26 January 2015

Housing...an option we can use at False Bluff

Nicaragua has a house-building option I've never seen before. It's what I call a 'kit house.' A buyer can configure the rooms and porches of these cement-based houses in most any way s/he likes, sometimes using block to add to the pieces that come with the kit. And so, at least based on what I've seen in RAAS, there's a pleasant amount of variety in the interior layouts - and thus the exterior shapes - and in the porches.
The pieces of these houses are manufactured in the western part of the country and are, according to engineering specs, capable of withstanding some pretty severe weather. Since we have such easy access to False Bluff from Bluefields, building this type of house in our Caribbean setting is a nice option....and the price is right.
As of just a couple of years ago you could buy the basic kit, including shipping to Bluefields, for about $2500: one bedroom, living room, kitchen, and bath. The kit prices may have gone up since I asked, but they're probably still eminently affordable.

In one Bluefields neighborhood a favorite house of mine, unfinished, has three bedrooms - with the standard living room, kitchen, and more than one bath - and under roof with a really nice porch, the owner had managed to spend about $10,000.

Also unfinished is this house. I don’t know how many bedrooms or baths this one has but it's got a nice layout. In this house it's easy to see how the finish coat covers all the seams, just the way a finish coat would cover seams in a house built entirely of block.