Construction material cost in Chile and what is available

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Irishman
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Re: Construction material cost in Chile and what is available

Postby Irishman » Wed Jul 01, 2015 12:54 pm

Hi everyone,

I have trawled through the construction threads here and I hope my approach is acceptable to house rules. If not let me know and I will adhere more appropriately. Basically I would love to know if anybody has a guide as to what a fair price is for:

1. Concrete base of a house (Per cubed meter)
2. Concrete block walls (Per square meter)

I am expecting a few quotes in the door in the coming week or so and I would like to be somewhat savvy! I’m in Valdivia and I am told that prices vary from area to area. But even if I had some kind of benchmark it would help greatly. I am so unsavvy at the moment that if they said "X" I would have to accept it.

Thanks if you can shed some light so as I’m not completely bent over.

Cheers,
Alan

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Re: Construction material cost in Chile and what is available

Postby admin » Wed Jul 01, 2015 3:40 pm

Concrete with 24 carat gold reinforced bars, will set you back about $2,000,000 U.S. a square meter right now. You could cheap out and go with 12 carat, but personally I prefer quality construction materials.

That is like asking how long is a piece of string.

Is a bunch of maestros going to mix that by hand? With a mixer? trucks? Do you need to stop a nuclear explosion, or will side walk strong due? What is your soil like? and so on, and so on, and so on.

Concrete block wall?? Ha, ha, ha.

I am not sure you are going to find any builders south of Santiago that actually knows how to build with them (correctly). When I was building the stem wall of my foundation, I was a bit upset with myself about not being able to get my blocks exactly even and pretty. I just happened to be sitting in the parking lot of Sodimac home center as I was thinking about that. I looked over and realized that none of the blocks on their building were straight either. So, if the largest construction store in the country can not get it right on their own store, you better go learn a lot about setting blocks yourself. Chances are a little googling and you will know more than whomever is quoting the price to do it anyway.

By the way, I decided to make up for my incompetence as a block layer, by solid filling them with rebar and something north of C40 mix of concrete (same as used in nuclear bunkers). I ordered too many bags of cement, and had to do something with it. Still, I was only going about 4-5 blocks high. A full house, would be serious trouble without a backup plan.

By the way, I discovered in the course of laying concrete, really watch out for rebar. They like to not use it if they can here, or very little of it. In fact I discovered nowhere in our little town was there a store that sold it. After thinking about it a while, I realized I had never once seen any of the local builders pour concrete here with rebar in it (bigger companies use it). I had to have my rebar delivered from out of town.
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Irishman
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Re: Construction material cost in Chile and what is available

Postby Irishman » Wed Jul 01, 2015 4:17 pm

Hi Charles,

Thanks for your comments and the tips. Much appreciated. Indeed, my question needed much more qualification and weight.

I am waiting for a quote this Friday from a small family run building company. Really only his father and daughter are in it, and she only a couple of months. He then has a few local Chilean guys who work for him. The interesting part is that the land I am buildling on, I bought from him and he is also a very close neighbour! I have seen a few houses he has built with concrete around the area and have been told by the odd neighbour that although his work is slow and he takes forever to get down to it, their houses are still standing and have had no major issues for the best part of 15 years.

I just need him to do all the big structural things, base and walls and then I can do the finishes such as stucco inside and stone veneer outside. TIme consuming but out of work so no problem :-) Not to mention a labour of love.

They will be using an electrical mixer and the house is only one level with a pitched roof. The area is inaccessible to cement trucks. The soil is excellent for building on, in that it is hard with plenty of rock in it.

If I use this small company then they will want me to sign a contract (Which I will get translated prior to signing). I will make sure that all concrete block work is even and straight and that final payment made only when all snags are dealt with in an acceptable manner.

Do my above comments help in determining a ball park figure? I'm not looking for pinpoint stuff. Just an indication.

I won't hold my breath!

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Re: Construction material cost in Chile and what is available

Postby Dosedmonkey » Wed Jul 01, 2015 11:04 pm

Haha I like hearing about sodimacs breeze/concrete blocks.

My neighbours officially think I'm nuts, after I wired up my own exterior garden, side and front drive lights, including sensor for drive way, all to UK standards, excluding some of the dodgy light fittings they sell here, designed for exterior, when you look more closely they're about as water tight then my interior lights a couple of them. Not that it bothers me, as long as they have drainage, that's what I've learnt from ship exterior lights which have been placed in daft positions (e.g. directly hit by waves), a little bit of water in isn't too dangerous, as long as its not allowed to build up.

I was surprised what electrical supplies they sell, quite a good selection, obviously industry has safer electrics then homes, and some still purchase from Construmart/Easy/Sodimac.

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Re: Construction material cost in Chile and what is available

Postby admin » Thu Jul 02, 2015 12:15 pm

Now a part of me wants to tell you to get a copy of Residential and light commercial construction standards
http://www.amazon.com/Residential-Light ... 0876296584

But, reading that while building a house in Chile is kind of like reading none-fiction horror. It will really keep you up at night.

I would not build with concrete in Chile, above more than a few feet (e.g. foundations, stem walls, etc). There is too much to go wrong with it, and what the local maestros don't know about concrete would fill the library of congress. Never forget, you are building on top of the the epicenter of world record holding earthquake. stucco and concrete block is trouble, without extreme and expensive engineering. It at least involves a way better grasp of physics, engineering, and chemistry than any maestro in Chile received in grade school. Bigger companies will have proper engineers and machinery to pull it off, but not your local maestro.

Doing small machine pours, in a remote location, pretty much insures they are going to at some point skimp on something or have inconsistent batches. Too litte cement, too little rock, too little metal. Even under the best possible conditions, you can not mix concrete in a small mixer sufficiently fast to avoid cold seals between batches. To do a house worth of cement, means having like 100 guys, with 50 machines, all mixing at the same time, and you still will have inconsistent mixes.

Even with trucks, you have logistics issues and last moment problems. I was watching one of those mega builder shows on TLC or something. They were the largest builder in the United States, building a bridge in New York. One of the 100 trucks showed up, and forgot to put sand in the mix. They caught it, but the point is, even the best pros in the world, have problems with concrete. years ago when I had a construction biz in the U.S., I personally had a form blow out using a concrete pump (on an 8x100 foot retaining wall), with three concrete trucks idling in the street (that concrete has to come out of that truck, one way or another, once it leaves the plant). With concrete, if it can go wrong it will go wrong, and there is almost never a quick and cheap fix to it.
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Irishman
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Re: Construction material cost in Chile and what is available

Postby Irishman » Thu Jul 02, 2015 1:17 pm

I note your points, thank you. I may change my mind regarding 3 of the concrete block walls and use wood instead. However one of the walls will be a 2.4 m high retention wall so I gather I will need a solid cement wall for that, according to google anyway. I did manage to find the following link last night and unless my eyes deceive me it actually gives me a price of what a solid cement retention wall should cost! 73,000 pesos per m3. It also gives prices for all sorts of building requirements. My Spanish is poor enough so I hope I am reading the link correctly using google translator.

http://www.chile.generadordeprecios.inf ... rmado.html

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Gloria
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Re: Construction material cost in Chile and what is available

Postby Gloria » Thu Jul 02, 2015 3:41 pm

Irishman wrote:I note your points, thank you. I may change my mind regarding 3 of the concrete block walls and use wood instead. However one of the walls will be a 2.4 m high retention wall so I gather I will need a solid cement wall for that, according to google anyway. I did manage to find the following link last night and unless my eyes deceive me it actually gives me a price of what a solid cement retention wall should cost! 73,000 pesos per m3. It also gives prices for all sorts of building requirements. My Spanish is poor enough so I hope I am reading the link correctly using google translator.

http://www.chile.generadordeprecios.inf ... rmado.html


Nothing wrong with my Spanish but I'm having trouble with the terminology in the construction field. It's very possible that you may be correct in your estimation.
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Irishman
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Re: Construction material cost in Chile and what is available

Postby Irishman » Thu Jul 02, 2015 3:59 pm

The one thing that appears missing is the transport of materials. The labour costs seem low aswell although its probably what the builder pays his workers. I am guessing I need to pad it a lot, providing of course the link has genuine integrity.

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Dosedmonkey
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Re: Construction material cost in Chile and what is available

Postby Dosedmonkey » Thu Jul 02, 2015 4:31 pm

Labour costs can be very low in Chile, I have a car mechanic who is great at his job, but doesn't do electrical work. He will literally work all day fixing my car for like 20,000 pesos labour, because he will do other small jobs in the middle (normal chile, can't complain in his case because end result is good for cheap) and that will bulk up his income. 'Unskilled' labour is cheap in Chile, as there is a lot of people seeking those better 'unskilled' jobs.

But with low costs come the gamble of quality of work. If you find someone reasonably good, stick with them, but never stop watching them.

I saw across the road they are getting a patio/terrace built in their garden, and the two guys have taken forever to do it, weeks. And they often go to the construction site at the end of the road, and ask the builders there for some free rebar. So someones house is missing materials, and someone is paying for it and it was free/stolen in the first place.

It is quite hilarious, I could of done that job myself in a couple of weeks single handed. They're going to take two of them a month or more. That is going to hugely push up the labour costs!

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Re: Construction material cost in Chile and what is available

Postby Irishman » Thu Jul 02, 2015 4:38 pm

Thanks Dosoedmonkey. I will be on site most days with camera and general physical presence. Did you manage to take a look a the construction price link I posted above? Does it have any credibility in your estimation?

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Re: Construction material cost in Chile and what is available

Postby Dosedmonkey » Thu Jul 02, 2015 4:57 pm

I'm afraid I've done all my 'construction' work here myself, and not used concrete here.
Ask me about electrics, house hold furnishing and fittings, wood prices, and garden plants and sod, I'm your man. Haha.

The wages look realistic, come to around 500-700 mil for month by my calculations, depending how many hours they work a day. A wage for the unskilled guys in Chile is this or less usually. That is the kind of wage you get for most unskilled jobs in somewhere good in Santiago.

I believe you can make retaining walls using wood, but I believe it requires a descent engineer, and diagonal bracing. Not sure how water filtering through the soil will effect its integrity in the long term too, I mean in mining they often use wood still today from what I see in discovery channel. Must be someone in the mining industry on here?

I know you shouldn't concrete the bottom of wooden posts, for fencing and a like, because it prevents the bottom of them drying out, and they go rotten, that might be a helpful note here.

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Re: Construction material cost in Chile and what is available

Postby Irishman » Thu Jul 02, 2015 5:12 pm

Ok well that sounds promising DosedMonkey. It demonstrates that if the labour costs add up then so too could the material costs which are also listed. I am now slowly gathering more confidence in what I should be "honestly" charged and what could constitute as daylight robbery. Again, its all down to the integrity of this link and whether or not builders abide by it. For example, according to the following link, given the surface area of 100m2 with a 10cm depth, a reinforced concrete base would cost CLP 797,599.00. ( 7.975,99 X 100 = 797,599.00 CLP)

http://www.chile.generadordeprecios.inf ... _0_1_1c5_0


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