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Thread: Homebuilding in the DR the inexpensive (Dominican) way

  1. #21
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    Default Homebuilding in the DR the inexpensive (Dominican) way

    Quote Originally Posted by montreal View Post
    Including the finishing? Flooring, kitchen, bathroom etc?
    no,...just the finishing of the exterior and interior block walls ready for paint,and the floors of course are cemented and will be tiled someday in the future.It does include the locations of the pipes and the electrical tubing has been pulled thru some walls.The pipes for water and septic tank have been bought but not installed fully yet,and of course I still have to put in the septic,which will take some more rocks and labor but will do that after the roof is installed.
    I just posted this as info on a Dominican house,not one done by developers,builders,etc.This is how most houses are built by the average 6000 peso a month Dominican.
    You can see how much profit there is here on these houses built and sold by developers.
    bob

  2. #22
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    Default who is JJR- iwould like finance info

    I would to send him so finance questions ....



    Quote Originally Posted by Chip00 View Post
    I thought I would start a thread for those interested in homebuilding in the DR the economical way - the way Domincans do it. As an engineer by trade I have a good deal of experience working with contractors. In fact I used to work for a general contractor as well. This was in the US but I feel it is still relevant.

    The advantage of this "method" is that one will have the ability to significantly reduce the cost of a home, by a range of 40% and up - depending on the size of the house. In effect, one will be acting as the "General Contractor" and therefore will be required to buy the material. Therefore, if you don't have time on you hands or have a trustworthy person who can buy the materials AND have a decent working knowledge of Spanish, reading and writing, this way won't be for you.

    In summary, the cost savings comes from contracting directly with a "maestro of construction" to manage the constuction for a fixed fee. This will be much more economical for the simple reason is that typically maestros aren't very wealthy and one can negotiate a decent fee AND most importantly doesn't need to make a lot of profit on the project in order to have funds for his next project - this is the case for most homebuilders and for that reason they need to charge so much more than a maestro. For example, the home I bought cost me RD3.7M with the cost estimated to be RD2.0M inlcuding the property. The cost of the house was a steal but nontheless the homebuilder made a profit of RD1.7M in about 4 months of work - not bad. If I had done this with a maestro the my cost would have been around RD2.2M for a cost savings of around RD1.5M.

    First, the property must be obtained. This can be done by various methods as posted here in the DR but basically consist of working with a realtor or the property owner directly. Also, for whatever method one chooses at the very least make sure the title research is done. FYI title research CAN be done by a registered surveyor regardless of what some may tell you, even lawyers here in DR. Typically, a lawyer will charge a lot more for the service than a surveyor.

    As an added security measure, title insurance CAN be had here in the DR by a reputable title company from the US - please search DR1 for this info.

    Also, if getting a loan is necessary I higly recommend sending a PM to JRR to find out about rates. the reason being is that the rates one gets here in the DR just can't compare with what this guy can offer IF one his good credit in the States. For example, I am paying a rate of 17% but will be re-financing it with JRR for a rate around 9% or so.

    Second, the crux of this method depends on finding a reputable, honest and fair "maestro de construccion". This may seem to be a tall order to find in the DR but they can be found. FYI, every homebuilder and engineer here in the DR will have a "maestro" directing the construction so there are many around. The thing is is to find one with the experience not only to build the house and manage the construction but also to be able to estimate materials and labor in order to adequately calculate the total cost of construction.

    Third, the design of the home will need to be done and an Architect/Engineer may need to be contracted to do the plans and have them signed and sealed. Think this should cost a lot - think again - prices can be had for this for a two story home from RD5k on up(depending on how much you want to pay).

    Fourth, a cost estimate will be need to be done by the mastro AND his fee that he will charge and how much time he will take. For four months work a fee of RD120,000 to RD200,000+ will be more than reasonable. To keep this in perspective, most maestros will be making RD15,000 a month for their services - good pay in the DR so what you will be paying them will be a very good pay and you will still be saving tons of money. It may be prudent to have a lawyer create a contract to sign explaining the terms and such and DR1 has many references for such.

    Fifth, one will need to find at least a few ferreteria's in the area that will have the building materials and finish items. The easiest way will be to establish a line of credit to be paid of monthly or weekly - check with them about their terms.

    Once this is all set up the next step is to get started. One of the very first things that will need to happen is to secure the property with a fence. Also, one will HAVE to have a full time person to stay their to guard the materials. I know it may seem to be a tall order but one's best bet is to pass by a church and talk with the pastor, whether Catholic or Protestant about regular churchgoers who he could recommend. For that matter, this would be a good starting point to find a maestro as well. Expect to pay RD6000 for this service(a good fee BTW - RD4000 is normal).

    Remember, one will have to visit the site frequently and also should really go with the maestro to get the materials but failing that, pass by the site on a frequent basis to review the receipts and confirm them with the ferreteria and follow the construction. In the contract their should be a clause about be able to release the maestro for performance reasons. Also, the workers will have to be paid on a weekly basis, including the maestro. It will behoove one to keep track of the pay records and receipts of materials to compare the progress of the work.

    Perhaps the most important part of the method will be finding a good maestro. The best way to do this is to talk with people and find out if they have one who has done work for them that they can recommend. This way one can check out the actual work that has been done to see if it is comparable to similar work in terms of quality, etc.

    Suerte

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    Chip, or others with experience -

    I'm thinking about making improvements to a basic, concrete block single-storey home in SD area, and have been talking to a young architect I met on the plane to Miami. How can I determine whether he really is an architect, and his level of competence?

    The project would be to make the existing home more livable (an exhaust fan or two, better electrical system, etc.) and a little bigger, and to add two basic apartments as a second level, for renting out. Not a skyscraper, to be certain, but will need someone competent for planning support for the second floor, water and sewer hookups, etc.

    Thanks,

    Pedro Tercero

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedro Tercero View Post
    Chip, or others with experience -

    I'm thinking about making improvements to a basic, concrete block single-storey home in SD area, and have been talking to a young architect I met on the plane to Miami. How can I determine whether he really is an architect, and his level of competence?

    The project would be to make the existing home more livable (an exhaust fan or two, better electrical system, etc.) and a little bigger, and to add two basic apartments as a second level, for renting out. Not a skyscraper, to be certain, but will need someone competent for planning support for the second floor, water and sewer hookups, etc.

    Thanks,

    Pedro Tercero
    If it is really simple, try to find a reputable maestro. Talk with people you know in the area. Also, find out what the Architect's price is for the plans and permitting and get back with me.

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    Default Concrete Castle

    Thanks, Chip -

    This project is going to unwind slowly so I may not have much to talk about for awhile. But, I do have a few questions this morning.

    Should a good Maestro be able to take care of all the plumbing and wiring details? Are there plumbing and wiring codes, and final inspections to verify that work is to code? Are there "licensed" plumbers or electricians, or do the Maestros just learn from experience which ones are the best, and use them?

    Should a good Maestro also know enough about architecture to be sure the walls of the original home are reinforced properly to handle the load of the new second story, etc.?

    And, given that the two floors will be made 100% of concrete, what approaches other than air conditioning have you seen for reducing the heat buildup in block homes? Roof materials should be an important factor, and vent fans?

    Que tenga buen dia.

    Pedro Tercero

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    Should a good Maestro be able to take care of all the plumbing and wiring details? Are there plumbing and wiring codes, and final inspections to verify that work is to code? Are there "licensed" plumbers or electricians, or do the Maestros just learn from experience which ones are the best, and use them?

    As far as following codes here in the DR, I can't tell you. There is a lot of homebuilding here in Santiago and I have as of yet to see an inspector. the education of Maestros will vary greatly, but they do most of the work. For big projects it will be a good idea to have an Engineer or Architect involved, but for homes, like in the US it is really unecessary for the most part.

    Should a good Maestro also know enough about architecture to be sure the walls of the original home are reinforced properly to handle the load of the new second story, etc.?

    That would depend on the maestro.

    And, given that the two floors will be made 100% of concrete, what approaches other than air conditioning have you seen for reducing the heat buildup in block homes? Roof materials should be an important factor, and vent fans?

    That is a difficult one and will depend on the area in which you live. there are two components to heat, the radiance and the ambient temperature. If you live in close proximity to a lot of other buildings, the radiant load will maintain the temperature higher than a house on it's own in the campo. That is because concrete soaks up the heat during the day(because they are cooler that the surrounding temp) and then as the temp drops it releases the heat energy typically from 8 to 12 pm in the evenings. The only solution will be to have adequate ventilation and shade if possible. These can be effected by windos and fans and awnings, etc.

    If you want a good maestro, I recommend my buddy Anjito. He travels all over the island and is honest and trustworthy. He is currently available as I talked to him last night - give him a call 829-964-1507. He also has a friend who is an engineer who can check your house and do whatever plans are necessary. This guy will charge you Domincan prices.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hipocrito Mejia View Post
    Here's a link to an old post about this topic, where Rick Snyder (RIP), myself, and some others, posted some of our experiences and advice regarding building in DR. Enjoy!

    http://www.dr1.com/forums/business-q...on-prices.html
    Um, I know this is off-topic, but what's the deal with the RIP after Ricks' name?

    Back on topic, I have seen, even in some barrios in Santo Domingo, those red roof tiles that are common in Italy. Are those imported, or are they sold in the DR?

    Say you wanted Viking appliances for you kitchen-are they sold in the DR or would you have to import them?

    By the way, this is a great thread.

  8. #28
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    Default Rice Straw Bales- Affordable Eco-Enviro friendly Housing

    Save the Trees,Energy and Environment
    Aid Community Health & Well Being


    I am planning to come to DR in late DEC.2007.I will be looking at available natural recycleable waste materials to build homes.Particulalry rice straw.I am a Straw Bale advocate from Vancouver Canada.I am well connected with the leaders of this technology around the world.I will be bringing pictures videos and other data with me for anyone interested.

    In the meantime you can contact me via email: paul_modde@yahoo.ca or phone 604-778-330-7213

    Kia'i pronounced (kee-ah-ee)

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    Here in Canada, I see lots of projects with micro-hydro water turbines. I have a friend who builds himself a house with water turbine in Laurentides, Quebec. Is it a good idea for DR ? Have somebody tried it ? Chip, you must know something about this, for sure.
    thanks
    ac

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by andrewc52002 View Post
    Here in Canada, I see lots of projects with micro-hydro water turbines. I have a friend who builds himself a house with water turbine in Laurentides, Quebec. Is it a good idea for DR ? Have somebody tried it ? Chip, you must know something about this, for sure.
    thanks
    ac

    andrewc52002;

    I'm not familiar with the laws governing individual/private electrical production here in the DR, but I'd be willing to bet that there is a law/regulation prohibiting such and one would have to fight EdNorte, EdSur and EdEste plus every one between the terminus and point of production to keep themfrom tappong into the system and stealing the production.
    Just a comment which has no basis in fact.

    Texas Bill

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