Before you build a home in Costa Rica
How important is the quality of the construction when you build a home in Costa Rica?
Do you see that building that fell over entirely in the picture on the left? This is an unoccupied building still under construction at Lianhuanan Road in the Minhang district of Shanghai city. One worker was killed.
The investigator told Shanghai Youth Daily on condition of anonymity that the underground car park “was not part of the project’s primary plans of the contractor”.
This apartment building, as you can see, has no foundation. That is something that would never happen in Costa Rica. I always thought that housing is cheap in China but now we know the reason…
Of the 629 apartments in the complex, comprising eleven 13-story buildings, including the one that collapsed, 489 had been sold at an average cost of 14,300 yuan ($2,100) per m2.
In Costa Rica real estate, housing is not that expensive, and it is much better built than those apartments in the photo. You can build a build a home in Costa Rica for much less.
Earthquakes in Costa Rica
Most of us do not think much about the earthquakes we have in Costa Rica. That is because we don’t notice them most of the time. And due to the good quality of the structure of the homes we live in, we pay even less attention.
When you build a home in Costa Rica you should call in the help of people who know what they are doing. Make sure to hire professionals such as architects, engineers, and contractors to build a home in Costa Rica.
Where are most of the earthquakes?
If you want to build a home in Costa Rica, you start by buying a building lot.
But, before you buy a building lot, you can check out if the area you want to live is on an active fault line or has more seismic tremors than normal.
The University of Costa Rica has an incredible website where you can see the daily seismic tremors or earthquakes that we have and 99% of them we don’t even notice.
Soil Samples are a must
No matter where you buy land in Costa Rica, experts recommend you do a soil study before you build a home. That way you can see if you need to replace the soil or not. Large areas in Costa Rica have a clay soil, which nowadays is replaced by most responsible construction companies.
Many ignorant building lot owners omit the study of soil that although it is not a legal requirement. Often they just do it to save money.
It is essential to know the physical and mechanical properties of the soil and to guarantee the safety of any building before you build a home in Costa Rica.
The base of the construction of the home is in the foundation and if the soil is suitable for construction, this can achieve cost reductions in earth movements, soil replacement, less compaction and also a greater margin of safety. The soil survey indicates property features such as soil type (clay, rock, sand etc.), soil water retention and the bearing capacity.
All these features are essential to determine the design of foundations and structures. The more you know about the ground, designing becomes more efficient and therefore cost saving.
Concrete block construction
Almost every home in Costa Rica is built from concrete block. These blocks are hollow and are built of cement on top of the foundation. Then they are tied together with steel rebar of different sizes. Many expats from up north think that only in the US and Canada houses are built following a construction code. each country has it’s own code, varying on a variety of issues. Even in the U.S., some States have a different code than others.
As of this January 2013, a renewed seismic code can be gotten at the federal College of Engineers and Architects of Costa Rica or Colegio de Ingenieros y Arquitectos. This renewed code modifies the seismic code from 2002 and the one published in 2010.
The CNE (National Emergency Commission) published a construction manual that helps to understand the construction regulations to build a one-story house in Costa Rica. You can download it here.
Though it is in Spanish, you will get an idea what is necessary to build a home in Costa Rica. Costa Rica also has an electrical code, which is different than one from North American but therefore not wrong.
Like I said before, hire the right professionals to build a home in Costa Rica. Of course, buying a home in Costa Rica is so much easier but before you close, hire a home inspector.
Make sure you pick the right real estate agent when buying a building lot. Our affiliate partners, from coast to coast, are there to assist. Contact an American European real estate affiliate agent NOW.
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