Cayman architect, Arek Joseph OBE, offers sage advice on building a house

  1. Buy in an area where there are constraints on what can be built
    Being part of a development will retain its value. What is next door is very important; what can your neighbours build?
  2. Build on solid ground
    Foundation costs can be expensive so employ
    a professional to do a soils test before you begin.
  3. Hire a professional
    Anyone here can call themselves an architect so be careful and ask where they went to college and look at their certificates of graduation, which are more reliable thanĀ  membership of RIBA [Royal Institute of British Architects], AIA [American Institute of Architects] or similar.
  4. Be clear about your needs
    Make sure your architect clearly understands the budget and what you want. Left unfettered an architect will do something beautiful but you may not afford it. There might be landscaping and road access costs to consider.
  5. Beware of the wall-to-floor ratio and avoid unconventional shapes
    A box that is 10ft by 10ft is 100 sq ft and 40ft of wall. But a shape that is 100ft long, 1ft wide and 100ft long will cost 202ft of wall, which is five times more expensive. This can cost you more later on finishes such as tiles and carpets.