Building a house in Costa Rica

Designing And Building In Costa Rica

Design A Home In Costa Rica

Transforming A House Into A Home

Home designs for your Costa Rica property will be an exhilarating experience.  To begin, it will be of the utmost importance to be organized.  Further more, your architect should have much experience for home designs in Costa Rica.  Therefore, he should present you with organizational skills.  This would include creating a list of attributes that you like.  Most commonly, this list will include photos.  Nothing can explain your thoughts clearer than photos.  In addition, you should create files for each room.  Which will list architectural elements you prefer.  Such as, ceiling design, closet design, perhaps feature wall, lighting design.  Finally, it should show the spirit that you in vision.  Meaning, Spanish, beach house, rustic, elegant, etc.  The spirit will influence cabinetry, doors, wall textures, flooring, and most importantly electrical and plumbing fixtures.

To be clear, that each of your files should be concise.  Meaning, it should not have several different attributes.  It should only represent the attribute you want your architect to include in your custom home designs in Costa Rica.  At this point of the designing stage it is not important for specific materials, nor colors.  More specifically, it is for room sizing, layout of furniture.  Often, the spirit of the home will influence window and door design.  I.e.; arched, elliptical, square.  As well as height and width.    The architect will demonstrate the spirit of the home with architectural elements of moldings or lack of.  Which may include columns, capitals, and base trims.

Home Design Details

It is also important to note details of the kitchen and bathrooms.  These are the most expensive rooms to construct of the home.  Because of the details and fixtures installed in a small area.  At the same time, they are the most viewed and appreciated.  Therefore, these rooms should reflect your life style.  Perhaps a simple galley kitchen for basic cooking needs.  On the other hand, perhaps, a gourmet kitchen with built in appliances and plenty of storage for utensils.  As well as pantry and convenient cabinetry attributes.  Built in appliances will need to be purchased early in order to have the cut-out sizes for cabinet design.

Considerations for a kitchen should include:

  • Built in appliances
  • Pantry closet
  • Island
  • Accent lighting
  • Breakfast nook seating area
  • Pass through to patio
  • Granite, Quartz, or Corian counter tops
  • Modern design cabinetry metal and glass, or wood
  • Decorative ceiling with bulk head
  • Cabinets to ceiling or standard height of 80 cm

Bathrooms are equally important rooms of the home as the kitchen.  Bathrooms may have many attractive attributes to fit specifically to your lifestyle.

Which may include:

  • Large vanity with double sink
  • Makeup desk on vanity
  • Walk in shower with bench
  • Shower head, water jets, foot wash, telephone mobile head
  • Toilet in cubical for additional privacy
  • Mirror design
  • Wall finish with tile or paint
  • Shower and tub joined, separated, or no tub
  • Possibly an outside shower (becoming common so I mention it).
  • Large walk in and spacious or galley

It is recommended before designing kitchens and bathrooms and saving photos.  Is to set a budget for these rooms.  For example, main bathroom $ 8K, master bathroom $ 12k, kitchen $ 25k.  This budget will help the designer know the limits of the design.  As mentioned earlier, kitchens and bathrooms have no limits in price.  Therefore, we must be responsible enough to set these limits.  Another consideration for kitchens and bathrooms is the spirit of the finishes.  When you have decided on your homes spirit of Spanish, Mediterranean, modern, etc.  Then, it would be necessary to include light fixtures, plumbing fixtures, tiles, back splash, and cabinet design to equal the architectural element.

It would also be beneficial to note features of the home that you would like.  To explain, glass walls opening to outside living area.  You prefer vaulted, cathedral, tray ceilings.  Features would include separating master bedroom from guest bedrooms.  Perhaps all rooms joining to the Terrazas.  Would you like to see wood ceilings, perhaps in sugar cane or bamboo for tropical aesthetics? Collecting photos of these features of your choice would be very helpful to your designer.

Closets are a big category for consideration.  Firstly, there are no winters here.  Therefore, you won’t require boots, sweaters, coats, etc.  Your main wardrobe would consist of shorts, T-shirt, and sandals.  However, it is also need for consideration, that there is no attic storage, basement storage, nor garage storage.  So, we need to include larger closets for seasonal storage articles such as xmas decorations.  Or, as an option, we include a storage bodega strategically placed on your design.

In addition, to include in your files and budget of rooms.  It would be required for the exterior as well.  Specifically, your outdoor living area.  Which would include pool area, and decking.  Options of outdoor kitchen for social family and friend gatherings.  Games and exercise area.  Perhaps herb gardening or hobby area.  Costa Rica has a maintained climate with little change.  The two main seasons known are rainy season, and dry season.  Therefore, your outdoor area will be the most used per day than any other room in the home.  Which is why we should take specific care I this part of the design.

Furthermore, Costa Rica sun sets are early in the evening.  Usually, around 6 pm.  Therefore, much of your evening comfort is in the dark.  Therefore, I always recommend landscape lighting.  This creates new focal points and is a major contributor to your homes design.  It is not clear to me why so many people neglect this part of their design.  When it carries such an import aspect to your home’s completion.

Due to the climate consistency, and unlike North America cold climates.  You may decide to down size your homes size and budget.  To increase the budget for the outdoor attributes.  As your outdoor living space is utilized all the year and most of the hour’s day and night.  The outdoor attributes may include, pool with pool features of lighting and cascades.  Perhaps garden area, outdoor theatre area.  Kitchen and eating area.  Lounging room for relaxing.  Landscape lighting with focal points.  All of which would include accent lighting, and ambient lighting, as well as task lighting.

Designing a home requires architectural elements to make the house ‘pop’ with aesthetics.  To clarify, the budget should not be used solely based on size of home.  10% of your home budget should be reserved for architectural elements.  Which may include window moldings, feature lighting, stone veneer, decorative columns, and so on.  Similarly, when you purchase a new car.  The car will be much more attractive with the chrome package, towing package, power windows, etc.  This is also true with your home design.  We would want to add elements to give the home unique features.

There are articles on this web site which go into detail of design attributes.  Which include architectural elements, budgets, design layout, and all considerations towards your design.  However, this article is more focused on your designing features and how to put them together to communicate with your designer.  When we begin to talk about colors.  I would firstly explain, that the spirit of the home will demonstrate which color template will be used.  In addition to texture and contrast.  It has been mentioned that Finish Touch Enterprises SRL has a full time Interior decorator that will be working with you throughout the design process to make things perfect for your home.

There are several ways to begin choosing colors.  Firstly, is to compare with your home spirit.  This will be demonstrated with the wall colors, tiles, cabinets, and tops.  Secondly, and commonly used is the theory that nature does not make mistakes.  Therefore, if you take a fruit or vegetable and cut it open.  For example, lets use a mango.  Every color you see in this fruit will cohere to one another.  To clarify, if you were to match a color swab to each color you see in the fruit.  From the skin to the pit.  You will be able to use these colors in any format.  From primary color to secondary color and accent colors.  These colors can show in your tiles, cabinets, walls, ceilings, etc.  Even in your furniture, throw cushions and wall hangings.

Method of design elements:

Methods for researching your design elements can be enthausiastic with achievement.  Searching online can prove to be beneficial.  Such as, Pinterest, Houz, Instagram, and other known sites for architects and designers to show off their best works.  In addition, you can visit furniture and plumbing stores that offer staging of their product.  Of course, you are not there for the product, but rather, to view the decorative staging.  Taking photos of those aspects that stand out the most for you.  Your designer and decorator will tune the design specifics.  If you live in or near a city, you may visit advertised open houses.  Many times, these are professionally staged to make the house look its best.  The more communication articles you have for your designer, the more precise your design will achieve.

It is known that colors may reflect feelings.  For example, red may be associated to love and passion.  As purple and plums reflect royalty.  Also, greens may represent business as it is the color of money.  Many lawyer offices and business men’s offices are often in green.  If your wife looks spectacular in that blue dress, then that is the color you would want to have in your bedroom.  Then you can see her every day in that color.  Although colors are flexible and can be changed at any time.  It remains a thought process that should be considered carefully.

Furthermore, the color scheme must carry threw from room to room.  Of course, changing but allowing the flow from room to room.  This can cleverly be accomplished by a keen eye or a professionally trained decorator.  Either way, your home will have the inviting, warmth, with a ‘wow’ factor.  This décor and colors will set the mood of the room and a reflection towards the owners.

The advantages of designing and building a house in Costa Rica is to have these tailored elements specifically for you.  For making memories for many years, that will last a life time.  The house becomes a home.  Which will be apart of your life.  A place for you to feel comfortable and proud.  Therefore, allowing enough time to complete the designing process.  In order to take the time to do the research for architectural elements specific to your needs and taste.  Room sizes and spaces as described in our design attributes considerations.

Firstly, I have personally had 40 years experience in designing and building homes.  The process of preliminary studies of the property may take up to 4 weeks.  If the client is well prepared, we would require approx. 2 months to prepare floor plans and property anti-project.  Which includes landscape and pool designs.  After we have reached a balance between budget and design, we will prepare the construction drawings.  Which involves all the engineer’s contributions.  This will take approximately 3 weeks.  In addition, there could be about 4 weeks to obtain all the permits.  Therefore, it would be advisable to allow 4 to 6 months for a detailed house design.  Most importantly, this could be one of the most important steps in building a house in Costa Rica.  The more a design is detailed, the easier the construction will be.

Secondly, once the permits have been obtained.  Preparing the construction site may take 2 weeks.  In order to prepare temporary electric and water.  As well as material and tool storage.  More than likely, a quarter for some of the workers to live.  Finally, the house is ready for construction.  Depending on size, this may take 6 to 8 months.

In summary, to be organized is a recipe for perfection.  You should expect 12 to 14 months for designing and building a house in Costa Rica.  Therefore, we should get started right away.  Send a message below and I will contact you for further information.

If you read and study the following articles.  There will be a better understanding of the process.  Which you will be able to proceed with confidence.  Again, contact me at any time for further information.

  1. How to Hire a Builder
  2. Costa Rica Architect Firm
  3. Designing A House In Costa Rica Attributes
  4. Home Designing Service Costa Rica
  5. Costa Rica Home Builders
  6. Three Methods Of Building In Costa Rica
  7. Costa Rica Custom Home
  8. Costa Rica General Contractor
  9. Interior Design In Costa Rica
  10. Finish Touch Furniture SRL
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