When it comes to natural beauty, Nassau and Paradise Island homes for sale are ahead of the rest. But our agents know a property needs more than charm to meet your expectations: Every now and then, you may want to renovate your home. And that can be more complex than in the United States.
The rules around who is allowed to perform contracting work are different than you might be used to. Bahamas contractors must be licensed in an area of specialization, such as residential or commercial construction, electrical work, or plumbing. Still, it is possible to be targeted by scams.
With that in mind, it's crucial to ask the right questions before you choose anyone to work for you. Be prepared to interview several different contractors before making a decision. Check their references and develop a list of questions for each one so you can make an informed decision in the end.
Here's what to ask to ensure you have a good relationship with your home remodeling contractor:
- "How long have you been in this business?"
No matter how licensing requirements vary from one place to another, it's always a good idea to pick a contractor with abundant experience. A good rule of thumb is to select those with at least five years of expertise in the specific skills needed for your project. Ten years is even better.
- "Can I see your license?"
Beware of any contractor who offers to do work for you at a discounted rate in exchange for cash. Legitimate professionals have no problem directing you to their license information.
- "Can I see your insurance?"
As in the United States, contractors in good standing need to have sufficient insurance to cover any workplace accident that might take place on your property. Without insurance, you may be financially liable for injury, even if you had nothing to do with the incident.
- "Whose responsibility is it to get the permits?"
Permitting is a significant concern in The Bahamas because land is at a premium and so are natural resources. It isn't necessarily a red flag if a contractor says permitting is your responsibility. However, they will still need to provide you with the documentation you need to finish the process.
- "When can the project be done?"
Experience is so important because it allows contractors to make accurate estimates in both time and money. Inexperienced contractors often make poor guesses and end up with overruns that cost extra. Get your timeline in writing and know what will happen if things don't go as planned.
- "How will payment be completed?"
With stateside property, you would probably not expect to pay for the full cost of contracting work upfront, and the same is true in The Bahamas. Payment terms should be laid out in detail in your contract, with plenty of time for you to review and ask any questions before you get started.
- "What will you do to protect my property?"
Set expectations on the use of electric, water, and garbage facilities. Ensure the contractor will handle all construction debris and other clean-up, as well as storage of tools and materials.
To save the time and money you would invest in renovations, the best course is to choose a property that meets all your needs. Morley has the experience and insight to help. Contact us to find out more about Bahamas real estate.