5 New Constructions Issues You Will Run Into and How to Avoid Them
New Construction is one of the most exciting projects you can embark on. It can also be one of the most nerve racking. In Panama foreigners face and even bigger hurdle because they are not aware of how the construction process works in Panama.
The issues that you run into in Panama, are similar to the problems you face when building in North America. But, avoiding them is even more critical. And the failure to do so can turn your new home dreams into a total nightmare in a hurry.
Here are the five biggest issues you will run into while doing a new construction project in Panama. And how to avoid them.
The biggest issue you are going to run into is a lack of data of the processes and rules in Panama. This tends to lead you into putting too much reliance on your builder. This trust in your builder is fine, if you have the right contractor. But without knowledge of the Panama market, how will you do that?
The most important thing you can do is educate yourself. Talk to construction experts, other foreigners who have had new construction work done, and locals. Investigate everything you can, and discuss every step with your new builder.
The next issue that comes up often are problems with the building site. If your contractor gives you a quote, but runs into problems later because of obstructions or other problems with your site, you are going to be the one to pay for it.
Make sure you visit your building site with the contractor before work starts and you get your quote. It goes without saying, that if you are not going to be staying in Panama for the length of the project, this needs to be done before you leave.
The next issue you may run into as an owner is in poor quality due to the primary contractor not doing periodic inspections. This is especially true if subcontractors are doing a good portion of the work.
Make sure that your main contractor understands the importance of periodic inspections of his employees and subcontractors work. If you are in Panama, you should accompany your builder on some of these inspections to check the work out for your self.
Another major issue in any new construction is missed dates. This can be extremely common in Panama, and is even worse if you are an absentee owner.
It is going to be up to you to follow up with your builder to ensure deadlines are met, or at least you know the status of your building at any given time.
If you don’t follow up, and leave Panama with the belief that your project is going to be done next May, don’t be surprised if when you show up in May the house hasn’t even broken ground.
Make sure that you have set dates for construction milestones. And follow up on these dates. Don’t be overly upset if deadlines are not met, it is going to happen. But at least you will know where your project is on its time schedule.
Finally, if you are coming from North America, you may notice that attention to detail is not as strong in Panama. Its not that the quality is bad, it’s just the finishing touches may not be as polished as what you are used to.
Make sure you are working with a contractor who has worked with Expats (foreigners) in the past. And knows what they expect. There are construction contractors in Panama who have been trained on US construction standards, so they know what you are looking for.
Your new construction home can be a dream come true. Especially when it is built in a paradise like Panama. But, it can just as easily be a nightmare if you work with the wrong contractor and don’t watch out for these five issues.
Discuss your upcoming construction project with everybody. Especially important are others who have done the type of work that you are looking for. And, of course your chosen contractor.
Make your new construction house the dream that is supposed to be. Your new Panama home will reward you with a lifetime of memories.