What to Consider When You Want to Build Your Home in a Foreign Country
Everyone in their lifetime has dreamed about the perfect house. A home that you’ve built yourself in a foreign, exotic country that overlooks the ocean, or on a mountain where you would have fresh air, peace, and quiet. Fantasizing about it is great, and the experience of building that house could also be wonderful and give you a sense of self-worth and achievement, but the road to that end goal is long and hard. You will come across setbacks and problems that will sometimes make you want to give up, but if you make it, you will finally have your dream home.
A dearer, sweeter spot than all the rest.”
– Robert Montgomery
Before you get there, here are some things you should know before building a home in a foreign country.
Make sure you have enough time and money to complete the project
No matter how much you plan, assume that it will take more money and more time than you originally thought and that there will be various setbacks. These include weather conditions that will force you to cease your construction for a certain period of time and unexpected costs that you could not count on.
Have someone you trust to be on the site
Chances are you can’t be on the construction site all of the time, so ask someone you trust, a friend or a family member if they could replace you when you’re not there. They will make sure that everything is going according to plan.
Hire a good contractor
This is one of the most important things you need to do, considering you’re choosing someone to build you a home that is supposed to last so that you can pass it down to your children and grandchildren. Before you hire someone, make sure you’ve seen some of their earlier works and insist that your contractor follows the architectural plans, including everything from door and window frames to iron screws.
Don’t hire cheap architects
A good architect is something you really should invest in because you are sure to get your money’s worth. Sure, you could save a couple of thousand dollars by hiring someone cheaper but that is a risk that will most likely not pay off. When you’re paying a high figure, you’re paying for talent, experience, and assurance that nothing will go wrong.
Use local materials
When you come from another country, all of the materials look strange to you and you aren’t sure about the quality. However, trust that the workers you’ve hired know all the good and quality materials to work with. If you’re tempted to import materials from your country, know from the start that it will cost you more and your workers will be unfamiliar with them, so always buy local materials. Nonetheless, first make sure which is worth buying by consulting experts.
Be aware of the fact they speak a different language
If you’ve moved to a country and speak the language fluently, that’s great. But sometimes, people move to a new country and learn the language with time. If you’re one of those people, make sure you have a translator on hand, someone who can communicate effectively with both you and your crew.
Consider the location
If you’ve moved to a country with a different climate than you’re used to, consider that the construction will be affected by the weather more than you thought at first.
Don’t pay for anything in full up front
This is common sense but it has to be said. Pay an agreed amount up front and the rest when the work is complete and you’re satisfied with it.
Keep tabs on all costs
Be involved in the project and insist that your contractor presents you with the costs of all the purchases at regular intervals. Take the time to review them and compare the amount of money that’s being spent to what you’ve originally planned. If you come across a high expense that wasn’t planned, you should address it immediately before you run out of money.
Be ready to paying in cash
Especially if you’re working in a small town, you will have to pay in cash because some local suppliers and vendors may not be able to accept payment by credit card or wire payment. Therefore, make sure you’re always prepared.
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