It's mid-April, 2007. I wrote the previous page of this Anguilla home-building journal in June 2006! Since then, a lot has happened... then almost nothing (totally due to me)... and now that we have prepared in depth, I am ready to tell you more.
First, our Anguilla lawyers handled all the details for wrapping up the Alien Land Holding License ("ALHL"). These were all the little "to do's" that I had outlined in my last entry.
I can't begin to emphasize the importance of skilled, thorough, fast legal representation. Since last writing you, Eustella Fontaine and I have had several excellent social conversations. She is every bit as pleasant and interesting as she is an excellent lawyer. You can reach her via the form on this page if you ever need an Anguilla lawyer.
By August, everything was wrapped up and I proceeded to move very quickly and do...
I am extremely busy. As the head of a tech company, I work long days that build into 80 hour weeks (when it's slow!). Too busy to do the time-consuming, nitty-gritty of finding an excellent Caribbean architect and of figuring out who the best builders on Anguilla are.
And so it sat. Month after month went by. I was consoled by the fact that Anguilla construction is so hot, that every Anguilla builder is overbooked. So I figured that the 18-month deadline would not be rigidly enforced.
It's better not to start a project than start ill-prepared. And that's especially true when you are planning to build a house anywhere, let alone in the tropics. Obviously, a Caribbean architect skilled in the realities of heat, intense sun, and even hurricanes is just as important as finding an excellent builder.
And I had not even begun to search for either.
I was stalled. The solution? Form a team that will take the weight off my shoulders...
In November, 2006, I took my friend on a scouting trip to Anguilla. We interviewed architects with that all-important Caribbean knowledge. We toured tens of building sites to find the best Anguilla builder. We met engineers (important to assure the structural integrity of your caribbean house plans).
Most importantly, my friend fell in love with Anguilla. It was an intense week, but a plan emerged by the end of it.
Since then, there have been two subsequent trips to Anguilla. We have...
Suddenly, the project is moving forward. The first set of house plans have been submitted to Physical Planning. I don't even have to worry what Physical Planning is, exactly, because the team takes care of it all.
The land has been cleared so we could decide upon final placement of the house. It was also necessary to know how far down we needed to go to reach bedrock. Here are some photos...
Land Cleared Along Back Boundary
Land Cleared Towards Front Right Corner
The little piles of earth/sand you see are the holes that were dug down to bedrock. It's about 5 feet down. They will excavate the entire footprint down to bedrock, lay the foundation and then fill the hole back up (no basements -- hurricane surges would fill them quickly!).
I was elated to see some progress. I love imagining the view from the master bedroom on the second floor! To celebrate, Nori and I left our own little "Stonehenge sculpture" behind (click for info about "the real Anguilla Stonehenge").
And now, work is about to start in earnest...
My Montreal friend has just departed for Anguilla for the final preparation for building in Anguilla. He will...