Thanks for your replies! We will be happy to share our experiences as well. One of our problems is that the canal running from the Rio Clarillo river is nearby and we worry about contamination from it. The Chilean practice, though changing, has been to dump trash and even raw sewage into the rivers. People in Chile largely don't worry about much and surely think we're crazy gringos already from some of the building practices we specify! And, mostly, we enjoy the Chilean way of thinking(we're here to get away from the rat race in the states). Someone even said there was no Cholera alert anymore, don't worry. Pirque is a generally clean area with large lots so neighbors are farther apart but is also still a rural area in many ways(who knows if there's a shack off in the trees somewhere).
We found a company that will drill but it seems pricey-50,000 CHP a meter which is perhaps $30-35 USD a foot(?) And we don't know how deep he would have to drill to reach the aquifer or bedrock(which we would prefer).
The US has geology surveys that tell you where the aquifer is in different areas but we don't know if there is anything like that here-perhaps the University would be helpful. If someone knows of a website or other source-they surely have geologists-we would so appreciate it!
A senior Architectural student is submitting our electrical plan for approval and our electrician is very good, but a bit slow for only around $15 a day. But he works every day and always greets us a big smile. We were recently told the work could not be inspected until the electrical plates were installed(this is Chile!) We were also fortunate to find a man with a front end loader who is quite an artist with dirt and holes for around $30 a day. Our brick layer is also quite a maestro for around 10,000 CHP or $20 a day. I agree with previous advice that building is much, much cheaper if you manage your own project-contractors charge a lot to manage the workers. The workers will do just about anything if they understand what you need but will work harder when the boss is around. Paying by the job, not the day would also be our recommendation. In other words, if someone says they'll so the job for 10,000 a day and it should take 3 days, make a deal at 30,000 for the job. Bringing some building experience will be extremely valuable. But, be flexible and patient-this is Chile.
I don't mean to sound negative-we love Chile and the people. It's been an interesting and amusing( and rewarding when the house is complete) experiemce. Every day an adventure! We may also buy some land in the South(Lake district)-it is so beautiful there.
Last edited by Laura55llc
on Mon Sep 14, 2009 12:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.