Ideas for a funky home in Costa Rica

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Old 11-06-17, 04:16 PM
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Ideas for a funky home in Costa Rica

The attached image is of an old building I am inheriting. I would like to finish it off to be completely enclosed (upstairs and down) so that it becomes a conventional home. The upstairs is entirely in wood with nice 4 x 4 hardwood beams and flooring. Downstairs is a mix of concrete block and the same hardwood beams and a slab floor throughout.

I live in Costa Rica so using wooden studs is not an option. So, my current thinking is to remove the upstairs railing, put metal studs floor-to-ceiling in between the wooden uprights, then put some kind of external sheathing over the studs on the outside and drywall on the inside. I need A/C so the upstairs sheathing will have to meet up with the existing hip roof.

I'm very worried about how to join the various elements (or if it is even a good idea to mix steel and wood). The wooden upright beams are flush with the outside surface of the concrete so any sheathing will stick out from the concrete surface by the thickness of the sheathing. The end result will have to make the thing look whole and not like a patch work.

Any ideas on how to frame this mess and get good siding on it? Am I even posting this under the right category?

Thanks in advance. Any ideas at all would be really welcome!!

I would like this:



To become this:
 
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Old 11-06-17, 04:39 PM
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Where are you in Costa Rica? I've converted two Tico homes to North American style, size and amenities. The first was between Tierras Morenas and the west end of Lake Arenal and the latest is outside Tronadora on the south west side of the lake .

I am sure you have seen what is usually done. When the time comes the second floor is built on top of the first using similar construction. So, the second floor walls are usually concrete and CMU block built on top of the first floor walls. This allows you to maintain continuity so the second story addition matches with the original part of the home. Once it's painted you'd never know the second floor came later.

Great wood and beams are cheap and readily available so I don't see a great need to preserve the framing that already exists. The wood can certainly be saved and reused somehow in the new construction but I wouldn't try too hard to keep the framing on the 2nd floor.

If you really, really wanna keep your 2nd floor framing I would consider some type of metal for the exterior. On the low end you could use galvanized corrugated steel or upscale with flat panels. This would make it easy to insulate the walls if you wish to have air conditioning or heat.
 
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Old 11-06-17, 09:18 PM
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Hey Dane,

We have a Tierras Morenas here near Dominical, you gave me a start...for a second I thought we were neighbors.

Anyway, I agree about the upstairs framing except that, although my drawings don't show it, there is a "nice" roof already there. So, I'm trying to save on as much of the existing structure as possible. At some point, it will just be better to tear it down and build a real home; I agree that I could end up spending more trying to keep from spending so much.

The problem with building up more using block is the weight. I have no idea if the foundation could take the weight of a second level of block. I'm planning on putting drywall under the metal roof which will add weight as well. I suppose I should dig around a bit to see what the foundation looks like.

In any case, thanks so much for getting back to me. I'll let you know what I end up doing.
 
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Old 11-07-17, 06:08 AM
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I have all the materials saved and reused if possible, including the roof "tin" so you might not loose the materials. Also, if you already have a roof up there it could provide protection from the rain while the build up the masonry walls. They may be able to do the work without even taking down the existing roof. Just build the new wall up and underneath. Once the walls are up they can take down the wood posts and fill in the gap with masonry.
 
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Old 11-07-17, 11:26 AM
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If the foundation checks out to be substantial enough, that might be the solution. I know just enough about construction to be dangerous, but I don't believe there is a crown beam at the top edge of the existing block (nor do I know if a crown beam is absolutely necessary...but imagine with CR earth quakes it is). Then I'd have to remove the flooring (spectacular hardwood floor), which is sitting on top of the block.

My guess is that I will be best off adding steel under the roof and on top of the flooring and then out front, but doing it as you suggested by getting rid of the wood beams (which are just going to make life difficult). Or just tear the whole thing down and try to design something that can use some of the wood.
 
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Old 11-07-17, 03:41 PM
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The first house had a large covered porch that we turned into house. They left the roof in place and built the walls underneath and never disturbed the roof. They did reinforced concrete columns at the corners and where an interior wall met the exterior wall. Then they filled in between with cement block. Having the roof already there was great because they could work through the afternoon rain and construction moved rapidly.
 
 

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