Planning and building your own home is a daunting experience, but also an incredibly exciting and rewarding one. This will explore the basic and most vital aspects of the process.
The first and most important aspect to consider is budget. All real estate experts will advise consumers to determine a budget and work closely with that figure to get a realistic estimate of not only the exterior building costs but the fixtures and fittings for the inside of their home too.
Once a budget is in place, we would recommend increasing that number by 10%, simply to ensure that any unforeseen costs can be taken care of.
On average, a house should take between 18 and 24 months to complete, some projects may be finished sooner, providing they are well organized and planned thoroughly.
The next step would be to contemplate your location. Typically, in Bequia, we see most people choose their land based purely on the view, when there are many other equally important elements to be considered. For example, the gradient of the land can be crucial to the house’s entire design and layout, as elevations and slopes on the island can create many design issues. Seasonal weather conditions, strong trade winds and annual variations in the angle of the sun are also serious factors which should be firmly understood and taken into account before the design process has started.
Having built three homes to date, we have encountered every possible challenge and found the very best solutions to working with Bequia’s unique landscape at each step. We are more than happy to act as a consultant if required, sharing our intimate knowledge of this beautiful island and its topography to make building your dream home a stress-free reality.
Once you have discovered your perfect plot of land, you will need to select the right architect. If you would like to be heavily involved in the design of the property; it’s important to find an individual who you share a design synergy with, an architect who that can interpret your thoughts and ideas.
Appointing an experienced construction team is also vital, we would advise a local company who are equally as knowledgeable with local materials and the landscape as your chosen architect.
The next step is to plan the layout of your new home. Decide where each room will be positioned from both a practical and aesthetic point of view. Lighting and other electrical components to the property should also be planned before the building process, this ensures cable conduits can be installed during construction. The garden design should also be planned early too to allow diggers to leave the landscape as you would like it.
Power and water works are slightly different here than in Europe and the US. There is no water supply on the island, instead, water is collected from the roof of your home and stored in concrete tanks built under the property. This one essential element to your home highlights the importance of appointing the right construction company, an experienced team will be able to advise you on this process and execute the build perfectly.
Power is supplied by the government power station and UK type sockets are standard.
This guide is of course, very rudimentary. However, we are available to provide in-depth knowledge and advice on every aspect from purchasing the land through to local planning controls and procedures. Building your own home is a wonderful experience and so we aim to take away as much stress as possible from our clients to ensure that their home is not only beautiful, but carefully considered, practical and designed to suit every need they may have.