So you have probably heard about Roatan or even visited its white sandy shores and amazing undersea life. Maby you are thinking about building a life here and the home that goes with it. This three part guide will help you along the way.

Building Considerations

The following factors should be considered when your new home is being designed as they can all add substantially to your building costs.

-Windows: Special Doors, Doorway wood trims, Glass, Mirrors, Doorknobs, Kitchen Cabinet woods and handles, Faucet Fixtures, Fans, Ceramic tiles, Special structures for generators and propane tank, well or cistern catchment system, water filtration system.

– Retaining walls and alternatives: Depending on the property, you may need to build one or more retaining walls, which will increase costs.

– Whole house surge protection: many builders recommend protecting your entire home.

-Alternative Power Systems: Backup systems include batteries, gas, propane, diesel generators and solar systems.

-Septic System Design – On Roatan, one of the best systems available is the Piranha system, an aerator system that purifies sewage so it doesn’t contaminate environment. The advantages to this system are many: low maintenance costs, 90% treatment, no solid waste removal, no odor, it can be installed near the ocean and it can be used with existing septic tanks. The initial cost to install a Piranha system is about $2,500 with yearly maintenance fee of $150.

– Cistern and water catchments: Even if existing infrastructure allows you to tie into a local well system, as mentioned before, rainwater catchment systems are now required by law. If you’re in an area that doesn’t have a well, this will be your primary source of water.

– Building permits cost one percent (1%) of the total cost of construction in the Municipality of Roatan; and one and half percent (1.5 %) of the total cost of construction in the Municipality of Santos Guardiola. To be granted a building permit, you will need plans that are signed and sealed by a Honduran architect or engineer. If you submit plans for the house, septic system and cistern simultaneously, you will be granted just one building permit. If you submit plans separately, you will be issued a separate permit for each plan at an additional cost. Each permit is based on the cost to build the item plus the processing fee.

– Building Supplies: If you decide to supervise construction yourself, be sure to include in the cost of such things as ceramic tiles, grout, doors, windows, cabinetry, sinks, faucets, hinges, doorknobs, locks, motion detectors, fans, lighting, freight and shipping costs etc. in your construction budget.

– Construction laborers: Another factor that should be included in your budget if you build your house yourself is the cost of labor. While most sub-contractors will bring their own employees, you may need to hire extra laborers to carry out such tasks as: Brush clearing and Landscaping. Again, it’s best to try to hire people who come recommended.

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