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Architect - General Contractor In Merida


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#21

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Posted 11 June 2011 - 12:04 PM

Sorry to hear about your problems with Victor Cruz! As I indicated earlier in this post we used Victor and we were very satified with the work & any follow-up. When he did make a mistake, which were very few he assumed responsibility and the additional cost of fixing the problem. I think the three main things folk have to remember when selecting an Architect is making sure you like their sytle, put everything in writing and most importantly is good communication on a very regular basis.

Thanks,
Beachdog



We agree with Beachdog about Victor Cruz’s work, his work ethic, and his conscientiousness in making things right. Victor has worked with us over the past few years in renovating different parts of our house in Centro. We have been very happy with his design work, the projects he undertook have always been completed in a timely manner, and we have been very pleased with the end results. Victor is very creative and it is important to him to achieve the best result that the situation presents. As one would expect, he is very busy but he is generous with his time when he has it! He has always kept his promises to us and sometimes more.



#22 Bookworm

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 11:06 AM

We also used Victor Cruz as an architect and he finished off the final 5 per cent of construction at our beach house.
He began work in late Oct. The original completion date was set by him for Dec. 29. That date came and went, with the work barely begun. So did the next firm completion date at the end of March. When we visited the villa in July, we discussed a new, early Sept. completion date, with VERY onerous penalties to which he agreed.
That date came and went, too, although the project was finally wrapped up within another week or two. So Victor was almost nine months over due on a mini project.
Although his prices were generally on the high end, anyway, we found that some of them were completely off-the-dial. For example, we were charged almost $400US to have five interior doors and their frames painted.
The quality of all the work done by Victor and his crew was first rate and he was quick to make good on anything that wasn't up to his or our standards.
Our conclusions - which I point out might be out-of-date now since the work was completed three years ago - are:
* We would hesitate to use Victor for beach construction, since he was unable to complete the work within a reasonable time frame. He told us himself that was because he was having real difficulty getting reliable crews out to the beach to do the work.
Again, this all happened three years ago and things may now be different, but using him on the beach, I would first ensure that he had his own beach construction crew.
* Set very clear and stringent penalties that kick in if he does not complete the project on time. Even in town, Victor seems to have gained a bit of a reputation for playing really fast and loose with deadlines.
* Compare prices, since he tends to be on the high, high side.
Otherwise, Victor Cruz is a very good, careful architect and builder and a good interior designer who also helped us find furniture and antiques for our beach house.
Another option to consider is to contact architects who work out at the beach all the time, such as Victor Carillo and Ingrid Peon, a husband / wife team.
They have done work for us and have always been right on time and on budget. The quality of the work has been high and the prices were very reasonable. Their crew is also highly skilled and creative, as are Victor and Ingrid, who are a real pleasure to work with.
They did a spectacular privacy fence for us designed from piping - it looks like a piece of sculpture - and we were blown away at the level of skill and professionalism of their concrete workers. All very top notch and done on time to the day and almost the hour. They and their crew are that good and that mindful of your timelines.
Good luck in your search . . .

#23 CasiYucateco

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 01:08 PM

Would love to see a pic of that privacy fence / sculpture. Creative solutions to problems are one of the really fun things about Mexico!
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#24 Trent

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Posted 10 July 2011 - 03:44 PM

Victor Cruz (Estilo Arquitectura, Estilo Yucatan) is very expensive but talented at making designs on a computer.
They aren`t always the type of designs the client requests. I don´t think they´re overly practical in general, but some of his clients rave about Victor´s work. Unfortunately, I hear far more complaints about Victor Cruz´s work and some are very serious ! It´s too bad the unhappy clients aren´t more open about their negative experiences, so as to save others from Victor Cruz´s financial "hazing".

If you get access to Victor Cruz`s site, you´ll see some facades that you´ll probably recognize. There will also be houses where only the back is displayed, which may be one of Victor Cruz´s botch jobs.

I heard a client near MEL was happy with Victor despite some wiring problems. Some Canadians on Calle 62, Merida, had problems with roof leaks. A house on 47A had many problems which Victor didn´t solve. Other workers solved them, and the owner used a different architect for his next project. Two fellows named Eric and Robert used a differentarchitect for their next project. Victor did a poor job on work on Calle 45 and another architect was then brought in. An editor of a local site started out with Victor Cruz, but finished with a different architect.
Some one with apartments on Calle 66 was furious about the roof leaks Estilo Yucatan/ Estilo Arquitectura left.

I wonder that there aren`t other problems I haven´t heard of.

Whichever builder you hire, I recommend checking them out(including former names of their company) at
the tall government building on Calle 62A (there´s only one block, you can`t miss it). It´s a couple of blocks from CableMas` main Merida office.

#25 Beachdog

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Posted 13 July 2011 - 09:25 PM

I am not sure that all of "Lurker's" data is correct! I know Eric and Rob and they were happy with Victor's work. Their next project was with another Architect because Eric works with the Real Estate firm that this Architect also works at. Additionally, the comment about "fleecing" customers I think that is a relative term! No doubt Victor Cruz is not cheap on mexican standards but much cheaper than NOB. Yes, a general contractor with do the job much cheaper but you better have your own design or concept and have it specified to the tee! Otherwise you might get something you wish you didn't. We had our roof redone by Victor Cruz during our renovation and yes we had a couple of leaks but within a couple days Victor had the fixed.
As I have mentioned in my earlier post, Victor Cruz might not be for everyone due to his design style and in many cases his design might be considered "non- fuctional". I really think it depends on your own taste and life style.
My advice is do your homework, find someone that meets your style and some you can communicate with! We worked for 6 months with Victor Cruz before signed a contract and before renovation begun. The time delay was well worth the time spent.

Thanks!
Beachdog

#26 PapaCaliente

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Posted 17 July 2011 - 05:40 PM

I can verify Beachdog's comments. My wife and I were in Merida to look at homes in January 2011 with Realtor Eric. He highly recommended Victor Cruz at that time.

One name that I have not seen is Alvaro Ponce. His style is very traditional and true to the Spanish colonial design from what I have seen of his work. The price for design is MXN $350/M2 and includes separate plans for lighting, plumbing, electrical, sanitary sewer, and special installations. The design is also available in 3D so you can see what you are paying for before it is built. He is not associated with a construction firm but will advise you on General Contractors (GC) or can be hired as a Construction Manager (CM) to oversee your project while you are not in the area. By chance, I was sitting next to a gentleman on the plane who had renovated a number of properties in Centro, as well as his hacienda, using Alvaro and he fully endorsed him.
Papa Caliente

#27 PQ1269

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 11:19 AM

We are in the process of rehabbing in Merida right now. We are using http://www.konstruarq.com/ , two young guys by the name of Roger Reyes and David Alonso. You can see the progress on my blog at http://ontomerida.blogspot.com/ . So far everything has gone great. We have worked with them since 2008... but had to delay our start because of the economy. We have conference calls via skype and they send photos. Our property manager, Arturo Novelo stops in once a week and checks out everything for us. We interviewed several architects and chose these guys.

#28 whazzoo

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 11:50 AM

So far everything has gone great. ...


Just checked your pics and it would appear that the re-bar is not treated with a rust proofing agent. Maybe that is not important in Merida, but in coastal areas it is a must. Rusting rebar expands and allows more moisture in and eventually the object in question loses all structural integrity. It might be something you should ask about.

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#29 CasiYucateco

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 11:31 PM

It's been more than a dozen years ago, but we had some construction work done and the rebar was lightly rusty. The contractor was unconcerned about it. I did some research and found something from a US "concrete construction institute" or some such place. Their scientific studies had found that the oxidized iron actually formed a chemical reaction with the curing concrete and was a stronger bond than non-rusted rebar. So, they said not to worry about it. In the states, you will often see street and highway construction using lightly rusted rebar grids before the concrete is poured in. And the highways are subject to salt in the winter... so, I don't know.

In Yucatan, we've seen workers somewhat haphazardly wire brush rusty rebar, paint it with cheap primer (and call it anti-oxidant), and then use it in construction. Seems like the poorly applied primer would simply flake off within the concrete as it does when left in the open. I don't know.

Personally,
I don't know enough to say what is right about rusted rebar and otherwise. Just passing on some of our own concerns and subsequent findings long ago.

Likely, if there are problems, they are much worse in coastal areas due to the eventual penetration of salt. The original pier in Progreso was built using expensive stainless steel rebar. So, that's evidence for Whazzoo's point. That was back in the days when the local officials where oriented to long range planning and lasting projects, rather than the "quick! make-a-buck" extension of the pier formed by simply blasting rock and dumping thousands of truckloads into the sea, diverting the currents and being much uglier. Nothing against Mexico: governments everywhere are taking the short term view of projects these days, rather than building long term lasting projects.
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#30 whazzoo

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 09:10 AM

"...It's been more than a dozen years ago, but we had some construction work done and the rebar was lightly rusty. ..."


Sorry Casi, but you may want to read these links on rust expansion in concrete.

NOTE: beach areas are more critical due to the salt environment, the other important point is the cement has to be made with fresh water and non ocean sands to avoid trapping chlorides against the steel right from the beginning.

Chloride induced corrosion


Corrosion by Chloride penitration


The concrete society pages


Metal corrosion in concrete


Concrete Delamination Caused by Steel Reinforcement Corrosion


Whazzoo

Aerocretos de Mexico, S. de R.L. de C.V.

General Contractors

999-273-0840 www.aerocretosdemexico.com 999-955-0503

 

 


#31 CasiYucateco

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 06:28 PM

I really don't intend to argue over this because it is far outside my expertise, but I believe it may be the issue is allowing salt - chloride - to continually penetrate the concrete and affect the rebar vs whether the rebar has a small amount of surface rust to start with.

This was around a dozen years ago when I looked into it and the Internet wasn't anything like it is today. But it was something like this that I found from a professional concrete group's advice (on paper, not online) years ago:

Some Rust on Rebar Is Acceptable The ASTM standard specification for deformed steel reinforcement and the Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute (CRSI) Manual of Standard Practice both give the same information: Reinforcing bars with rust, mill scale, or a combination of both should be considered as satisfactory, provided the minimum dimensions, weight, and height of deformation of a hand-wire-brushed test specimen are not less than the applicable ASTM specification requirements. This inspection criteria recognizes studies that have shown mill scale and rust enhance the bond between concrete and steel.


Anyway, I'm fully prepared to be wrong. That's the professional advice I received by mail about a dozen years ago in the USA. Probably if you keep your roof impermibilizanted and your walls painted, the salt should not get in and should not help corrode the reinforcing further, provided the concrete is solid and not allowing air and water to reach the steel.

However, I am NOT an engineer, metals specialist, chemist, or beach-front contractor. So, I'm fine if I'm wrong. I only mean to suggest that there is varying information out there and maybe we don't need to stress over it.

Cement and Concrete Research
This paper presents the results of a preliminary study in which the effect of the initial rusting on the corrosion behavior of rebars embedded in concrete has been investigated. Concrete specimens were made with pre-rusted and rust free rebars of different compositions. Two concrete mixes, one with a sodium chloride content of 2 kg/m3 of concrete and the other without any sodium chloride were used. The reinforced concrete specimens, immersed in potable water and then transferred to 5% NaCl solution, were subjected to corrosion monitoring for a period of 10 months. The test results indicate that the initial rusting does not have an adverse effect on the corrosion resistance of rebars embedded in concrete.


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#32 PaulBe

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Posted 25 August 2011 - 08:20 PM

Not all home restorations need the use of an architect. When we had our home restored we used a constuction crew supplied by our realator. The house was liveable but not to the standard we wanted. We did not need any designs or needed any "wow" factor. We had the wiring and plumbing redone,A/C installed, new tiles throughout the house, counters installed, bathrooms redone, re-roofed, walls resurfaced, upstairs patio, backyard landscaped (later we added a pool)and painted. All for less than $17,000.00 u.s. No monies needed to pay to an architect. Of course that was 8 years ago and material and wages have gone up, but still we did not use a high priced architect and we love our home. We have just contracted the city to resurface the facade as part of the program offered by the city and INAH. We pay for the materials and half the labor cost. The city provides the crew and pays the other half of the labor costs.


It sounds like you made a wise decision ! If you had wanted some "wow factor", you could've had
an interior designer instead of an architect, of course.

#33 Hailey

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 03:38 PM

I´d like to know which of Lurker´s Data Beachdog feels is incorrect ?




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