Building a house

As you all know we bought a piece of land, close to Yangana, on the rio Maco. It is only 825 m2. We are planning to start building on this land with the whole family (and of course anybody who likes to help).

Our idea is to live here for approximately 2 yrs, until we have the time, space and money to build the adobe house (which would be much bigger) on another land.


I (Eric) have tried to get information about building permits (which is an ongoing proces). In the mean time I have been making rough building plans and the whole family is helping to demolish the old house.

We want to keep the budget low, because - as most of you know- we came to Ecuador with a small budget .

Therefore we shall try to build with materials that are easy to get and cheap and still give the right feeling to the house. Like bamboo, the old wood from the cottage, clay/plaster, cob, etc.

Strawbale is not easy to get here. That option fell off.


Under here I uploaded some of the sketches I made. They are totally unproffesional, just to give a general idea on this moment. I had a lot of fun to design and draw it.

The floor of the house itself will be concrete, because Tanja doesn't like to live on wood, above the ground. The terras will be wood, slightly higher then the ground.

The total surface of the house we would like to keep under 36 m2, because we "heard" that a permit might not be necessery then. Hopefully next week, when we've been to Loja (capital city of this province) council, we will know more.

For this reason we plan to make all the bedrooms and bathroom outside the house, in the shape of seperate small cabanas. We might still make it this way, even if it would be allowed to build bigger. The children love the idea of some 'seclusion'.

The roof will be made rainproof with metal sheets. Not because we like this, but because it is the cheapest and best option (looking at the sometimes very heavy rainfall). We will have to insulate the inside (underneath side) of the roof, otherwise the metal sheets make it too hot everywhere (metal conducts heat really well).

Our goal is to spend under the 5000 dollars on the total project, building wise. We suspect the roof, septic tank and floor will be the most expensive part of the structure.

I put in some pictures of the land, the sketches and the demolishing proces of the house. Next week the electricity company will come by to reconnect the electricity. The week after we hope that the excavator will come to extend the road to our place (60 m along the river) and to flatten parts of the land, so we can start building!!!

So if you have any idea's or advice to help us with the house, or even just questions, let me know and Contact us.

I am always eager to hear other opinions, questions and ideas!


On the first picture the council plan visible. You see the river and the small red circled piece is the land.

The second picture shows my sketch, which is approximately how we plan to put the house and buildings on the land. Our bedroom will be seperated from the house, so I have not adjusted the plan to this yet. It will be placed one to two meters from the house, behind the house. 

The third is roughly the floor plan. The dotted line is the roof. The roof is big enough to be able to live outside , even when it rains or when the sun is blasting away.

Updates, changes and improvements will certainly follow!


Under here on the first picture; the land seen from above, with a canal visible, which is meant for drinking water. On the second picture we look from the riverside toward the land. You see the fence and in the distance a bit of the cottage. This is a footpath still and needs to be made into a road.

On the other pictures the proces of demolishment.


On the video, below, the land itself is also visible.

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