We hired Orlando, who lives in the Atenas area. He used to work for our neighbors before they moved away and he helped out at our first art show (Atenas Painters Association) so we knew him.
We told Orlando the work we wanted done, negotiated a price (not an hourly rate) and he started two days later. He showed up when he said he would, and provided everything he needed (scaffold, ladder, cleaning supplies, brushes, mops, etc.). The only extras we purchased were lightbulbs and window screening (about $20 USD).
Here is what we had done:
- Gutters cleaned (especially important here because we do not want standing water where the dengue carrying mosquitoes can breed).
- Entire outside of house washed, including all the wood on the underside of the overhanging roof.
- Outside perimeter tiled areas and patio area scrubbed and cleaned.
- Five inside fabric Roman blinds - they were removed and taken to Orlando's home where his wife cleaned them. Believe me, that must have been hard work because they were stained with mold and water marks and she returned them sparkling white.
- All inside floors scrubbed and cleaned.
- All inside walls washed and cleaned.
- Wood ceilings washed and cleaned. Our ceilings are very high and this is where the scaffold came in. All the wood was cleaned and polished by hand.
- Leaking faucet in shower repaired.
- Water in toilet was constantly running and he fixed it.
- Orange tree pruned and all the suffocating vines on the tree canopy removed. Now the tree is open and receives sun and moisture. Orlando is returning in a month to remove any vines that have started to regrow.
- All basura (garden trash) removed. This included piles of palm leaves at the back of the property and up a hill. The best way to reach them was to machete a path through the bougainvillea from the road. For this job, Orlando brought in a fellow with a big truck and it took two loads.
- Replace three window screens.
- Replace lightbulbs - a lot of the lighting is very high up and neither of us want to climb up a ladder. I went to the hardware store for the bulbs and screening with everything written out in Spanish for me by Orlando.
- All windows cleaned inside and out.
- Four ceiling fans cleaned.
An interesting cultural tidbit: it was me they came to when they had questions, not Lance. So I heard a lot of "Diana, Diana, Diana". We figure this is because women are seen to be in charge of the household, not the men. Lance was the money man but I ruled the roost. I didn't mind - I'm so indispensible!
We highly recommend Orlando - he can do anything and, as he says, if he can't do it he knows someone who can. His attitude is so positive and he works nonstop. Orlando's phone number is 8590-5819.
Here's Orlando and me - in the background is Orlando's helper and the fellow with the garden waste removal truck.
Orlando and his helper cleaning the ceilings:
Pruning the orange tree:
The vines that were strangling the orange tree:
The beautiful wood ceilings after being cleaned:
Outdoor ceilings after cleaning:
Everything was cleaned, even the small louvered windows:
Drying the floors: