Author Topic: Step-by-step pics of ,y building in Mexico  (Read 12519 times)

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philgib

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Step-by-step pics of ,y building in Mexico
« on: December 12, 2006, 04:58:40 AM »
Hi,

I  am building my first house in Chihuahua, Mexico, and I would like to share with you this project so that you may learn from it, and hopefully I may learn from you guys too...

The house is about 2500 feet, one single floor, colonial style with lots of double-columns.

It is supposed to be in English   ;D

Here is the link :
http://www.casadechihuahua.com/construccion.html

Cheers

Phil

glenn-k

  • Guest
Re: Step-by-step pics of ,y building in Mexico
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2006, 07:54:15 AM »
Thanks for the link, Phil.  Interesting to see how it is done there.  I spent some time in Chihuahua with a company that was working on exporting steel frame houses.

Looks like you are near the river that runs through town.  

Were you from the US?

philgib

  • Guest
Re: Step-by-step pics of ,y building in Mexico
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2006, 06:09:12 AM »
Hey,

No, I am European. That may explain my poor standard of English on the building page  :o

The river going through town is actually a canal, with not much water in it.

I had never heard about these steel-framed houses. Any internet site ? Is the company still living ?


Phil

glenn-k

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Re: Step-by-step pics of ,y building in Mexico
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2006, 08:21:43 AM »
The web site is still alive.  I'm not sure about the project.   It was quite a bit more trouble than I had time for.

My friend, Mario Aguilera is probably still around there.  

http://www.sunwayhomes.info/

I was at the government awards ceremony with then in 1996 in Chepultepec Castle and took the photo of them receiving the award..

« Last Edit: December 13, 2006, 08:22:29 AM by glenn-k »

mark_chenail

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Re: Step-by-step pics of ,y building in Mexico
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2006, 08:07:19 AM »
PHIL:  This is a great building diary and I look forward to reading it as you continue to build your house.  I am very fond of courtyard houses like yours and have always thought that this was the best plan for urban living.  A much more sensible use of land than the american scheme of a house in an open lawn that affords little or no privacy.  A fine scheme in rural areas, but nonsensical in town where the neighbors are so close.  I look forward to see how you deal with all the plumbing as each bedroom has its own bathroom and WC.  I like the way the bathrooms are all on the outside and provide a buffer to the outside world.

Im also fascinated by the actual building process in foreign companies and the use of simple methods and manual labor.  And its nice to know that problems with bureaucracy are a universal problem ;)  Good luck with your project and keep posting.

philgib

  • Guest
Re: Step-by-step pics of ,y building in Mexico
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2006, 04:06:10 AM »
Thanks Mark,

This closed space is some kind of survival to me as I am not used to big cities.

Now talking about the plan, my wife and daughter are complaining about the absence of garden.
Because my daughter wants a dog :-) Oh well, that is what family is about : compromises... So I may take out 1/3 of the swimming pool, along its length, to add some small garden parallel to the swimming pool.

Since the house is designed to have windows doors sliding almost all along, the view from inside the house will be important, and a garden is maybe welcome. I just worry about the swimming pool maintenance as a garden and a swimming pool do not necessary live well together.

So the swimming pool will do an L, just following the house scheme.

Well seen for the bathroom, this is exactly what I want : a buffer between the house and the outside world, making it easier (I hope) to warm as the bathrooms are so small.

At this time of ending the foundations, I would like to take advantage of the deep retention walls to try to have a large tube. The air would simply enter in the tube from somewhere in the garden through an insect filter, with some kind of small air extractor pushing the air to run on the underground for about 50 yards before arriving inside the main house room. If you guys have ever heard about a link of something similar, I am very interested as this is the right timing...  :P
« Last Edit: December 16, 2006, 04:07:13 AM by philgib »

mark_chenail

  • Guest
Re: Step-by-step pics of ,y building in Mexico
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2006, 07:49:35 AM »
Phil:  I agree that a bit of green would be a good idea.  Any chance of some sort of roof garden?

I think what you are trying to describe with the underground tube is the sort of heat chimney used in desert countries.  However instead of a mechanical fan, they use natural convection.  A small tower or chimney with an opening facing the sun  at the top is built onto the house with an opening at the bottom opening into the main living space.  The inside of the top of the chimney is painted black to absorb heat.  As the air in the chimney is heated by the sun it draws cooler air through the underground tube and then through the house and out through the top of the chimney creating a gentle breeze through the house.
In arabic houses this flow of air is often drawn over a small pool of water which also helps the cooling and moistens the air.  I will try to make a little drawing to make this clearer and post it here later.  
No doubt someone on the board will know the proper name for this sort of setup and have suitable data and drawings.  I just know about the historical theory. ;)

mark_chenail

  • Guest
Re: Step-by-step pics of ,y building in Mexico
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2006, 01:26:30 PM »
The proper term is Solar chimney and heres a nice simple explanation with some drawings.  Hope they help.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_chimney

Amanda_931

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Re: Step-by-step pics of ,y building in Mexico
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2006, 04:06:04 PM »
looks like a nice explanation.

I'm planning to ventilate a closet with a very tiny one.


MountainDon

  • Guest
Re: Step-by-step pics of ,y building in Mexico
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2006, 10:07:51 PM »
Solar Chimney! Cool! Drawing the air over a pool of water (in a dry climate) is somewhat like the evapoartive coolers many peiple use here in the southwest. We call 'em swamp coolers; outside air is drawn thru water soaked pads (wood fiber, synthetics, paper honeycombs...). Voila! Cool air and moisture added as well. Fine until "monsoon season" when the humidity goes up and the cooling effect goes down.

But, incorporating a naturally powered airflow is neato. I suppose increasing the mass of the chimney where it gets heated would enhance the ability to draw air into the cool evening hours, and then if the house has a good mass as well the temp would remain cooler than one would expect. Beats paying the power company for A/C!

glenn-k

  • Guest
Re: Step-by-step pics of ,y building in Mexico
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2006, 10:17:03 PM »
Here is a cooling tower link I posted before but didn't readily find it.

http://www.i4at.org/lib2/aircool.htm

philgib

  • Guest
Re: Step-by-step pics of ,y building in Mexico
« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2006, 07:27:21 AM »
Guys this solar or thermal chimney is a very attractive idea to me. We have like 330 days of heavy sun here, My roof will be at 4 meters high to escape from the heat in summer, but I like this idea of a mechanical "refresh" of the air. I have read somewhere that the air input should be at about one adult height, so that one can really feel the refreshing wind...

I guess that could also work above a kitchen to extract the cook smell...

According to my plan, where do you think I should put this solar chimney ? In the angle between the kitchen and the main lounge ?

philgib

  • Guest
Re: Step-by-step pics of ,y building in Mexico
« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2006, 07:29:25 AM »
Swamp cooler... Yeah I bought one last summer... Water + air going through a filter made of compressed straw. Problem is that when I put it, it smells humid straw in the whole house !  ::)

It otherwise is highly appreciated here as the air is naturally very dry, so the swamp cooler ascts also as a humidifier. I am wondering about my computers though... I should measure the humidity rate...

I have seen new filters made of rigid paper. That would certainly avoid the smell...
« Last Edit: December 22, 2006, 07:31:12 AM by philgib »

mark_chenail

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Re: Step-by-step pics of ,y building in Mexico
« Reply #13 on: December 22, 2006, 09:22:26 AM »
Perhaps you might make it an upper extension of the laundry room or the little powder room behind the kitchen.  That way it would set up a draft down the main lounge wing and down the hallway along the bedrooms, cooling and airing the bedrooms as well. It would certainly help exhaust the heat and smells from the kitchen.  If you look at many of the designs of Frank Lloyd Wright usonian houses, the kitchen is often very small and tall and protrudes above the main roof line to provide ventilation and light. Seems as if that would work for you as well. Perhaps one of the engineers in here will have some thoughts on this.

MountainDon

  • Guest
Re: Step-by-step pics of ,y building in Mexico
« Reply #14 on: December 22, 2006, 09:32:01 AM »
Quote
Swamp cooler... Problem is that when I put it, it smells humid straw in the whole house !  ::)

It otherwise is highly appreciated here as the air is naturally very dry, so the swamp cooler ascts also as a humidifier. I am wondering about my computers though... I should measure the humidity rate...

I have seen new filters made of rigid paper. That would certainly avoid the smell...


We used a swamp cooler exclusively for about 17 years and never had any problems I could blame on excess humidity. Other than the uncomfortablness when the rainy weather hit, and I have computers all over the place.

I've used the paper honeycomb pads as well as a pad os some kind of plastic fibres... made like the wood/straw type. Both are much better than the wood/straw.

Now we have a hybrid system; swamp cooler runs when the humidity is low and the set temp is able to be maintained. If inside temp can't be brought low enough, or the humidity goes too high then the system switches to refrigerated A/C. There's a manual override so the two systems don't battle each other in times of generally high humidity.

desdawg

  • Guest
Re: Step-by-step pics of ,y building in Mexico
« Reply #15 on: January 01, 2007, 06:15:52 AM »
Looks like plenty of rock in the ground there and lots of rebar. I am curious as to what you would expect your finished cost to be per square foot of house in US$. I expect it would be considerably less on that side of the border.

philgib

  • Guest
Re: Step-by-step pics of ,y building in Mexico
« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2007, 07:04:20 PM »
You want figures, right ?  ;)

The city of Chihuahua has 1 000 000 residents. Land in the center area costs about 15 USD a square foot, and turn-key construction should cost about 30 USD a square foot.  

This house has 2400 square feet. That should make the construction cost at 72 000 USD. Land costed 63 000 USD. Total cost should therefore be about 135 000 USD.

I have to add the swimming pool building and water system, which should add up some 7000 USD.

Such construction should last a good century. I do not know how that would compare to the US ?

desdawg

  • Guest
Re: Step-by-step pics of ,y building in Mexico
« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2007, 07:40:15 PM »
I am not a builder but I have some friends that are. They are running about $85/sq ft hard cost here in AZ. So you are getting a good bargain building in Mexico by our standards. And none of these guys here are putting in the amount of rebar & concrete you used.  I am a little surprised at the land price. I would have guessed it would be less given the wage structure there. Thanks for providing the information. I was curious.

philgib

  • Guest
Re: Step-by-step pics of ,y building in Mexico
« Reply #18 on: January 06, 2007, 08:30:51 AM »
Interesting. Now that explains why I saw a few Americans happy to pay builders in Mexico 55 usd per square foot...   ::)

I pay here about 30 because I am playing the builder role, and all the probs and risks. I will not be able to claim for any building guarantee.

By the way, What do you call "hard cost" ?

glenn-k

  • Guest
Re: Step-by-step pics of ,y building in Mexico
« Reply #19 on: January 06, 2007, 08:40:33 AM »
The $85.00 would be the lower end in many places.  Here in California, houses can run from $100 to $400 psf and lots $150,000.

Many houses in cities around here are running $250000.00 to $300,000.00 for a 1500 sq foot house on a small lot.

jraabe

  • Guest
Re: Step-by-step pics of ,y building in Mexico
« Reply #20 on: January 06, 2007, 10:46:12 AM »
Hard costs (when a builder uses the term) are usually the labor and materials before profit and overhead is added.

Construction costs vary widely in different parts of the US. - You could see $75/sf to $150/sf for the same type of construction between say Arkansas and California.

philgib

  • Guest
Re: Step-by-step pics of ,y building in Mexico
« Reply #21 on: January 06, 2007, 06:17:42 PM »
Man... That is quite expensive  ! Welcome to Mexico anytime :-)

Concerning the price land in Mexico, the land I purchased is in a "bourgeois" area, medium to high end buyers.  An ex-governor lived right in front. That is maybe why I paid so much  :-)

You can find cheaper land, like 7 usd a square foot in front of the beach close to Puerto Vallarta / San Blas. Lost between the cocontrees, while I am in the city surrounded by expensive restaurants and private schools :-)

desdawg

  • Guest
Re: Step-by-step pics of ,y building in Mexico
« Reply #22 on: January 07, 2007, 06:17:01 AM »
I hear that. Location, location, location. The hard costs I am referring to are as John stated, what it actually costs the builder to assemble the house. It does not include any cost for land acquisition, just building only. Of course costs can vary depending on finish material selection. For example grade of cabinets, floor coverings, doors, windows, appliances, etc. can all change the cost considerably.

philgib

  • Guest
Re: Step-by-step pics of ,y building in Mexico
« Reply #23 on: January 07, 2007, 08:19:29 AM »
Yep, I agree...

Swimming pool : there only one swimming pool builder in Chihuahua. I would appreciate the direction of any good internet site for diy swimming pool, not to fall any trap with this seller.