Monthly Archives: July 2013

Construction Costs

Construction Costs

Construction costs over the past 5-6 years have increased but not as dramatically as have land values. A bag of cement in 2006 cost $4.50 whereas in 2013 it costs almost $10. The cost of a block of cement (4 inches) has almost doubled whereas the cost of a skilled construction worker has increased from approximately $22/$25 a day to about $30/$35 a day. As a general rule, construction materials consume about 60% of the building budget whereas about costs account for 40%. Continue reading

Project Management Options

Project management

Project management is generally a major consideration for anyone planning to build/renovate in the Coronado area. There are many options. You can do it yourself which of course requires considerable personal time, a high degree of construction knowledge/ability and a good facility with the Spanish language. In this capacity will learn all about the intimate details of the Panamanian Social Security System, as well as the meaning (and extra cost) of “liquidacion” and “decimi”. Although you might know all about wood frame construction for North America you need to have a detailed knowledge of construction techniques for Panama which has absolutely nothing to do with “wood frame” techniques. Your knowledge should include the full range of materials available for each task, the unit costs of building materials, the major local suppliers of these materials, the average productivity of construction crews and how to stay on on top of “quality control” issues. Continue reading