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Building In Jamaica
All Your Questions Answered

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Building In Jamaica | Construction By McBean Project ManagementBuilding In Jamaica | Construction By McBean Project Management

by Sheree-Anita Shearer | Associate Writer

Quite frequently, we will get questions on building in Jamaica. From the cost of building and labour to identifying reputable companies or people to carry out construction work for persons living overseas. McBean Project Management has always been a highly reputable company, we and have requested their assistance in responding to your queries on building in Jamaica many times over the years.


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It was quite logical, we thought, to have a little sit down with me Mr McBean who is the Project Manager and CEO of the company so he could answer some of your most frequently asked questions. He was generous enough to provide tips and guidelines for your upcoming project.

How Much Does It Cost To Build A House In Jamaica?

The cost to build a house in Jamaica is around USD $100 per square foot. A standard 1 bedroom apartment would cost USD$40,000. However, this is for a basic build, for more elaborate builds, it can cost $120-$150 per square foot.

A three-bedroom home with a kitchen, living/dining area, 2 bathrooms and a washroom is around 1,000 square feet. To complete a home this size, inclusive of all the finishing touches, would cost USD $120,000.

The exchange rate at this time is US150 to JMD1.

What Is The Process For Building A House In Jamaica?

There are quite a few steps between when you think of building in Jamaica to when your home is completed, that is if it is being done properly.

  • Conceptualizing The Building Plan - Consult with a professional (contractor/designer/architect) to outline what you are thinking of building. They will guide you through what will work and possible suggestions or solutions for questions you may have. 

  • Completion of Building Plan - The average wait time on the completion of the building plan is usually around 1 - 3 months. This depends on the complexity of your build, however. It can take considerably more or less time. 

  • Approval Process - To build legally in Jamaica, your building plan has to be approved by the necessary bodies, mainly the Municipal Corporation. In addition to their own Road and Works Department, they will then send copies to the other bodies, for example, the Fire Brigade, National Solid Waste And Emergency Management and Ministry of Health. 

Because of the many organizations involved, they request an average time of 3-4 months. Again, depending on the complexity of your build it might take a little more time. For more elaborate or modern builds, there are engineering or safety concerns that need to be addressed. In which case, the respective organizations will get in touch with you to have the building plan adjusted.

  • Construction Phase - It is not advised that you start construction before the building plan has been approved. It is ok to begin preparing for your build though, you can purchase materials etc. Your contractor will be able to provide a comprehensive list of all the materials that will be needed. It is also a good idea to get a quantity survey done as it will give you a full breakdown of what to expect as it relates to the amount and cost of the materials, labour, machinery and equipment that come with building a house. This will avoid over-purchasing which is a common mistake by builders. 

You can also alleviate some costs by buying small quantities while you can, the cost of materials increases rapidly.

What Is The Average Time For A Building To Be Completed?

Just as an example, a 2 or 3 bedroom house will take around 4-5 months to be completely finished, not considering potential holdbacks that may arise. Anything from the budget, to the pace of the team or materials not being on time, could delay completion. 

Site preparation and excavation are other factors that could delay your plan significantly. 

So overall, the average time of building in Jamaica, from conceptualizing the building plan to actual completion of the structure could be 11-13 months, again not accounting for unforeseen delays.

How Much Does It Cost To Draw A House Plan In Jamaica?

On average, USD6-8 per square foot, or a percentage (usually 1-2%), of the estimated cost of build might be charged by your architect or draftsperson.

How Is a Draftsperson Different From an Architect?

While they are both capable of doing the plan, a draftsperson is sometimes hired by the architect to complete the actual plan, depending on the size of the building. For larger structure areas, an architect or engineer must approve the work of the draftsperson.

Is It Cheaper To Build Or Buy Home In Jamaica?

There are many factors to consider before you ultimately decide which is best for you. With building, you will get to add all the niche areas and custom builds as you want to, making it the home of your dreams. Even after purchasing a brand new home, there will be a few things you will want to change, to make the house feel more like you and to facilitate your likes.

For Someone Living Overseas And Wanting To Build In Jamaica What Should They Do?

When you are overseas and decide to take on projects like this, it is imperative that you have hands and eyes that you trust overseeing the entire process. There are many stories of persons even asking family members and close friends to oversee their work, only to find out when they visit that corners were cut and money was wasted.

This is where companies like McBean Project Management come in. Mr. McBean and his team will help you every step of the way. They provide full-service assistance with:

  • Conception
  • Sketch/Design
  • Assistance with surveys and evaluations
  • Assistance with land sourcing
  • Excavation and site preparation
  • Tiling, painting and roofing

Who Is An Ideal Client For Mr. McBean?

Anyone who asks questions and pushes Mr. McBean and the capabilities of the company. The team loves every step of the process and enjoys working with their customers to create something the client will love and the company can be proud of.

What Makes Jamaica Special?

Mr. McBean had a difficult time choosing what makes Jamaica special, not because he couldn’t think of anything, but because there is quite frankly so much to choose from. He encourages people who get the opportunity to travel or live abroad to take it. That way you will see all the things you are not missing out on by living in Jamaica.

He explained that the sun, sand and sea we quite often talk about when referring to brand Jamaica, doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of what Jamaica has to offer to the world.

Contact Information For McBean Project Management:

If you would like to contact Mr. McBean for any construction-related reason, use the following methods:

  • Email: mcbeansdraft@gmail.com
  • Telephone: (876)-540-7771 / (876)-316-8185
  • Addresses: 8 Seaview Close, Great Pond, Ocho Rios St. Ann & 23 Silvera Drive, Kingston 7

There is also a very handy form you can fill out and wait on the response from Mr McBean and the team.

Click Here To Get A Free Quote From Mcbean's Construction & Project Management Right Now.

Watch Video! Building In Jamaica

To watch the full interview with Mr. McBean visit the My-Island-Jamaica YouTube channel.

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References & Sources For Building In Jamaica

  1. How much does it cost to build a house in Jamaica? #Building In Jamaica, https://youtu.be/mtrvHefsfdI
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