an improvement in stock there is now over what I had to choose from when I was building 11 years ago. Night and day.


Great! My husband and I thought we have to haul back lighting fixtures because with the limited amount of time spent on the island, we don't know what's out there or where to look for it. But our sentiments are in agreement that we're in Mexico, and bought a Mexicana home, and we will try to stay true to Mexican style.

Being new in town, I don't always know if the person, even if he / she has the best intention in trying to help us really knows what's going on. An example of this is that, are you ready?... we were told that there are only kinds of tiles that we will be able to purchase in Cozumel -- white tiles, or blue tiles!!

That prompted us to call in someone to redo the kitchen because blue in the kitchen makes it so dark! Besides, with mexican tile (the color of which is terra cotta) running throughout the floor of the entire house, where does the color blue came from? Ok, if the choices of tiles are restricted to just all white and all blue, one option to explore is granite! Sticker shock aside, not having a resonably priced solution does beg one to question whether granite is expensive because of the lack of other choices, or is granite simply expensive? So it is great to know that there are actually 'other' tile stores!! Thanks for the info.
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#16 Coz2wonder

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 02:58 PM

I tried to post pic's of my cabinets, but alas didn't work. Mine are solid pine and have been perfect for the past 7 years.

I would bring down with you all hinges, door handles, knobs, anything brass, or coated from the states. Also, bring down "door closers" which will insure your screen doors do not slam shut.

Door stops are also a good items to bring down as well.

If interested in the pic's shoot me an email: islandgirl@ecozumel.net
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#17 Kandy

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 03:01 PM

The place Carey is talking about at 30 and Juarez is Interceramic.
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#18 Xuxan

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 04:28 PM

I tried to post pic's of my cabinets, but alas didn't work. Mine are solid pine and have been perfect for the past 7 years.

I would bring down with you all hinges, door handles, knobs, anything brass, or coated from the states. Also, bring down "door closers" which will insure your screen doors do not slam shut.

Door stops are also a good items to bring down as well.

If interested in the pic's shoot me an email: islandgirl@ecozumel.net



Yes, just sent you an email.
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#19 Xuxan

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 04:34 PM

The place Carey is talking about at 30 and Juarez is Interceramic.





My husband just called from Cozumel and I asked him to go to the Forum and jot down the info. Thanks.
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#20 Jim912

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 05:07 PM

My husband just called from Cozumel and I asked him to go to the Forum and jot down the info. Thanks.



We have bought a good bit of tile from Interceramic and my tile guy much prefers it to other places in town. The showroom is on Juarez at 30th just across the street from the Pemex gas station.

And they have a lot more than just blue and white tile. Lots of accent pieces as well as various sizes.
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