The view from our dream home on the Caribbean
I have a pretty darn good following with this blog, and almost every week I am contacted by someone telling me they have been following me here and or on Facebook. In most cases, they are either planning a trip here to Belize or already here and want to get together. And, almost all of them have either bought a building lot or in the process.
This could be your house on the sea too, well, not this one, it’s mine 😉
More often than not they tell me how much they have enjoyed reading it, how much they have learned, and how they want to avoid the “ugly” that I presented them. One of the most asked questions is about finding the right builder for their new houses. They have read my ordeal and in many cases actually talked to others already living here, or of course on the Belize Expat site.
One of the qualities and honest builders here, actually building my neighbor’s home now.
I am thrilled to say that at this time, four of our new friends are in the process of building their new homes here in the greater Maya Beach area, and they are all using local Belizean Builders.
Construction started by Elsner and Mynor on our neighbor’s lot.
As my plan is to turn this entire blog into a book to be published by the end of the year, the subject of just how to find and choose your builder will need to be addressed. I have decided to start blogging about that exact detail, exposing you all to the builders I have found to be quality builders and contractors. Not only have I seen their work, visited the houses and businesses they built, but also have interviewed the expats who hired them. I will only be presenting you with builders that I personally trust, give you some background, publish photos of their work, and contact info.
Then it’s up to you.
If you have followed my blog, you are aware that we started out with what we thought was a qualified U.S. Builder. We met a handful of “builders” that were “approved” for building houses in what was then “Sanctuary Belize”, previously Sanctuary Bay and now the “Reserve”. As most of you know that “dream” soon became not a reality, and we broke ties with them and moved on to purchasing a lot not in a “development” here on the Placencia Peninsula. We had “be-friended” a “builder” from the Sanctuary deal, who was now working out of the Placencia area. We hired him believing it would be in our best interest to have a U.S. “builder” overseeing “his crew” building our new home.
Fast forward two years.
Our pretty much-completed home in Maya Beach. The only remaining issue being fixed by Nelson is the replacement of large folding kitchen window with the correct one this time. We “ate” the cost of the incorrect one installed previously!
What we discovered before our house was completed enough to move in, was that he wasn’t a “builder”, but rather a “General Contractor”, who hired a Belizean Builder/Contractor to build our house. After multiple screwups, faulty systems, and major products incorrectly ordered and installed wrong, we discovered the truth. Our builder from day one was a local Belizean Builder / Contractor / Designer. Therefore, we separated from the original guy, and proceeded with our actual Belizean Builder, to contract and complete the building of our home.
I can tell you we are completely satisfied and happy with our Belizean Builder, Nelson Montalvo.
I will also tell you that only a few years ago, Marsha and I organized a “Builders Forum” here in Placencia, for over 250 U.S., Canadian and others from around the world. All of these people who traveled here to our multi-day event were planning to build their homes in Southern Belize. Many are still in contact with me, as well as following my blog, and still planning on building here in Belize. All of them, as well as hundreds of others, follow my blog after finding it somehow, and I am thrilled to give you all the insight into the building here, that I wish I had available when I began.
So, appropriately I will be in this blog, starting with Nelson Montalvo and his company here on the peninsula. In upcoming blogs, I plan to highlight the other excellent Belizean Builders here on the Placencia Peninsula. They are in no particular order, Margarito Ortiz, Martin Galvez, and Elsner Balona. These quality and honest builders are presently building homes for many of our friends.
The new home on lagoon byway in the CoCo Plum Residences south of Maya Beach being built by Nelson Montalvo and his crew.
Nelson went to school to become a builder/contractor, and unlike many of his friends, he went on to continue his education and become an Architect as well. To accomplish this he needed to leave Belize and attend school in Mexico. After completed, he returned to Belize and started working as a contractor, in developments on the peninsula. About 12 years ago, he had built up enough equipment and fellow construction workers to start his own company. Most of his crew have been with him for the past 10 years or more.
The view of the canal the home views in Coco Plum.
Nelson and his crew have built the main building and homes in such well-known locations as Roberts Grove, Naia Resort /CoCo Plum, and the new development, Itz’ana Belize Resort & Residences.
After building our home here in Maya Beach, Nelson and his crew started construction of the new office location in Coco Plum Residences, for Tradewinds Catamaran Charters. Before his company had even completed that build, he was already starting construction of our friend’s new home up the road on the canal in Coco Plum Residences, which includes a pool.
Last week Nelson started construction on another friend’s new house and three cabanas on the sea here in Maya Beach. It was excellent seeing that they looked at a few Belizean builder/contractors, and chose our builder, Nelson.
Here is Nelson’s business card. You will note it is “tattered”. The reason is that I have taken it out of my wallet so many times to let people copy it, who wanted to contact him.
Nelson is in the final stages of completing the construction of his new shop and location for his heavy equipment in Seine Bight Village right down the road. Nelson is one of the few builders on the peninsula that owns most of his heavy construction equipment. This is one of the things that makes him and his company stand out from the rest.
It’s so nice to see all the U.S. and Canadian’s moving to Belize and hiring Belize Builders to build their new homes. It’s just one more way to show the local Belizean that we are wanting to work with them, and help their economy. After all, we are investing in the local economy, not a “U.S. or Canadian wallet.
I will close on a super positive note, with a photo of my new “security system”” in training”,
Calypso, our 10 weeks old female Rottweiler who made the journey by air with Marsha a couple weeks ago from Oregon.
Happy roads, and may they all lead to the beach, and a full bottle of rum!