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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- All interior cement walls smoothed with cement and pasta for a “drywall” finish look and feel.
- All ceramic floors are high quality porcelain and include a standard 3-4″ wall edging for easy maintenance.
- All shower enclosures include 7 foot ceramic walls.
- Bathrooms include vanities with doors/drawers where space permits otherwise a high quality “pedestal sink” is installed.
- Interior ceilings are standard drywall at a 9′ 3″ height to accommodate ceiling fans and provide extra volume for coolness.
- Bathroom ceilings use green drywall for moisture resistance.
- Cathedral ceilings typically require an extra charge but are highly recommended.
- Exterior terrace and roof overhang areas all use “green” moisture resistant gypsum.
- Heavy gauge steel eaves troughs (not plastic) are used for all roof drainage purposes with in ground runoff pipes to the street.
- Attic areas and soffits are vented extensively to minimize heat build-up.
- Windows are typically custom made with aluminum or PVC frames, plate glass and screens and window openings are protected using steel security bars.
- Kitchen counters with back-splash are constructed using real granite as opposed to “Granito” which is a relatively inexpensive manufactured product that absorbs moisture.
- 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.
- Kitchen/bathroom fixtures are all “American Standard” or equivalent quality.
- The hot water system can be either instant electronic or propane gas.
- 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.
- 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.
- The house is pre-wired for cable, telephone, audio and internet connections as desired.
Cost Allowances Based on Overall Square Footage
- 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).
- This was the average for a 4000 square foot, 3 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom home with approximately 25% overall square footage for terrace areas.
The client is responsible for design and financing.
- 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.