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marcyira

Eco Casas builders

17 posts in this topic

Does anyone know anything about the reputation and/or quality of homes built by the company Eco Casas?

Thanks.

 

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As has been said before -- sometimes a person doesn't have the actual answer to your question but can nevertheless provide some information that could provide "food for thought."

 

A couple of thoughts that I had after looking at the Eco Casas website:

 

1. Building houses totally out of wood could make it a "termite magnet." Which is why so many people build using concrete block or at least the bottom half of the house out of concrete block and then wood above that.

 

2. As for "economical" -- there are many builders who can sit down with you and your architect and come up with an "economical" design and build it economically -- and with little environmental impact.

 

3. I didn't see any kind of warranty on the website (but didn't really look very hard...) but as has been said before, a warranty is only as good as the company behind it. In a way, using a local builder is a good "warranty" because he will not want to ruin his local reputation by not doing the right thing. Plus a local builder will know about local conditions -- soil and weather, for instance -- and who to hire and not to hire as workers.

 

When I first started designing a simple house, I had just moved from Florida and was concerned about sun. A friend advised me to be more concerned about rain because I live in a very rainy area. Of course, doing things like have a large overhang (a meter) helps both situations, sun and rain.

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In our rental home, we have a termite problem. They installed wooden roof trusses, which have now rotted and the termites are having a picnic...

The landlord came today to see how much damage has been done and what he will need to do to fix it. Glad we don't have to foot the bill... :rolleyes:...and since it is a large house, it won't be a cheap fix.

 

Now, most builders use metal trusses.

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I have seen that, too, CRF - builders using metal trusses. In fact, a house down the street from me has the same problem as yours and they put on a new roof about a meter taller than the old roof and used metal trusses. Now, they are tearing out the old wooden ones. I haven't been inside the house, but I'm sure it's a big mess. To say nothing of the expense. Good luck with your house -- I know whatever the solution is will be messy for you (and noisy!) but at least you don't have to pay for it!

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Our friend down the street has an all wood house. Last year when her daughter was here, they were sitting at the table when it started to rain termites on their heads. I was there a couple of days after that, and the termites were still falling. Yuck!

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I have lived here for ten years in a concrete block house with wooden truss roofing system. The house is now close to 30 years old. Believe it is the original wood.

Trust me I will be going with galvanized steel trusses when it is time to replace. May make the replacement roof much higher than the original and have the option of adding a second floor later, or just use it as an open deck.

 

Wood looks great, and if you dont mind replacing it, use it for decorative purposes, but from where I am sitting under the annual rain of termite wings.... not again.

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Our house is not a typical block house, and the roof/ceiling in the sitting & dining room rises from 11ft. to approx. 15ft. high. The worst part seems to be where gypsum...yes, gypsum... was attached to the wood on top of the cement, the crown I think it is called, concealing the underneath of the overhang and where it is close to the wide gutter which then empties into a normal sized downspout which have a lot of trouble getting rid of the amount of rain when it really rains hard. Which it has been doing for the past week.

 

The house was originally owned by a man from Norway using local builders.

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Yes...probably following his instructions when this person, doesn't have a clue...

 

He stopped by here when back in the area on vacation and told us that the builders messed up his instructions... :rolleyes:

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I am always a little amazed at people who think that building techniques that are used where they are from are valid in Costa Rica. This may or may not be the case but folks who are building need to listen carefully to their Costa Rican architects and builders.

 

If a Costa Rican builder built a house in Norway (or wherever), would they build the same house that they built in Costa Rica?

 

This is a good lesson for people to learn who are in the process of thinking about or designing their Costa Rican home.

 

There are things I "insisted" on when building a house -- making sure all the concrete blocks for the walls were filled with cement, for instance, as well as making sure all the gaps between the blocks were filled. And putting down plastic sheeting at the bottom of the walls because throwing cement on the walls ensures that at least a sack of cement ends up on the ground and unusable. But when the builder said, "Not a good idea to use that wood...." I listened carefully and bought a different wood.

 

One thing I noticed yesterday in a very big ferreteria in Guanacaste -- a thin insulating sheet in a roll for putting in a ceiling. Also thick paint with insulating qualities. Perhaps because of the very hot last two years. And, a little sadly, I saw "standard" kitchen cabinets that are found in North American houses. Frankly, I hate them and don't like to see them become popular here. Fiberboard and plywood with a phony front. Ugh.

Edited by eleanorcr

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Our friend down the street has an all wood house. Last year when her daughter was here, they were sitting at the table when it started to rain termites on their heads. I was there a couple of days after that, and the termites were still falling. Yuck!

 

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.

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Thanks, Rodrigo, but doing what you recommend would not call it an "ECOcasa." :rolleyes:

 

Frankly, I'm not sure I would want to live with all the chemicals impregnated in that wood. Yes, you would have interior walls, of course, but ?? Remember when everyone thought that asbestos siding and insulation was a good thing to do?

 

The first greenhouse I built, we used basically trees for the support posts and made a long container and soaked them in diesel. I didn't like the idea of putting those posts in the ground of a farm that was going to be "organic" - but we did it anyway. (Soaked for three days.) The posts weren't attacked by insects, but just rotted away during the first year. Of course, it could depend on the type of tree/wood used.

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Thanks, Rodrigo, but doing what you recommend would not call it an "ECOcasa." :rolleyes:

 

Frankly, I'm not sure I would want to live with all the chemicals impregnated in that wood. Yes, you would have interior walls, of course, but ?? Remember when everyone thought that asbestos siding and insulation was a good thing to do?

 

The first greenhouse I built, we used basically trees for the support posts and made a long container and soaked them in diesel. I didn't like the idea of putting those posts in the ground of a farm that was going to be "organic" - but we did it anyway. (Soaked for three days.) The posts weren't attacked by insects, but just rotted away during the first year. Of course, it could depend on the type of tree/wood used.

 

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.

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