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Is renovating in Costa Rica difficult, or is updating a lot easier? While housing is more affordable in our beautiful country, most foreigners who need to renovate a home have their own standards.
But renovating a house is a much larger headache than just updating. You will be jumping through several hoops that are frankly not worth it.
While Costa Rica may be foreigner-friendly, you may still need to brush up on your Spanish to deal with construction and repairs. Local construction workers may not share your vision if you’re used to the American way of doing things.
Contractors and architects tend to be hit-or-miss, but that’s a problem in every country. Renovating can be costly, and you may overspend on substandard work if you’re not careful.
Updating Without Renovating: Steps to Take
Here are just a few touch-ups and updates you can do without going into a full-scale renovation or remodeling of your house.
These steps will save you time, money, and stress and allow for a series of fun, simple, personal DIY projects for you and your family.
1. Attend the Curb Appeal
Costa Ricans do not often pay much attention to the property’s curb appeal. You might find it easy, and with little money necessary, to update the fence, wall, garage door, or whatever you see from the street.
2. Repaint Your Walls
The exterior of houses in Costa Rica are often painted in the weirdest colors. The easiest yet definitive way of changing your home looks and feels is a fresh coat of paint in a color that suits your fancy. Repaint the exterior walls and see a whole new house.
3. Create More Open Spaces
A good way to completely change the feel of your house is to open it up and create a wider, more spacious atmosphere. Rearranging your furniture goes a long way.
If you need to, you could possibly tear down a few walls. Check, for example, if the wall between the kitchen and the living room is easy to tear down. Sometimes, this is an easy update, but be careful not to end up with a huge mess. Just reorganizing your decorations and decluttering can give you as much wide open space as you need.
With all the new space available, the acoustics of your house can change. Here are a few ways to reduce room echo, keeping your house from that annoying echoing.
4. Update the Lighting
A home can go from feeling dingy and cramped to feeling homey and inviting simply by how well-lit it is. Choosing your light fixtures helps add gravitas depending on your needs.
Adding a chandelier or switching to LED lightbulbs can give more color, warmth, and a sense of comfort to your beloved home. Floor and table lamps also help.
If you’re into a more modern lighting setup, it’s easy to get your hands on some LED lights that change color with remote control, letting you change your aesthetic at the push of a button.
5. Add Wall Décor
In other countries, homeowners use wallpaper when redecorating a home. In Costa Rica, most areas are too humid for this.
Nonetheless, it’s easy to add wall décor to add more appeal to your house. Many new, exciting, removable designs are now available in hardware stores.
Another affordable way of updating the house is to go with wooden baseboards and moldings in the social areas.
6. Update Your Bathroom
To make your bathroom look spotless and immaculate, the simple way is by changing the bathroom cabinet and putting in a new sink and accessories. Give the rest of the bathroom a good cleaning and/or repainting, and you can revitalize your home.
Removing all the grime, dirt, and molds and switching out old faucets and fixtures will help. But you’ll see how different your bathroom can look if you remove the old grout and regrout everything.
7. Switch Out Your Hardware
A simple, often overlooked way of sprucing up your home is to check out the small hardware, such as light switches, door hinges and knobs, and other accessories.
A quick canvassing at the hardware store can help give you ideas on what items you can change and what new, exciting options are available should you want a change.
8. Maintain Your Garden
If the home has any garden at all, make some changes. Visit the local “vivero” to look for tropical plants and trees. You’d be surprised how little you have to spend to give the garden a new look.
9. Invest in Air Conditioning
In the Central Valley, where the temperatures a lower, air conditioning is not used much.
But the tropics can get unbearably hot if your house is in a beach area. Solid, aesthetically pleasing air conditioners or electric fans help boost your house’s overall design and comfort.
Used in images: Couple home photo created by wayhomestudio – www.freepik.com