FAQ | What is the construction cost in Costa Rica?
I wish the answer was simple but there are many details involved that will change the building cost of a home.
Now, in 2019, construction cost in Costa Rica runs anywhere between $70 – $115/ft2 or $750 – $1,200/m2 approximately.
I recently read a blog on construction cost in Costa Rica on Moon.com that is totally off on their statement “US$25 per square foot for simple construction to up to US$70 per square foot for a luxurious house”.
If you want to be updated by an expert on construction in Costa Rica, check on what Tom Rosenberger, has to say. That’s almost triple the cost. That’s why I always recommend using the service of the pros, in whatever you plan doing in your new home country.
There are many factors that can influence the construction cost in Costa Rica. Not always does it depend on the quality of the finishing materials used. I’m sure you understand the difference in building cost between a concrete floor, a bamboo floor and a marble floor. So I won’t even get into that now.
There are many other issues that will vary the construction cost of a home:
Every day, I see people trying to take a shortcut and not hire professionals for the design and construction of their future home. Hiring a bunch of low-quality laborers will make the building cost much lower than hiring a professional crew.
They say that labor is cheap in Costa Rica. But what if they have to re-do everything three times to get it right? Looking for savings on labor during construction will mean a much higher cost in the long term.
Building on flat land has a much lower cost than on land with irregular topography. On a steep lot, you might have to build a retainer wall to stop erosion.
The structure of the soil of a building lot can vary incredibly. Before you start building, you’d want to get an expert to do a soil test. There are many geotechnical companies like Castro de la Torre or GeoCostaRica who can do a soil test. They can also do a test on the concrete used by your builder. Why a soil test?
The construction specifics and characteristics of a foundation change when built on clay, sand or rock.
You probably know that we have earthquakes in Costa Rica. Is the land where you build on or close to a fault line? The construction cost will go up tremendously when this is the case.
There is a lot of unstable soil in Costa Rica. The property is close to a river or a canyon? Maybe the proof of groundwater underneath the property makes hydrological studies necessary. Or it might be necessary to have a slope analysis done. Hiring those experts will be an additional cost to the usual construction cost.
Trucks with construction materials have to enter the site constantly. If access to the construction site is difficult, this will make the cost of construction higher.
The choice of construction materials will vary the building cost. Concrete block construction with poured concrete, steel frame, and Durock, Densglass or other construction materials will make a difference. In some cases, what you save on materials can cost extra on labor.
How many stories
A single story house is much cheaper to build than a 2-story or 3-story home. This changes the foundation and most of the basic building materials used in the construction of the home.
Often everyone forgets about the security of the home. Fences, security walls, razor wire, and an electronic security system can add tremendously to the construction cost of a home in Costa Rica.
Don’t listen to what many articles that you find online will tell you. Most are outdated and will give you the wrong idea of the construction cost in Costa Rica.
Before you buy land, talk to an architect and a civil engineer and get professional advice.
We do appreciate your real estate referrals. If/when you purchase property in Costa Rica, we’d like to assist. We are the real estate experts, from coast to coast. Contact us now.
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