An Interview with Nicaraguan Architect, Herman Gallegos

After a quick visit to our property and with nothing more than copies of the topographical drawings and our wish list Nicaraguan Architect Herman Gallegos has designed a beautiful modern 2 bedroom, 2 1/2 bathroom home for us.

A home that is even better than we could have imagined!

Once finalized and complete we’ll publish our floor plan and interior renderings for you to check out, but for now we are super excited to share some exterior views of our home with you.

For a larger view just click on any one of the 3 images below.


We couldn’t be more happy with our decision to hire Herman as our architect and are thrilled to introduce him to you today. In this interview he provides insight to his work and our project. He also shares some helpful tips for hiring an architect in Nicaragua.

Can you tell us a bit about your design process and how you bring a project to life?

To bring a project to life for me depends on the typology of it, whether it’s a private residence, office space, commercial, religious, etc. It’s imperative for me to analyze how the users would interact with the structure and the feelings or sensations that the building transmits. You always want your spaces to be comfortable and fit for their special use. Natural lighting and cross ventilation are very important, especially in countries like Nicaragua where we sometimes have very hot temperatures.

I always like to sketch out a basic floor plan or even start it on the computer. Depending on the lot and the style of the project I always have something already pictured in my mind and I just start drafting. Once I have the floor plan ready and approved by the owner I immediately start working on the elevations (3D). Sometimes I make changes to the floor plan in this stage too, depending on the proportion and the scale I want the building to have – mostly location and sizes of windows, openings, etc.

What about Elisha & Gordon’s project interested you the most? What were the biggest challenges with their project?

What I really like about Elisha and Gordon’s project is their enthusiasm. I like that we’re not designing a house, but actually a home where the walls will be filled with good memories and good vibes.

The only challenge might have been the best use of space to make it functional yet comfortable. It’s a small lot with some difference in levels from the road to the back (part of the mountain). I decided to create a lower level for parking and steps up to higher ground and with this have the house look even bigger from below.

What is it about your job that gives you the most satisfaction?

There are two things that satisfy me the most about a project. First, I like it when the finished product is exactly the same as I had envisioned it. I like it when the spaces flow correctly and when I see the light coming in with play of shadows and textures. Secondly, what gives me even more satisfaction is to see that the clients are happy and proud of their project. That is the best advertising anyone can have.

Is there a particular project you’ve worked on that you’re most proud of?

Of the projects I’m most proud of so far would be the Spanish Cultural Center of Nicaragua (CCEN) in Managua and the Santa Cruz lofts in San Juan del Sur.

What advice would you give to someone who is looking to hire an architect in Nicaragua?

When looking for an architect in Nicaragua I would suggest to see their work first. Make sure they know what they’re doing because sometimes architects like to design projects without any construction background. This can end up being very costly to the owners. It’s imperative not only to have good design ideas, but also to know how these ideas can be built logically.

You can see more of Herman’s work on his website You can also find him on Instagram.

Thanks so much to Herman for making the first phase of building a house in Nicaragua stress free, easy AND fun!

Posted on April 3, 2017, in Daily Life and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Just curious to see how you can build and own your own place in Nicaragua. Do you need to become a permanent or temporary resident? The place looks amazing. No tree house for you guys! Hopefully I’ll make it there soon. Love to see you guys and have a chat. Thanks, Mark Kennedy, Picton, Ontario, Canada

    • Hi Mark,

      No it is not necessary to have residency to buy land or build a home here.

      Let us know if you need any help planning a future trip! We are always happy to give recommendations on places to stay.

      Kind regards,

  2. Hi Elisha & Gordon, We actually ran into you on the street in San Juan Del Sur a little over two years ago. After numerous trips to Nicaragua we purchased a small lot on Little Corn Island. We are going to go off the grid for a few months a year. I am curious about the process of hiring an Architect? Fees, contracts, … Any advice is appreciated. Dan & Wendy

    • Hi Guys!

      Congrats on the purchase of your land on Little Corn Island!

      For us the process of hiring an architect was easy and straightforward. We knew of Herman and were very impressed by the projects he has showcased on his website. That being said we thought it best to get quotes from two architects.

      We reached out to both Herman and another architect in Granada who was referred to us by some friends. The quotes that came back were very similar in price, but in the end we determined Herman was a better fit for us.

      He provided us with a “Design Offer” on February 14, 2017.

      Included in this offer was the following:

      – Scope of Work (architecture, structure, electrical & plumbing)
      – Cost
      – Payment Schedule
      – Timeline for Completion

      We paid 40% down to have Herman start the design work. Once we approve the architectural design (which we expect to happen this coming week) we are ready for engineering. At this time another installment of 40% is due. Once Herman has completed the plans and has provided us with the final exterior and interior 3D renderings and engineering construction drawings the remaining 20% is due.

      Timelines for completion is 60 days from when we approve the architectural design.

      Pricing varies according to the project so it’s best to contact Herman so he can provide a quote that will be specific to your needs. The best way to reach him is via email at

      If I were to give some advice it would be to choose Herman. 😉 As mentioned in the article he has been amazing to work with!

      All jokes aside I like the advice Herman gave — make sure you choose an architect who not only knows about design, but who also knows about construction.

      I’d also recommend talking to the architect’s previous clients and ask them tons of questions — make sure to find out both the bad and good of their experience.


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