Building in Costa Rica: Dream Home Design: So you have seen enough of Costa Rica to get a sense of the pura vida vibe in a variety of beautiful locations. You’ve got a feel for places with the best promise of delivering peace and happiness on your own terms, in your own little piece of paradise. And after narrowing down the short list of exactly where it’s going to be, you’ve finally picked your perfect spot.

Key to Dream Home Design:
Creating spaces that allow
the enjoyment of the outdoors is essential.

Nonetheless, carefully selecting the design of your new home will be crucial. You’ll want to include ample social gathering areas, plus allow flexibility within areas that can provide access to the beautiful outdoors.

We’ve prepared a simple list that may be able to guide you in your search. They are based on what I consider the basics of Costa Rican lifestyle: respect for family, friends and community, respect for nature and respect for the time for a cup of coffee.

Dream Home Design: Six things to consider

1. Include internet access / communication. Make sure you have connectivity, meaning good electrical outlet locations and internet access. Just because you are here does not mean you disconnect from your loved ones.  It is a very common mistake not to review with your architect the electrical plans for your new home.

2. Include proper orientation and positioning. To truly capture your home’s maximum potential, it is imperative to analyze its positioning, whether it’s an existing home or one you want to build. Explore this very important aspect with your real estate agent and/or architect to make sure you have the right amount of sun exposure, that you have the best possible views  and there is good natural cross-ventilation.

3. Include outdoor areas. Creating spaces that allow the enjoyment of the outdoors is essential. Design some roofed areas with the option of screening or enclosing them to keep bugs out without losing contact with nature. Air conditioning can be an important amenity in warmer climates, but make sure you install an energy-efficient system.

4. Include shaded areas. You may have lovely outdoor spaces, but they do not provide shade at the times when you would like to use them most, as in the case of western terraces that face the sunset. Creating shaded areas is vital for the enjoyment of outdoor spaces.

5. Include sensible gardens. Some areas receive lots of rainfall, allowing an abundance of tropical plants to grow with little effort on your part. In other areas, your gardens will need water and maintenance. With existing homes, ask how plants are irrigated, and if in a drought-awareness zone make sure a drip irrigation system is installed. If building new, your architect should be able to guide you in this very important aspect of your new surroundings.

6. And, yes, include coffee. Costa Rica’s coffee is considered some of the best on the planet, and you should consider planning for a special place in your home to enjoy a cup. Look for a special place with a view of mountains, a garden or the ocean.

As a caveat, building can be challenging if not done with the proper team. It is vital to do your homework and find the right real estate agent, architect and builders who are aware of the sustainability parameters so that your energy/water efficiency and design are appropriate and sensible to the local conditions of your future piece of paradise.

Need an Award winning Costa Rica Architect,
contact Grupo Pacifico
Tell them you learned about them from Howler Magazine


Article originally posted on August 4, 2018 on

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