Posted By: FGRoss
Licensed Electrician On Caye Caulker - 01/04/16 10:53 PM
Can anyone provide me with contact information for any licensed electrician on Caye Caulker.
I need to get some power to our building lot
You will need to contact people when you are here. I doubt that any of the guys doing electrical work have email. Even if you talk to someone on the phone, you will need to physically be here to get work done.
I know it seems frustrating to you that you can't get things started while you are in the U.S. but things don't work the same here as in the U.S. Its not that we are trying to be evasive with your questions, but you have to physically be here to get anything done. Otherwise, people will make a lot of promises and take a lot of money from you and when you come back, the money is gone and the work isn't done.
Posted By: FGRoss
Re: Licensed Electrician On Caye Caulker - 01/06/16 04:16 PM
That is a really sad reputation to have . . . "Otherwise, people will make a lot of promises and take a lot of money from you and when you come back, the money is gone and the work isn't done."
I retired a few months ago, was a home inspector. The biggest gripe I heard from people here in my area was about contractors, plumbers, roofers, even home inspectors, not returning phone calls and not being on time to the appointment.
I made it my goal never to be late. In 13 years I was never late not one time to an appointment and believe me that reputation helped to grow my business. I think if a builder, plumber, electrician etc. on the island had the reputation where people would say "Use Joe Builder, he does a good job, has never cheated anyone, always finishes the job on time, etc. " that their business would grow like crazy.
Yes, I have heard the comment about builders on Caye Caulker, or rather, builders that built on Caye Caulker, "you need to be here while your house is being built to protect your investment and money"
So, what is a person supposed to do? Line up say a contractor or electrician or plumber, get a work order in writing, handcuff yourself to him while he does the job, or what? I mean it sounds like there is no legal recourse for being taken for a ride. So, how does an expat protect themselves? 1/3 payment down, 1/3 later and 1/3 when the job is done?
Rips offs even happen in my area but when they do word gets around and no one recommends that person any more.
If I had the tools and time I would build the home myself, have built two our homes we have lived in here in the States.
My wife and I love Caye Caulker and want to call it our home.
I hope it is possible to do so. Our funds are really limited and we cannot afford being ripped off.
How does a person on the island protect themselves when they hire anyone to do a job for them?
Posted By: dabunk
Re: Licensed Electrician On Caye Caulker - 01/06/16 04:53 PM
As said unless you are here or have a trusted agent onsite at all times you will be gouged and ripped off. Sorry and sad to say but the truth and there are no courts to make it right.
Posted By: Wizardofaahs
Re: Licensed Electrician On Caye Caulker - 01/06/16 07:50 PM
It happens in all of Belize. No conscience or ethics. No recourse. Save your hard earned money. Don't build. Rent for a couple years. You may decide to live elsewhere.
Posted By: Shyboy
Re: Licensed Electrician On Caye Caulker - 01/06/16 08:28 PM
That is the BEST advise. If you own a nice home now.... LEASE it for a year... Rent a home here for a year and then make your big step. I've been giving that advice for years here in the states.
Posted By: MikeD
Re: Licensed Electrician On Caye Caulker - 01/07/16 01:05 AM
I sent you a PM a few days back with my 2 cents of knowledge regarding building on CC gathered from my time on the island and my research. Others here make valid points. Belize doesn't work like the US or Canada...just a fact. You will NEVER be from Belize. Always an outsider-and plenty of them come an go, many leaving their money with ancestors of pirates who see North Americans as RICH, after all there is an endless supply of them coming and going, so reputation has no meaning.
Best practice is to live there for some time, develop relationships, and then decide how to proceed. Best of luck.
Posted By: artisan
Re: Licensed Electrician On Caye Caulker - 01/07/16 01:35 AM
There is only one licensed electrician on the Caye that I know of, although others come here to work on big projects.
He is installing a service for me tomorrow if all goes as planned.
I've been here 10 years and a lot of what has been said here is true, but there are pretty fool-proof ways around getting taken if you're willing to spend the time.
You say you are a home inspector, so some knowledge of building is a big plus.
1. Source your own materials and barge them out here, arrange delivery to your jobsite yourself asking for multiple bids for every transaction.
Anyone building a home can go to Benny's, the home depot of Belize city and immediately get a 19% off card.
You can get half or more of what you need right there.
Other vendors will give you 10-20% off for large orders of treated pine framing wood, etc.
2. Do not hand over large amounts of cash, make agreements on prices in stages of work completed, with payments on completion.
If you tell me which lot you have and what service you want, I can send the guy over there for a price, nothing to lose there..
150 AMP temp box with 4-6 outlets ought to do you for starters.
If you do business with him, he goes to BTL and fills out a form, it goes to the office in San Pedro.
Then 2 weeks or so after he has installed BTL will come and run the power from pole to property.
BTW, I feel for you, if you've bought already, all this negativity must be hitting you hard.
I just had a local cockroach take me out again, but 10 wrongs don't make a right.
I am an American with Belizean citizenship.
If you want, I've known this electrician for many years, he won't cross me.
I can get you a price and make sure your service goes in.
If I help you, some good will have come from my efforts here.
P.M. me if you want, it isn't quite as bad as this thread would seem to make it.
I'm not one of them, learned a lot from mistakes, but there are lots of expats here who have had things go rather well.
Posted By: Noelle
Re: Licensed Electrician On Caye Caulker - 01/07/16 04:02 AM
We didn't build here but we did do two extensive renovations. It went great and the guys who did the work are still good friends. But we were here while it happened, didn't give the contractor all the money up front (at his request) and were involved with the whole process. Artisan makes good points. Definitely buy your own materials. It's not so much that people are bad, it's just that when you're not here they get distracted and people leave and don't come back all the time. Just stay involved in the process.
Posted By: Wizardofaahs
Re: Licensed Electrician On Caye Caulker - 01/07/16 06:21 AM
I will also add this: Jay ?? Of Stella's Smile on San Pedro built a house and the little restaurant. He had experience and used a good builder and was very successful. His property has been featured on HGTV House Hunters International just recently. He also has a company (which I can't remember the name) that specializes in running the job while you are not here. He wrangles the workers, checks materials and invoices and generally makes sure you don't get ripped off..specifically for those who cannot be here for the build. I don't know what he charges for this service, but I promise you it is less than you will lose by the less reputable workers here. Wouldn't hurt contacting him just for a chat. I am sure you can find him through Stella's Smile facebook page.