Thought you might find this interesting. From a site talking about living in Panama:
Here is what real freedom is all about. As we live in a rural area, building anything you want is a â€śpiece of cake." Although a building permit is required it is very easy to do â€śyour thing." All you have to do is provide them with a rough drawing and pay a moderate tax. Zoning restrictions are vague. Go ahead and put up that 100â€™ tower or have a home business but on the other hand, your neighbor might be raising chickens. No one comes around to tell you hey! â€śYou canâ€™t do thatâ€ť. Building inspectors are few. I have been remodeling for four years and have not seen one yet. Even though there may be a lack of inspectors, It is recommended to follow standard building practices for your own protection. Quality building materials are readily available including exotic woods. You can have custom â€śall woodâ€ť furniture, doors, windows and cabinets made at a fraction of the cost in the U.S. Block, cement, sand, re-bar, and imported plumbing and electrical hardware are all available at very reasonable prices. Carpenters, masons, plumbers and electricians generally run about $16-$20 a day.
Note that's per day
, not per hour!