Choosing the right contractor is the most important decision you will make in your project, especially in Costa Rica and Nicaragua.
The most important thing you need when building in a foreign country is a contractor you can trust.... a contractor with years of building experience in the United States and in Costa Rica....someone who knows the local building methods and has experience in securing quality materials and supplies....someone who speaks Spanish and works well with local employees and government inspectors.
There are many stories of foreigners being taken advantage of, and not being treated fairly and honestly. No one wants to get ripped off. You should get excellent value for the dollars you spend. My experience and professionalism can give you both 'peace of mind' and a great finished product.
Here is how Consumer Reports recommends you choose a contractor:
Plan for success. Get three bids to gauge the going rate for work. But don't jump at the lowest bid; our surveys have shown that people who hired the lowest bidder generally got poorer work.
Get an estimate. It should list product,
material, and labor costs and a timetable. Material and product allowances should give prices and quantities. Compare services and prices before making a final decision.
Choose pros that have experience in your particular area and can show you evidence of their work.
Get references from recent and older jobs. Reputable contractors will be happy to provide names and contact information for satisfied customers.
Obtain a contract. A written contract will specify what will be done to complete the job, associated costs, and the payment schedule. Never sign a blank contract or one with blank spaces.
Stick with the plans. Making changes to plans after work begins could lead to cost overruns and delays.
Pay by wire transfer. A reasonable down payment is 30 percent of the total project cost to be paid upon initial delivery of materials.
Make final payments when the work is completeld to your satisfaction. Reasonable punchlists that are standards of the industry are normal, and a reputable contractor will comply with correcting any final problem areas. At such time the owner should also recognize that final payment should be paid in a timely manner. Steven H. Saltzman
"I look forward to helping you realize your dreams in Costa Rica or Nicaragua". Mike Hopkins