We’ve worked with many clients over the years, both in Turks and Caicos where we are based and other tropical destinations around the world. We work closely with our clients to formalise their requirements, capture them on paper in the form of a design, and finally bring them to reality during construction.
No matter in what tropical destination you’re considering building, there are several important pieces of advice we can share to help make the process smoother for you and your design or build team:
- Get your designer involved from the beginning. Choosing a building lot is an important part of the process. Local advice is also crucial to understand weather, topography, neighbourhoods, wind directions, and more. It’s almost always a huge and costly mistake to try to make an existing plan fit a specific piece of land.
- Find a designer you’re compatible with. Make sure there’s mutual respect and the designer understands he or she is creating a home for you. They should be adept at listening and translating what you’ve told them into a design you’ll love.
- Visit as many of your design and/or build team’s previous projects as possible, or speak to previous clients.
- Look for a variety of styles, layouts, and quality construction finishes. You want to know you’re going to get a design that is suited to your needs and a home that is built to last, requiring minimal maintenance.
- Come to your designer with a list of ideas and requirements. The more information you provide, the closer the initial design will be to your expectation.
- Be accountable for the project by making decisions as quickly as possible. No one expects you to make major choices overnight, but staying on time and within budget is much easier if you commit to responding to questions in a specific timeframe. This is especially true in tropical locations.
Perhaps the most important factor in a successful tropical design or build project is being able to take a leap of faith; to trust the expertise of the team you’re working with. Let go of any preconceived notions of what a home must have or must be. We recently had a difficult time convincing a client in Turks and Caicos they didn’t need an entry closet for coats and wet galoshes!