Due to the amount of undeveloped virgin land available in Antigua at Luxury Locations we often see buyers who are looking to build their perfect island getaway property however many individuals have never built their own property and do not know where to start.
At Luxury Locations Real Estate we can assist with many of the quesitons you might have if you think you have found your perfect location and want to know what to do next, we have very good connections with architects, builders, contractors and interior decorators so we can assist you with getting from dreaming about it to actually doing it and living it.
To give some general ideas for building costs we have given some rough outline below;
Building costs; often individuals will want a price based on a sq. foot price, these prices per sq.ft. can range from US$200 up to US$1000. However, it is very important to note what is included in that price and whether that is just the building cost or the total cost including all fittings and fixtures which do account for a large proportion of the cost. What can seem like a very low cost to build may end up more expensive due ot the fact that it is only four walls and a roof included in the price leaving out painting, fixtures, kitchen, bathroom and windows.
Building contractors will work in a variety of ways including the following;
Per sq. ft. - the contractor will quote a cost for the total sq.ft. of the building. This is a very simple method and specifics must be worked out in advance to ensure that all parties are clear on the outcomes. Although the simplest method this can cause issues with quality on finishes and fittings if the contractor and client do not agree on the quality of the build and how that build is executed.
Total cost / fixed price - this is similar to the per sq.ft. model, however, the property will be calculated as a total build cost rather than each sq.ft. being apportioned a cost. The advantage of this approach is that fittings and fixtures can be upgraded or additional elements added, (extended decking, jacuzzi, garage etc). These additions would be implemented into the design in the early phases and the costs factored in.
Open book - the contractor will have a completly open set of books so that every cost can be accounted for by the client. This approach is the most transparent and allows the client the most control of the build costs. With this approach the contractor may charge a percentage override on the total build cost or a fixed fee.
Our advice from Luxury Locations would be;
1. To ensure you find a building contractor that suits your needs and that you have seen some of their past work, if you do not know what you are looking for then pay someone to go with you and advise you.
2. Spend a lot of time on design to ensure that you have made the right choices on your design and layout, it may cost a few dollars in additional architects fees to move a doorway on a drawing but could cost thousands of dollars to move it once fully constructed.
3. Once the design is completed do not make changes. Once you have finalised your design and layout, take some time to think, and then provide final approval, if you have doubts then wait and consider. One of the biggest causes of costs spiraling, is redesign and amendments to the design, what may look like a simple change may cause issues with plumbing, electrics, structural supports or other aspects that cannot be initially anticipated from a simple change such as increasing the size of a window by a few inches.