The New Caretaker’s House


Wondering how to get fish for free? I’ll let you in on a little secret. All you need to do is build a nice little caretaker’s house, then put out the word that you are looking for a new caretaker to inhabit it. A few weeks later, expect to have job applicants showing up with gifts. To see how we did it, read on…

As you’ve seen from previous posts, we already have one little casita built on our lot. We originally intended that to be the caretaker’s house. We worked out a deal with the caretaker for them to stay in it while we are not around, but when we arrive, they have to split and go back to their own house in town. The problem with that plan is that while we are in Nicaragua, we don’t have anyone looking after our stuff while we are surfing or if we want to head over to the restaurant for dinner. The place seems really safe, but it would only take one bad apple to notice that we left for dinner and hatch a plan to try to break in. Plus, we like to leave things out in the yard like the wheelbarrow, that could easily be snatched without someone there looking over the place.
So we decided we needed to build another little caretaker’s house. The first important step is figuring out exactly where to put it.

We haven’t run electricity yet. There’s a pole about 200 meters away and an electrician happened to be around, so we met up with him along with our neighbor, Joe, to discuss what would be required to actually have electricity. We are going to need to buy a transformer for about $1,200 and then dig a ditch and run some cable. We never did get a full estimate from the guy! Maybe we’ll save that til November when we start construction on the big house.

The next step to getting the caretaker’s house built was to head to town with our contractor to start buying materials – roofing, wood, concrete, blocks, tile, etc.

This is the glass store, where we ordered the windows.


The sawmill is an incredibly interesting place, straight out of medieval times!


Oxen are used to pull around big chunks of tree trunks that are then cut by a massive saw.






You can’t just go to Home Depot and buy everything you need. In order to find bricks you have to know where the brick lady lives, then select what you want from her stack. We chose the cheaper, more “rustico” bricks.

Next you’ve gotta start marking out the foundation.
Without power, it’s all about cutting the wood by hand. Our contractor, Don Emilio, pulled out his machete for the job!

Soon a big truck shows up to deliver all the stuff we bought in town.

Ryan, with our current caretaker Osmar.
The construction begins…

The roofing materials are used to make a little shelter to protect the tools and bags of cement from the rain.
These guys work all day in the super hot sun for $5 a day.


Ryan, Osmar, and Don Emilio chatting about the progress.
The view from the hotel of the original casita and the roof of our new caretaker’s casita.
Ryan’s parents were in town and had a chance to meet Don Emilio.

You can’t really check the surf from our lot. At ground level you can see the ocean and sometimes the tops of waves, but you can’t really see enough to judge the quality of the waves. The new caretaker’s house has a slightly better view.

It has a built in shelving unit inside.
This will be their porch scene.

The view from the front door, looking at the road.
The view of the well.
The view of our casita.


By our next trip, 5 weeks later, the casita is almost done!

Our caretaker Osmar gets comfortable on the porch, while our contractor’s son applies a few finishing touches.
The boat driver Hilson had already come by to inquire about the job. A few days later he brought over 7 lobsters, and then another week later, this big Dorado!

Ryan takes the fish towards the BBQ to cook up some fish taco fillings!

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2 Responses to The New Caretaker’s House

  1. gvolly says:

    Fantastic. So, how much did it ultimately cost to build the new house?

  2. Pallavi says:

    may i know how much area is required to build dis house

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