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#493916 - 07/27/14 12:11 PM Building on Caye Caulker  
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 2
ROHenrich Offline
ROHenrich  Offline
We are very interested in building a house on Caye Caulker but don't know where to start. How much does it cost ( on average) per sq ft? We are looking to build a vacation home that will be our retirement home, concrete, and about 1600 sq ft. We took a vacation to Caye Caulker and fell in love with its people and easy pace of life. Any help on reliable and reasonably priced architects and builders would be appreciated. smile

#493918 - 07/27/14 04:02 PM Re: Building on Caye Caulker [Re: ROHenrich]  
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 254
artisan Offline
artisan  Offline
Cayedreams realty has a new 30 home development on preferred reef side, nice and quiet, south of the airport.
They will build you a wood or concrete home.
Here's a link..........
Contact or

#493953 - 07/28/14 03:09 PM Re: Building on Caye Caulker [Re: ROHenrich]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 538
Dane Offline
Dane  Offline
A 1600 ft air conditioned suburban American home just like in the States will cost about twice as much to build and operate as in the US, esp in concrete.
It will be perhaps the largest home on the Caye.
I built my house based on local materials and sizing for US$43K on tall poles with 2bdrms and 2 baths and four decks. Above the bugs and in the cooling breezes so I need no air cond.
the same goes for lifestyle. If you plan to live a typical US lifestyle on CC it will cost about twice as much.
My wife and I lived part local without trying to save for thirty years It cost us in recent years about US$1000 month. I see new folks blow through $5000 month before they give it up and go back to their home countries.
Some builders have seen this and only want to build for that crowd.

#493958 - 07/28/14 05:37 PM Re: Building on Caye Caulker [Re: ROHenrich]  
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 3
kcredneck Offline
kcredneck  Offline
We built a house on Caye Caulker about 2 years ago. We used Mario Guizar (architect) and Noe Sandoval (builder). Top quality and very honest. We have seen houses on both sides of us get ripped off by supposed contractors, and they are pour quality and not finished.
We built a 2bedroom, 2 bathroom house 1200s.f. I think they consider it 1600s.f, because they include the covered veranda.
We built all concrete on 12 ft stilts, and roof deck with a palapa.
I am a contractor in U.S and I was very happy with everything, except for the local built windows.( they were VERY BAD QUALITY)
I wouldn't think about using anybody but Mario and Noe.
Feel free to email me with any questions and I would be glad to send pictures.

#493981 - 07/29/14 10:30 AM Re: Building on Caye Caulker [Re: kcredneck]  
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 2
ROHenrich Offline
ROHenrich  Offline
I would love to see pictures and talk to you more about it thank you smile

#494278 - 08/05/14 11:22 AM Re: Building on Caye Caulker [Re: ROHenrich]  
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 55
markw Offline
markw  Offline
We are in the process of building our 2nd. house on Caye Caulker. Expect to pay $90-$100 USD per Sq. Ft. plus decks, patios, utility hook-ups, etc. Be very specific on the choice of windows and finish materials from the start.....
I agree with the kcredneck about Noe and Mario.

#494282 - 08/05/14 12:25 PM Re: Building on Caye Caulker [Re: ROHenrich]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 538
Dane Offline
Dane  Offline
Mario is the only architect on the Caye. He has designed most of the really beautiful houses on the Caye. Outside designers do not understand our special design needs.
He is local.
The building of such houses is a new thing on the Caye. Noe came some years ago, got a rocky start, but now has the most extensive experience in upper class construction.

If you want a affordable local style house you may find these guys too expensive. If you prefer American style they are really the only viable choice. Other less skilled individuals are trying to charge the same prices Mark quoted, but do not bring home as a good a product.

My house cost about US$40 a sq ft. I had to design it myself and hire workers in my own private construction company. It took a lot longer than Noe.
The advice given here about windows and finish materials is very important. When I came to the Caye houses did not have window units, only openings with a shutter. We used this as result.
As with anything new, window units in Belize tend to be very expensive or very poor quality.

The choice between wood and concrete is a big cost factor. Concrete resists hurricanes better, but 90% of the wood houses survived the last two hurricanes. That is a span of 80 years.
The wooden guest house at my place is over a 100 years old. It has survived three hurricanes except for the metal roof.

Don't skip the insulation. Most houses do. When folks walk in my place they often remark at how cool it is compared to their place. Air conditioned homes often have staggering electric bills with our high rates.

I don't like living in concrete ,esp. in small homes, so we use concrete framework and exotic hardwood in our construction. This costs less than concrete alone.

#494285 - 08/05/14 02:40 PM Re: Building on Caye Caulker [Re: ROHenrich]  
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 5,469
ScubaLdy Offline
ScubaLdy  Offline
I am almost finished building my house on the north side of Ambergris Caye. There is some good advice here - build for the climate! Do not build too big and don't plan on all your living to be inside.
If you design correctly you can take advantage of the breezes and protected from the storms. Remember: concrete gets hot and stays hot and gets cold and stays cold.

I used reinforced concrete for posts and beams. My big mistake was not overseeing this part of the project and the builders here are accustomed to adding all the plumbing and wiring on the outside - after everything else is done. I hate this but nothing I can do now.

I don't know Dane but he sounds like he knew what he was doing. I beg people to talk to the local gringo people who have built here. Learn from them. I had a condo that had a lot of big glass windows; these had to be cleaned every week and they etch easily. I do not have glass in the window openings - they are screened and shuttered so that I can quickly close up when a storm is coming and only close up on the side it is coming from.

DO NOT ASSUME ANYTHING! Even like sizes for kitchen cabinets and drawers. My dinner plates will not fit into an overhead cupboard and the drawers tend to be too deep. I made my cabinet maker cut the bedroom built in dresser drawers in half.

I tell people I wish I had the money to build the same house all over again from the ground up. It is beautiful but not perfect. Good luck to you.

Take only pictures leave only bubbles
#494996 - 08/25/14 05:42 PM Re: Building on Caye Caulker [Re: ROHenrich]  
Joined: Aug 2014
Posts: 12
CAJUNMAN68 Offline
CAJUNMAN68  Offline
Does anyone know if Mario has a website? Or email?

#495118 - 08/28/14 01:27 PM Re: Building on Caye Caulker [Re: ROHenrich]  
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 55
markw Offline
markw  Offline
Mario Guizar:

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