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  • Writer's pictureKanani Fong

We are nothing without our teams: Structure

Updated: Dec 19, 2023

The Writer's Guild strike, and then the Screen Actor's Guild strikes starting in May, gave us a chance to catch up with much needed repairs and touch base with so many of the contractors who have helped make Casa Otra Vez the safe, secure place that many in the industry call home. Jerry Cannady, who up until the strike worked building sets, came in to refinish the stairs, Claudio Monarrez and his wife Abbie came in and painted. We replanted, cleaned out, put in a new range, and waited for the film industry to come back. During this time, we also added a new sister for Casa Otra Vez, one that many in the film industry also adore, the newly named Casa 801.

For those looking on the outside, wondering what all goes on when owning a corporate rental, it boils down to 2 words: Constant Rejuvenation! When you have a corporate rental, the need for repainting, cleaning, and repairs to the infrastructure are ongoing. It's not only making sure that there's enough toilet paper, or the towels are looking fresh, it's big stuff like installing new skylights, jack hammering old concrete to put new driveways down and other big things. (There's also the business end of things, but we'll cover that another time).

We worked diligently to get approvals from the HOA, while assembling a new team. Anthony was retiring, so Eduardo Legarda and his Crewstructions crew descended upon an imposing but slightly dog-eared property. We chose a target time frame -less than 30 days, as we hoped that the strike would come to an end (it had been 5 months). Eduardo's team knew exactly what to do, but as with all reno jobs, didn't know what they'd find. Electrical, fixing holes left in the garage ceiling, tearing up the old deck, checking and re-sealing the TPO liner on the roof, fixing the gas fireplace, replacing a door, painting, and the biggie: Restuccoing.

Yes, in New Mexico, they don't paint their houses, they re-stucco them. If the house is adobe, chances are it has concrete stucco, which cracks, wears, and fades after 20-30 years. Because of the adobe, it needs a breathable layer, hence, concrete stucco instead the new acrylic latex stuccos they have today. However, if a house was built in a certain era, even if it wasn't adobe, they still used concrete stucco. Hence,the house had concrete stucco that was worn so thin on the parapets that there was a real chance of moisture damaging the walls. There were patches of stucco that were a different color and texture added over the years. So it was a nod to El Rey's synthetic stucco in Buffalo (one of 2 colors allowed by the HOA). On a Friday at 3 PM the stucco team came, and worked all weekend. They were done by 12 PM Sunday! With all the work inside and out completed (a garden will be planted in the spring), the house was move-in ready for the new client. Fortunately, the strike came to an end, and the film industry moved back into the newly refreshed house two weeks ago. We're grateful for our teams. We've assembled a reliable core of people who show up and always do much much more than we expected. We are nothing without our teams!

Left: The stucco team moved in quickly with scaffolding, and sealed up the doors and windows. They also sealed me inside, as I was sorting and organizing in the house! I had to bust out of the sealed door. Center: The stucco team finishing up the last of the walls. Right: Eduardo and Jesus. Eduardo led, and was incredible through the whole renovation.

Left: Some of the old stucco. Center: Taking up the Trex deck upstairs to get rid of 5 years of accumulated leaves and to check out the condition of the TPO. (It was good). Right: The framework of the Trex deck.

Left: The front door and windows. Newly restuccoed walls. Center: The house, newly restuccoed. The landscaping had to be cut back. There was ivy growing on the walls, as well as into the trees.

Right: The portal's vigas and latillas were all powerwashed for hours, re-tightened or replaced, then refinished.

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