On Sunday we had some pastors come by, to solicit help with their church construction project. I was on my way out the door when they arrived, since I had grocery shopping to do in Gracias, so I don’t know too much about these particular men, like where they were from, what denomination, etc. What I do know is what Allen told me about their project, and what a challenge it will be to put a roof on this church.
My challenge is to write on this topic, in spite of the fact that my knowledge of construction is limited, and in such a way that it will make sense to those who read this post.
The church owns a piece of land. The lot isn’t very large, and it isn’t square, or even rectangular. The decision was made (before we were involved) to build the church building as big as possible on this piece of land. Since we don’t have zoning issues like mandatory set-backs from the property line here in Honduras, the design and spacing of buildings can get interesting.
The walls of this very irregular building have already been constructed. I think they just measured in a foot or so from the property lines, and built the walls there. Imagine a rectangle, where the corners aren’t quite exactly 90 degrees. Then cut off a section of two opposite corners. One of those cut off bits is just a sliver, the other is a nice sized chunk. None of the resulting angles are 45 degrees, or even close – they’re all irregular. The larger cut off corner is the location of the road, running alongside the property. The other cut off corner butts up to a neighbor’s property. That’s the situation Allen has been handed.
Allen was able to visit the construction site on Monday, and he has already come up with what he thinks will be a workable, and not too awfully expensive, solution for this church. In this case, however, we won’t just be purchasing the materials for the roof construction. We’ll actually build this roof, as the math and angles and such for making this work are pretty complicated.
When we lived in the states, Allen designed houses, drew up his own plans, and then built them. The process of getting permits and following codes and having visits by building inspectors seemed burdensome and unnecessary, as Allen was very competent and wasn’t about to build a flawed structure. It’s been sort of nice, building in Honduras, not having to clear all of these hurdles – but now I’m starting to see the value in them. LOL