San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Architects, Builders Cater to English-Speakers, Building Assistance

EVEN for excellent second-languageSpanish speakers, the prospect of discussingblueprints, translating constructionrequirements and deciphering technicaljargon in Spanish can leave any would-behouse builder cold.However, help is close at hand:English-speaking architects and builderscan take care of any aspect of the projectyou have in mind, from initial designs andconsulting to the final decorative touches.JOSÉ Luis Moya, who received hisMaster’s in Architecture from theUniversity of Colorado, says his company,Grupo JJ, has eight years of experienceserving U.S. citizens, Canadians and CostaRicans alike. His firm will take care ofprojects every step ofthe way, he said.Moya’s servicesinclude design, budgets,construction andwelding. As an addedresource, he has a carpentryworkshop tomeet clients’ needs forbeds, tables and otherfurniture, or solid wooddoors.The firm is basedin the Caribbean-slopetown of Turrialba, buttakes on projects anywherein the country,Moya said.To contact Moya,call 557-3993 or Ulate of Proyectos 3D offersseven years of experience as an architect.As the company’s name implies, its specialtyis presenting three-dimensionalarchitectural designs so clients can betterunderstand the plans. While Ulate focuseson designing and consulting for projects,he said clients of Proyectos 3D have threeoptions. They can take Ulate’s designs to aconstruction company; have him superviseconstruction done by another company “toprotect the client;” or ask him to takecharge of the project from design to completion.PROYECTOS 3D is headquartered inSan Ramón de Alajuela, northwest of SanJosé. The majority of the firm’s projectsare located in the capital, the centralPacific coastal towns of Jacó and Quepos,and in the northwestern province ofGuanacaste.To contact Ulate and Proyectos 3D, call813-8377 or 447-0437.ANOTHER English-speaking architectis Ricardo Núñez, of IDG Consultores,in the San José suburb of Sabana Sur. Heoffers design and consulting on projectsthroughout the country, as well as in ElSalvador and Nicaragua.The firm hasworked on residential,tourist and industrialprojects, and also specializesin electricalmechanicaldesignand interior design.IDG Consultoresdoes not offer constructionservices. Toreach the firm, call291-5032 or e-mailNúñez at ContratistasUrbanos de CostaRica, an architectureand construction firmin Heredia, north of San José, GuillermoPorras specializes in engineering andinspection, while architect Alfonso Loriatakes care of design and constructionsupervision. To reach ContratistasUrbanos, call 262-9105 or contact generalmanager Juan Carlos Sánchez directly, for those who have adesign in hand and just need a company totake charge of construction, MichiganBuilders and Construction will take care ofevery detail, right down to furniture andlandscaping.“We offer three methods of construction,”owner Kelly Kastelz told The TicoTimes. “There’s the standard blockmethod, which is typical; the liquid-pourmethod, using concrete, which is faster;or the use of a metal structure, with thegaps filled with Styrofoam,” known aspolymuro.“We are probably the most expensivebuilders in Costa Rica, but we followeverything to the letter,” he said, adding his firm is able to keep up withCosta Rican building-codechanges and ensure a project,once undertaken, will be successfullycompleted. Constructioncompanies lessinformed about building codeshere often leave projects hangingbecause of permit problems,Kelly said.The firm offers three pricelevels. “A” packages use thehighest-quality products, oftenimported, and run at $100 persquare foot. “B” packages usea mix of imported and CostaRican products and cost $85per square foot, while “C” projectsuse mostly Costa Ricanproducts and cost $72 persquare foot.The company specializesin residential housing or low(no more than four stories)office buildings and condominiums,although Kellyadded the firm can be hired tooffer consultations on biggerprojects.The company is based inthe western San José suburb ofEscazú and in Santa Cruz,Guanacaste. Kelly can bereached at 380-7641.

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