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Lloyd Turner was another genius for using concrete and ferrocement for "organic" type houses. He started as an architect in the 1960's, he passed away this year. One of his innovations was using inflatable plastic forms for dome type shapes, then spraying them with concrete and steel mesh, then removing the forms to be used again. These innovative homes are hard to find today in the U.S. and Canada because there are only a very few Structural Engineers who know about this and are willing to endorse the plans. These are homes for dreamers, built and constructed by dreamers.

Lloyd Turner images

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6 hours ago, bmh said:

1000 square meter house is huge, I guess you mean 100 not 1000 square meter

Yes, I definitely erred when typing that- 90 sq.meters, 1000 sq.ft, mas o menos.

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Further to my building experience in Mexico post above, I will add that I already had lived in Mexico for 7 years in various rental houses. So I was aware of what I did and didn't want in terms of construction. No palapas, although I think they're beautiful and are quite ubiquitous here in Sayulita . But they need to be sprayed regularly with poison, they're dirty (dust and bugs fall out of them), they can blow away or be severely damaged in hurricanes, and need to be replaced every 7-10 years, which isn't cheap.

Also had seen too much rough, uncleanable cement work on the underside of kitchen and bathroom counters, (construction workers never consider ease of cleaning), so that was solved by stapling thick black plastic to the wood support framework before pouring countertops. When the cement is cured, and the framework removed, the plastic peels right off, leaving a glass-smooth surface. Another pet peeve of mine in the rentals where I had lived was that the faucets were set too close to the wall and not enough space left between sink and faucets- a skinny little half-inch or less area hard to clean the toothpaste and crud out of. So I insisted on more space there.

And my needs are simple- I wasn't trying to build a first-world style home in a country with 3rd world infrastructure. It's not traditionally Mexican in style, but I used a lot of traditional materials in an untraditional way and kept appliances simple and didn't install things that would require specialized building skills, or specialized maintainance, so no pressure pump, no on demand water heaters, etc.

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On 12/9/2017 at 8:59 PM, NachoOE said:

Building in Mexico is different than the US and Canada mostly due to codes and restrictions plus the common building materials and the way jobs are bid are very different. Also contractors and specialization is not as clear as NOB. I just finished a design build home for a client in Ajijic and a ballpark figure would be between $8,000/sq mt and $9,000/ sq mt. including design, permits, construction and IMSS (which this last part you do have to be very careful that it gets paid and closed at the end of your construction) . Hope it helps.

I'm familiar with that house.   While this figure/quote above may be possible, you also tend get what you pay for both in construction quality, materials and more.

I used this Arq/ "builder" based on other criteria (not the above information) for a fairly large house.  The builder was removed from the project half way through.  Those kinds of decisions are never made lightly.

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1 minute ago, JustCurious said:

I know that house ....  It is across from the Waffle House in Ajijic.  While this figure/quote may be possible, you also tend get what you pay for both in construction quality and materials.

"Get what you pay for" is one of the most annoying sayings extant.  No, you don't. My first contractor  on this wreck of a fine old casa is well known in the community for so-called quality" NOB work. Still advertising as such. We hired him on the recommendation of a friend who had him do some work on her casita.  Gave me a nice high quote on a first segment of work to be done to make the place habitable.  He rought in a contentious crew from SJC who were the cheapest around and left a mess of trash everywhere. Ended with rats in the pile.  All plumbing installations were of the cheapest materials which have since been replaced.  He gave us another quote for replacing the terrazza cover of asbestos materials thinly covered with rotting plywood.  We paused to think about continuing with this guy.  Talked to a Mexican neighbor who recommended someone he had worked with.  This one came in with a quote less than half for the terrazza cover and other things, and wanted to go with "time and materials" instead of a contract. It turned out that he was meticuously honest about this.So, we took a chance and behold: He bought in neighborhood craftsmen who knew what they were doing, had us check prices on the more expensive items, had a clean yard every day with no more rats, did an excellent job with his craftsmen and came in with much lower costs than we expected.  We got ALL that we paid for, and used him thereafter when we needed things done.

So, don't fool yourself.  You MAY or may not "get what you paid for". Check around as much as your can and get the best man for the job. (live and learn). I'd recommend the one I liked, but he has since moved to another town.

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10 hours ago, gringal said:

"Get what you pay for" is one of the most annoying sayings extant.  No, you don't. My first contractor  on this wreck of a fine old casa is well known in the community for so-called quality" NOB work. Still advertising as such. We hired him on the recommendation of a friend who had him do some work on her casita.  Gave me a nice high quote on a first segment of work to be done to make the place habitable.  He rought in a contentious crew from SJC who were the cheapest around and left a mess of trash everywhere. Ended with rats in the pile.  All plumbing installations were of the cheapest materials which have since been replaced.  He gave us another quote for replacing the terrazza cover of asbestos materials thinly covered with rotting plywood.  We paused to think about continuing with this guy.  Talked to a Mexican neighbor who recommended someone he had worked with.  This one came in with a quote less than half for the terrazza cover and other things, and wanted to go with "time and materials" instead of a contract. It turned out that he was meticuously honest about this.So, we took a chance and behold: He bought in neighborhood craftsmen who knew what they were doing, had us check prices on the more expensive items, had a clean yard every day with no more rats, did an excellent job with his craftsmen and came in with much lower costs than we expected.  We got ALL that we paid for, and used him thereafter when we needed things done.

So, don't fool yourself.  You MAY or may not "get what you paid for". Check around as much as your can and get the best man for the job. (live and learn). I'd recommend the one I liked, but he has since moved to another town.

I agree .... the high bid does not always mean success, better quality for materials or labor.  But, you 'might' have a better chance than start out with the 'low-bidder'.

 

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I would say that reputation is important... It behooves the owner to get referrals from people who have had similar work done... Our contractor has done an excellent job on a number of projects at our house... He is not cheap but the work is quality and if there is a problem it is corrected... Having spent the majority of my working career in both domestic and international construction, I would say that "we got what we paid for".

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Point being, that referrals from satisfied customers are all important.  People who have had remodeling or building recently done are usually very willing to share their experiences: good and bad.  A young guy whose been working with an established builder isn't going to try charging as much as his former boss did, but he may have learned the trade well and will make an extra effort for you in the hopes of getting that all important good referral from you.

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On 12/10/2017 at 5:11 PM, Sonia said:

Nacho really helpful. Thanks.  Although we are in San Miguel, that is the price we have received here, in Manzanillo and Cuernavaca with 8000 / sq meter being common and using an architect. That is 727 p / $40 a sq ft. That is for a house with items I noted on my web site and granite counter tops, proper windows and doors with seals as found at Home Depot or better and wiring / plumbing to Canadian / American codes. http://www.soniadiaz.mx/real-estate.html Even on smaller homes, we are also seeing a lot more concrete delivered in cement trucks (sometimes being pumped to roofs and second floors) which gives consistency and it is much faster.

The price that NachoOE quotes in his post does not include (I've seen the house) ...  the types of things you are mentioning ...  granite, etc.  What is included in the house he built is laminate, and other things at that level of amenity.  Even the laminate was a very small counter.  The whole house was the least expensive of everything.    The only thing I saw of any increased cost was the color of the aluminum used for windows -- which was black, which is more costly than white.  For granite and similar 'life style' amenities, typically lakeside the cost is more $10,000 to $12,000.  But, I've seen NachoOE post in several places on this board ... apparently he is looking for work.  With the boom going lakeside, it makes one wonder why he has so much time to post on this board.

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