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Building in Paradise

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The inspiration to buy or build a home in Bermuda is becoming increasingly popular among visitors to the island. Designing a personal vision of an island dream home is exhilarating but can be daunting at the same time. The key to a successful project is thoroughly understanding the regulations and timelines involved with building a home in Bermuda.

Bermuda construction is vastly different than that found in North America, Europe and even the Caribbean. The island’s Building Codes and Planning Legislation for residential and commercial properties are meticulous and involve several vital components. A visit to the Department of Planning website is the primary source of reliable information, while consulting with local industry experts is considered the more direct path to gaining valuable knowledge.

Setting a budget and having realistic expectations is equally essential to the success of the project. The island’s geographical location must also be taken into account. When planning and designing a home, confirming materials and local on-island availably is essential. Imported materials, client purchased finishes, fixtures and furnishings, all impact the building schedule and budget. Timing the delivery of materials is an art, therefore securing a local contractor, architect and interior designer is crucial to ensuring it all flows smoothly throughout the entire process. Local professionals will work as the client’s advocate and liaise with the Planning Department to attain all the necessary permits. They will also ensure the building process adheres to government guidelines and codes.

In addition to the structural and interior components of the home, the exterior landscaping of the property is a quintessential feature of a Bermuda home. Local landscape architects are skilled in creating a sense of place by exploiting Bermuda’s native and indigenous flora and fauna. Professional landscaping regardless of the scale, adds curb appeal, visual aesthetics and offers long-term return on any investment.

Building a home in Bermuda may be a test of endurance for the property owner, however by setting practical timelines, securing local experts and recognizing the options, having a dream home in paradise is rewarding and worthwhile.

Department of Planning website: www.planning.gov.bm.

Originally Published in Destination Bermuda Magazine