I’m done. Six weeks, 3 tiki huts built with oceanviews near Montanita.
3 VERY different styles.
Non are luxury, but two of the three are nice for the middle-end or middle-higher-end traveler while one without much of a view is for the budget backpacker/surfer type, with good drainage with drain survey London system installed.
Remember when I got quoted $3000-3500 for each tiki hut? And when I said I knew of others in the area that pull in around $50 a night on the weekends and $20 or so a night on weekdays?
Well, I built mine with kitchenette, balcony, 1 bedroom, 1 bath ensuite with WIFI for new arrival expats and travelers looking to rent anywhere from 3 days to one month, maybe while they search for something else long-term like a 2 storey homes perth which can provide them all the facilities with the best construction and interiors for their enjoyment. Entrust the basement to Denver mud jacking contractors. An imperative precaution is to get the roofing done the right way. To get professional assistance on roofing, Hotshot Construction is the best way to begin with.
Well, here are the exact FINAL COSTS of the construction of each…
Tiki Hut 1, The budget option with little ocean-view built with a cement floor and cement block with the “Sing” metal sheet roofing (with help of Transition Roofing experts) so common in this area of Ecuador. It has WIFI and a mini-stove and bathroom (all in the same room) while the shower is behind a curtain out back. I hope to rent it to a surfer or backpacker for around $100 a month or $5 a day for shorter time periods. It’s good enough for me and someone not very picky, I could live there if I needed to live somewhere rent-free. It is very soviet-esque but comes furnished with bed, table, chair, Wifi internet, electric cooker, sink, and a half bath with the shower around back which does have a curtain. Currently its listed for rent at $85 a month.
Total build time = 6 days. (One Ecuador workweek).
Total size = 16 m2 or 172 ft2
Floor and mini-support columns
-8 sacks of cement at $6.65 = $53.20
– 1/2 m2 of sand = $9.15
– 1/2 m2 of rock = $10.20
– 6 Rebar of 8mm = $31.86
Cement block (250 units) = $77.50
6 Sacks of cement = $39.90
Door = $45
Lock and door knob = $12
No glass windows installed, only cement block windows with mosquito screens.
7 sheets of metal “Sing” = $77
4 wooden support cross beams = $36
Mosquito netting = $25
Toilet and sink = $95
Shower head = $8
Electricity installation of one light = $24
3 points of water and plumbing installation (toilet, sink, outside shower) = $60
(You can get the best plumber in Ryde for all your plumbing installation procedures at affordable prices. Contact them today)
Random plastic tubing, wiring and electric/plumbing accessories = $34.68
Electric stove = $14
Labor = 2 men, one lead builder (maestro $150) and an assistant (oficial $90) for one week, total = $240
TOTAL COST $892.49
Tiki Hut 2, I bought this All-wooden hut pre-built from a builder I know from the Ecuadorian Amazon, Tena region. It took 3 days for them to install it on my location elevated a few feet above the ground. It has a wooden balcony, wooden floor, wooden walls, a “sing” roof, a beautiful oceanview, one bedroom, one bathroom, a sink, kitchenette, mini-refrigerator, WIFI, one queen bed, closet, one full bathroom with a hot electric-powered shower with a tile floor and vinyl-covered walls. Roofers in Birmingham know their trade well, too. If the heat that the thatched roof might be accumulating bothers you, consider hiring a San Diego home services contractor to install some cooling AC systems.
I had to tile the floor myself first laying a small web or rebar, then laying a 5 cm layer of cement, then laying the tile… and then I had to stick vinyl on the bathroom walls with rubber cement as well as install the water and electricity outlets and hook up. For rent (based on market prices) at $20/ night, $95/week or $230/month, the price is the same for one or two people.
Total build time = 7 days.
Total size = 24 m2 or 258 ft2
Total cost of pre-fabricated wooden hut installed on site= $3200.
Total cost of bathroom supplies, tile for floor = $56
Vinyl for bathroom walls = $72
Installation of plumbing (4 points) = $84
Installation of electricity (4 points) = $48
Toilet and bathroom sink set = $85
Electric shower head = $24
Sink for kitchenette with accessories = $56
Electric wiring, plastic tubes and other plumbing and electric accessories = $78
Labor (2 days to install bathroom floor, lead maestro) = $50
Total cost = $3753
Tiki Hut 3, This was my baby, and boy I had no idea what i was getting myself into. By far the most labor intensive and time consuming, I designed the hut myself based off similar “mixed” models in the area. I also embodied some of the ideas from the Central Penn Contracting website. Due to inexperience building these types of huts (it was my first time) I made mistakes all along the way that caused me to go about $2k over budget (see the end of this email for details).
By “mixed construction” I mean a building that uses a mix of both eco-materials like bamboo and normal construction materials like cement and brick. My idea was to build an elevated structure a few feet off the ground with a cement, tiled floor and walls made partially of brick and bamboo.
The roof would have bamboo cross beams and a typical-for-the-area grass roof with a hidden layer of heavy-duty plastic and mosquito netting to keep the bugs out. The hut would have a balcony, one bedroom, one full bathroom with electric-powered hot shower and a kitchenette area complete with a countertop, sink, mini-refrigerator, one queen bed, closet, WIFI and a dining table for two. I did it, and it looks great, but not without learning a lot along the way. For rent (based on market prices) at $20/ night, $95/week or $250/month, the price is the same for one or two people.
Total build time = 5 weeks
Total size = 30 m2 or 322 ft2
4 laborers for 3 weeks (2 lead builders, 2 assistants), 3 laborers for additional 2 weeks (2 lead builders, 1 assistant)
Lead builders (maestros) I paid one $150 a week and the other $140 a week.
Assistants (oficiales) I paid $90 a week
Extra $80 for extra men the day we poured the floor
Material costs unit cost total cost
5.5 m3 of rock for construction $20.35 111.93
3 m3 of fine sand for construction $12 36
5 m3 of large-grained sand for construction $18.30 91.50
72 Sacks of cement $6.65 478.80
1 screwdriver $1.34 $1.34
11 Material transport cost $7 77
25 Rebar of 12mm $11.77 294.25
39 Rebar of 8 mm $5.31 207.09
18 Rebar of 10 mm $8.19 147.42
31 steel wire for tying rebar $.88 27.28
1 Wire #14 100m $27.50 $27.50
2 Paintbrushes for interior painting $1.87 3.74
2 Pairs of rubber gloves $1.60 $3.20
1 Flex meter $3.03 $3.03
1 Net to filter sand $3.16 $3.16
45 4-meter boards of low quality wood for construction purposes $3.40 $153
28 m2 large floor tiles for bedroom and kitchen 5.18 $145.04
1 SIKA 4kg Acelerante $5.37 $5.37
2 Red Teflon Paolo $.41 $.82
2 drain piece for shower $2.25 $4.50
10 nails for cement 2.5” .08 $.80
20 nails for wood 2.5” .84 $16.80
1 Tube Connector $2.09 $2.09
1 Tube 110 mm $10.04 $10.04
10 Viruta #8 $.60 $6
10 lbs of 2” nails $1.63 $10.63
3 lbs of 3” nails $1.63 $10.63
Tubes for plumbing $2.65
34 Bamboo thin 4 meter stalks for construction purposes $3 $102
3 4×4 wood cuartones $6.35 $19.05
1 mangle (wood beam) 5 meter $13
2 doors nicely finished $70 $140
2 Door lock $12 $24
6 Caja Rectangular Plastigama Plumbing accessories $.76 $4.56
1 Caja Octagonal .76
5 Tomac 1228 2.37 $11.85
1 Tomac P-68 2.14
2 Interruptor 1100 1.79 $3.58
8 Perfiles 4x4x2.3 2.61 $20.88
2 Brushes for wire 1.60 $3.20
2 Viruta #8 .58 $1.16
2 Windows with wood frames nicely finished $100 $200
25 stalks of diced Bamboo $3.50 $87.50
15 m2 of Beige tile $9.06 $135.90
7 m2 of Sabina Beige tile $7.81 $54.67
30 units of designer bathroom tiles $.76 $22.80
4 Bags of Porcelain, grout $1.73 $6.92
16 Sacks of Bondex Titania 20kg cement $4.24 $67.84
4 Sacks of Bondex Premium 20kg cement $12.41 $49.64
Varios Tubes, emergency plumbing service / electrical accessories $478.89
2 Electric saw blade $4.50 $9
10 Cabo ¼ $.22 $2.20
1 metal sink $28.57
30 m2 Black heavy-duty plastic for roofing $1.56 $46.80
3 units Maderol 1000cc $10.26 $30.78
2 Piola Nylon Ponte Selva #6 $1.87 $3.74
8 Sack Granite pebbles $2 $16
1 Codo 50×90 Plastigama 1.20
1 Sifon 50mm Plastigama $4.01
2 llave de pared for kitchen plumbing $21.87 $43.74
3 Tubes for toilet 1/2×7/8 2.36 $7.08
16 screws 8×2” .05 $.80
1 6” brush Wilson 9.55
8 Rosetron Bakelina .58 $4.64
1 Connectors for bathroom sink $9.82
8 Tiras (wood for construction) 1.56 $12.48
10 Cuartones (wood for construction) 2.93 $29.30 744.5
6 units sandpaper #120 .35 $2.10
3 units sandpaper #80 1.35 $4.05
3 units sandpaper #180 .35 $4.05
1 unit handicraft wood for balcony $60
6 bundles palm frowns for finishing roof $25 $125
Other wood costs for construction not calculated above $100
2000 Bricks .21 $420
Total material cost: $ 4306.86
Total cost = $6557.36
Final conclusions, lessons learned, notes to self + you:
– Buy pre-fabricated if you can find a design you like! It will save you time, hassle and money!
– Build on the ground, not with an elevated floor to save costs on rebar and time. This error cost me a bit over a $1000 and caused me to go over-budget!
– Build with cement block and the typical metal-sheet roofing when feasible to economize, use brick for decorating and highlighting only. Bricks are very time-consuming to build with.
– Shop around for stainless steel plate sizes to make doors and windows prices range greatly.
– When building an elevated floor or multiple floors find someone to rent you their construction wood planks, the ones they use to hold up the cement.
– Have your own pick-up truck type vehicle during construction and save greatly on transport costs.
– Once your floor and support columns are in most of the heavy lifting is done and you can reduce personnel.
– Always be prepared for construction projects in new countries to cost 50-75% more than you planned for if managing yourself.
– Although feasible and even a bit fun, if you aren’t a builder it’s really not a good idea to manage a construction project yourself.
– There is a reason Ecuadorians build like they do, and like I followed with TIKI HUT #1, don’t reinvent the wheel, try to build as they do to economize but maybe while adding a few “perks” that add value to your place and make it somewhere you’d like to live.
-Building with eco-products like Bamboo actually is MORE expensive than building with cement and cement block.
– Buy as many fixtures, furniture and materials as possible in the nearest big city to save costs, on the southern coast that would mean buying in Guayaquil.
-Buy all the rock, sand and cement bags you will need for the project beforehand to save time and costs considering you have a place to put it.
– If building on your own get at least a couple “expert” opinions beforehand, I only got one, wasn’t enough, wish someone would have told me at least what I just told you, it would have saved me thousands!
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