Planning and building your new home in Costa Rica will be a great adventure, one that you can thoroughly enjoy if you have the right people on your team. It can also consume a significant amount of your financial resources, both now and in the future.

Brian McLane has been building excellent homes in Altos de Antigua in Puriscal for years now, so I asked him to give me 10 ways for you to save money on your home in Costa Rica.

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Included with Brian’s reply was this statement, “After typing these I realize there are perhaps more than 50 or 60 things that we do. These are just a small sample of some very basic tips that we have learned from our construction experience. These plus many others will help prevent costly repairs, save on maintenance and allow for easy installation of future additions.”

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Here are ten money saving tips from Brian, ways in which you can conserve your financial resources when building and furnishing your home, ways to make what you have go further.

The first five tips are about important things to remember about plumbing when building your own home in Costa Rica.

  1. For your water supply run a continuous ring of tubing around the whole house to equalize the water pressure and flow.
  2. Run all water piping from the fixtures directly to the outside of the house. Run piping under the floor as little as possible.
  3. If any water pipe has to be placed under a floor or sidewalk, install the pipe inside conduit and wrap the elbows with foam. This prevents the pipe from coming into direct contact with concrete which will prevent pipe breakage when the concrete inevitably settles and shifts.
  4. Avoid running water pipes in ceilings.
  5. Always use chrome or brass for metal fittings. Other metals will rust when unused for extended periods.

  6. Here are a few other important items to remember when planning and building your new home in Costa Rica..

    Some people have dehumidifiers in their homes to reduce humidity and prevent mold.

  7. If you plan on having dehumidifiers install electrical outlets and small floor drains with threaded caps inside closets where the dehumidifiers will go.
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  9. Make sure that the dehumidifier you purchase does not default to a lower humidity setting during a power failure. It could run unchecked for several days, costing you a lot of money for the extra electricity consumed, and it may even damage your wood doors, cabinets and furniture from excessive dryness.
  10. Try to think ahead for electrical connections and mounting ceiling fans.

  11. During construction install several extra conduits from different parts of the house and the exterior to the breaker and communication panels. This will allow for easy installation of unanticipated additions and other changes.
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  13. If you think you might one day install a ceiling fan, prepare for that eventuality by installing a treated wood panel where the fan will go. Attach that panel to the upper roof structure to get much needed added support for a heavy fan.

    Normally there will be a light fixture at this location in the ceiling. Install a three conductor cable for the light so that the electrical cable is already in place when you install the ceiling fan at some later date.

  14. Also, think very carefully about the appliances you buy.

  15. High tech washers, dryers and dishwashers seem to get damaged from electrical storms. Install switches on the power supply to these appliances to disconnect them from the electrical grid when they are not in use. Remember to add items to your ‘On Leaving’ checklist to switch off the power.

    Remember that good quality homes, well-built to reasonable standards are in very high demand as rentals. If you will not be occupying your home full time each year, think about how you can configure and furnish your home so that it is easy to rent on a short term basis.

    This will make it easier to rent, and those rental periods will help you defray the amount you have invested. The ability to rent your home while you are not using it makes it much easier to afford your place in paradise.

This is just a small sample of the thought and care that go into building your new home in Altos de Antigua. Give Brian a call if you’d like to learn about the other 50 or so ways to reduce the initial and future cost of your home in Costa Rica.

Rather than buying someone else’s problems in an existing old house use Brian’s experience and know-how to get your brand new home built in as little as six months. Enjoy your great adventure by having the right people on your team.

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VIP Member John Orian, P. Eng.

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Written by John Orian, P. Eng. “If you want something done give it to John!” Having earned this reputation with a billion dollar company and a major Canadian city, John now offers training and coaching in Project Management.

John’s main focus in Costa Rica is helping to create a vibrant international community at Altos de Antigua where he is an owner and investor.

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