Construction Permit Costs and Fees in Costa Rica

By August 30, 2013construction, permit, prices

ManuPrefab charges a design fee to start the design process and adapt the floor plans to your needs, site and budget. This initial step allows us to accurately estimate the fees for the construction documents and other aspects of the total work. 

We will also make a calculation of the costs and fees for permits and construction plans which is based on a projected overall valuation by CFIA based on past experience. The College of Ingenieros y Architectos determines their fees for all improvements to a site, including roads and grading, parking areas, interior space, exterior decks and patios, areas covered by roof only, etc. Actual construction cost is usually much higher for ex-pat projects, and our permit drawings are kept simple to keep the valuations to a minimum. Local architects will also often discount the government stipulated percentages of their fees, so the whole estimation is a loose instrument.

Below is a breakdown of the costs and fees recommended by the College of Engineers in Costa Rica.

Design Cost:

  • Architecture Fee (2% of CIFA)
  • Building Plans and Technical specification (4% of CIFA)
  • Construction Estimate (1.5% – 2% of CIFA)


  • CIFA or college of Engineers – (0.25% of CIFA)
  • Municipality (1% of CIFA)


  • Caja or Social Security: (34% of worker salary during the construction)
  • I.N.S or Instituto National de Seguros: (1.239% of CIFA)

Inspection or technical direction:

  • Weekly Engineer visit (5% of CIFA)

Soil Tests

  • Castro de la Torre charges about ($2500)
  • Vieto charges about ($1500)