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  • in reply to: Forum Format #268224

    Yeah it sucks. What sucks more is this new owner doesn’t answer emails, doesn’t seem to read forum posts, sends out emails that are heavy on the selling and light on anything good to read, and basically seems to think this business will run itself and make money with no input or loving care from himself. I expect my membership to be canceled as a result of this post but so be it, the truth is the truth (as I see it).

    in reply to: True cost of building “Prefab” in Costa Rica #165435

    [quote=”Imxploring”]No doubt they’ve improved. I can remember seeing them when they first started popping up in CR. Little cookie cutter boxes that looked like Monopoly houses!

    Be SURE to go with larger septic drains and piping as well as heavier gauge electrical wiring and more outlets. Running additional phone and cable lines during construction is also a good idea. Some things can be added or improved later at minimal cost when funding allows…. basic infrastructure in much easier and cheaper during construction!

    It’s often the things YOU Can’t SEE where builders cut corners and save themselves money. Unfortunately those are also the areas that wind up costing you a lot of money and heartache down the road.

    Good luck on your adventure! Enjoy the experience and be sure to share it with us![/quote]

    Thanks for the advice. I’ll be composing a checklist of all this kind of stuff that I am gathering on forums and from friends and will go over it all with the construction supervisor/company before I sign a contract. I fortunately have a couple friends who used to be in the construction business who can help me as to what questions to ask and what the prices should be for the “extras” in order to help me not get ripped off.

    in reply to: True cost of building “Prefab” in Costa Rica #165433

    [quote=”Imxploring”]Fit and finish to the standards and requirements of what most Gringos seek will add considerably to construction costs. Kitchens and bathroom upgrades add up quickly as does basic infrastructure (plumbing, electric, etc) improvements. Floor plans and room size are also a big issue for many folks.

    Like it or not no matter what construction technique you use, if you want quality, function, and comfort you will pay for it. That’s just a fact of life. While there may be some ways of saving money in construction of your dream home, you get what you pay for in the end. So if budgeting becomes an issue at some point, be prepared for trade offs.[/quote]
    I do think that the new pre-fab home companies cover most of this stuff without extra cost. I could be wrong but it seems to me they are fairly sophisticated nowadays.

    Anyway I do appreciate the warning – it’s definitely stuff I will ask about before committing to a price; and yes I’ll get it in writing!


    in reply to: True cost of building “Prefab” in Costa Rica #165432

    [quote=”Jerry”]All said, have you checked on container homes? You can buy several and combine them many ways, then roof over the assembly. Three 8×20 containers male a nice sq footage. Cost about $3,000 each, plus delivery (cost depends on location).Finish it out to your tastes.[/quote]
    Yes I’ve seen many pictures of them.
    To each his own and all that, but to me they are not something I would want.
    First of all I don’t like the look of any I’ve ever seen.
    Secondly if concrete houses are “pizza ovens” as they say (and I think they are ONLY if you don’t allow for proper ventilation and insulation), then a storage container home would REALLY be a “pizza oven”.
    Also in the rain, the sound would be deafening!
    No thanks. But thanks for the suggestion.

    in reply to: True cost of building “Prefab” in Costa Rica #165429

    [quote=”costaricafinca”]Paying more for a decent kitchen, additional electrical switches & outlets, inside and out, plumbing actually in the wall, wider overhang, laundry area and even small closets would be nice. Make sure there is some storage.
    [i]According to my friend,[/i] the house was expensive to build and they previously were unable to sell it, for half what it cost them. It is now a rental.[/quote]
    Not having built prefab yet I don’t know for sure… but I suspect this may be like many things: one needs to do one’s due diligence and take reasonable precautions to make sure things are done right.

    If one builds the home totally “stock” the way they normally do things, one may end up with less than good plumbing, electrical, storage space, overhang, etc.; a typical Tico style home. I know some Ticos hate it when we say “American style” but all I really mean by American style vs. Tico style is larger water pipes, better drainage, more electrical outlets, a more finished interior (no pipes or wires showing), more storage space, etc.

    I do not intend to build Tico style, prefab or not, so now the question becomes: when customizing the prefab home to include “American style” electrical, plumbing, and storage space, kitchen, bathroom, etc… does it suddenly become a LOT more expensive? And if so, will it be so expensive as to make it just as reasonable not to build [i]prefab [/i]at all?

    I doubt that is true but it is something that I will be looking at very closely!

    By the way, in spite of many people warning against pre-fab wood in this and other forums (without, apparently, any [i]experience [/i]with it at all!) a knowledgeable builder friend of mine says MaderasKodiak pre-fab treated MicroPro wood is just fine, that if you build it with overhang and keep it painted it will last. I’ll be looking for homes to look at that were built with this, years ago, to see how they are holding up.

    Also I [i]think [/i]that prefab has come a ways since, say, 10 years ago, and is now of better quality and has more closet space and outlets etc in the plan, than it did years ago.

    Within a few months I will be visiting some of these prefab companies and looking at their homes closely and getting prices for a customized floor plan with “American style” features, and I will report back here what I find out. Then, if I do build with one, I will also report back re the finished product.

    in reply to: True cost of building “Prefab” in Costa Rica #165427

    That’s good info re the windows.
    I will bring that up to them when I talk to them. Maybe this is something they’ve fixed since then.

    Bringing them “Up to par” meaning what, more specifically?

    in reply to: True cost of building “Prefab” in Costa Rica #165425

    Concrepal does not have the columns inside the house.
    Remember one thing: having a home built by Concrepal or some other prefab system is going to take a lot less time to “put together” than a concrete block home and LABOR and CONCRETE are the 2 most expensive things in building a home according to a recent article I read.

    So you save both on materials and labor with prefab.

    Is it “worth it” to build with full concrete blocks instead of prefab?

    I’d say yes, IF you can afford the time and money and have extra money to cover overages. But IF you’re on a tight budget the prefab done by a copmany that has done hundreds of homes with their own system is going to definitely get done quicker and with less chance of overages and less expensive overages. IMHO.

    Also, it sounds like Inprefa is charging a LOT more for labor/building than Concrepal. Might be worth looking at Concrepal. Just sayin’. (I have NO interest in promoting them, I’m just looking at them for our own home and have so far decided they’re our best bet, based on feedback from people who have used them and/or known people who’ve used them.)

    in reply to: True cost of building “Prefab” in Costa Rica #165423

    We are looking into prefab construction and I know 2 Ticos who built their own homes this way and I saw them and they looked okay; not as “finished” as I’d like but certainly livable.

    We talked to Concrepal in Palmares and they have a 46sq mt “key in hand” service for around $30k U.S. plus some extra fees like septic tank, engineer and permit fees etc.

    I do plan to try to find some gringos who have built with them and look at their homes and talk to them before committing to this. The fact is Concrepal has built a lot of homes and I spoke with a long-time expert on Costa Rica who’s lived there forever and he says if you have a limited budget, he would recommend Concrepal.

    I am also looking at Maderas Kodiak which uses a EPA specially treated (metal infused!) wood called MicroPro I think it is, and the prices are about the same as Concrepal. They have model homes you can look at in the Central Valley, one in San Ramon and one in Alajuela that I heard about. I looked at the one in San Ramon and it looks super nice but I would want to see how one looks after 10 years…. With Concrepal too – I want to see an older one and speak with the owners.

    I also know a builder who has built many homes who recommends Concrepal and several people I have spoken with who do build homes have told me YES these pre-fab homes are MUCH cheaper to build than regular concrete block. So those who say otherwise – I wonder how they come to that conclusion?

    I note that this thread was started years ago and 2 things have happened since then:
    Concrepal and other prefab companies have built a lot more homes; and prices for concrete block that is the “norm” in Costa Rica have gone way up as well as other building materials.

    I am not saying those who say prefab is nearly as expensive as regular concrete block are wrong, but I would like to see evidence of such. Seems to me that if a lot of Ticos are now building with Concrepal it MUST be quite a bit cheaper.


    Can someone tell me what the definition is of a “foreign business” under this law? (I know I don’t have one now but for future reference…)


    [quote=”sweikert925″][quote=”pdsnickles”]Personally I would like to see the USA stay completely out of the Middle East.[/quote]

    As much as I would like for that to be possible, I just don’t think it is. Let’s face it, the days when any country can just ignore what’s going on halfway around the world are over. We are all interconnected now and that will only increase in the future.[/quote]

    It’s just as possible as – as someone else suggested – Americans riding bikes and walking instead of using automobiles (oil).

    That is to say, really nothing is possible to change the way things are now. The corporations are in control and the world will continue to deteriorate into wars and economic breakdowns and so on, because you can’t have a good, peaceful, equitable world where Greed rules.

    If I may address the bike riding thing for a moment, to do that (which I am all for by the way!) would take a massive re-construction, and re-organization or the USofA. Hardly any major U.S. city is set up for bicycles and walking to work. The economic reality is that people often buy houses when they have a steady job, they lose that job, then have to get another job wherever they can, sometimes 1-2 hours away. The whole economic system would have to change in order to even give a PUSH towards commuting via walking and bicycling.

    On the other hand, pulling out of the Middle East as I suggested would take nothing more – and nothing less – than the People taking our country back from the corporate/bankster elite who rule us now, who own our Congress and President etc.

    Bottom line:
    Positive change (i.e. FIXING this cr*p) without bloodshed and/or suffering on a major scale is not going to happen. Period.

    Change will come in the form of economic collapse, revolutionary uprisings, wars, terrorism, and a complete restructuring of the world order.

    What you are smelling now is the New World Odor.


    I think it is correct to condemn both sides of this war, and to include the condemnation of the USA for supporting Israel and so on… all who support this war – either side – are wrong.

    Personally I would like to see the USA stay completely out of the Middle East. Let the chips fall where they may.

    But of course that won’t happen because for all our posturing about “humanitarian efforts” and “Democracy” anyone who has any sense at all knows the only reason the USA is in the Middle East or gives a damn about any country over there, is so American corporations can continue to profit from oil.


    Welcome to what I like to call “the New World ODOR”.

    Here’s the deal in case some people haven’t figured it out:
    Corporations and banks have taken over the world while the fine citizens of these countries have had their heads up their arses, watching soap operas and reading about the Kardashians.

    Thomas Jefferson said “The price of liberty is eternal vigilance”. Our “let George do it” attitude has led to our losiing more and more freedom to the point where there really is almost nowhere left to go if you truly want to be free of government interference in your life.

    When the Trans Pacific Partnership goes into law you will see things get even tighter, worse for people, worse for the environment, worse for the world in general, thanks to corporations owning all the power brokers.

    Like I said “Welcome to the New World Odor”.


    No offense, but this is what happens when people move to an area without doing their due diligence – which includes renting in the area a while before buying or building or even “moving” there for that matter.

    Mold? Anyone knows that mold grows in the hot humid lowlands of Costa Rica, particularly near the beach.

    Workers not showing up on time or not being reliable? It’s probably one of the #1 things you hear over and over again in these forums. Is it easy to accept? No, but you have to expect it and deal with it.

    Cost of electricity for a.c.? Another reason not to live in a hot humid area without good breezes; or maybe a house can be built with lots of windows to get fresh air, maybe better ventilation up top? Certainly this aspect of living in a hot humid area has to be taken into account. OR choose to live in the mountains like around San Ramon where by choosing your altitude you can have it downright COOL even cold at night! Humidity! Here’s a clue: It’s pretty much [i]everywhere [/i]in Costa Rica!

    Yeah you do have to learn to eat local food because importing food is going to be expensive. And yeah, local food is a lot cheaper and by and large healthier if you choose carefully.

    Going to San Jose from the Souther Zone for [i]groceries[/i]?! Yes surely you need to make some changes in your diet!

    I lived in Montezuma once and yeah once in a while I had a hankering for some food I couldn’t get there. I made a trip to San Jose for a couple days to get my specialty food (which i clearly could live without), and then I enjoyed myself in San Jose for a couple days, people watching, walking around, eating at different places… I enjoyed my occasional trips to San Jose. (But note that I did not buy property in Montezuma for some of the reasons you mention; I bought in San Ramon – in the mountains!)

    in reply to: Best Cerveza (Beer) in Costa Rica #201263

    Is Rock Ice still available? I like it with ice on a hot day. I know, that’s NOT the “right way” to drink beer, nor is Rock Ice a choice of beer connoisseurs.

    Honestly I don’t find any of the beers of Costa Rica to be among my very favorites. In the U.S. I like Sam Adams, Bass Ale, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Tecate or Corona with lemon and Tajin (chili and lemon powder, from Mexico)… I’ll have to try the Imperial with lemon.

    in reply to: Buying shipping containers for storage #165756

    [quote=”costaricafinca”]I don’t think that to ask $150 is too high, when they are actually protecting your ‘excess’ property in secure premises.
    Others are still around, but I do know of some storage bodegas that have opened … and closed.
    And remember, it is [i]location, location, location…[/i][/quote]

    costaricafinca, “too high” is of course subjective.
    I am just thinking that even in a high rent area like Los Angeles they are more or less that price, and since property and labor and most things are cheaper in Costa Rica, it seems awfully high to me (i.e.; I would expect it to be at least somewhat cheaper in Costa Rica).

    Worth it, I suppose for short term storage, but certainly not for long term. Again “worth it” is subjective. Guess I should say “not worth it to ME”.

    In any case, hey, the guy is getting it and so like I said, it seems like a great business for someone to start! (maybe me at some point)

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 38 total)