We built a small house on the northwest coast of Nicaragua. The house is available to rent through Hotel Chancletas.

It's a small house (1BR/1BA) but is elevated (first floor to follow) and designed for comfort in the dry tropical climate in this area. 
  • It's oriented to catch the prevailing breezes and with the long sides of the building facing north and south to minimize heat gain on the concrete walls.
  • White metal roof with insulation underneath to minimize heat ingress from the roof.
  • Completely off the grid-solar powered lights, fans, water pump (to tower with tank, then gravity feed), and outlets.
  • Big, shaded teak deck.
  • Big windows and roof overhangs for ventilation and shade.
This was my first house design/build attempt, and I'm happy with the way things came out. Of course, there are lots of things I would do differently the next time, but in all we're happy.