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About Rodrigo

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  • Birthday 05/20/1963

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  1. Con todo gusto, Eleanor.
  2. You are right, Eleanor. That is why I mentioned the preservative made in Ochomogo, because it is supposed to be friendly with Nature. I can't write the factory name here because I don't want ARCR thinks it is advertising, but I do can say you can search it as "chemical factory ochomogo cartago" and the factory name starts with X. According to the info they provide, once the chemical is applied to the wood, there is no risk for people or the environment because the chemical won't leave the treated material. You can ask them for any certification about it.
  3. Hi there. If you want your house made all in wood, your architect and your builder must apply a preservative to the material. It is against bugs, termites too, and antifungal. The method is very important. There are chemicals that you can apply by submerging the wood during at least several minutes in a container with the chemical diluted in water. Just painting the wood with the product could be not good enough. You can find the chemicals in the hardware stores depending on the factory and the supplier (a very reliable factory is located in Ochomogo, Cartago). I think it is the best way to prevent the most of the problems.
  4. Magnífico, Lucybelle y Epicatt, gracias por contribuir con sus opiniones y sugerencias. Te agradezco mucho, Epicatt, voy a probar "French in Action", Espero ser tan hábil utilizando el francés como tú lo haces con el español. ¡ Excelente progreso ! ¡ Hasta pronto !
  5. Para todos quiénes aprendemos otra lengua, diferente a la materna, el principal problema es no tener con quién practicar. Todos necesitamos oír, leer y repetir las frases más importantes, según el uso diario, para poder imitarlas correctamente, recordarlas cuando las necesitamos y poder construir nuestras propias expresiones. Si a tu alrededor no hay hablantes de esa lengua, o por tus ocupaciones no tienes posibilidad de conversar un buen rato con uno de ellos, lo otro es internet. Hay muchos cursos, videos, páginas, pero estas opciones implican sentarse un buen tiempo frente a la pantalla y no siempre es posible. Sin ser un misterio, con el mundo de los teléfonos inteligentes, las nuevas y variadas opciones incluyen las aplicaciones, las cuales pueden llenar esa necesidad de práctica. Lo que he encontrado malo, en varios casos, es que muchas son algo complicadas o confusas de usar, y eso desanima al usuario. Quiero nombrar unas cuantas, que personalmente, para tratar de mantener y mejorar mi inglés, y también para aprender francés, me han ayudado mucho y veo realmente provechosas. Las recomendables, según yo, son Duolingo, Mosalingua y 50 Languages. Puedes probar una o varias. Mi preferida es Duolingo. Su estructura permite varias cosas: escuchar, escribir y hablar en voz alta palabras y frases, progresando en niveles, y luego, para mantener tu nivel y mejorarlo, hay que repetir ejercicios de niveles anteriores, todo lo cual te hace practicar suficiente como para entender y hablar, y claro, escribir, en ese idioma, en este caso, para mejorar el Español. Cada práctica diaria toma de cinco a quince minutos, dependiendo de tu compromiso personal e interés por avanzar. Creo que quince minutos es un plazo razonable durante el día, que no te distrae mucho de tus actividades y negocios. Además, puede ser divertido. ¿Tienes alguna otra sugerencia? Porque con este mundo tecnológico en cambio constante, no dudo que cada vez existirán más alternativas y probablemente mucho más útiles. Te dejo la inquietud. Prueba una y me cuentas. Saludos.
  6. Hi, welcome and congrats. I would suggest you the installer I hired recently about the windows with aluminum frames for the house I am about to finish in Esterillos Oeste, 20 kilometer from Jacó, for a client. His name is Gerardo Quiros and his cell phone is 8986-1903. He lives in Parrita, 35 kilometers from Playa Hermosa, but he works all around Parrita and Jacó. He did a nice job for a reasonable price. He was very responsible about the work and the time involved. I am attaching some exterior and interior pictures about the house to show you the windows quality. I know he could provide the frameless shower door you are looking for. I don´t know if he speaks English because I hire local people, like him, for the projects I design and build for my customers and it is me who talk to my clients about the details they want to. I guess Gerardo could handle the conversation with you. Good luck and enjoy your new place among us.
  7. Hi there. The official fees according to CFIA (Colegio Federado de Ingenieros y Arquitectos de Costa RIca or Association of Engineers and Architects) are in total 10.5%, minimum, over the investment for building, including additions, but It is the usual percentage my clients and I agree about the work to do. I have to clarify that for renovations the fees are 50% more, according to CFIA. It includes the preliminary studies (a soil test, technical and legal viability depending on the nowadays regulations and laws, etc), the pre-design from the client`s ideas and needs, making the first architectural sketches from that to preper the final design or blueprints (the architecture, the structure, the plumbing and the electricity systems for the project), then, going for CFIA approval and the local municipalities permits. It is also included the technical supervision, once a week during the building time until it project is done, ready to be used. Besides of that 10.5%, you have to pay separately round 0.5% to CFIA for the approval plus 1% to the municipality for the permits. So, in total, you would pay around 12% for the these services and taxes. As another friend says, the good part is we, as registered members of CFIA, can report the average price for the project, which could be less than the final investment for real, so, you, as the onwer, would pay something less at the end. Once you have the blueprints done, you can ask for bids to differents builders, and, if the professional himself builds your project as well, which is the usual in my case with my customers, we, as the professionals, are allowed to offer a discount about these services to the clients because we are doing everything as a package. Ask your engineer or architect about it and I am pretty sure he or she would give you a fair price, as I usually do. I hope this extra info is good to make decisions for getting a nice and affordable project. Suerte y hasta pronto.
  8. Veo que este artículo es algo viejo, pero creo conveniente hacer un comentario al respecto. En años pasados, con el fin de evitar pagar impuestos de traspaso de propiedades, se acostumbró adquirir las acciones de sociedades solamente, de manera que indirectamente se pasaba a ser dueño de los inmuebles y bienes inscritos como de la sociedad correspondiente. Esto puede haber cambiado suceptiblemente, si se considera que desde hace 3 años las sociedades deben pagar el impuesto así llamado de sociedades, lo que implica un pago anual de alrededor de 200 mil colones (400 dólares), por lo que se debe evaluar entre sí adquirir el bien a titulo personal, con lo que solo pagaría el impuesto territorial anualmente o adquirir las acciones de la sociedad, con lo que se pagarían dos impuestos, el de la sociedad y el del inmueble, cada año. Entiendo que ahora es posible comprar incluso el 100% de las acciones (en el pasado era un requisito que un costarricense fuera parte de la sociedad con al menos un 50% de dichas acciones). Las únicas ventajas que veo ahora en eso son que la transferencia es más fácil a los herederos, pues heredan la propiedad, pero igual tienen que asumir todos los impuestos, y la otra es que, en caso de demandas legales, una sociedad está menos expuesta a que se embarguen sus propiedades que una persona física. En todo caso, un abogado puede dar más y mejor información para la toma de decisiones.
  9. Perhaps we, as ticos, would like to show our skills in English because we want to have a nice relationship with newcomers. I guess the most of the times we want to help and be polite just because is our nature, but I think you are right, guys, expressing your desire to lead the conversation in Spanish is the best way to learn, to practice and to get involved in our local culture. At the end it is just a matter of human relationship, isn´t it? The differences among cultural frames are not huge, I mean, the most of us like a nice weather, nice landscapes, tasty tropical food, including exquisite fruits, people to talk to and to share with, and this country, beyond our difficulties and defects, is a pretty good place to enjoy life. I suggest you to be honest and tell those people you are meeting that you would like to improve your Spanish skills. So, tell them: "Por favor, permitame tratar de hablar su lindo idioma. Es muy importante para mí. Corrijame para mejorar. Muchas gracias". Homework: look for the appropriate meaning of the sentence and practice it a lot.
  10. Hi again pals. Regarding to Steve`s post, there are several companies in CR that are selling systems for houses, to clean sewage for getting water for gardening. I am not allowed to write down the companies names due to ARCR Forums rules, but if you ask for "plantas de tratamiento de aguas residuales en Costa Rica" in the web, you would get some of those enterprises with systems that could meet your requirements and budget. You could ask them for details and bids in order to decide about installing one of them. Take into account that the most of these systems would need more room than usual for a small house that means more backyard than in average lots for housing. This is because they are based in tanks and filters that takes space there.
  11. Hi there, guys. Let´s say first that every home must have a septic tank and fields solution, or there is a conection to the public sewage system. Otherwise, the Ministry of Health would declare it as uninhabitable. Obviously, there could be a problem with the septic system, but it is usually easy to detect, because of the bad smells or problems while flushing. In these cases, it is a good idea to check the system. Then, it is necessary to pump out the septic tank, in a normal use, every 4 or 5 years, because the dregs have become a kind of mud and this mud is filling the tank. If you consider to pump it out earlier it could be because the fields are obstructed some way. If it not possible to fix the field, or you the system needs more, David´s comment is completely valid and it is necessary to check the whole system to determine if there is enough room for extra drainages.
  12. I do have experience with the septic tanks in the link. Indeed, the supplier calls it "fosa biológica". This kind of tank is mandatory for some municipality, like Coronado. The cost is around a 50% of the regular concrete blocks septic tank we usually design and build. Then, it is right, it depends of the kind of soil to decide about the drainages. For a very average soil, 24 meters long drainages should be good enough for a house where 6 people are living. Nevertheless, the ideal procedure would be asking for soil test, in order to know the capability of the stratums to hold the weight of buildings and its capability to absorb the residual waters from the tank. There is also a manual procedure to measure how fast the waters would go through and then calculating the proper length of the drainages in a field. You can find it in the website of Colegio Federado de Ingenieros de Costa Rica (CFIA); its name is "prueba de infiltración" (it is just in Spanish, sorry). It is a technical procedure to do on the land with formulas for calculating the results and maybe someone would like to try it.
  13. I can see all the suggestions here are very wise. I would add that you should decide, first, what your investment would be and, according to this, you can decide about what level you would finish the house in order to be able to afford it and still living with mínimum comfort. As costaricafinca said, pay attention to the conditions in the property where you are planning to build. A soil test would be ideal. For instance, a client me asked to check a lot he would like to buy and according to the soil test, the first 6 feet were soft soil (clayey silt soil), so there would be necessary to build a rigid concrete slab as foundations or building concrete stakes to hold the house`s weight, in short, there were extra expenses, not included in his budget, to pay, even considering a stock house design. An engineering solutions should be make to have unexpensive costs it possible. Many other factors should be taken into account: pluvial drainages, septic tank and its drainages location in the lot, the property`s slope, etc. Is it so complicated? I should say your investment and your mind peace deserve studying those details, specially if you are at the very beginning, specially if you are considering to buy the land first. Buena suerte en tu decisión.
  14. Hi there. Just adding a brief info, I guess you are talking about housing building permits. If we were talking about other kinds of projects, you should consider extra requirements, for instance for condos, apartments, offices´ building, restaurants. But talking about housing projects, since some time ago, there is a unified simpler process before CFIA (Colegio Federado de Ingenieros y de Arquitectos de Costa Rica, that is the architectural and engineering bureau in the country). In the old times, you had to go even to INVU, the housing institution, then to CFIA, then to the Ministerio the Salud (the bureau in charge of health), and finally to the local municipality. Now, your architect or engineer presents the design (the blueprints) directly to CFIA; there, all the institutions involved check the design and give the approval, so you can go the the local municipality to get the building permits. This process, that now is digital too (sending the blueprints by email), is saving a lot of time. You have to pay the professional´s fees, plus around 0.3% for CFIA´s approval and 1% for the municipality permits, according to the general investment for the work. But be careful in deciding how big your house would be, because if it is more than 300 square meters (3230 square feet), the municipality could ask for SETENA (the national environmental department)´s approval, that is an extra cost and could take from one more to a half year or more, according to the project´s complexity. For instance, in one client´s case in Guanacaste, whose house was a 4000 sf residence, it took two months to get that approval and he had to pay 1200 USD more, but he wanted his house that large. So, I suggest to discuss with your architect or engineer about your needs and if it is necessary or not to get more than 3230 sf for the total area, in order to save time and money. Buena suerte con sus trámites al respecto.
  15. Que tal Christine y Geoff ? Es un placer saludarlos con este mensaje y me alegra que les agrade tanto Costa Rica. Muy bien tu esfuerzo por comunicarte en Español. Todo lo que has escrito es perfectamente comprensible. Te anoto un par de observaciones, con el fin de que tu manejo del idioma sea todavía más efectivo. En primer lugar, es mejor usar la palabra "presentación" en vez de "introducción", pues en una conservación diaria, sea aquí en CR o en otro país de habla castellana, así se dice que quieres "presentar" a una persona. Obviamente estabas usando una traducción directa de "introduce", pero "introducir" se emplea más para indicar que se coloca algo dentro de otra cosa (to put in or inside). Por otra parte, cuando hablas de prefieren vivir cerca del mar, por la afición de ustedes a surfear, es más correcto decir "ir a la playa desde el Valle Central nos tomaría demasiado tiempo". Por lo demás, mis felicitaciones por tu manejo del idioma. Vas por excelente camino y no dudo que, con la práctica diaria, hablaras fluidamente y aprenderás esos pequeños trucos que cada lenguaje tiene según el país donde vayas. Muy buena suerte por la mudanza en agosto y que todo se les de positivamente para obtener la residencia. Te recomiendo averiguar previamente con la Asociación todos los requisitos para que no pasen por un proceso complicado. Hasta la vista y a seguir adelante.