The process of renovating a property in Costa Rica can be delightfully clear or a near nightmare. The possibilities are endless… from big changes to small details that make an impact. Architect Adrián Jirón-Beirute tells us what are the most important aspects to take into account when investing in an older luxury home with renovation in mind.

“All structures that are designed in a clean way are very likely to be maintained over time. To be timeless, it must be sober, lineal and elegant.”

Adrián Jirón-Beirute | Jirón-Beirute Arquitectura.

Renovation Before and After

According to Adrián Jirón-Beirute, there’s a difference between changing the finishes and a full renovation.

We talk about ‘changing’ some details when we keep the distribution of the building and only change the finishes while keeping the house layout. 

The second term, a full renovation, is more challenging because it implies more effort and changes the complete concept. The goal of the renovation is to use the original structure while changing the distribution of the interior. In the process architects usually find a way to build a new functional layout by taking advantage of what already exists.

The LX team talks about the renovation process with luxury home buyers. They love the traditional element of older homes in San Pedro and Curridabat but want more function and contemporary design elements incorporated into their homes.

“The current market offers opportunity for buyers with vision and patience. The eastern side of San José has older luxury homes with character and amazing features, but not everyone can imagine turning this into a modern-day masterpiece. Rising construction costs also make these purchases a great value, taking great foundations and converting them into updated luxury homes at a fraction of the cost.”

When to do a full renovation?

The structure known as “grey work” is the important take into account to evaluate if the renovation is fixable. It doesn’t matter how old the property is, if it was build correctly, it ca be renovated. When the gray work is not useful it is better to take down the structure and re-build everything from scratch.

There may be depreciation depending on the age of the house but if the property has a good architectural design and was properly engineered it is worth renovating. It is always advisable to hire an architect to analyze the functionality of the structure and the benefits of remodeling.

When renovating it is important to know the property completely. New architecture solutions seek to integrate new ways of living. The most important thing is to adapt the spaces to the lifestyle of those who use them. For that reason, when renovating a property, in addition to the costs of the process, it is important to take into account how beneficial it can be for the lifestyle we want to have or the new use and activities for this space..

Key aspects for consideration are: investing more where you spend most of the time, maintain high degree of flexibility in the use of spaces, integrate natural light, and prioritize personal comfort.


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