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surabi
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[*] posted on 11-6-2023 at 06:15 PM


Quote: Originally posted by BajaTed  
Design tips:
Giant Showers mean you are going to get cold.


:thumbup:

Also, don't think that a concrete bathtub will be great- I know several people who had them built, and as bathtubs aren't a Mexican thing, they had no idea how to build it. For one thing, the cold concrete will suck all the heat out of the water, and most of them are too big to fill before the hot water tank runs out. The only one I've seen that worked was actually made of styrofoam, with just a surface coating of cement plaster.

And if you want a built in concrete bench or sofa, you have to work backwards on the math. I'm an upholsterer and I can't tell you how many times clients have told me they want a nice thick cushion for it, 6-8 inches, but when I go to take measurements, the concrete base is too high- 18" is standard seating height, so a 6" cushion requires a 12" off-the-floor base. A 6" cushion on a base that is already 16" high means you'd need a stepstool to climb onto it.

Same goes for the depth- benches here often get built too shallow- there's no room for back cushions.

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Ateo
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[*] posted on 11-6-2023 at 09:31 PM


So much great advice here! I truly appreciate every person who has left a comment here.

BajaTed, PacificoBob, Surabi, Clark, Cancamo, Terry, AK, Gnu, Nano, Desert Rat.....thanks.

[Edited on 11-7-2023 by Ateo]
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BajaBlanca
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[*] posted on 11-7-2023 at 08:54 AM


Great that you are dreaming and taking concrete steps to make yiour future life a reality.

Remember that our house in La Bocana is still ready for a buyer. I tell you, it was such a wonderful home for 16 years. The original builder created his dream home and it became our dream home. It could become yours too.






Come visit La Bocana


https://sites.google.com/view/bajabocanahotel/home

And always remember, life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by those moments that take our breath away.
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soulpatch
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[*] posted on 11-7-2023 at 04:59 PM


Build for your environment.
Big differences between parts of the mainland and Baja.

Having lived with concrete furniture my best recommendation is don't live with concrete furniture.

Also, be ready to babysit the site.

Different areas have different top builders.

If you were in Nayarit I'd tell you two right off the bat that are top notch, one an ex-Norwegian boat builder and the other a contractor originally out of San Diego.

Some of the most modern building ( and by that I mean quality ) I've seen in QRO.

I have no doubt there are good builders that exist in Baja and people have already mentioned water source, electrical, etc.

I would map every circuit run since most local builders under-supply electrical circuits and often reverse neutrals and forget about grounds or even energize them.

You can find excellent people, though, but you gotta look at their work, first.

Oh, jajajaja, another funny thing.....p-traps and air gaps..... please, insist on them!
And don't let your builder mount faucets and then seat the sinks so you can never change them out...... been to that movie!




[Edited on 11-8-2023 by soulpatch]
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pacificobob
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[*] posted on 11-7-2023 at 05:17 PM


The best thing about concrete furniture is that guests won't overstay. Similar to an inflatable mattress.
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RFClark
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[*] posted on 11-7-2023 at 05:26 PM


Ateo,

You need an RFC number for Bank Accounts, Facturas
CFE and to buy some things like property.

Your Wife can get one if her Mexican Citizenship paperwork is in order.

[Edited on 11-8-2023 by RFClark]
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surabi
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[*] posted on 11-7-2023 at 05:38 PM


I'd say the biggest disadvantage to concrete furniture is that you can't rearrange the furniture. Otherwise, I don't see any problem with it. Of course, if the upholsterer uses poor quality foam, or the height of it means you can only put a 2" cushion on it, or it's not deep enough to settle back comfortably on, then it's not going to something anyone is happy with. I have a concrete sofa base in my living room with a 6" foam mattress on it, and I like it just fine. It's also twin bed size and I slept on it for a year while my second floor, with the 2 bedrooms got finished, as have lots of my family when they come to visit.

As for shower, toilet and sink traps, a friend was complaining that there was a sewage smell in her shower in her recently built house. I said her builder probably plumbed the toilet and shower together without traps. She said "Oh, he wouldn't do that". I said "Wanna bet?" So the next time she needed to take a dump, she first removed the shower drain cover, did her business, flushed, and ran to look in the shower drain. Sure enough, there were her turds floating by.
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surabi
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[*] posted on 11-7-2023 at 05:42 PM


Quote: Originally posted by RFClark  
Ateo,

You need an RFC number for Bank Accounts, Facturas
CFE and to buy some things like property.

Your Wife can get one if her Mexican Citizenship paperwork is in order.

[Edited on 11-8-2023 by RFClark]


Residents can get RFCs as well. Also, it's a good idea to get official facturas for whatever building materials, appliances, and other permanent fixtures you can. They can be deducted from any capital gains if you ever sell the place.
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gnukid
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[*] posted on 11-7-2023 at 10:05 PM


House plans seem overwhelming at first, yet, as the owner, it should be easy for you to define your desires on paper and right general rules and requirements for the construction, that only you can determine.

Many times, your ideas are very different from those of the architects or builders, they may argue or misunderstand, so start with a binder and just take a piece of paper draw out the basic plans. Those basic plans can be put into plastic covers and often end up being the driving force for the project, and the binder will serve as the project guide.

Builders often say we need a plan, then once you provide it them, they won't look at or follow it, so it's important to have a regular scheduled plan review, for example, 15 minutes daily in the morning at 9am, or every few days based on project phase, so its expected.

Electrical plan is something that only you can determine. In Baja it's common to do electrical after (obra negra) blocks, which is fine, or you can lay insulated cable into a cut groove into the block as it's being built or lay electrical hose or conduit while the house is being built, or cut in later, which is most common but results in cracks and issues.

I want outlets every 3 meters at least, and many more in workshops and kitchens. Lighting can be done with cans for spots built into the roof as well as other lighting options, for wall mounts and chandeliers, 3 way switches etc. Much easier to determine the needs and desires in advance.

Consider conduit for hardwired internet access points and a central control closet area with consideration for wired outdoor cameras.

If you choose to install multiple Mini spits, they can provide cold and heat, on demand hot water heaters should be placed as close to the shower location where they are needed.

Do the ampere math to understand the amount of circuits and total amp power desired for the property, add more circuits space for future circuits or outdoor lighting and power, and plan for distribution, for example, multiple sub panels. Plan wire gauge sizing based on needs and overall power upfront. A small house is fine with 100amps and larger house will need 200amps, with larger distribution wire sized from street to sub panel, ground, depending on distances. Electrical calculators provide wire gauge estimates per amp and distance to address voltage drop. I use the largest wire possible for street to sub panels 000 and interior size according to circuit needs.

CFE will ask for a power use plan with appliances and estimated use to open your contract. It's worthwhile to understand if there is a transformer nearby, the distance, and base your plan on a reasonable expectation of how many amps can be delivered. If you over estimate and it's not available then you may be denied service unless you pay a fee to increase service in the region. So, look around and see what size transformer is nearby, usually there is number on the side of the pole transformer to state the total amps available. Same goes for solar.

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surabi
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[*] posted on 11-8-2023 at 08:44 AM


"Builders often say we need a plan, then once you provide it them, they won't look at or follow it, so it's important to have a regular scheduled plan review, for example, 15 minutes daily in the morning at 9am, or every few days based on project phase, so its expected."

This happened to a friend of mine who had done exactly what you recommended- she had put together a binder with photos of the finishes she wanted- the tiles, the paint colors, the plumbing fixtures, etc. Then, being naive about building in Mexico, went back up north and left the builder to it. She came back to find different tiles, different paint colors, different fixtures.

If one is not going to be around to oversee the project, it is advisable to hire a project manager- someone not connected to the builder, who can make sure they are following the plans. A project manager can also alert the homeowner as to whether the builder is working steadily, or has taken on other jobs that he is pulling his crew over to, which can happen.

The most extreme miscommunication I ever heard of (not a rumor- I met the guy) was a guy in Cabo, who wanted a smallish house surrounded by gardens. When he and his architect were doing the plans, he thought they were working in sq.ft., when the architect was working in meters. He had to go back up north and came back to a house 3 times bigger than he wanted, that took up the whole lot. He'd been living in his camper at the campground before that, and continued to sleep in it, parked behind the house, for the first year, because the bedroom was so huge and uncozy-feeling, he couldn't fall asleep in it.


[Edited on 11-8-2023 by surabi]

[Edited on 11-8-2023 by surabi]
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RFClark
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[*] posted on 11-8-2023 at 09:13 AM


Ateo,

Several other recommendations come to mind. Buy design software and practice with it. We used KEY PLAN 3D on my IPad. It’s easy to use and inexpensive.

Subscribe to FineHomebuilding.com and visit open houses in your area that are similar to what you want to build. Take lots of pictures.

You will be surprised how much you can learn in a few years of study.
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Ateo
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[*] posted on 11-8-2023 at 08:59 PM


Quote: Originally posted by BajaBlanca  
Great that you are dreaming and taking concrete steps to make yiour future life a reality.

Remember that our house in La Bocana is still ready for a buyer. I tell you, it was such a wonderful home for 16 years. The original builder created his dream home and it became our dream home. It could become yours too.



And that house I already got a great tour of. You have a slice of heaven there......we won't be going that far south though unless it's the mainland.
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Ateo
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[*] posted on 11-8-2023 at 09:01 PM


Quote: Originally posted by soulpatch  
Build for your environment.
Big differences between parts of the mainland and Baja.

Having lived with concrete furniture my best recommendation is don't live with concrete furniture.

Also, be ready to babysit the site.

Different areas have different top builders.

If you were in Nayarit I'd tell you two right off the bat that are top notch, one an ex-Norwegian boat builder and the other a contractor originally out of San Diego.

Some of the most modern building ( and by that I mean quality ) I've seen in QRO.

I have no doubt there are good builders that exist in Baja and people have already mentioned water source, electrical, etc.

I would map every circuit run since most local builders under-supply electrical circuits and often reverse neutrals and forget about grounds or even energize them.

You can find excellent people, though, but you gotta look at their work, first.

Oh, jajajaja, another funny thing.....p-traps and air gaps..... please, insist on them!
And don't let your builder mount faucets and then seat the sinks so you can never change them out...... been to that movie!




[Edited on 11-8-2023 by soulpatch]


Thanks brother. I will text ya mañana, All good input here, solid, solid, and I'm printing this stuff to keep it organized.
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Ateo
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[*] posted on 11-8-2023 at 09:03 PM


Quote: Originally posted by RFClark  
Ateo,

You need an RFC number for Bank Accounts, Facturas
CFE and to buy some things like property.

Your Wife can get one if her Mexican Citizenship paperwork is in order.

[Edited on 11-8-2023 by RFClark]


RF, Gracias. I'll tell the wife about the RFC.....she has had bank accounts down there for years so maybe she already has one?
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pacificobob
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[*] posted on 11-8-2023 at 09:22 PM


I had bank accounts,owned real estate and had cfe accounts for years before acquiring a rfc.
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surabi
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[*] posted on 11-8-2023 at 10:11 PM


Quote: Originally posted by pacificobob  
I had bank accounts,owned real estate and had cfe accounts for years before acquiring a rfc.


Yes, but the Mexican tax dept, SAT, started requiring RFCs for all kinds of things starting about a year ago. Some entities are required to get copies of your RFC paper before you can do business with them. For instance, the Sunbrella fabric distributor I order fabric from requires me to send them an updated copy of my Constancia every 3 months.
The banks used to just fill in some generic RFC number for gringoes, now they want your actual RFC if you try to open a new account.
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[*] posted on 11-25-2023 at 11:10 AM


Look up @dooglassandesperanza on YouTube. They just heavily documented their experience building a small AirBNB resort consisting of their main home and two full time rentals on the same property in Loretto.
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Ateo
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[*] posted on 11-25-2023 at 05:44 PM


Gracias TownTaco! Gonna watch now!
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