All about Construction in Costa Rica; from architects, engineers and developers to permits, costs and a general time-line. Construction in Costa Rica can be a tedious process. Even the most seasoned professionals can run into glitches and problems. It is best you consult trusted legal counsel as a guide through the process and/or a construction specialist.
It is very important to select the correct piece of land to build on and make sure what can be built and what cannot. Basically, the construction process begins with the purchase of the land. Please see the PURCHASE PROCESS SECTION before reading the other sections below which detail construction resources, permits, timelines, and costs .
Another important thing to note is that construction materials are quite different from what most North Americans and Europeans are used to. The homes are made of steel rods, concrete blocks and concrete all according to the anti-seismic codes here. Windows are usually made with aluminum or PVC frames to protect from the humidity. Another thing that comes as a shock to many foreigners is that Costa Ricans, do not use screens in their windows or doors. When working with a developer, screens are usually considered an upgrade. This is a good idea especially if you are in an area that could have insects.