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Building on Ambergris CAye #421910
11/13/11 07:10 PM
11/13/11 07:10 PM
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 2
Georgia, USA
tbrewer Offline OP
tbrewer  Offline OP
Recently purchased beachfront property on Ambergris Caye. Any advice on building home would be appreciated. Thanks

Re: Building on Ambergris CAye [Re: tbrewer] #421911
11/13/11 07:11 PM
11/13/11 07:11 PM
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 176
Mary1220 Offline
Mary1220  Offline
Be there when you are building is my advice.

Re: Building on Ambergris CAye [Re: Mary1220] #421918
11/13/11 08:52 PM
11/13/11 08:52 PM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 342
San Pedro. Belize
Tracker Offline
Tracker  Offline
Originally Posted by Mary1220
Be there when you are building is my advice.

Excellent advice.
If you can't be there for the whole construction make sure you hire someone to oversee the project for you. Do not leave it to your contractor.
There are many good contractors here on the island, shop around and get as many estimates as you can. Ask for references, don't be afraid to ask them to show you work that they have done.
Also make sure your plans are submitted as early as possible so that any changes that have to made will not delay the construction.
Any thing I can do to help just ask smile

If you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns.
A bullet fired,cannot be called back.
Re: Building on Ambergris CAye [Re: tbrewer] #421963
11/14/11 10:53 AM
11/14/11 10:53 AM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 732
San Pedro
SFJeff Offline
SFJeff  Offline
DEFINITELY be here for as much of (if not all) of the building process.

Don't rush into building... talk to as many people currently building their own homes as you can and see what their experience has been

Demand as detailed of a quote as you can. A good contractor can tell you what materials, labor and transportation currently cost. An all too common thing is for someone to get 1/2 way through a project and to be told "I made a mistake, it's going to be more..."

...walk around the island and find projects you like and don't be afraid to ask "who built this"

And remember, when you ask someone on this island "Can you do _______" and they answer "yes", "yes" can have very different meanings:

Yes can = "this is my area of expertise and I have successfully done what you are asking countless times."

Yes can = "I am not sure if I can to it, but to hedge my bets, I'll answer yes."


Yes can mean "I do not understand any of the words coming out of your mouth. So I am going to stand here, smile, nod my head and say 'yes'...."

...and don't lose your sense of humor!!!

Re: Building on Ambergris CAye [Re: tbrewer] #421966
11/14/11 11:03 AM
11/14/11 11:03 AM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,822
South Ambergris Caye
JZB Offline
JZB  Offline
Make payments based on construction progress reserving the final payment until it is 100% completed as originally agreed upon. Get it in writing so that no one forgets!

Re: Building on Ambergris CAye [Re: tbrewer] #421967
11/14/11 11:15 AM
11/14/11 11:15 AM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 5,563
Birdland - 1 mile north
ScubaLdy Offline
ScubaLdy  Offline
When I asked for a breakfast bar I ASSUMED the gringo contractor would know that meant counter height. Ha ha ha ha – the workers just heard the word BAR and that’s what I got.

I asked for the standard drawers under the cabinet; I assumed one shallow drawer for table ware and three medium sized drawers below that. Ha ha ha ha I got the top drawer twice as deep as needed and two VERY DEEP drawers that are more like bins.

I selected some nice strip type lighting fixtures for the bathroom and indicated that the smaller one go over the toilet and the longer one over the sink. There is a difference between OVER and ABOVE. Ha ha ha ha After all the cement was poured I discovered the wiring for the fixtures was in the ceiling OVER . . .

I asked to hove the lower quarters of the house be wood frame as I wanted the electrical and plumbing INSIDE the walls. Ha ha ha ha After the inside and outside were stuccoed I found a worker on his knees chiseling out a channel along the bottom of the wall. What for? ‘To add the electrical.” They had never heard of putting it inside the wall so I have plumbing sticking out into my gardens.

I have light switches ON THE WALL just inside doors but behind the doors. I requested that outside doors open out (so they blow closed during a storm not blow open). They all had to be changed; and yes, that requires the screen doors be placed on the inside. This makes living with the doors open very nice.

We all know that the hot water knob is on the left – right? WRONG

When you are told that getting ‘this or that’ done will take a special meeting of ‘such and such’ a committee that means they want some extra money. I urge you NOT to even start this. If you so NO, I can wait enough times that will go away.

You not only must be here, get everything in writing with drawings but be on the site almost all the time. Make friends with the guys actually doing the work; not just the contractor.

READ the book DONN’T STOP THE CARNIVAL before you even start!

Hey – and keep up informed – we all like to have at least one belly laugh a day.

Take only pictures leave only bubbles
Re: Building on Ambergris CAye [Re: tbrewer] #421977
11/14/11 01:01 PM
11/14/11 01:01 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 2,208
san pedro, Belize
collyk Offline
collyk  Offline
Don't just see the properties that they have built, talk to the current owners and occupiers and find out what their experience has been like.
Belize Wedding Photography

Re: Building on Ambergris CAye [Re: tbrewer] #421980
11/14/11 01:13 PM
11/14/11 01:13 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 13,662
San Pedro Belize
elbert Offline
elbert  Offline
All good advice, its a hazardous road for sure.
On the flip side I'm sure the builders have cautions and funny stories about the weird clients they have as well!
Both sides need the protection of a good contract that the
lawyers have looked over.

White Sands Dive Shop
Re: Building on Ambergris CAye [Re: tbrewer] #422000
11/14/11 05:43 PM
11/14/11 05:43 PM
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 246
San Pedro Belize, Meribel Fra...
Nick Barton Offline
Nick Barton  Offline
If you are away from town water then build the biggest water cistern you can afford to get you through dry season with all the friends who will want to visit you!

Think about airflow all the way through your property to take advantage of the free wind.

Think about security!

Re: Building on Ambergris CAye [Re: tbrewer] #423780
11/30/11 09:29 PM
11/30/11 09:29 PM
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 2
Georgia, USA
tbrewer Offline OP
tbrewer  Offline OP
Thanks All for the great advice. I will be on the island February 9 thru 13 discussing options and looking into the building process. Sure I will have more questions.

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