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building in Costa Rica

Building in Costa Rica
A Guide

Isthmus Real Estate agents will be happy to point you in the right direction with your Costa Rica building projects, both large or small. Building costs have dropped by around 25% in 2009 so now is good time to build.

We have built numerous homes for clients and helped many building projects get started all over Costa Rica. As usual, good planning is the key and we have all the professional contacts you need to build your home or project correctly.

When building the architects college or CFIA (Colegio de Architectos) is important as they control all building in Costa Rica.

According to CFIA, a licensed architect engineer must supervise building in the following two phases:
Phase 1. Construction Plans and permitting.
Phase 2. Execution and control.

In Phase 1 Construction plans and permitting the CFIA establishes the fees charged by the Costa Rican Architect for preliminary studies at 0.5% of overall contrstuction costs. Pre project design is 1 to 1.5%. This will give you an idea of what is being designed in some preliminary drawings and ideas. Make sure you give as much info as you can to the architect at this stage so he knows what you want.

For detailed plans and technical specs the charge is 4% and this is a vital stage of any project as the key elements of design and building are worked on in detail, these are plans the builder will build from so they need to be correct. These plans should include interior finishes, sanitary design, mechanical, structural, electrical, footings and beams, roof support. Long and trans perpectives. Elevation distribution set up and a large site plan. Budgeting will cost another 1 % for itemized budget or 0.5% for global.

In Phase 2 Execution and control 3% of budget to inspect once a week and ensure specs are met. 5% for supervision on a day to day basis. Or 12% for total supervision and control of all aspects of the building. Which one you choose will depend on what contract you have with a builder.

We have various builders and architects we work with on a regular basis that can help in all aspects of the design, development and construction in Costa Rica. As always contracts should be prepared with any builder and or architect prior to paying to ensure all understand clearly their responsibilities.

If buying a lot to build on make sure it has water, electricity, telephone and access prior to buying. All lots in existing subdivision should have these basic services.

Once again Isthmus Real estate can help with purchasing quality properties for development or home construction in Costa Rica.

Building a house in Costa Rica can be a very rewarding experience, I have built many, including the one I live in now, and as always it is better done with professional guidance as provided by the experts at Isthmus Real Estate in Costa rica.

Isthmus Real Estate — San Jose, Costa Rica

Office in Hotel Barceló San José Palacio

Phone: (506) 8391-9051, 2291-0208 • eMail: