Jump to content

Recommended Posts

We are hoping to build a nice, modest, Tico style house under 1500 sq ft. Does anyone know if there are any stock house plans we could buy and work off of? We haven't had much luck going to architects as they are more high end and extravagent in their ideas then we are.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some 'slide together cement panel' homes, offer 'plans' The cost, includes the building permit nor do you have to involve the college of artitects. You would need to check around for them. Personally, I would advise going with cement block.

Edited by costaricafinca

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

I am planning to build a new home in the next year . This will be my fouth project. This will be a modest pre fab and I will probably have a company build it to the the level of "obra Griz". You can see the prices and options at this site:

http://www.concreblockcr.com/disenos-casas.php

I mention this company only as an an example. I have never used them, but plan to consult with them during the planning process. Many companies of this type have plans which are Visados. Look at the ofertas section for partial or complete construction or packages that include all materials and no labor. You sill would need permits from your municipalidad. Additionally if you plan to build this yourself or act as the contractor, you will need a policy from INS(Poliza de riesgos). Permits and Insurance pokcies costs are based on a percentage of the declared value.

Best of luck,

ron

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can someone give me a rough idea of what the complete cost (in US $) would be to build the houses shown on the design page of the concreblo website that Ron provided above. The reason why i'm asking is my wife (who is Costa Rican) wants to build a pre-fab or slide together cement panel house on her lot. She says her brother can do a 2 bedroom house for a total cost of $25k. Because he works in construction we would save on the labour.

 

Also i see from Costa Rica Finca's reply that the slide together cement panel homes includes the permit so my wife wouldn't have to see an architech which is good because that could save us some money.Would she still need to see a Civil Engineer to approve the plans? What other permits are required and what is the cost for the permits?

 

I'm really confused about the whole process and cost from start to finish and what the final price would be. I'm concerned that her brother's quote of $25k will balloon into a lot more and turn out to be a lot more complicated than it sounds.

 

Thanks in advance for your replies

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A main concern is that you do really need to get an engineer to check out the terrain, before you start. Since your wife is Costa Rican, she should contact companies to get a first hand answer, rather than relying on us, as the rules change frequently. I do know of some Tico families who have only paid $25k for a home...and you can see why. Often the wiring is not in the walls, but is placed afterwards.

If you are intending to build in a windy area, the 'troughs' that the panels slide into, tend to crack.

Would I recommend these slide together house over a block built house? No. You do get what you pay for.

The company we contacted said their quote included the permit, but this may not apply to all companies.

The cost of permits depends on what the 'college of architects' deem your house will/should cost to build.

You have to pay CAJA and INS for your construction crew, and they will come and check that you have done so.

Edited by costaricafinca

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also the "finished cost", as compared to the "building cost", will depend on your choices in fixtures, plumbing, cabinets, etc. In short, it will depend upon whether cost is more important that aesthetics. For example, a concrete kitchen counter with curtains covering the cabinets underneath is a Tico staple but most expats prefer cabinets with doors.

 

Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What a lot of Costa Ricans do - and what I did - is to get the basic house up and "operational" with concrete floor, concrete kitchen counters but functional and livable. And then, poco a poco, add and improve.

 

It's more important that the "basics" be of high quality -- ceiling joists, quality concrete work, very high quality foundation and floor ("terremotos!"). Making sure that the "basics" are good quality will avoid problems down the road. Then, you can make improvements such as kitchen counters, ceramic tile for floors (or just finished concrete), kitchen cabinets, etc.

 

Replacing a tin roof or adding some wiring in the future can be done at a reasonable cost - but - if your roof joists are inferior or your floor is inferior, that's a whole other thing.

 

Give a lot of thought to your windows. I have lived in houses that have the jalousie panel both along the top of the window and down the middle. I like the jalousie panel across the top because it usually means you can hang your curtains under the open jalousies to take advantage of the cool air. Sliding windows are becoming more popular but where I live, the "typical" windows are installed by a guy who will come and measure and talk to you about what you want and then return and install the windows, really just creating them on the spot.

 

For a ceiling, I did this in three houses: 1. Sand and finish the roof joists and put them in place. 2. Buy "tabilla" - tongue and groove boards that are about 2.5 inches wide. Sand and finish them on the ground. Install them finished side down on top of the roof joists. 3. Put the tin roof over the "tabilla" and nail it down. This will give you a lovely wood ceiling with exposed beams at a very modest cost.

 

Just some ideas....

 

And yes - the location and soils, etc, where the house will be is very important. Rainwater runoff is one of the most important considerations - think "worst case."

 

Depending on what the intended use is, some people don't put in a ceiling at first and add this later on. This can be a problem for some people since it allows insects in more readily but another way to do "poco a poco."

 

It's really hard to say if you can build a "basic Tico house" for $25,000. I think you can - but it will depend on the size, the location and how "finished" you want it to be.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eleanor brought up a really good point: windows.

In our present rental house there are many very large, 6ft tall x 5 ft wide, with a 15 " jalousie panel, down one side of each window in every room, bar the half bath. In the living & dining area there are 4, but the curtains block the airflow into the area making the opening, basically useless. So, adding them at the top is good, plus it is harder for anyone to climb through...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for your responses and the good points and suggestions.

 

Just curious, does anyone have any idea of the approx cost to buy & build the 36m2 design from www.concreblockcr.com website that Ron posted in his reply? It looks like they have options for both the cement slide together panels and concrete block. My wife wants to stick with the slide together panels because she said that the concreate block will be to expensive as we are trying to keep the final cost at 25k or less.

 

I have sent concreblock an email on their prices with and without the labour on all their designs but no reply yet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As CMinCR states "...the "finished cost", as compared to the "building cost", will depend on your choices in fixtures, plumbing, cabinets"

Whatever the company tells you regarding a price, don't accept this as gospel.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Make sure they know what they are doing with regards to plumbing. So many houses have zero venting, leaking traps and undersized sewage pipes. Also think about what happens when you have a leak (and you will eventually) and the plumbing is incased in the concrete floor or block wall. We built a basement with most of the plumbing exposed and visible. We would hate to have to rip up our tile floor to find a leak.

Edited by jesselongworth

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I read this today on qcostarica. Not quite sure what it was trying to tell us, but sometimes a pictures is 'worth a thousand words'! Take note, that it pays to be 'on the job' during the construction process.

The owner is going to have problems during the rainy season. I really hope this man gets this fixed, before he accepts this as 'finished'.

 

Eleanor's quote says it all: "Rainwater runoff is one of the most important considerations - think "worst case."

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, not something you would pay a lot of attention to - until - the tail of a hurricane swipes Costa Rica and the resultant rains turn into a raging river through your property. With some good planning, the path of the "raging river" won't be straight through your house! I lived in Florida before moving to Costa Rica and there, the main consideration was dealing with heat. When I was talking with a Costa Rican friend while laying out a plan for my house, he said: "No. Not heat. Rain." Duly noted and adjustments made.

 

I would also consider the predominant wind direction. The front of my house is "in the teeth" of the wind so I get a pile of leaves on my porch every day. My neighbor lady who cleans for me once a week asks "Where did all these leaves come from?" because the front of her house faces away from the wind.

 

It's like not considering "snow load" if you live in Canada.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's like not considering "snow load" if you live in Canada.

Haha. So true.

 

We have rented a number of gringo built houses, and when I say gringo that means tico built with a gringo financing it, where the water comes into the house because the walkways are all slanted in to the house. If these gringos actually visited the site for more than 10 minutes a day they would catch these things.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.