Only those who move from another tropical country understand why a carport or garage is so important.
For a buyer who comes from another country, it is essential to understand the importance of a carport or a garage. That’s because if you have a car(s) in the tropics, you will want it under roof. Because when it rains, it pours.
In other countries, the garage is used as a junk room – cuarto de chunches in Spanish. In Costa Rica, a carport or garage is used as what it’s built for: as a shelter. Here, that means as a shelter against the rain.
The choice to have your home a Costa Rica is best suited with a carport or garage depends more on the community your house is located in than anything else.
Is your house a single-family home? Then I recommend you have a garage, for security reasons. Even if your community offers 24-hour security.
Condominium or gated community
Is your house located in a condominium or a gated community? Then you might not be allowed to have a garage but you’re stuck with a carport. Mid-level townhouses in a gated community usually have a carport. While more luxury communities with higher-end homes might allow homes to have a garage.
The last thing you’d want is to mess up the design of your house by building a garage with an ugly door. The safety of your car is of course important. But all garage doors are not equal. They can make or break the curb appeal of your home. Traditional doors are made of steel and are built for long-term quality. Look for ones with a nylon roller mechanism that is extremely quiet. These are generally available in a range of colors to complement your home. If you are looking for a vintage style, then carriage-style doors that open outward are a good choice. Don’t forget that you will need a little extra space in front of your garage for these types of doors.
Building a basic garage
Before you start thinking about building a carport or garage, check with the municipality on the allowed zoning. You might already have used up the maximum allowed density, so you can’t build an extension on your home.
I am not getting involved in the building costs of a carport or garage. The reason is that it depends on the need for a foundation, the materials used, and the finishes you require.
It’s important you check the need for building permits with the engineering department at your municipality. In the city where I live, Escazu, we’re allowed to build less than 30 m2 with less red tape:
Any construction of up to 30 square meters such as garages, roof changes, rooms, and the like, and walls, fences and walls that do not exceed 20 linear meters are considered minor works. In these cases, a minimum number of requirements must be met.
Your garage may have a simple padlock system to keep it secure or a lock that is built into the handle. However, these can be broken with a little force. A LiftMaster style opener is a good idea. These have a keypad and remote control that only work if the person operating it knows the passcode. Some garage door openers come with motion sensors and built-in Wi-Fi so that you are notified if anyone is near the garage.
Are you still not sure if you want a carport or a garage for your house? When shopping for a home in Costa Rica, tell your real estate agent about the requirements you have for parking your car(s). Are you looking for an agent who pays attention to the details? Then contact us now.
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