33. Drawing, Designing, and Making Decisions

After several weeks of Ramie drawing, erasing, drawing some more, googling for examples, and designing our future house, he was finally satisfied with the options that we had.


We went through probably 30 drawings that he had made, some of them very similar to each other, and got it narrowed down to 10 that we thought were good. Well, even though we got it narrowed down, we can’t just give 10 drawings to an architect, they wouldn’t know which layout we actually wanted designed. At this point, we had to narrow it down even more, so Ramie handed me the stack of 10 and told me to pick my favorite. I looked through them all, and since I’m kind of indecisive anyway, I couldn’t pick a favorite. He then asked me to put them in order 1-10 with 1 being my favorite. Fine, I’ll try, but why do I have to be the one to pick?! I suggested that we each order the designs 1-10 separately, not telling the other what our choices are, and then compare our ranking afterward. Ok, that’s the plan then.

We each took our time going through the drawings separately and writing down the ranking on a separate scrap of paper. It’s really a lot harder than it sounds. There were some that had very similar designs with only minor differences, there were different layouts depending on where on the property the house would be built (for example, near the road versus near the back of the property would change where the pool and carport were located) and all sorts of other variations. I went first, I don’t know how long it took me, but after I was done I took my scrap of paper with my ranking, gave the stack of drawings to Ramie, and then left to go do something else. Ramie didn’t have the stack for more than 3 minutes and said “This is hard, how do you even start this?!” Yep, it sure is hard- figure it out!

After a while, he finished and we were able to compare our rankings. Fortunately 2 of each of our top 3 matched, and after a little bit of discussion about our reasons, 3 of our top 5 matched. That’s good, at least we are agreeing on the general concepts! We did narrow it down to our top 3 favorites that we both agreed on, and then let Geiner know that we were ready to bring them to him.


Wednesday 7/28- Today we met with Geiner to bring him our top 3 drawings and talk about our next steps. We are supposed to close on the property in less than 2 weeks, and hopefully we can start building as soon after that as we can. Well that is what we thought anyways. Turns out that our drawings now need to go to the architect, who will create a mock up drawing of the house to scale. Once he is done with that he will send it back to Geiner who will review it with us and fine tune it as needed. 

We talked for about an hour about what to expect in the next few steps, Once we have the drawing finalized and the way we like it the architect will create official blueprints. Once that is done the architect will submit them to the municipality (basically the city) for approval. Once the Muni approves them they grant the building permits. Of course, we asked how long this process takes and it could take 4-6 weeks. Not exactly what we were hoping to hear as we wanted to get the house started prior to October since that is the rainest month here. After we were done discussing the house process we discussed the finer details. We got several suggestions of places nearby that we can start to look at things like tile, fixtures, faucets, lights, etc. While things are definitely less expensive in San Jose than they are in Uvita, you can also get a better price in San Isidro than you can in Uvita. San Jose is a little bit too far for us to drive right now until we’re ready to start actually buying things for our house, but we are headed to San Isidro tomorrow, so we can at least start looking at a few things to get an idea of prices here. We also talked to Geiner about bringing some of these things (like lights, outlets, switches, faucets, things that are easy to pack) from the US. He told us that he would recommend doing that if we can. We will be able to get both better quality and better prices in the US. This is good to know in case we are able to make it back to the States before they are needed here.

After having this conversation with Geiner today, things are starting to get real and we’re getting a little bit more excited for it!


  1. This is an exciting time for you and it's fun to see you make decisions knowing that once things start you will have to live with your decisions, no problem! We are almost as excited as you, to be watching progress in real time (almost) and waiting for the finished product. Keep us advised, we are with you 100%.

    1. The amount of decisions we've had to make since we've been down here (both up to and after the actual date of this blog) have been crazy! It's a little bit overwhelming, but we think we're making the right choices. :) Thanks so much for your support! We are glad that you are enjoying our blog. Right now we're still a little bit behind, but don't worry- things will catch up sooner than you think!


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