Build Your Own Ocean View Dream Home in Costa Rica – Part IV

by Becky Clower


We broke ground on January 17, 2012. We are officially into our fourth month of construction and things are moving along on our ocean view home near Pirate’s Bay (Bahia del Pirata) in Guanacaste.

Our new home will consist of three bedrooms plus office and 3 bathrooms, living/kitchen area, pool with outdoor covered living area and two-car garage. The house will be three stories (with the garage being the only thing on the ‘first/ground’ level) The house is about 2,800 square feet including the terraces and garage and sits on a 1,300 m2 lot.

The main highlights of this month is that you can now see the garage and entry way roof as well as the floor which is completely formed over the garage and entryway areas. The stairs leading up to the 2nd main living area are complete as is the staircase that leads from the far side of the garage (this staircase leads to the future covered rancho area over the garage). The pool is now completely done, just waiting for the pool contractor to come and finish it off with a quartz surface. We opted to use quartz because it’s more durable and lasts longer than other pool finishes. Around the pool, patio and balconies, we will use a contemporary teak railing with steel cables. We chose this type of railing to not lose the quality of the ocean view but still keep the area safe for our children and guests.

The steel framing finally arrived from Canada (although delayed for almost 2 weeks, which held us up slightly, but they are making up for the lost time). Our builder tells us that in 6 weeks the structure will be done. Seems ambitious, but I have faith in what he tells me. The steel framing went right over the garage and main entry area and you can also see where the framing has gone up in the dining room, guest bath and kitchen area. I can now easily visualize the actual size of the rooms now (which is much different for me than seeing it on building plans).

Last week we met with our builder in San Jose and got a lot accomplished in just one day. We opted to go with Durman PVC windows as opposed to aluminum, which is a more expensive choice but we felt it was worth the investment. We were impressed by the company and the quality of the windows. The house will have windows that are not only energy efficient, but look nice too. The finish is faux wood and will go well with the stucco colors we picked for the house. The colors we chose are berenjena (eggplant) and cacao—like a light green for the main part of the house and cacao (a brown/grey color) for the garage level and retention wall around the pool. We also chose a lighter color porcelain tile for the main level. We are still trying to figure out what type of wood floor to use on the second level, but we have figured out that we will do some sort of local Costa Rican wood for the top level of the house (bedroom level). We have about two months to decide the flooring situation.

The design of the house was meant to have the inside space blend with the outdoor space, so that will be a really nice feature. The outside space is almost the same size as the inside space, but is covered to protect from the rain (in rainy season) and the sun.

We are now officially in ‘Green’ or rainy season in Guanacaste. In just two weeks everything went from golden brown to bright green. Hopefully it doesn’t rain too much to delay the progress in our construction so far, but I can’t complain about how lush and beautiful the surrounding forest looks.