Price and cost are two words that have a significant difference, especially when making renovations, repairs or building a home in Mexico. It is important to recognize the difference between the two words the next time you are planning a major renovation project, building a home, or just making some repairs.
So what is the difference? Price is the actual sticker price of what you are purchasing. Cost is what you stand to lose in time, efficiency, problem-solving and money, if what you are purchasing is mediocre and sub-standard quality. The bottom line is you stand to spend twice as much as you originally planned if you hire a company solely based price and not based on quality, time and/or return on investment.
The reasons home repair projects go bad from our experience is because some Americans here are shopping purely on price thinking they are getting this great deal because there is a stereotype here that everything in Mexico is cheap and inexpensive. Yes, there are no shortages of handy men here in Puerto Peñasco charging super low prices trying to win your attention but what you receive in terms of quality, time and return on investment is substandard and usually means you will pay twice or three times more in the future to fix correctly.
As a contractor here in Puerto Peñasco, you can imagine we have witnessed some serious cases of home repair projects gone bad. For example, last month we repaired a sewage pipe in a condo where the previous contractor rigged a 3-inch pipe to fit into a 4-inch pipe and the sewage was leaking out over the sides of the 4-inch pipe into the neighbor’s unit below. Also the entire waste drainage system was an unorthodox mixture of ABS and PVC piping. The entire downstair’s ceiling needed to be ripped out and replaced. The unit responsible for the leaking incurred costs to fix the waste drainage system correctly with only ABS piping.
Materials are one of the most important aspects of any construction project. Consumers should demand the best quality to ensure long lasting satisfaction but if the price seems too good to be true for high quality materials, then buyer beware. Some companies will quote the best but then substitute cheaper materials without the client ever knowing in order to meet these low prices, hence the example in the previous paragraph. We recommend inspecting all materials and job progress in order to maintain accountability.
Time is an important factor with any construction project. If the price of your project is very inexpensive but it takes 3 or 4 months longer than what you were promised does the price still seem reasonable to you? Would you rather pay more to ensure it is done in weeks versus months to minimize the headaches and stress associated with large renovation projects? Again the price may be low but what is the cost of your time and money when the project takes twice or even three times as long to complete?
The next time you decide to complete a large renovation project take into consideration the concept of price versus cost. Don’t get fooled by a low price only to pay a higher cost in the future. If the price is cheap most likely what you will receive will also be cheap, only having to pay the true cost in the future to fix and get it done right.

About the author: Joseph Sanchez is president of Rocky Point Home Builders a design/build contractor specializing in custom home design, construction and renovations. He resides here in Puerto Peñasco with his wife and two children and is originally from Chicago. For more information email him at

Pictured is a sewage pipe from a condo where a contractor rigged a 3-inch pipe to fit into a 4-inch pipe and the sewage water leaked into the condo unit below.

Mixture of ABS and PVC piping photo – Pictured is a waste drainage system from a condo unit with an unorthodox mixture of ABS and PVC piping which eventually leaked sewage water to the condo unit below.