Interview with an architect part 2
Remember Interview with an architect in Curacao part 1 with architect Geert Verschuren from IHC architects?
Below is part 2 (question 8 – 14) and this is also a very interesting interview with great tips and information. So if you are planning on building your own house, keep on reading….
It`s something personal and for most of us a big event to build your own house. For some it`s their first house on well-known soil, for others it`s a second home for vacation on unknown territory, but what should we know from the architect about designing and building your new home on Curacao?
The most frequently asked questions will be published in a series of 3. The interviews will be conducted with an on Curacao based architectural firm; IHC architects.
My name is Geert Verschuren (30) and I have the honor of being interviewed by Taco Heidinga from Curacao Real Estate. Our team at “IHC architects” have been designing and realizing projects over the past 5 years on Curacao, and we are happy to say that we have been part of realizing the housing dreams of many clients.
8. Is it possible to realize your dream property with a fixed budget?
“First we make an estimate based on the square meters needed to build the desired house. This gives an indication which we need to check during the entire process, so no unforeseen costs will pop up to surprise you.”
9. Are we as future owners of the property allowed to ask for adjustments to the design?
“The stage in which the design is being created, is a very intensive collaboration between the future owners and the architect. Our goal is of course to create something that meets your expectations in every way. So in this stage it’s definitely possible to make adjustments. In a later stage as well, but we wouldn’t recommend it once the final design is been approved by you. Adjustments during construction usually mean extra costs, unless they are small adjustments that can easily be made.”
10. Which rules and regulations do we need take into consideration?
“On Curacao we have rules and regulations set by the government and we have rules and regulations set by the resort or allocation plan where you bought your lot that you need to take in consideration. These regulations can be very different per location. So please before you buy a lot, read the regulations very carefully. Usually when the resort or allocation plan gives approval for the design, the government will usually follow the decision made by the resort or allocation plan .”
11. Is it correct that building on Curacao generally means a lot of headache?
“That depends a lot on your approach. Often there is a misconception among foreigners who are willing to build on Curacao that it can be done very cheap. Trying to save money on a qualified architectural firm or a contractor can cost you a lot more in the end, because things need to be fixed afterwards. So we advise you to do proper research on the parties you will work with.”
12. How can we obtain a building permit?
“You can easily get a building permit if you meet all the requirements in the building code set by the government. There are several documents you need to hand over to the government. We will provide you with the necessary architectural plans. The structural engineer will take care of the structural drawings and calculations. Furthermore a form has to be filled out by the client, stating the name of the client, what kind of building will be built, the expected construction costs, name of the architectural firm etc. As an appendix the following has to be included: measuring bill of the lot, title deed, and a location plan known in the land register.
When applying for a building permit, the client has to keep in mind an advance has to be paid before the government will start judging the plans. Once the building permit has been approved a final payment has to be made, and a seal has to be submitted (the seals are available at the tax office). All payments have to be made in Dutch Antillean guilders.
13. How long does it take for a building permit to be released?
“Our government has two categories for the building permits. First category are projects which will cost anywhere between Nafl. 0,- and Nafl. 1.000.000,-. Building permits for these projects are usually approved within 6 weeks. The second category is projects worth a million Antillean Guilders or more. For these projects it will take 6 to 8 weeks to get a permit.”
14. Does your firm take care of all the permits?
“We can assist you with the application for the permits or we can completely take care of it. Depending on the wish of the party we work with. However, there are a few permits that we just can’t take care of, like plans for infrastructure etc. In this case we help you with contacting the right party.”
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Did you find this blog interesting? This was only part 2!
Part 3 follows soon!
More information about IHC Architects.