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Bathroom sink area.

Los Barriles, Baja - El Torote Casita Construction

October 2020 - March 2021:  Construction of the Casita

We purchased this property in 2019 to protect the view from El Torote - Casa De La Montaña. Along with our Architect/Builder Manolo, we designed a really cool casita that we absolutely love! 

The way that we positioned the casita on the lot also gives us the ability to build a house or another casita next to this casita.  We would also have room to add a swimming pool!

The casita is about 750 sq feet.  1 bedroom, 1 bathroom, full size kitchen, and a living room that will also serve as a garage when we leave for the season.   During the season, furniture will be inside the living room and when we leave, we will push the furniture against the walls and store a vehicle, UTV, or ATV inside ; )

These are the architectural renderings of the casita.  They are not completed, but give a good idea on what the final product will look like.

Construction Begins - October 2020

We broke ground on the construction of the casita in Los Barriles the week of October 26, 2020.  Yeah!  Each Friday our builder (Manolo Romero Garate) sent us pictures of the progress.  Since we spent most of our winter living in the house next door, we were able to watch the construction process and what a great job our builder and his workers did!

The houses down here are built all out of cinder block and concrete, even the roof!  All of the conrete is hand mixed and poured by the workers. 

Also, Manolo's workers live in tents on site so they work sun up to sun down.  They are able to complete the construction quicker this way.

The lot before construction begins. You can see our other house on the far right

Running the conduit for the electrical.

Septic system located at the front of the property.

The rooms are starting to take shape.

After pouring the roof, the overhang or eyebrows were poured.

Starting to pull wires for the electrical.

The lot is cleared and marking the footprint of the casita

Laying out the rebar and wire to begin the block and concrete work

Footings have been dug, poured, foundation is being poured.

The walls start to go up! 

Notice in the background a cinderblock room? This is the temporary bathroom over the septic tanks.

Under ground 5,000 liter cistern which will be fed from city water.

Cistern covered with concrete, the opening will be a metal access lid.

As the walls go up, the electrical conduit is continued.

Pouring the roof concrete!

Once the concrete roof is dry/cured, the plywood on the underside will be removed.  As will the beams holding up the plywood.

We had not planned for a window in this spot, but after the walls and roof were up, I decided I wanted to add a window in the kitchen.  So...they cut one our for me ; )

Electrical spots are marked to make sure nothing is missed.  This is also the time to add additional outlets or make changes to electrical.

Electrical box and wiring.

Starting to stucco the outside.  This is from the hillside looking at the bedroom, bathroom.

On the left is the bedroom.  Middle area is the kitchen. 

This is the living room/garage.  Most of this side of the house will be windows, glass doors so it still looks a little undone.

Living room, garage.  On the end will be Parota wood garage doors. 

Notice the big white bags on the left?  Those are concrete.  There is a TON of concrete and rebar in this casita.

Full front view of the casita.

Bedroom on the left.

Kitchen in the center.

Living room/garage on the right.

Back of the casita bathroom wall being stuccoed.  We put no windows on the back side of the casita so it would provide privacy for the casita and our house, swimming pool next door.

A workers tent on the roof, what a great view of the water ; )

Running PVC water lines and hooking it up to the cistern.


One of our favorite cows stopping by for a drink.  The workers keep this 55 gallon drum full of water to easily mix the concrete, so cows love having a water trough ; )

Starting to stucco the inside walls.  This is part of the living room and looking into the kitchen.

Notice the windows at the top of the kitchen walls for added light.

This is the kitchen.  This wall will have fridge, stove, counters, etc.

Looking from the kitchen into the living room/garage.

When we are gone for the season, we will park car, UTV, or ATV in the garage.  When are come for the season, we will move the vehicles out and arrange the furniture inside.

Panoramic view of the living room and kitchen.

This is the view from the bedroom.  Will have corner windows and sliding doors.

Bedroom.  View looking into the hallway that goes to the closet and bathroom.

Large walk in closet with a window at the top for added light.

Paint primer starting in the kitchen!  This is the window that I had added.

Living room/garage. 

Manolo's son Jean Carlo is painting the inside/outside of the casita.  Jean Carlo did an EXCELLENT job of painting!!!

Large walk in shower with fixed window, opening window, shelf and bench.

Shower bench.


Kitchen looking outside to our lot.


View from inside the bedroom.


Two coats of primary are completed inside the house.  Now Jean Carlo will begin priming the outside of the house.

Notice that we have also had concrete patio and steps poured in front of each door area.

Living room/garage and patio and driveway.

Bedroom with patios on the front and side.

Bedroom on the left.

Kitchen in the middle.

Living room/garage on the right.

Another view from the edge of our property line.

This entrance will have a 1/4 and 3/4 split door to serve as the man door into the casita and also the garage door into the casita.

Back of the casita with a door that goes into the hallway.  Adding steps at the back patio.  Also, septic lines and the small square boxes are cleanouts.

Backdoor steps.

Interior paint colors almost completed. 

The gold color is called High Plateau and is one of my favorite.  It has been in 2 Boise, 2 McCall, and now 3 Baja homes!

Jean Carlo and I discussing accent paint colors.

I choose the colors and loved them.  Except...the red... Manolo, Jean Carlo, Craig and myself were not sure about this color combination.  We decided to keep it until after the tile floors were installed to see how it looked.

Different time of day, lighting and angle.

The floor tiles are being laid.  We choose a slate looking tile.  And..after getting the tile down, we decided the red paint had to go.  We changed it to an orange which you will see in later pictures.

Kitchen area tile.

Bedroom tile.  We are extending all of the interior tile to the outside patios and steps.

Back patio and step tile.

This is the shower wall and floor tile.  Everything is still dusting, so the tile pictures do not do justice until they are cleaned up.

Windows and glass sliding doors are going in!  This is the living room/garage.  They custom build the frames, window, and screens to fit any size you want.

Bedroom windows and sliding doors.

Along with the windows and sliding doors, we added a metal eyebrow or awning over the kitchen patio area.

In the left picture, notice me sitting on the patio?  What am I looking at?

In the middle picture, far that a cow tail and rear end?

Yep, I am watching to cows forage for cement bags and cardboard to eat.  Silly little brats! 

Since our lot is not fenced yet and Baja is open range, we have two herds of cows that come up our road every night to bed down.  One set is Saga and her merry maids and babies.  And then this set.  Along the way they like to stop and visit and beg for organic waste.  And...forage in anyone's trash which they especially like cardboard and concrete bags.  Manolo's workers have now moved off site so many nights while eating dinner or watching a movie we hear 'rustling' in the casita.  We then run over to the casita and shoo them out of the inside.  One evening, Craig found Saga in the toilet room with her head buried in a garage bag munching away.  If they were not so damn cute, we would get upset at them ; )  However, we save all organize waste and feed them...outside on the road away from our house!

Kitchen cabinets are getting installed!

Something that was really cool is that we designed the cabinet layout and worked with the cabinet maker so all cabinets and doors are custom built for the casita.

Now the kitchen doors, granite countertops, and sink!

Bedroom walk in closet.

Bathroom sink and cabinet area.  The toilet room is off to the right.

Bedroom door.

The lighting is getting installed!

Power monument is installed.

Power is hooked up and working!

One of the things that got held up on the house was the tile for the wall that goes through the center of the house.  This wall is tile on the inside and outside of the house.

Final touches being completed!

The casita is completed and ready to be setup! 

I was out of town so Craig and his mom Russett put together the furniture and moved it in.

Kitchen with full size appliances.

This is the pantry on the opposite all of the kitchen sink.

Russsett relaxing in the living room after all of her hard work.

Living room/garage area.  Notice the orange color painted around the garage doors.  This was the final color that we ended up with.

Below are a variety of pictures of the finished casita from March 2020.  At this point, we have put a wire fence around the property.  We will hold off on a solid permanent wall and any landscaping until we decide what our future plans are with the casita.  The casita is now ready for family and friends!

Remember we made this a living room/garage?  Well...when we leave for the season, we push the furniture off to the sides and park the UTV and ATV in the living room/kitchen area.  And... we are able to plug them into a trickle charger   ; )  It works great!!!

Updated:  October 2021

We arrived in Los Barriles during the month of October 2021 and have been enjoying guest staying with us this season.  We are slowly outfitting the casita when we find pieces that are perfect!

Thanks for following along on our Baja construction adventures!

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