Category Archives: Nicaragua

Bamboo eco-house- who wants one?

You may have seen past blog posts about the use of Guadua bamboo (Guadua sp.) a type of so-called giant bamboo that is perfect for construction.  Unlike some other types of large bamboo species that grow in the Americas, Guadua … Continue reading

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Shifting to Costa Rica!

Since the turmoil in Nicaragua we have become full-time in Costa Rica and Kim is available to design, build, consult and get it going!  Starting soon he’ll be offering several different “eco-home” solutions- smaller environmental footprint, faster build times, lower … Continue reading

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New construction at Tierra del Suenos

Hip-E Habitat (aka. Permagreen Compania Limitada) just started construction of a new 2 story, 2 bedroom/2.5 bath, 2000 Square foot home on Lot #1 at Suenos (https://suenosnicaragua.com/lot-map-and-pricing/).  It will feature a clay tile roof, and an open floor plan kitchen/living/dining … Continue reading

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Casa Amarilla

Casa Amarilla came about when frequent visitors Jacek and Ivona found their piece of land in the area and decided they want too build a house.  They came to see our house and when they left they asked if I … Continue reading

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Rancho Supremo

Currently in construction: Dan and Evan partnered on a small lot close to the beach at Brisas and came to me with a few thoughts about what they wanted to build.  They wanted it to be mainly open-air but still have … Continue reading

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Designing Hacienda Boom (our house)

I (Kim) lik L-shaped or U-shaped houses with courtyards that would allow you to be outside but have privacy.  That’s where my research on floor plans started.  My stepfather, one of the early leading architects in environmental design, took me … Continue reading

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Green building in the tropics- thermal mass

When I first started researching green building I found pretty quickly that the vast majority of material, books, websites, etc. are made for people living in the temperate zones of the US and Europe.  There is a ton of material … Continue reading

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The New Dipping Pool

The house is now mostly finished, and we have an 11 week old baby girl named Luna. Little Luna has occupied most of our time lately, so I’m way behind on blog posts. Eventually I’ll get a chance to take … Continue reading

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Video Tour of the New House

We are six months into building our new 2 bedroom 2 bath house in Northern Nicaragua at Brisas Del Alma in Aposentillo, and it’s just about done! All we’re missing is a few little details that should be complete within … Continue reading

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Sneak Peak At our New House

I can hardly believe it, but the house is nearly complete. Way back in February our contractor promised to have it finished by the end of July, but as anyone who has ever built in Nicaragua (or anywhere else in … Continue reading

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House in Progress Tour

In Part 2 of our Nesting in Nicaragua series, Holly is one week shy of being six months pregnant and the house has been under construction for five months. The roof is mostly on and you can start to get … Continue reading

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Cool Roof Design by Kim Obermeyer

Kim Obermeyer of hipEhabitat.com talks about his design for a cool roof – a double layer roof that will prevent heat from the sun from radiating into the living space. The roofing system features pre-painted structural zinc roof panels with … Continue reading

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Brisas House Progress in Late April

After four months of construction, we have walls completed to roof height, the roof of the bodega is finished, and we’re starting to install the alfajias (rafters) that will hold the roof of the main house. It’s the end of April. The … Continue reading

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Breaking in the Beach House

It was a long time coming (8 months to be exact), but the beach house is finally finished! Ok, so it’s not totally finished. There are still plenty of details to be addressed. We’ve got trim to put up, painting … Continue reading

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Beach House Progress – Plycem Walls and Bamboo Siding

We started building the beach house way back in March – or was it February 2013? The point is, it’s been so long that it’s hard to remember. The main delay has been caused by an irresponsible carpenter with a … Continue reading

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Our Caretaker’s House at Brisas Del Alma

Ok, I know you can barely see the house in this picture, but it’s just such a classic shot of me telling the dogs that they cannot eat our caretaker’s pet squirrel “Simon” (named for one of the chipmunks). You … Continue reading

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Planting Non-GMO Corn and Beginning to Build at Brisas

We are the proud owners of Lot #22 at Brisas Del Alma in Aposentillo, Northern Nicaragua. Since buying our lot a few months ago we’ve started making some improvements. The fence and some tree planting came first. Now we’ve hooked … Continue reading

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Beach House Roof Construction

The next step in the saga to build a beach house in Northern Nicaragua is complete. We’ve got a roof! When building anything in this country, you’ve gotta have patience. Lots of patience!

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Beach House Progress – Slow and Steady

The whole process has been really slow, but at least it’s been steady. We bought a beachfront concession lot back in April of 2012. It wasn’t easy and you can read the full story here. Since then we’ve been working … Continue reading

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Bodega Progress

We are nearly finished with building our teak and concrete block bodega up on the ridge at Tierra Del Suenos. We’ll use it as a garage, storage unit, and workshop. Right now we’re finishing up the details – painting and … Continue reading

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Digging a Well in the Sand

If you happened to notice our post from a couple of months ago, we bought a beachfront concession lot in North Nicaragua. To catch up on that dramatic story, click here. After finalizing the purchase, the next step was to … Continue reading

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Building a Bodega on the Ridge at Suenos – Part 2

In part 2 of the bodega construction process the floor is poured and the roof is on. If you want to refresh your memory with the purpose of this building and our strategy for building it, click here to read the … Continue reading

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The New Living Fence on our Lot in Tierra Del Sueno

We bought an awesome lot in the new eco-friendly community in Northern Nicaragua called Tierra Del Sueno and are starting to make some improvements. The first step was installing a fence around the perimeter so we can more clearly see … Continue reading

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Steve and Danika Choose Their Lot

Steven and Danika Thomas lived in Nicaragua for several years and invested in a large piece of property over-looking the bay they liked to surf. They formed the dream of one day building a home on the hilltop and being … Continue reading

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Windmills In Nicaragua

One of Nicaragua’s most valuable resources turns out to be wind.   Super strong (often hurricane force) and consistent winds blow across lake Nicaragua.   These amazing winds are basically Trade Winds that are funneled and amplified as the high pressure on … Continue reading

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Growing Guadua bamboo

We had been searching for it for nearly a year, since we learned about it in Ecuador.  Guadua bamboo (Guadua angustifolia and other species) is the giant bamboo species native to Central and South America.  It is one of the strongest … Continue reading

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Our garden grows

We started planting the garden in late October, 2011- lots of  chillies (habanero, jalapeno, arbol, New Mex, serrano and others), various greens, tomatoes, Thai basil, lemongrass, dill, tea tree, sunflowers and a bunch of randoms like purslane and indigo.  Some … Continue reading

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Extreme Driving to Extreme Luxury in Southern Nicaragua

We were headed down to Southern Nicaragua to check out Rancho Santana and talk about possibly using it as a location for an upcoming women’s surf and yoga retreat. The drive usually takes about 6 hours but we wanted to … Continue reading

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High School Kids Help to Build a New Classroom in Nicaragua

A group of 17 high school kids from High Tech High in San Diego came down to Nicaragua with Surf With Amigas (formerly Suave Dulce) for the trip of a lifetime. They learned to surf, did yoga, went horseback riding … Continue reading

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Eco Friendly Fire Ant Killer

Fire ants suck! They’re just like regular ants except they swarm, bite, and then leave a painful itchy reminder for hours – usually all over your feet and ankles. I dislike mosquitoes but I hate fire ants. Even though I … Continue reading

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The German Mound Garden

As a 31st birthday present to myself I decided to build a garden. I’ve been reading through The Permaculture Garden by Graham Bell and thought the design for a German Mound looked interesting.

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Eco-Friendly Bee Hive Removal

While trying to install our signal booster antennae on our new house, we heard a buzzing and came across a buzzing mess lurking under the palm fronds. Kim grabbed a plastic bag and I got in place with the camera. … Continue reading

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Building a Cabana in Nicaragua – Walls up and Siding on

The walls are up, the siding is on, and our cute little 18’sq cabana is nearly finished! We had to leave Nicaragua at this point and are very excited to get back down there and put in the details like … Continue reading

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Framing the Octagon Window

Designing the window placement was a fun experience that involved measuring, re-measuring, and measuring again, then erasing, measuring, and changing the dimensions multiple times. Our friendly red-headed framer was smilingly patient as we changed our minds back and forth. Right … Continue reading

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Building in Nicaragua – Concrete Floor, Tile, and Wood Dilemmas

Building in Nicaragua is both much easier and much more difficult than it would be in the States. This project in particular is easier than most since we’re building on Coco Loco property with full access to power (except when … Continue reading

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Guanacaste Horizontal Siding

When trying to figure out what type of siding we’d use for our new cabana we checked out the cabanas at the French Guys restaurant (who also have a few cabanas). They used guanacaste horizontal siding and it looks really … Continue reading

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Designing an Eco-friendly Cabana in Northern Nicaragua

Using the Barefoot Architect by Johan van Lengen to get a few ideas during the design process.

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Building in Nicaragua – Palm Fronds for the Thatch Roof

Accessing the palm fronds for the thatch roof turned out to be one of the easiest things we’ve had to do so far. There’s a property nearby owned by a friend full of the right kinds of palms, so we … Continue reading

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Building in Nicaragua – Is Cutting Mangroves ever Sustainable?

Mangle, mangle, mangle! We were told we needed to get some varilla to support the palma (palm thatch leaves used for our roof). So we said “OK, where do we get that”? We could either buy it from a local … Continue reading

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New Ocean View Eco Community in Northern Nicaragua

It’s been brewing for a while and now we’re going for it. We’re planning an eco-friendly community on an amazing piece of land consisting of two ridges, a hilltop, and valley situated behind a bay with great waves and a … Continue reading

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Building in Nicaragua – Eucalyptus Plantation and Roof Assembly Video

The video footage of the Eucalyptus plantation experience and the start of the roof assembly.

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Building in Nicaragua – Eucalyptus Plantation Politics

The house progresses rapidly. It’s amazing how quickly the eucalyptus posts can be assembled into home shape. Our nine supporting pillars were bought, cut, delivered, and cemented into place within four days. For the rest of the roof structure we … Continue reading

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Building in Nicaragua – Shopping for Eucalyptus Video

A video summary of shopping for the eucalyptus posts that will become the pillars for our cabana in Nicaragua.

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Building a Cabana in Nicaragua – Eucalyptus posts

Lately our home base has been a thatched roof cabana at El Coco Loco, the Eco-hotel where we run our women’s surf and yoga retreats. Since the guys at Coco Loco have been letting us crash there in between retreats, … Continue reading

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