Do not build a home in the Caribbean on land where the title to same is not in your name.
Do not build on land in the Caribbean where sub-division approval has not been granted by the relevant government body (e.g. Parish Council or Town Planning).
Do not retain the services of any building contractor to build a home for you in the Caribbean without a formal contract between you being in place.
The contract between you and a building contractor should include, for example, total build costs, build period, stage payments, a list of agreed fixtures and fittings, employer and public liability insurance, penalties for late completion and retention period/monies.
It is advisable to retain the services of a project manager to oversee the construction of your Caribbean home under a separate contract to that between you and your building contractor.
Do not permit any stage payments to be released to your building contractor until the current build stage has been completed satisfactorily.
It is advisable to be fully satisfied with the design of your Caribbean home before construction work commences, as changes can be very costly.
Be sure to establish on which side of your property the sun will rise and set when deciding on where the bedrooms should be located to avoid ‘sauna’ temperatures at bedtime.
Carry out test holes on your land to establish depth for laying the foundations for your Caribbean property, as deep foundations can be very costly.
Remember that if your joints are beginning to show signs of wear and tear and one of the reasons for you relocating to the Caribbean is so as to enjoy the benefits of early morning sea baths, a single-storey property with even floor levels will provide for easier manoeuvring (and wheelchair access) than a Caribbean home spread over two floors.These tips that have been put together by Tropical Connections to highlight some of the points to be considered by overseas residents who are thinking of building property in the Caribbean.