Are We Building Yet?

It has been awhile since we have blogged about our house building project, so it’s time to bring you up to speed as to what’s been happening and where we are now.  But to answer the question…No, we’re not building yet.

So far, a pineapple is the only thing to sprout up on our lot

So far, a pineapple is the only thing to sprout up from the ground on our lot

As many of you know, last year we finished working on the design of our house and had our architect complete the construction drawings.  In mid-November, the plans were submitted to the CFIA (College of Engineers & Architects) for review – the first step in obtaining a building permit.  One month later, the CFIA had reviewed and approved the plans and determined the value of the construction (used for determining various permitting fees as well as property taxes).  The next step in the permitting process was for our plans to be reviewed by SETENA (Costa Rica’s environmental agency), since our total area of construction is more than 300 square meters.  However, getting anything done with any sort of governmental body or maybe ANY body for that matter in Costa Rica during the period from a couple of weeks before Christmas until a couple of weeks after New Year’s is pretty much a pipe dream.  Unfortunately, SETENA is notoriously slow and we are still waiting to get through their process.  The final step is then to present our plans and all the paperwork collected along the way to our local municipality for the building permit.

Eddie checking out the lot with Erik and Jane

Eddie checking out the lot with Erik and Jane

In the meantime, we have been doing what we can to get ready for construction to begin.  One of the big things was to get the electric service installed on our property.  This involved constructing a concrete column at the top of our driveway to house the electric meter, running the main electric cables underground from the meter to the building site, and then getting ICE, the power company, to install a transformer and hook up to the meter.

Constructing the electric meter house

Constructing the electric meter house

The hand-dug trench for running the electric service down to the house

The hand-dug trench for running the electric service down to the house

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The yellow line shows where the line was buried

The yellow line shows where the electric line was buried going down along side the driveway

In anticipation of the building permit’s arrival (fingers and toes crossed), our contractor will soon begin doing some preparatory work at the site.

Now, in full disclosure here, I, Eddie, am writing this post.  Ellen, who heretofore has eloquently authored this blog, recently headed back to the States for a visit and courageously left me in charge.  I will do my best to keep it going and I hope to be bringing you regular updates, photos and videos during the process of building our house.

Pura vida!