Parcela construction woes

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Britkid
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Re: Parcela construction woes

Post by Britkid » Mon Oct 05, 2015 7:40 pm

I guess the OP probably has left that behind years ago. Maybe I shouldn't have mentioned that kind of thing.

The only problem with Gloria and me and others bombarding people with questions about what they could and should have done is it's going to stop other people writing such articles, so maybe we should tone it down a notch.

What I'm leaning from this type of story (because I may do similar one day and buy something) is to put a higher level of confidence in someone before going ahead and I think the escrow thing is worth looking at.
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papelchica
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Re: Parcela construction woes

Post by papelchica » Mon Oct 05, 2015 10:02 pm

Oh wow. haha! Let me see if I can answer some of the inquiries/comments made.

Hi Gloria, I've been a member of this board since before I moved here in 2007. I don't get to hang around the forum as much as I'd like to anymore, but it was very useful and I found some good info on this board before and right after I left the US to build a life here. My husband (also a foreigner) lived here for about 10 years before I moved here to be with him. So no, when this happened 4 years ago - I don't remember surfing boards for info. I'm glad that there is a section here about it for others to refer to - thanks for pointing that out. I hope it will help others when they decide to build. Our parcela was bought by husband from a developer when he first got here and yes, it was registered at BR. I guess I should have just used the word INEXPENSIVE instead of CHEAP. haha! Off with my head.

Britkid, yes of course - but I mentioned the dad only to make a point :-) If you are familiar with chileans, they are typically more reserved and don't really talk much in settings where they tag along with kids on casual meetings. Melipilla is nice, quiet and land is indeed cheap (value for money), especially when it was purchased 15 years ago. The location might work well for someone who doesn't need to commute to Santiago too much (working remotely and such). There are many types of parcelas, I would say something for everyone can be had here in Chile. This is ours (see pic).

Hybrid: Of course, from time to time we wish we just got a pre-fab but as Gloria mentioned - they are not all the same. The ones we saw are way too basic for us (no insulation, too woodsy-cottage-y). We really just wanted something simple that was going to fit our budget at that time. There have been good improvements in design and price in the last 4-5 years for pre-fab houses here though.

Aaaanyyywayyy... I'm too old to feel embarassed or scared which is why I took the time to share the experience. I am in my mid-40s which is where I'm more in the mood to share experiences so that others may learn. This incident happened 4 years ago and I was just asked to share by a curious Britkid because I was selling some stuff over at the classified section. Yes people, we have all his info/name/RUT and hate the thought that he is still probably around doing the same to others. As previously mentioned we already reported this to the police and did what we needed to do. We moved on from that experience years ago. Thanks for the concern y'all!
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seawolf180
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Re: Parcela construction woes

Post by seawolf180 » Tue Oct 06, 2015 12:19 am

ocum_et_temuco wrote:Yes this sort of thing happens too often in Chile (although you can find similar in Europe and USA). It also happens to native Chileans. I have done several construction projects in the south of Chile around Temuco. I don't have any horror stories but I have spent some time correcting the mistakes of maestros. It's too common for contractors to abscond especially when you front them the money. Admin will confirm that it is possible to find responsible and accurate contractors but you have to be selective which implies having good contacts and information. I was mostly happy with my first construction project except for the well which dried up in late summer and eventually had to be deepened at some expense. On another house build we found floors and walls out of true but dismissed the contractors and finished it ourselves. From then on it was do it your self with reliable recommended maestros on a daily wage - in other words we became our own contractor, doing some stuff ourselves and using maestros for some. It has worked very well and is cost effective but we find we have to supply many of the tools as some workers arrive on site without even a hammer. That and the fact that everything has to be micro-managed is quite time consuming but at least we don't lose money.
And many of those that dont arrive with a hammer, or other tools, do have them when they leave. The ones they knew you would supply if they showed up empty handed.
DIY if you can. Quite an education.
Plus, when maintenance is needed down the road, you arent at the mercy of maestros to fix things, which they so often make worse. Kinda forces you into being self reliant. Which is so helpful in every aspect of life.
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Re: Parcela construction woes

Post by ocum_et_temuco » Tue Oct 06, 2015 9:22 am

seawolf180 said:-
And many of those that dont arrive with a hammer, or other tools, do have them when they leave. The ones they knew you would supply if they showed up empty handed.
DIY if you can. Quite an education.
Hell yes! On my first project I allowed family and friends to freely dip into the tool chest. Seemed ok but then we brought in some outside maestros and had to be away for couple of weeks. Came back and what?! Some classic hand tools gone! This may sound nerdish but I miss my brass-bound hardwood carpenter squares and such like.

DIY -if you can. Quite an education. Aye there's the thing. Who can learn all them skills when needed? Especially when you don't have a background. It's not just the construction itself- woodwork; brickwork; welding; electrics, but best sources for materials. We had to go round several timber merchants and supervise their cutting and planing to get what we wanted. I built stairs but didn't know that they had to be fixed securely at all points immediately. Left them loosely attached and they warped! Then had to straighten them with a car jack. Oh the joys! Live and learn.

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Re: Parcela construction woes

Post by ocum_et_temuco » Tue Oct 06, 2015 4:16 pm

I don't have any horror stories but...
OK, in the interests of sharing information I'll confess I do have a horror story.

I don't know what experience others have had with well diggers but on one parcela I later sold, which was at the top of a hill, the well wasn't deep enough so eventually we had to sink deep pipes. The original well had no support on the inner walls but was capped with concrete. The mix of rock and soil help up very strongly no problems but it just wasn't deep enough.

The horror story started when I moved to a hillside consisting of deep red clay. The constructor said that he would dig a well with his jcb excavator. In order to get deep enough he carved a huge ramp into the flat bit of hillside just below our property and was able to hit water ten meters. He finished, leaving a long down-sloping scar across the property with a deeper hole at the end of it. To near the edge of it was to experience vertigo and raised some safety concerns. He said not to worry and we could take our time with installing a lining (pipes) and then he would come back and fill the scar in around them. He claimed that it was a tried and tested method, no worries.

But then the rains came and filled the entire long depression with water-almost to the top. No worries he said-just wait for the water to drain off. So after a couple of days we hear gigantic sploshing noises from downhill during the night. Seems this type of clay soil doesn't hold up when wet. Within a day or so the side started to cave in and more worryingly, fissures were radiating (arcing) out from the original edge. The land between these cracks and the original 'shore-line' then collapsed into the hole and two more fissures appeared which also collapsed. I looked up at the house and shuddered as I imagined the fissures advancing up the hillside.

The next day we got another excavator - having lost faith in the first company to fill in the entire lake and it did take all day. Now I got a flat area below the house - compacted, with no further movement.

Our neighbor went with traditional hand dug well but that also totally collapsed under the heavy deluge we had last June.

So - beware of well diggers. Yes I know you need that water but think on it !

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Re: Parcela construction woes

Post by admin » Tue Oct 06, 2015 5:29 pm

Typically thise sorts of "well diggers" take care of themselves. Every so often you see one or two had the walls colapse on them, and they and their machine need to be rescued (or what is left of them).

Anyone without a drill rig, is full of it. There is also more to well digging in most of chile than punching a hole. You need water rights. Now more than ever. No one use to care in the south, now the papers are full of water right registeration announcments. They are also enforcing them to issue building permits and development of community parcelations. Banks are asking for them when issueing mortgages, and so on. You might find the water, but it might not be yours.
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