The idea of building a house in San Juan Del Sur can be intimidating, but when done correctly, it is an exciting experience. There are many elements that go into a home. Beyond the physical design, there are permits, septic plans, power or solar decisions, earth movement, and more. Building a home in San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua, might include some steps that you are unfamiliar with.

It is important to connect with a builder who is familiar with the building process in San Juan del Sur and capable of building a home that will meet your expectations. Building regulations are not as stringent as North America and Europe, so working with a builder who clearly understands your vision and is able to implement it is key. We recommend interviewing a least two builders for any home build. Ask to see previous projects in person, ask for references, and make sure all your questions are clearly answered before signing any contracts.

While it is imperative to do your own research for this very important decision, we can suggest a few builders and designers to help get you started in your search.

Ground Breaking Industries

Nicaraguan-born but raised in Canada, Wesley Tiffer thinks his team is the key to his success. Tiffer has been building in Nicaragua for more than 5 years. He is a structural engineer by trade. He also operates an all-in-one building company where he does architecture, engineering, earth movement, building, and more. He currently has 13 projects in the works, from Playa Coco to Remanso and outside of San Juan del Sur.

A home in Pacific Marlin was built by Tiffer.

He has a team of roughly 48 workers underneath him, plus some subcontractors. His team is made of certified plumbers, electricians, masons, steel workers, engineers, and even two architects.

“I trained all my lead guys in Miami,” he said. “My objective with that is that they learned finishes and quality.”

He wants his finished home to be the same standard as a North American build.

“I am the bridge between the United States because I have built in both places,” he says.

The first step when he meets a new client is seeing their land and approved cadastral map, and then “we move on to ideas,” he says.

Home under construction by Ground Breaking Industries

Once a design is finalized, he gets to work on all the other aspects. He handles all the permitting and everything needed to bring the ideas from paper to a real-life product. Once that is completed, he starts ordering materials. He orders all the construction materials upfront. Tiffer has a 2-acre construction yard to store everything until it is needed. He doesn’t want there to be any supply chain issues once a project starts. He even goes as far as to order interior home items such as fixtures, faucets, and fans.

“One of the things that separates me is my ability to travel to Miami to find what the client needs,” Tiffer said.

The exterior of a hacienda-style home built by Tiffer in Big Sky Ranch.

He also believes in transparency. He has a team lead for every trade and meets with them every Friday, for “sweeps” where they go over all projects in process. He likes things organized and structured.

Tiffer can be contacted via email.

Casa Amigos Construction

Casa Amigos Construction, owned by Mitchel Lucas, offers turnkey houses for future homeowners. He brings over 20 years of construction experience to the table. He has been actively building homes in Nicaragua for three years and, prior to that, spent over 20 years in the Vancouver, Canada, construction scene.

3- D Rendering of Home

His company is a one-stop shop offering design, construction, and even furniture packages for a home. His first steps when he meets a new client are to find out their needs, including how many bedrooms they want and the size of the rooms. He wants to make a site visit to the land where they will build the home. Visiting the land is an important step in the process.

“If they want a design that won’t go with that land then I will tell them but I want to work with what they want,” Lucas said.

“I do not want to build the square boxes on the side of the hill,” he said. “I am doing impactful designs right now, the landscaping and palm trees.”

Completed build of the same home

Lucas’ pricing starts at $125 USD per square foot as a turnkey price. His pricing comes in tiers and goes up from there, but even at his lowest level, you are getting quality materials in the home, such as designer-style tiles and quality windows imported from Costa Rica.
Lucas will personally work on the design and a 3-D model of the home with clients to ensure it meets their needs before the next steps. Once a design is settled on, the process starts off with getting the electrical, plumbing, and structural plans done for the home.

“If someone came to me today, I could have them from design to permit in 60 days,” he said.

It takes Lucas 8 months to complete a home, and he only takes on two projects a year to ensure the quality and consistency of his work.

Interior of remodeled home in San Juan Del Sur

Once a project starts, he pre-orders all the materials needed for the whole build to ensure there is not a shortage of something when it comes time for that part of the build. He also builds “bigger and better,” not looking at maximizing profit but rather turning out a better product. That can mean such things as using an eight-inch block instead of six and using minimum 1/2-inch rebar.

At the end of the day, he wants a completed home that not only makes his clients happy but can also make him proud to have in his portfolio. Casa Amigos is currently taking on projects for 2023 construction start dates. Check out their Instagram to see photos of current work or email them to set up your meeting.

More builders in San Juan del Sur

Next Wave Construction

Next Wave Construction, owned by Jadher Olivas, offers turn-key building projects on a cost-plus basis. They have twelve years of building experience. Many of the homes they have built can be found in the Costa Dulce community, south of San Juan Del Sur. For more information or a consultation, contact Olivas on Facebook or Instagram.

Nica Surf Construction

Home design and architecture from Nica Surf Construction.

Nica Surf Construction provides architecture and design concepts. Alvaro Moro does the architectural concepts and 3-D renderings. Once those are agreed upon, the electrical, plumbing, and structural plans are completed with engineers. You can find Nica Surf Construction on Facebook.

Escape Architecture and Design

Owned by Adrien Le Clercq the Architecture group offers modern contemporary designs. Le Clercq studied architecture in Europe. He has been living and designing homes in Nicaragua for more than five years. He can be reached on his website.

Recently completed home in Big Sky Ranch.

Salavadore Construcciones

This is a building company owned by local Salvador Gutierrez. They provide building services from permitting all the way through the completion of the project. They have built a number of homes around San Juan Del Sur, including houses in Big Sky Ranch, Prado Hills, Vista Del Mar, and more. He can be found on Facebook.

Building a house in San Juan Del Sur can be a dream come true for most people. We wish you well on your journey and can’t wait to see your dream come to life.

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