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Mary Ann's Tropical Building Page

Construction of the Beachfront Residence

 Updated: July 2004.

This is the main house of our property, the one that we built for ourselves, the one on the actual beachfront.

Now that the project is completed (well, almost), we call the property "Bella Mare" . You can see many more pictures on the Bella Mare web site:

Some Views of the Finished House

front door

entry area

finished kitchen

bath garden

Construction Reports From Start to Finish

Start clearing building site

Excavating, trying to plan a pool

Foundations and Cisterns

Slabs and foundations, wooden floors

Insteel Walls Vs Concrete Block Walls

Guest Bedroom/Living Room Roofed

Roofing the main house

Roofing the master bedroom

Roofing the porches

Curved ceiling, eyebrow, ...

Windows, garden courtyard

Curved window box

Start the pool

Window/door frames

Faces of workers

Pool walls

Pool details

Cabinet work

Wooden floors

Generator building, master bath, pump room

Hurricane shutters

A new living room added

Finishing details

Living room doors and windows

Vanishing edge, wood work


Coralstone, Concrete Sconces, Color Stucco

Tile Work

Painting - More Color


Awning Windows and Rectractable Awning

Bathrooms and bath gardens

The Pool Is Done

The Kitchen is Functioning

Front Door, Doors/Windows, Cisterns

Housewarming Party

Welcoming pictures

In the pool at sunset

Final Kitchen, Issues of Large Openings

The Original House Plans

View of the House from the Beach Side

[beach view]

In the view above, you can see that the most public spaces are to the right (living room, pool, outdoor dining) leading to the existing gazebo and the beach access. The most private space is to the left (east) in the master bedroom suite which is up a few steps, has a private veranda.

The structure to the right of the master bedroom contains two studies and a kitchen. Next comes a swimming pool and then the living room pavillion, which can also be a guest villa, since it has a full bathroom.

Dining will be outside in various places, or inside the living room pavillion in bad weather.

North (Beach) and East Elevations

[Beach side elevation]

The house is basically one room thick, allowing every room a view and a breeze. Starting from the left, the elevation above shows:

  1. The Master suite. For privacy, visitors will be discouraged from visiting this suite by a long hallway, doors, and a stairway.
  2. A small connecting hallway between the master suite and the kitchen, also containing powder room and small laundry. [Note: during construction we sacrificed the laundry and created a full bath. This allows either or both studies to be used as bedrooms.]
  3. Mary Ann's waterfront study with bay window and doors that can open wide onto the porch. Could also be used as a dining room or TV room. Behind this study and across the hall is a second study for Bob, which could also be a bedroom.
  4. A porch between the study and the kitchen.
  5. An arbor outside kitchen for outdoor dining table. There are also other dining locations behind the kitchen (out of the wind), down by the waterfront on a patio, and in the living room pavillion.
  6. An L-shaped swimming pool that wraps around the living room veranda.
  7. The Living Room pavillion, which can also double as spare accomodations for guests who are either too young or too old to survive in our separate guest villa.
  8. Just in front of the right side of the living room is the Gazebo and there are decks connecting the gazebo, pool and kitchen area.
[East side elevation]

The elevation from the east side shows the height of the master suite relative to the rest of the living area. What it doesn't show is that the living area is 26" above the floor of the gazebo.

The Main House Floor Plan

Updated April 2000

[Main house floor plan]

Imagine you are entering the floor plan show above. The visitor's entry is from the south and road side (bottom of the plan). You will enter near the pool through a garden. You are immediately back outside in our courtyard with a view of the ocean and of the sandy beach over the pool.

To the left is the living room. To the right is the arbored dining area, the kitchen, and a porch on the waterfront. Further to the right inside the building are the two studies and up some stairs is the master suite. The master bath has a walled garden off it.

If you walk straight ahead through the courtyard and down a few stairs, you reach the beach gazebo and then the sand beach.

Site Influences

The property is 210' wide at the waterfront and the house spreads across 2/3 of that (one room deep!).

The hot afternoon sun is on the West, the cooling breezes are from the Northeast and the East. There will someday be a neighbor house up hill to the East and there is already a restaurant to the West and closer to the water. The house looks straight out to sea and up a sand beach due North.

Detailed Example: Electrical

Here are the electrical details for the two studies and the kitchen.

[Typical electrical detail]

If you've ever looked at a North American electrical blueprint, this one will appear very cluttered. That's because the blueprint has to show every outlet and light and number the circuits. In North America you usually only indicate the lights and switch locations and the code determines the outlets and the electrician determines the circuits. Here in Anguilla we don't have licensed electricians, or electrical inspectors, or electrical codes. [Update: things are changing - we have inspectors now!]

And to top it off, the electrical is more difficult to install here due to the concrete construction. In a wood frame building, the electrician comes in after the framing is done and wires the whole house. All walls are exposed and little preplanning is needed during framing. With a concrete building, the electrical lines have to be laid in the floor before you pour the concrete!

Site Map: Links, Plans and Other Info

Latest News from our Construction Site

Progress Reports

Plans of the Technology Center

Plans of the Guest Cottage

Tropical Construction Bookstore

Links to Related Sites

Building Material Sources

Building Material Sources

Anguilla Real Estate

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Beach Shack Contact:

Mary Ann Green
Shoal Bay,
Anguilla, Eastern Caribbean
Bellamare Villa, Anguilla
Azu Villa, St Barts

Bellamare Villa:

Azu Villa: