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beachdreamer

May 29, 2009, 11:43 PM

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West Coast Building Materials

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We have a lot on the coast of Michoacan and wondered if US west coast building materials would hold up with the sea breezes and humidity? There is a gentleman who is selling siding,windows, insulation imported from the states. He claims that a house can be built for 20% less than using Mexican building materials. Any thoughts?
An adventure begins with a dream



jreboll

May 30, 2009, 7:00 AM

Post #2 of 8 (8779 views)

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Re: [beachdreamer] West Coast Building Materials

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When we built our house in Michoacan we used labor and local material to build the structure but the windows and a lot of the hardware and plumbing I brought in from NOB. You have to pick and choose what you want from either place.


beachdreamer

May 30, 2009, 8:16 AM

Post #3 of 8 (8771 views)

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Re: [jreboll] West Coast Building Materials

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Thanks for the reply. Why did you choose to bring in windows? For cost or quality? Since windows are big and bulky to transport why did you chose to purchase abroad? How is your cnsrruction holding up?
An adventure begins with a dream


jreboll

May 30, 2009, 12:50 PM

Post #4 of 8 (8753 views)

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Re: [beachdreamer] West Coast Building Materials

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The windows I took were double-paned and factory made and I got them at a very good price. These are very hard to find in a small town unless I wanted to go to Guadalajara and hunt for them. Also this was back in the 1980's when it would have been even harder to find.
I just saw some double paned aluminum 3' x 5' windows at Lowe's for a little over 100 dollars. Even with the import taxes they are still a good buy. I don't know the prices in Guadalajara and maybe Home Depot has similar prices there.


sakfogel


Dec 3, 2009, 5:11 AM

Post #5 of 8 (6580 views)

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Re: [beachdreamer] West Coast Building Materials

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By now you may have found your answer and completed your house. But if you haven't started your construction :
I live on the beach in La Paz, in Baja California Sur.
My house went up in 90 days!
I built it of 6" steel beams, with Densglass ( gypsum and fiberglass) outer sheathing, which was stuccoed over. The walls are insulated with 6" of polyester and the roof has 16". All electrical supplies came down from California as well. My windows are Empire Pacific dual-pane vinyl custom made for this house also shipped down from California.
That was 5 years ago, much of this stuff is available here now.

Of course US West coast building materials will hold up in Michoacan! Salt air and sun are the same everywhere!

My house is bolted to its' foundations, has metal wind shear strips and is built to California earthquake codes and the roof is secured with hurricane clips and extra ply wood for wind shear as well. This meets Florida hurricane codes.
The house is warm, quiet, cool in summer and warm in winter.
The rules of physics still apply in Mexico!
As do the rules of R value.
You can have a Mexican style house, and still be green.
Susan Fogel
On the beach in La Paz
Author of Margarita Mind Series of Books about Mexico
Book #1 now available: www.MargaritaMind.com


RickS


Dec 3, 2009, 2:54 PM

Post #6 of 8 (6555 views)

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Re: [sakfogel] West Coast Building Materials

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Susan,

How did the initial cost compare to what it would have been if built to 'normal' Mexican standards, assuming similar quality of build?


sakfogel


Dec 4, 2009, 5:26 AM

Post #7 of 8 (6511 views)

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Re: [RickS] West Coast Building Materials

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Rick,
I never checked the price of concrete block to build the house. I knew it would not be an option.
Initial cost is not the only factor in deciding on construction materials.

You need to consider the time it takes to build.
1. We broke ground on August 1. We hosted a wedding in our completed home on December 15th. The first 30 days of the construction time were spent on site prep. The actual construction time was 90 days. We have a 2300 sq ft home with another 1000 sq ft of covered patio, a pool, and a guesthouse.

My neighbor built a house of similar size using foam and did not move in for 18 months.

2. Livability;
My house is warm in winter, cool in summer. It does not smell like wet concrete, it does not sweat, and we don't shiver in winter.We don't have to go outside to get warm.
The interior walls are sheet rock, I can hang a picture with a straight pin if I like. No need for a drill and cement bit.
I don't take off a layer of skin if I bump the wall
My utility bills are lower
3. Flexibility
if you need to add an outlet, move light switches, install a ceiling fan or even move a wall it can be done easily, and inexpensively, and you are not breathing concrete dust for weeks afterward.

If these kinds of materials kept you warm and cool when needed in the Old Country, why wouldn't you want the same for your home in Mexico?


Time is money. Everyday I would visit the site, in the morning just to be sure everyone was working, all materials needed for the day were on the site, and to know what the day's plans were.
I would come back at random times, and seemingly by magic, a wall would be up. Later that day a window would be installed.
It amazed the neighbors!
But think about the construction time for a home in California: 90 days.
So why should you wait 6 months or a year to have a house in Mexico?

Builders and real estate agents will tell you you must build from concrete...only because that is all that they know.
You should also explore Quad-lock and panel W.

If I built again I would definitely use the same materials, but I would consider Quad Lock as well.
Free yourself of the concrete myth.
And don't make a decision based on upfront costs of concrete. Invariably there are cost over runs. If the builder buys materials as he goes, the price can and will increase during your construction period, which means your costs go up.
If cost is a big issue, build a smaller house , but use materials that will allow you to live in comfort.

Susan
Susan Fogel
On the beach in La Paz
Author of Margarita Mind Series of Books about Mexico
Book #1 now available: www.MargaritaMind.com


beachdreamer

Dec 9, 2009, 4:33 PM

Post #8 of 8 (6433 views)

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Re: How did you transport the materials?

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How did you transport the US materials either to La Paz or to Michoacan? Thanks.
An adventure begins with a dream
 
 
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