10 tips for designing your dream home in the Caribbean

  1. Soil type on which your property is to be built should be established as early as possible, as this will affect foundation costs.
  2. You should ensure that the property is sited in accordance with boundaries to avoid breaching planning rules or encroaching on neighbouring properties.
  3. Make sure that the positioning of windows, doors and verandahs allow you to enjoy the full benefit of any sea or mountain views that are available from the property.
  4. The Caribbean is loved for its warm climate, but a hot and stuffy home can be most uncomfortable.  Cross ventilation should therefore be considered to ensure that your home benefits from, amongst other things, cooling breezes.
  5. Many Caribbean homes are open plan in design, but you should still bear in mind how the rooms in your home will flow from one to another.  Furthermore, if you’re someone who likes ‘your own space’ from time to time, you may wish to allocate a room that can be shut off completely to allow for this.
  6. You should consider security when determining the positioning of entrances and exits in your home.
  7. Avoid building extravagant and substantial homes in a neighbourhood where other properties fall short fall by comparison as you are likely to experience difficulties finding buyers should you decide to sell at a later date.
  8. Familiarise yourself with the materials used for building homes in the island you have selected.
  9. Not all homes in the Caribbean have guttering so rainwater falls from the roof directly onto the ground close to your home, which has a tendency to leave unsightly stains at the base of your property.  You may wish to include guttering in your house design to avoid this.
  10. The beauty of designing your own home in the Caribbean is that you will have a say on the fixtures, fittings and finishings to suit your individual tastes and budget.

Article by Maureen Smith, Caribbean Property Consultant, Tropical Connections

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