Update on Building our House

In 2007, Eddie and I bought land in the small town of Hatillo, which is between Dominical and Quepos.  Our 2 – 1/2 acre wooded lot is located in a development called Los Altos Miramar in the Hatillo Mountains.   We have always intended to build a house on our lot and our architect designed a fantastic home for us.  We were hoping to start the project this January (2014).  However, after several contractor bids that were almost $100k more than we are wanting to spend, we are re-thinking our plans.  If we decide to build, it will happen in January 2015.  Now, we are exploring our options.  1) Look at existing homes in the area.  2) Continue to rent and not build at all.

Last week, we decided to look at existing homes to see what is available.  We have looked at six homes and we liked a couple of them, but they weren’t exactly what we wanted and they were all very expensive.  So now, we are taking the advice of the last contractor we consulted.  He suggested that we change the shape of the buildable area of the lot.  Here is a photo of how the lot looks now.

Main building area. Driveway is on the left.

Main building area. Driveway is on the left.

Looking down from the upper driveway onto the current building areas of our lot.

Looking down from the upper driveway onto the current building areas of our lot.

We have decided to re-grade the lot with two goals…one is to expand the area of firm soil and the other is to expand the additional areas for the lawn and garden.  The current condition of the lot has some fill soil which would require the use of many pilings, which are very expensive both in materials and labor.  So, doing the earth work will significantly reduce cost related to the building of the house as it is now.

In addition to doing the earth work on the lot, we are also planning to change the design of our house (if we build).  After living here for over two months, we have learned quite a bit about how a house should be designed for living in the tropics.  For instance, we should have the social/living space downstairs at pool level and the bedrooms upstairs.  Our indoor space should be less and the outdoor space (patio/balcony) should be more.  We are thinking of not having a guest house, but another master bedroom suite in the main house and putting a small apartment above the carport.  A lot to think about!

Enjoying a beautiful sunset from our lot.

Enjoying a beautiful sunset from our lot.

7 thoughts on “Update on Building our House

  1. Wow, you have really a lot to think about and Do. But, that’s why you decided to rent right now so it’s all good! On any event, it looks like you’re going to stay!

    • Hi Aunt Marsha! I’m really glad that it didn’t work out for us to build right away…renting first was a good move. Living here is much different than living in Chapel Hill, that’s for sure!

  2. Your new plan sounds fabulous! For sure, you will have much to keep you busy for a long time! As always, we think of you frequently, miss you very much, and wish you all the best!
    Ieva and Howard

    • Hi Ieva and Howard! Great to hear from you, as always! Glad you are enjoying our blog. It’s a fun way to stay in touch with everyone. I think of you often and miss you, too!

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