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vinnieboy Jan 6th 2019 2:17 pm

Building new home.
Hi. I’m new to this,so not sure what will happen to this post,but here goes!
Im planning on buying a plot of land on Barbados and having a villa built. Most of the year would be rented out to holiday makers and rest of the time for my family and friends.
I would like to know if it would be possible for me to be part of the build team,as I’m a bricklayer,so I can keep costs down. Has anybody been through this type of process before,and do you have any tips or advise for me,ie; pit falls,lawyers,visas and anything else that comes with building your own home?
Ive built my own home in the UK from start to finish,but here I know the ins and outs of building,in Barbados I just know about swimming and relaxing!!
Thank you for reading this and any replies in advance.

Sunniebgi Jan 7th 2019 10:47 am

Re: Building new home.
HI Vinnieboy. welcome to the forum. I would initially say.. living here and working here are 2 totally different things. even if it's your house... you would technically still need a work permit. but the first thing would be.. town and country planning permission to have the house built. I'm not in that arena, so really can't help with any of the parts on that one.. but.. if you are buying land. .that's great. .you may want to find a builder who can work with you on the rest of it. and you would likely need to talk to them about the things you can and can't do..

good luck.

vinnieboy Jan 7th 2019 7:19 pm

Re: Building new home.
Thank you for your reply and help sunniebgi. I do have a builder in place but he’s asking way too much to build a 3 bedroom bungalow for me and my wife,that’s why I thought I might be able to do most of the work myself to save money or I won’t be able to afford my move to paradise and I shall be bound to the cold and wet UK for ever!!!

Sunniebgi Jan 8th 2019 1:13 am

Re: Building new home.
so just to say.. in the UK it might be to much.. in Barbados it may not be remember.. most of our building materiel's, among other things, are shipped in.. so there is a cost to that... have you looked around?? have you asked anyone else. Have you seen the cost of a new home?? or an old home to redo... I guess technically, in a renovation. you have bought the house. you aren't working for anyone else.. and you could do the renovations yourself. except you do need to make sure that you know the local rules restructions etc... and in some cases, (increasing the footprint.. building a 2nd level ext.. ) you would have to go through town and country planning..

Serendipidy Jan 9th 2019 4:20 pm

Re: Building new home.
Hi Vinnie and welcome - not to burst anyones bubble but just because you have a home in any country (including UK) does not give you the right to live in it full time without the relevant status. I think sometimes people forget that "paradise" needs visas just like the UK to either visit or live.

If you have already got your status by citizenship etc ignore this but for others looking into building in Barbados please keep it in mind

****Update on this..... sorry I reread your original post and it did state that you would be letting it out to visitors but will leave my comment on here just in case its useful for any others

Happyowner Jan 10th 2019 9:25 am

Re: Building new home.
So true Serendipidy . When I am in the UK and watch these " Find a home in the sun " type programs , I am always astounded at the people who are led to believe by the Presenter that they can buy a house and just stay in Barbados. They never mention that unless they have a Work Permit, Bajan Citizenship/ by birth or marriage etc, or are of a certain age and can meet the huge range of requirements by the Government to apply for a Special Stay Visa , they are unlikely ( or will not ) to be granted a Visa to stay on the Island for more than 6 months a year.------------and that even applies to people who start businesses in Barbados.

vinnieboy Jan 13th 2019 2:28 pm

Re: Building new home.
Hi serendipity,and thanks for your reply. That’s right,I’m not planning on moving to Barbados for quite awhile,but in the meantime I’d like to visit as much as possible. I’d leave for Gatwick now if I could!!!
I read you post on retirement in Barbados from the 25 January 2017. Not sure if this is still relevant with the new government or not,but that would be ideal for me in maybe another 10-15 years time. That’s if I make it that long!!!
I now have to wait and see what happens with brexit,as this will determine if I can or cannot afford to build a villa in Barbados. Hard brexit and pound will collapse,soft brexit and skies the limit!!!

scot47 Jan 13th 2019 7:44 pm

Re: Building new home.
Raises the question if Vinnieboy will be able to go and live in his dream home !

vinnieboy Jan 13th 2019 8:08 pm

Re: Building new home.
Hi Scot. Could you expand on your comment please.

scot47 Jan 14th 2019 2:46 pm

Re: Building new home.
Owning a property is no guarantee that you will get a visa or permission to live there for longer periods.

scot47 Jan 14th 2019 3:20 pm

Re: Building new home.
FROM THE Gov.UK site -


British passport holders don’t need a visa to visit Barbados.

On entry, you will normally be granted a specified period to stay. If you wish to stay longer, you must apply and pay for an extension of stay through the Barbados Immigration Department.

It’s an offence to overstay the entry period or to work without a work permit."

Sunniebgi Jan 14th 2019 4:55 pm

Re: Building new home.
There are Expats who own homes on the island who don't live here full time. they come and go, following what the governments requirements are .

There are also many people who land here and "get lost in the system".. work under the table , taking jobs away from Barbadians.. thinking they can stay and do as thy like..

This gentleman wants to build a home to visit when he can ..and one day stay here for longer periods..

and you never know what this government will do for expats.. certainly more than the last

vinnieboy Jan 14th 2019 6:49 pm

Re: Building new home.
Thank you sunniebgi,I couldn’t of put it any clearer myself!! I don’t want to work in Barbados,and at least for the next 10 years,I wouldn’t be able to live in Barbados because of work commitments.
All I wanted to know or to have some clarity on,are the working laws about myself building some part of my house without being jailed or kicked off the island!!
If and when the time is right for me to retire and the Barbados government does not offer me any kind of help regarding living on the island,then I shall sell up,for probably a hell of a lot more than it cost me to build,and just move to somewhere that would be happy to have my pounds! I’ve travelled the world,and there’s more than 1 paradise on this planet!!

Sunniebgi Jan 14th 2019 10:33 pm

Re: Building new home.
Vinnie.. I'm going to give you some advise. If you are buying land and you have a contractor to build a house for you.. please please make sure they are completely above board. I've heard wars stories of contractors taking expats AND bajans overseas, to the cleaners. people pay.. and when the house is finished, it's not what they wanted.. materials to build go missing and the list goes on.

I have no idea who to tell you to use. .. as for 'helping along the way.. I'm sure if you are competent .. it's your house.. you can do it. .but . you have to find someone who is going to let you.. don't know if that will save you money, etc.. but. . it might..

the other part is to find a property that could be fixed up..and work from there. .. have someone in Barbados who can navigate the compliance issues .. what you need to redo or rebuild etc.. (ie.. if you change the "footprint" you have to have planning permission.. that type of thing).. and someone to watch the house while you are away.. .. There are LOTS of empty, half-built houses in Barbados. for years.. .. just saying..

Happyowner Jan 14th 2019 11:27 pm

Re: Building new home.
Vinnie---------Serendipity's post re Retirement in Barbados , was actually copied from my post , and it was me who obtained the Special Entry Visa to stay in Barbados for life. You can start by asking for Visas from the age of 50 and they are granted for 5 years up until you are 60, when you can apply for a lifetime Visa for a one off payment.

However, all I would say to you, is unless you can be on the Island throughout the build of your Dream Home , then don't do it. By all means , buy a property that you can change into your dream house ----------------given all planning is accepted and approved and you realise that can take months if not years, but at least that can be done by you, in fits and starts. Building from nothing, is a different matter all together, and I know people who have gone away , trusting their builder / Agent, implicitly, only to encounter problems and sometimes disaster.

Brexit hangs over all us British Ex Pats -------------we are the laughing stock of the World . Good luck to you.

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