Kim is available to take your dream of a house in Nicaragua all the way from design to build to live. He has now built or started eleven houses and casitas in the area and has a wealth of knowledge and experience in environmental and passive cooling design, construction in concrete, steel, wood, stone, green building methods, and permaculture integration.
As he puts it- my philosophy is to design functional and aesthetic, value built homes that work well with the land and local climate. First, I consider the build site’s predominant weather patterns and resources and how a design will fit the climate and use passive cooling principals. The house must also fit the needs of the client and of the landscape and any natural features, like slopes, trees, and views. Then I choose the best materials that perform the function, look good and are the best value for the cost and long term maintenance and durability. Design and materials relates to minimizing the environmental foot print both with the build and the long term operation of the house. Lastly, I have the best crew around and have worked with them since the beginning.
Have a look at the pages that show some of the houses we have done and contact us for details.
Two story house at Brisas
We will soon be finishing this 2 story house with extended outdoor living area downstairs. With two bedrooms and baths upstairs it featured about 1800 sqft. of low maintenance living. Built with an engineered concrete and steel structure, it will be finished with plantation teak and salvaged cedar for doors and kitchen cabinets to soften the concrete work. When building in Nicaragua it is important to source sustainable wood as many local building companies use illegally harvested unsustainable wood. The galvanized steel beams in the vented roof will be hidden by tongue and groove teak and an outdoor shower is lined by local flagstone laid by our craftsmen.
When they asked this to have this finished at the same time as the two story house we knew it would be a tight schedule. But adding more local workers and craftsmen got this house done in nearly 7 months and we added a pool. About 950 square feet with two bedrooms and 2 baths and a hip roof (4 sided).
We became friends with Marilyn when she came down for a Surf with Amigas retreat a couple years ago and Kim agreed to design and build a small simple 1 bedroom casita on Marilyn’s sea view lot. After many iterations of design and trying to fit it to a tight budget, we settled on this 620 square foot casita with an open floor plan living/dining/kitchen, one bedroom, one bathroom and an 8′ wide front porch with bi-fold doors. The high ceilings with a triple layer roof and wide front openings and ample openings all around keep the place cool and breezy and its got an amazingly big feel for a small place. The house is still in the finishing stages.
This house is nearly the same design as our home (see below). The clients visited our home and decided they wanted the same thing with a few minor tweaks. You’ll see the similarities. (Posts coming soon showing building process).
When we found out Holly was pregnant with our first baby, we decided that the thatch roof cabana (see below) would no longer be sufficient as our home. We had purchased a 3/4 acre lot in Brisas Del Alma and Kim designed and built our 2200 sq. ft. 2 bedroom, 2 bath house that would become our home. The contractor was given the task of completing the house in less than 9 months, to be ready by the time the baby was born. We broke ground in January and completed the house in August. Mission Accomplished!
- The finished house
- The eco-dipping pool
- Video tour of the new house
- Sneak peak at our new house under construction
- House in progress tour
- Cool Roof Design
- Brisas House Progress in late April
- Breaking ground
- Building the Caretaker’s Casita
- Building the Caretaker’s Casita 2
- Planting Non-GMO corn and beginning to build
- Designing the Hacienda
Rancho Supremo – in construction 2016
Open-air blend of traditional Nicaraguan and modern building for a couple of surf buddies and their girlfriends. The shell is done and we’re working on the finishing little by little…
Najualapa Beach House and Surfboard Storage Shack
The struggles began with just buying a concession (leased) beach front lot – no easy task! After that we designed and built our first two story structure. We originally planned to use the house as a storage unit for the surfboards for Surf With Amigas and also for part time living. The beach environment turned out to lack sufficient privacy for our living tastes, so it is now utilized only as surfboard storage and a daytime escape from the sun during long beach sessions. We may fix it up to turn it into a rental unit in the future.
- Struggle to Buy a Beachfront Concession lot in Nicaragua
- Digging a well in the sand
- Beach House Progress
- Beach House Roof construction
- Finding Fallen Wood
- Plycem walls and bamboo siding
- Breaking in the Beach House
Workshop and bodega.
We own a gorgeous ocean view lot in the new community Tierra Del Sueno. Before water and power infrastructure were installed we built an 18′ x 40′ workshop/bodega/convertible casita to store wood and other materials for our various construction projects. In some ways its a perfect utilitarian structure with a lockable room at the back and an open floor in front. We’re planning to renovate it into a rental casita soon, stay tuned.
- Bodega progress
- Building a Bodega part 2
- Teak Post and Concrete Block Bodega
- Installing a Living Fence
Our First Project – An Eco-Friendly Thatch Roof Cabana
This was our very first home in Nicaragua and our first building project. It was built on the property of our friends at El Coco Loco resort and is now one of their rental cabanas. It was a great learning experience for us and we documented the whole process.
- Designing the cabana
- Shopping for Eucalyptus (video)
- Eucalyptus posts – Purchase, delivery, and installation
- Eucalyptus plantation politics
- Eucalyptus plantation and roof assembly (video)
- Cutting mangroves for varilla
- Palma for the thatch roof
- Concrete floor, tile, and wood dilemmas
- Guanacaste Horizontal Siding
- Framing the octagon window
- Walls up, siding on
- Settling in
- DIY Guanacaste stairs