Construction and Building in Chile

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Buildings in Chile[edit]

Building a house or other structure in Chile is a bit of double edged sword. On the one hand, you can increase the value of property by adding structures to it in Chile. In almost every case it will at least be worth double what the construction cost for the building or property improvements.

On the negative side, building anywhere in the World is an error prone hassle that takes time, and Chile has its own construction industry quirks and problems to add to the standard mix of issues.

You should also keep in mind that even if money is no object in terms of hiring the most professional and experience companies in the country, it does not necessarily mean you will be free from concern and they need to oversee the construction yourself. So, plan accordingly, take your time, and always always have backup plans in place to deal with every contingency.

All that said, building in Chile is fairly cheap. On the low end, a good basic cabin in southern Chile will start at about US $12,000 or about 6 million Chilean pesos. On the high end, a large family house built to approximate United States or European standards could easily set you back in the central region a million dollars, not considering the raw land.

Construction Materials in Chile[edit]

Most all construction materials found in other parts of the World can be found in Chile. Most of the more common modern construction materials are domestically produced in Chile. Imported goods will obviously cost more over the domestic versions.

Lumber and wood in Chile[edit]

Chile has a very large and quickly growing lumber industry. Most of the best lumber however tends to be marked for export, or at least is shipped to the Central regions. Buyers should carefully inspect lumber when buying to insure that the quality delivered at the work site is in fact what was ordered.

Even dry or "seco" wood should be stored for some time at the work site to insure it is fully dried and has had a chance to acclimate to the local environment.

In Chile wood is legally "seco" with a 30% moisture content or less. In the Central region, wood normally has a 8-10% moisture content. Wood should be considered semi-dry wood, unless proven otherwise.

Construction Standards in Chile[edit]