El Conquistqdor Francisco de Orellana

El Conquistqdor Francisco de Orellana
The Conquistador who put the Amazaon baisn "on the map"....Francisco Orellana

Monday, December 3, 2012

Building a home.....the Ecuadorian way

"Hey Dom, why do I see so many unfinished homes in Ecuador?"

It's true. But there's a short and a long answer.

The short answer: You don't see unfinished homes as much in countries like the US because most purchases in Ecuador are still cash purchases while most purchases in the US are with bank loans where the homes MUST be finished in order for the seller to receive the funds.

The long answer: Many people underestimate how much it's really going to cost to build a home in Ecuador or don't understand the building process in Ecuador. So when they run out of money they stop building until they have more money.

The general building process in Ecuador is as follows based on my own recent experiences... remember this is a country where cement is king and most homes don't have either AC or heating cause it's not really needed.

1a. Get building permit (permisos) from local Municipality. (Could range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand depending on your project.)

1. Dig the holes for the foundation of the building, if the ground is loose you will need to add filler soil to stabilize.

2. Get the rebar in place for the pouring of the floor and the support columns as well as leave designated spaces where the electric and water outlets will be. (Expensive step, especially if your floor is going to be elevated off the ground!)

3. Pour the floor. (You'll need to hire extra men for a few days to do this, very labor intensive.)

4. Pour the support columns.

5. Build the walls leaving spaces for the doors an windows, cement block is by far the fastest and cheapest option, but brick and wood are also popular for walls in Ecuador. (If you use materials other than block be prepared for longer wait times.)

6. Build the support beams for the roof and lay the outer roofing. (Not very expensive in Ecuador)

7. Lay the drop-roofing or inner roofing. (Not very expensive in Ecuador)

8. Construct any permanent fixtures or furniture pieces like countertops, etc.

9. Plaster the walls to even them out, especially if cement block is used.

10. Finish the flooring starting with the bathroom tiling. (Can be expensive, I recommend not tiling the bathroom walls, just the floor and shower walls to lower costs and wait times.)

11. Connect up the water, plumbing, install the toilets, sinks and the electricity units. (Not as expensive or complicated as you think, my electrician was also my plumber and charged me $12 for each "point" of electricity that he needed to install.)

12. Finish the exterior of the home and things like balconies, etc.

13. Install the doors and windows. (Shop around, prices vary greatly in Ecuador.)

14. Paint, add finishings like mirrors and furnish.

15. Rent or sell.

Dom Buonamici
Murali B&B Airport Guayaquil

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