The Fast Demolition

Great news! After 6.5 months of waiting, we finally received word on February 20 that city hall had approved the Pilgrim House renovation project and had issued building permits. Hurray! Our team celebrated with a Spanglish mix of empanadas, angel food cake, strawberries, and aerosol whipped cream (how can anyone not like that stuff?).

Santiago’s city hall – building permits come from here:

2014-02-22 10.54.19

On February 26, Jeremy and I met with our builder. He had given us a remodeling estimate months ago, and we’d been waiting for the permits to come through before we could sign a contract with him. Well, at this meeting – the meeting where we thought we might sign the contract – he shocked us with the news that he was going to retire on February 28, just 2 days away. To say we were a bit flummoxed would be an understatement.

The good news was he’d already lined up another builder, and the new builder came over within the hour to meet with us. His name was Jesús Pascual, literally translated as Jesus Easter, which seemed fitting. Pascual was actually slated to work on another project but that project was also waiting for building permits, so he was free to direct our renovations in the meantime. It was amazing timing all around – that we were able to meet with the first builder before he retired, and that we were able to get Jesús Pascual in his downtime. Jeremy signed the contract with Pascual last Friday, February 28, and this Monday his team of builders started demolition. Wow! Between February 20 and March 3 we received our building permits, signed a building contract, and witnessed the start of demolition. I don’t think we’ve ever been part of such a fast-moving process in all our years in Spain.

The front room when we first found Pilgrim House:


The front room today:

2014-03-06 10.46.16

The back room before demolition:

Pilgrim House The Back Room

The back room yesterday:

Renovations Back Room

We remain grateful for all the milestones we’ve seen on this long journey, and I’ll try to post more photos of the renovations as they happen. Thanks for the encouragement you all have given to our team, both on FB and over email – we cherish it all!


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