Ecuador Expat Home Renovation: What’s It Really Like?

Posted in: Everything Expat, Living in Ecuador
Panorama of Santuario Hibiscus, Yunguilla Valley Ecuador

Panorama of Santuario Hibiscus, Yunguilla Valley Ecuador

Buying and renovating a house is on the top of many expats to-do lists.

In this video, expats Fran and Dan Pederson talk about their experience in renovating their home (and guesthouse – Santuario Hibiscus) located in Yunguilla Valley – south of Cuenca, Ecuador.

Read our full review of Santuario Hibiscus Guesthouse (complete with two hd videos).

Are you planning on renovating your new home in Ecuador?

{full video transcript below}

Expat Home Renovation in Ecuador

Video Transcript

I think one interesting aspect of the renovation, for us, is that renovation is always more difficult than building from scratch. From the very beginning, even before we began the renovation, it was clear to us that we had a rather unique set of skills. He was clearly the handyman, the builder, the electrician, carpenter, the plumber. I was more the person who would go out there and get building materials, get banks accounts, get things organized because it required a Spanish knowledge.

The whole renovation project took just a little over a year and a half. We had a maestro that worked for just about a year and a half. He took a little break between the first phase and the second phase. We had Fran’s parents down a couple of times and they helped during the renovation.

We basically touched every square inch –  inside and out – of the house. Removed parts of the roof, replaced parts of the roof. We’ve redone every room – removed walls, cut doors. The house – main floor, is built out of rock and adobe. The second floor is built out of brick or cement block, depending on where it is in the house. The roof is framed with wood, wood logs with a cement ceiling. It was very interesting, because being from North America where they use wood for everything. So it was a challenge, it took a day to remove a dormer instead of a few hours – and we had a truckload of cement to haul away. It was just totally different. It was a challenge at times, but it was very interesting because you do have more freedom – there is not the regulations that we are used to. And so if it is not quite right – if it’s good for you, it’s good.

What aspects of home renovation concerns you?

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Meet the Author

Bryan Haines

Bryan Haines is editor of GringosAbroad - one of the largest English language sites about Ecuador. Work with GringosAbroad. He is a travel blogger, photographer and content marketer. He is also co-founder of ClickLikeThis (GoPro tutorial blog) and Storyteller Media (content marketing for travel brands).

5 comments… add one
  • Candy Apple Oct 16, 2013, 12:14 am

    It would be great to see some before and after photos of the renovation!

  • KV from NC Oct 4, 2013, 2:46 pm

    I enjoy your website much more than some of the others that we have found because you share the day to day (hummingbirds & renovations) and you are not trying to sell us something 4 or 5 times a week!!!!!

  • Steve Oct 1, 2013, 5:37 pm

    I would love to have looked at the house as they describe their work.

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