When I first decided to re-locate to the Caribbean, I took a hard look at Costa Rica, Panama and Belize. Doing my due diligence, I decided on Belize, because it was English speaking, had awesome beaches and the Caribbean Sea, and cost of living/cost of building appeared lower than elsewhere.We traveled and looked at all the options of where to live, Island, Jungle, Inland or Coastal, and ultimately chose coastal on the Placencia Peninsula. We purchased a building lot in Maya Beach on the Sea, and that's when our "big adventure" started.I searched for any kind of guide or publication about the process of building in Belize. I had friends who built here, who had horror stories of faulty building, going through two and sometimes three "builders" before completing their houses. Some upon completion had to hire contractors to come in and do "remodels" to their brand-new house, because of faulty workmanship.
A few of those were built in in the now well known "scam", Sanctuary Belize, mostly by questionable "builders", the development brought in from the U.S.
"Getting back to my story, there was a time when the government didn't get that involved with what Expats built, but those days have left the building. Now you need to jump through hoops, submit your architecture drawings to the Central Banking Authority, and wait months for approval stamp before you can even start to build. "
So, here I am ready to purchase a building lot, and we basically are alone in the decisions that will be needed. As I had interviewed the "approved builders" associated with Sanctuary Belize, I contacted a couple of them that were now building on the Placencia Peninsula and hired one of them.
"As my curiosity got the better of me, I pulled out my master copy of the house plans, the ones finally approved by the CBA. Low and behold, there is a page that clearly shows the location of all the upright concrete support posts, and it was clear, eight of the originally installed towers were in the wrong place."
Over the next two and a half years it took to complete the building of our house we experienced so many "bumps", some minor and some major. Many of them could have been avoided had we known how things are done here in Belize, or how they are ordered and delivered. Purchasing things like doors and windows from neighboring countries, getting stainless steel parts, necessary living on the sea, or "all weather" ceiling fans are just some of the issues.
"For many months now I have talked about the folding door to deck, and folding kitchen window to the deck and cook center. As you probably remember, they were both terribly wrong, both in the specification as well as installation."
Many construction "nightmares" and sleepless nights proved quite a weight on my back during the 2+ years.
As a Travel Writer and Author, with two published books about Belize already, I decided to write a book about my experiences, so others could have the guide that I wished I had before I started down this road.
That book was just released on Amazon last week, and it is named rightly so, If I can help you from just one "Bad or Ugly", this book is worth reading.
Building your new home in Belize, the Good, Bad and Ugly
It's available as a download version or as a paperback on Amazon.com.