Friday, July 25, 2008

Condominiums and construction methods

This is an example of the housing built for foreigners. It is in contrast to the common housing for Costa Ricans, an example of which I showed in my earlier post of a typical "Tico" house.

The condos that are built to market to foreigners, such as this one, are much more expensive than most of the housing for local residents. The increase of real estate and housing prices in the past decade is a reason that Tamarindo today consists mostly of international residents.

The construction methods for new condos in the Pacific area of Costa Rica differ from what is common in other areas of the world. New construction is made of concrete, including concrete interior walls. The walls are finished inside with a smooth coating that gives the appearance of plaster, but the walls are solid concrete.

The concrete walls are very strong for earthquake protection. Soundproofing between condos is excellent. Fire risk is extremely low, as the walls, ceilings and floors will not burn, and the concrete that surrounds each unit acts as a firewall. Insulation from the heat is good.

The disadvantages are that special hooks are needed to hang pictures on the wall, and you cannot run additional electrical or cable TV lines in solid concrete the walls. Hopefully, the builder anticipated where the residents will want electrical fixtures, appliances, cable TV, etc.

The condominium in the photo above is across the street from our condo in Playa Langosta, the most upscale residential area of Tamarindo.

Yesterday a reader left a comment asking an excellent question about whether the growth in tourism is good or bad for the country. I left a comment giving a partial answer. In my future posts I hope to shed more light on this topic. Comparing the housing in this photo with the typical "Tico" house I posted earlier is one way to present information for your consideration on this topic.

Tomorrow, I will show the main street of Tamarindo, which is the old town, before the growth of tourism in the current decade. Sunday, I will show one of the new shopping areas as a contrast to the main street.


Jill said...

Very interesting David. It's been about 7 or so years since I was in Tamarindo. We drove the dirt road behind Las Tortugas Hotel and noticed all the 'lots' for sale all the way to the cape. I can tell it has changed greatly since our first time there in '97.

Ineke said...

i must say, this house looks great to me.

Hilda said...

The design of these houses and your description of their construction sounds amazingly like those of upper-middle class houses here in Manila!

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