Building In St John
I am a contractor in the State of Texas. I am wanting to build a modest 800-1000 sf home on the island of St. John. Would I be required to have a General Contractors license to build my own home (one is NOT required in the State of Texas)? Also, are there many available tradesmen and sub contractors on the island?
Yes. You will need to have a locally licensed architect and general contractor to get a building permit. There are several firms on island and many tradespeople. I work for a construction firm on St John.
This blog is WELL worth reading for anyone considering a STJ or USVI build.
another one newer, not villa
A different luxury villa
If you have read these to some degree you should have some very good info and questions about your project.
Best of Luck it is a great place to have a home.
I wish you good luck with your project but, having built an island home, I thought you should be aware that your term “modest home” will apply only to the size of your home. As you’ll soon learn from reading those blogs you actual building costs will be far from “modest”. In fact when it comes to building in the Caribbean the term “modest” doesn’t exist.
Three days after we broke ground we were behind schedule and over budget and those delays and cost overruns continued to mount. Get your best pre-construction estimates and be prepared to end up spending 50% more before your project is completed. That especially goes for building on St. John.
It is without question that building in the islands is tougher and more expensive than most places. Sourcing and then getting the materials is much more complicated. The number of unknowns and hold ups are countless. Hurricanes, power outages, lack of raw materials (like when the concrete companies run out of gravel and sand and cement) can really delay projects. Then on the client end of things, change orders that never seem to end. Even minor changes when you have already poured can get expensive. At the very least, I would advise that you find a project manager who is highly organized to help you through the process of building here. I handle nearly all of the logistics for our firm and it's a full time job. There are many many unlicensed uninsured people in the trade. They always find plenty of work but that can turn out poorly in some cases. The only concrete company on St. John is St. John Concrete. You can give them a call with your location to find out what the per yard cost would be based on your location. There is a truck fee and a zone fee on top of the per yard rate. And depending on your location they may not be able to do a full truck because of steep hills. You may want to check out the newer building codes just to familiarize yourself with the newer requirements here. https://dpnr.vi.gov/building-permits/
Plus, added delays if the barges between STT and STJ not being in service due to breakdowns or USCG inspections, etc.
Lots to consider when building on STJ in particular.
@The Trents -- How goes the research??It is not a quick and easy project you are looking at.
Still STJ is a fine place to have a home -- Build a big cistern, a steong structure and a well designed, overbuilt roof. Consider solar or a generator in the planning. Good Luck