Planning a “High End” Custom Home in Coronado

Planning a “High End” Custom Home in Coronado

Here is a “check list” approach as to what one might expect to get in terms of planning/building/contracting a “high end” custom home in Coronado as of early 2014. This information is in fact a basic summary of a marketing brochure that I personally used back in 2008 when the Coronado market was very hot and when I project managed and constructed 6 or 7 high end homes here (average size 4000 square feet). The information has been updated for 2014.

What you get for about $100 per square foot on your own lot

  1. Site preparation (clearing/filling/grading) for optimal drainage and positioning of buildings including septic system all built to municipal standards. Some  some lots may require an extra charge for leveling and fill.
  2. Standard seismic footings using 6” exterior block walls for more efficient cooling, better sound insulation, pipe and column concealment, overall structural strength, and better depth for window security bar installation.
  3. High quality cool roof constructed of extra hardened colonial clay tiles over zinc sheeting on a welded steel roof support  structure with one meter (40″ overhang) with steel eaves troughs.
  4. All interior cement walls smoothed with cement and pasta for a “drywall” finish look and feel.
  5. All ceramic floors are high quality porcelain and include a standard 3-4″ wall edging for easy maintenance.
  6. All shower enclosures include 7 foot ceramic walls.
  7. Bathrooms include vanities with doors/drawers where space permits otherwise a high quality “pedestal sink” is installed.
  8. Interior ceilings are standard drywall at a 9′ 3″ height to accommodate ceiling fans and provide extra volume for coolness.
  9. Bathroom ceilings use green drywall for moisture resistance.
  10. Cathedral ceilings typically require an extra charge but are highly recommended.
  11. Exterior terrace and roof overhang areas all use “green” moisture resistant gypsum.
  12. Heavy gauge steel eaves troughs (not plastic) are used for all roof drainage purposes with in ground runoff pipes to the street.
  13. Attic areas and soffits are vented extensively to minimize heat build-up.
  14. Windows are typically custom made with aluminum or PVC frames, plate glass and screens and window openings are protected using steel security bars.
  15. Kitchen counters with back-splash are constructed using real granite as opposed to “Granito” which is a relatively inexpensive manufactured product that absorbs moisture.
  16. Kitchen cabinets, both uppers and lowers, are constructed using “cedro margo” which is a highly resistant wood recommended for the tropics and very similar to teak.
  17. Kitchen/bathroom fixtures are all “American Standard” or equivalent quality.
  18. The hot water system can be either instant electronic or propane gas.
  19. High quality Glidden “Peerless” paint, or the equivalent, is used inside and out as the final coat over a special cement or drywall “sealer” coat.
  20. Copper electric wire inside PVC tubing is used throughout although in many instances the main line from the outside meter to the house is aluminum. This is optional.
  21. The house is pre-wired for cable, telephone, audio and internet connections as desired.

Cost Allowances Based on Overall Square Footage

  1. This price would include 5 appliances ($3000), a water pressure system with reserve tank ($1000), porcelain floor ceramics ($20/M2 allowance), real granite kitchen counters $5000 allowance), window security bars, custom built-in closets with shelving, colonial style interior doors, steel exterior doors, basic light fixtures and/or basic ceiling fans with lights as appropriate (with dollar allowances).
  2. This was the average for a 4000 square foot, 3 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom home with approximately 25% overall square footage for terrace areas.

Client Responsibilities

The client is responsible for design and financing.

Builder Responsibilities

  • Construction is typically based on a “fixed price” as outlined in a “construction agreement” but could also be based on a cost plus formula or a fixed price per week for project management services.
  • Completion time is typically 4 to 6 months for a medium to larger home (up to 400 M2 or 4000+ SF) with 20-25 workers on site until the roof is up (2-3 months) and a much smaller crew (perhaps 6-8 people) for the finishing stages.
  • The builder/contractor should have a “limited power of attorney” letter to ensure that all required permits can be obtained in a timely manner.
  • All construction is performed in a safe and workmanlike manner in accordance with local and Panamanian national building standards including payment of Social Security to all salaried workers.
  •  The builder is responsible for all on site worker supervision and the required paperwork/remissions to Social Security.
  • The builder provides a one year guarantee on all construction work.

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