As I get work done on my house, I am collecting more and more data. What I have found are good construction workers that I can afford. By good I mean they know what they are doing and they work hard. Typical house construction is bricks surrounded by reinforced concrete. When all is done, costs look like they will be about $10 a square foot. What is really cheap is labor.
- Works foreman: $7-8/day
- Carpenter, bricklayer: $4-5/day
- Laborers: $2.50-3.50/day
- General office help: $90-150/month
Expect cement and wood to cost about what it does in the US. But, you need to remember that you don't need a heating system or an air conditioner. No insulation. ... And, you can get cement tiles for your floor for $.30 square foot up to almost $1 square foot for multi-colored with groves in it. In other words, think local and costs are amazingly low.
Here is some more information that is by "work done" rather than salaries. It turns out that the construction work I had done was done this way. Prices are in Cordobas. The current exchange rate to dollars is about 16.5 or to Euros is about 21.7.
- 15 meters of bathroom tile C$1350
- 8 meters of "vigas sismicas" (footing is close enough) C$400
- 147 square meters of putting down ceramic tile C$10,290
- Installation of a toilet C$180
- Installation of a laundry sink C$120
- 30 square meters of (cement) floor tile C$1050
- 13 electrical boxes C$455
- 30 meters of "vigas areas" (above ground cement and rebar beams) with finish stucco C$C$3300
- 36 linear meters of brick wall C$12,240
- 44 linear meters of much too tall (about 10 foot) brick wall with reinforced concrete columns C$14,520
Bottom line was C$64,276 for all the upstairs work done by the bricklayers. That's leveling the floor, about 1600 sq ft of tile and maybe 800 sq ft of real construction. Or, a little less than $4000. I will eventually add up the other stuff but let me just say that labor is not the serious cost for anything.Suspended Ceiling
I have a room that needs a suspended ceiling. It is about 11 x 13 feet. So, I went back to the house receipts to find the cost of the pieces. Here are the basics:
- 12' Cross Tee - C$30ea
- 12' Angle (edge) - C#$22ea
- 4' Cross Tee - C$10.50ea
- 2' x 4' x 5mm Plycem textured tile - C$32ea
Bottom line: About US$70 worth of materials to do the ceiling including some wire and nails. Makes me wonder why I put up with the zinc roof in my rental house last summer.