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Tips for Dealing with Contractors in Costa Rica

Tips for Dealing with Contractors in Costa Rica

Image Source (Guest Blogger: Jason Mueller)

Costa Rica is a beautiful place to call home, but when it comes to buying a home, it can be hard to find that perfect one. As you may have already discovered, there are just so many beautiful homes including condos, family homes and even tree houses in Costa Rica to look at. This is why many choose to build a home on a plot of land that they purchase. This way, they can ensure that they’re obtaining that perfect dream house, without having to search endlessly through the others that are for sale.

It is always important to set a budget for a build and work within your financial limits. Setting aside enough money, as well as having complete plans drawn up can save you time during the build. When you work with a licensed contractor, you shouldn’t have any unwanted financial surprises arise that you can’t handle during the build.

Hiring a contractor to build that home in Costa Rica is the smartest thing to do. With knowledge on the building and zoning laws, safety and codes, they can ensure that the home is ready to go when you need it. Know how to deal with the contractors building your new home in Costa Rica through these tips.

Some Things Are Different Here

Many components to home building done in the US are not the same as Costa Rica. For example: water softener tanks are not a standard item in Costa Rica as they often are in the US, so planning is crucial if you plan to have one in your new home. Additionally, some other items such as garbage disposals, central heating or cooling and GFCI outlets are not common in Costa Rica.

It is important to plan ahead to ensure that you can receive these items from a shipper overseas, or live without them in the home that is being built in the area. Be aware that shipping items overseas can be costly.

Speaking with the contractor can give you a better idea of what can and cannot be done in the home they’re building for you.

How Long Will This Take?

Knowing how long the build will take and when they can start is essential. You want them to work with you on the deadline that you have and you want to ensure that the times they give are within this.


Never work with a Costa Rican builder that requires more than 10 to 20 percent of the payment up front. Contractors will work with the money that you give them as the project progresses. They will let you know if something comes up that requires more money or more of a down payment, but most will not require you to pay half or more of the project before they begin.

Important Questions to Ask Your Contractor

As with any professional that you choose to hire for a job, it is important to ask certain questions. Knowing the answers to these questions can help you make a better choice on who to hire for the job.

Have the builder itemize their bid for the home building project with costs of:

  • Painting
  • Materials
  • Electrical
  • Plumbing
  • Tiling
  • Floors, Ceilings and Wall Construction
  • Demolition and Hauling

Ask these additional questions to learn even more:

  • Can I meet the foreman?
  • Do you have any references?
  • Is the bid you gave fixed or just an estimate for the project?
  • Will you get the necessary permits from the municipal engineering department for the build?
  • Who do you use for suppliers of the materials?

You may have had your home plans ready for some time and now, it is time to put those plans in motion and make the move. Though, if you’re not yet ready to build your own home or you wish to purchase a home that is “move-in ready,” there are so many nice properties up for sale in Costa Rica to choose from.