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Sal

Pre-fab or simple cabin builders?

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Hi Everyone,

Was curious whether there are any CR services/builders that can install and obtain necessary permits for very simple, small log cabins or even pre-fab type eco-cottages. I'm talking bare-bones off-the-grid type homes, either with no electricity or solar-powered only. Thanks for reading!

 

Sal

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Sal, many municipalities have a companies that manufacture 'slide-together' homes, that come complete with an 'architect stamp'. At least the one in Upala, Guanacaste does. They will install it where you want, power or not. You would need to first apply to the municipality for a building permit and proof that you have water, i.e. a letter from the local water district.

No water...no permit.

Edited by costaricafinca

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Unfortunately, I can only offer you hope. A few years ago, there was a fellow near Arenal that put small pre-fab cottages on his property, and loved them! However, I can no longer find the contact info (or even the name, sigh).

I seem to remember that you can build (w/ or w/o pre-fab) a "house" under 40 m2 or 750 sq ft, with no permit required.

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Sal, many municipalities have a companies that manufacture 'slide-together' homes, that come complete with an 'architect stamp'. At least the one in Upala, Guanacaste does. They will install it where you want, power or not. You would need to first apply to the municipality for a building permit and proof that you have water, i.e. a letter from the local water district.

No water...no permit.

 

Say, CRF, a friend in the states was asking me about the possibility of his moving here and building his own home, perhaps employing 1-2 Ticos to help out. He's in construction (now a dead end), and can pretty much build anything. Is this doable, or does he have to employ Ticos to do the heavy work, and only be allowed to supervise?

 

Thanks, Dana

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DanaJ - There is no reason he can't build his own home. I built three houses this way - I was my own contractor as well as laborer, working alongside two or three Ticos - one young man was hired just to mix cement. One very important thing to remember is that Tico houses are often built differently. Your friend would be wise to visit several houses under construction and talk to Tico builders and pay a visit to the hardware store. Building requirements and building techniques and building supplies are very different here.

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As eleanor states it is 'doable' but locals would be needed. Your friend would have to watch out though, for INS and CAJA inspectors who come round regularly to check if they workers are legal and have paid their dues to both INS and CAJA with every name being on the 'list' with their cedulas. And they do check, at least once a month. We had two inspections this past week, where they looked at the paperwork of everyone 'working' on the site...

Julie, it seems now that everything with a roof is supposed to have a permit.

Another new requirement is that another permit which has to be requested in San Jose, must be provided, showing the distance from the main road to the building site.

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I came across a website once for container homes, made from old shipping containers. They were prefabbed and delivered. A bit of Googling should find it...

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Can it be water from a well and how expensive is to do the well?

Are there any geological plans for underground water?

Also, can I pay construction workers for pieces of work done, stage by stage?

Some people told me that workers are being paid regularly every week, whenever they are working or just talking.

It's hard for me to understand how projected time line is kept in such case.

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Igor, I have responded to a couple of you other questions, elsewhere.

In regards to a well, it depends on the terrain. And there is not guarantee that they will hit water, but you are still required to pay...

So, you will need to attempt to drill first, get water before you can apply for a permit.

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My understanding is that you must first obtain a permit to drill for water. Then, because Costa Rica considers the water in the aquifer to be a publicly-owned resource, you must obtain a concession to actually use that water once you have found it. Likely all of this will take time and be expensive.

Edited by David C. Murray

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You are right, David, permission to drill is required.

Of course, this can be done only after you have purchased the property and if you are not successful in finding water, you are then stuck with the property that you can't build on...

It looks as if the previous poster, TropicanalInvestments has got problems.

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Hi Everyone,

Was curious whether there are any CR services/builders that can install and obtain necessary permits for very simple, small log cabins or even pre-fab type eco-cottages. I'm talking bare-bones off-the-grid type homes, either with no electricity or solar-powered only. Thanks for reading!

 

Sal

I realize as I write this you are here in CR.

Sorry, we will miss you on this trip.

We are currently working with Ion Zaharescu

Zircotech Corporation

506 8884 3688

email zircotech@gmx.net

He uses a process called www.greeninnovations.com

He also uses products called NUDURA,INSUL..DECK.

www.claudioforest.it to name a few.

When you visit homes here in CR the owners often point out the Earthquake damage.

This can range form cracked tile to gaps in doorways and even walls separated.

We have some cracked floor tiles in this house and it is about 2 to 3 years old..

Ion uses a floating system that allows the entire house to move in the event of an earthquake thereby avoiding damage.

I am aware that this system in used in Canada. Covenant House in Toronto also has the green roof system...Lettuce & cucumbers on your roof.Hmmmm!!!

it is also used fro industrial projects

He has built various projects here in CR...

Kees is a builder, renovator from Canada and he is very impressed with this building method...

He also says, once they begin, 2 months.

There is a Tico building going up next door to us.

They began this the week after Easter and still haven't all the walls completed.

Four men begin work at 6am and leave at 5pm. Monday to Friday and Saturdays 6am to 12noon.

When it rains they work on cutting and preparing rebar.

They use HUGE amounts of cement. We think they are on the 3rd load of cement (100 bags to a load).

Cement is around $10USD per bag.

Interesting, after the lay the blocks, they fill every block with cement, using a piece of rebar to manually force the air out.

Every block is threaded onto vertical rebars all the way to the top of each wall.

It is a long process.

Where there is a curve, they manually break the blocks in half.

This should yield 2 half bricks however, in fact the yield is less than half.

Usually, at least one of the pieces is damaged and often both are rendered useless.

Maybe they use these broken pieces later.

They have a cement mixer on site and all cement is hand mixed. Some is just mixed in a wheelbarrow.

With all this work the house still cracks in earthquakes

Having watched this going on since April and the speed at which it is being completed, we are certainly looking for an alternative.

Hope this helps

Ellen

Edited by Kees&Ellen

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