7 Tips for Building a Home in Jamaica

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According to Jamaican digital news service Our Today, Jamaica adds about 6,000 new homes each year. Despite this, there is still a huge housing shortage on the Caribbean island, as the nation scrambles to meet the current demand.

If you’d like to build a home in Jamaica either for yourself or to sell to those interested in buying new houses, be sure to follow some simple steps to make your construction project a success. Here are seven tips for building a home in Jamaica.

1. Begin by Putting a Budget in Place

You can typically build a home in Jamaica for anywhere between $90 and $130 per square foot, depending on which finishes you choose. As a result, a roughly 900-square-foot home, which is large enough for two bedrooms, will start at just over $80,000 and cost upwards of $120,000.

Your first order of business should include establishing a budget for a new home in Jamaica. By putting this plan in place, you can narrow down your options when it comes to deciding how large you would like a home to be and which materials you decide to use in it.

2. Find the Right Plot of Land

Jamaica is a lot larger than many people realize. It stretches out over about 4,200 square miles, which makes it the biggest island in the Commonwealth Caribbean. It’ll provide you with plenty of options when you’re searching for a plot of land to purchase for a new home.

You’re welcome to buy land in any of the island’s more populated urban areas, but you can also consider more rural places if you wish to have your home built in a quieter setting. Does the property suit your needs and lifestyle? Is it in a safe area? Close to work, schools and shopping? Is it near your favorite beach or places of interest? Use both your personal preferences and your budget to shop for land for a new home and try to score a great deal on it.

Photo by Rock Staar on Unsplash

3. Hire a Capable Architect and Contractor

Unless you’re a general contractor by trade and have the proper licensing to operate in Jamaica, you’ll need to hire professionals to help you bring your home construction plans to life. Look for both a capable architect and a contractor who can take the design ideas you have and make them possible.

Building a new home from the ground up in Jamaica will test your limits as is, but it’ll be even more difficult if you don’t have a wonderful architect and contractor team helping you out along the way. Search for the best architects and contractors on the island and take your time as you aim to choose the most talented options of the bunch.

4. Select the Best Building Supplies

The building supplies you choose to buy for a new home in Jamaica can ultimately make or break it. If you skimp on these supplies and simply purchase the cheapest materials you can find, it could result in you not loving the house you build in the end. It could also leave a new home susceptible to hurricanes and other devastating natural disasters.

Carib Cement is one of the best building supplies for those building homes in Jamaica. You’ll also need to invest in other supplies to start piecing together your new home, such as:

  • Concrete blocks
  • Plywood
  • Hardboard
  • Glass
  • Molding

Don’t forget to set aside room in your budget for the best tiles Jamaica has to offer, too. They can put your new home over the top by making it look incredible on the interior while also providing you with long-lasting durability that other materials just can’t match.

5. Pull the Proper Building Permits

Just like most other countries, Jamaica has its own building codes that you and your contractor need to abide by at all times. The Jamaica National Building Code was created by the Bureau of Standards Jamaica to ensure all homes are structurally sound and safe to live in by the time they’re finished.

As long as you have the right contractor on your side, they can guide the way as far as sticking to the necessary building codes are concerned. They can also pull the proper building permits on your behalf to avoid unnecessary delays with your project.

6. Set Aside More Than Enough Time

Building a home in Jamaica often takes anywhere from six months to a full year, and it isn’t that out of the ordinary for some new home constructions to take longer than that – even years. Since there is so much new construction on the island, you are likely to face delays due to everything from building supply shortages to inspection and permitting issues.

Leave yourself more than enough time to build a new home in Jamaica and steer clear of cutting any corners in an attempt to speed up the process. Spending a little extra time getting things right will be more important in the long run.

7. Double-Check Everything During a Final Inspection

When it’s time for the final inspection of your new Jamaican home, you might be tempted to rush through it and say, “Everything looks great!” just so that you can move in swiftly or get it right up on the market. Slow down and spend the right amount of time double-checking all the various aspects of a new home before signing off on it.

The last thing you want to do is spend tons of time and money building a new house in Jamaica only to find issues with it as soon as you take ownership of the home. Look high and low for any potential problems and ask a contractor to deal with them before moving forward.

Are you ready to get to work on building a new home in Jamaica? Start by generating a budget and searching for an architect and contractor that you feel comfortable with before doing anything else. From there, you can begin building your new house from scratch and love every part of it once it’s done.

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