So you’ve just bought your home on St. Kitts or Nevis - congratulations! - or you think you’ve found an excellent place to buy but are worried about the renovations you’ll want to make absolutely perfect. We’re answering the most common questions we get asked by homeowners here; do let us know if there’s something you’d like to know that we haven’t covered.
1 - I’ve found an amazing house, but it doesn’t have a pool. Is it hard to get planning permission?
Obtaining planning permission is a straightforward process. First you would hire a certified architect to create construction plans. Your architect will ensure that your plans are following the Nevis building code. The approval process should take no more than four weeks.
2 - The kitchen in the house I’ve bought is quite dated and I’d like a new one. Is there somebody on island who can make bespoke kitchens?
Nevis has several kitchen and cabinet manufactures and several suppliers of kitchen counter tops. Superior Interiors & Parry’s Wood Works are two of the premiere kitchen manufacturers on island.
For counter tops, Yuko Construction & Supplies has a wide selection to choose from.
3 - I’d love to get an outside shower installed. Is this something workers on Nevis can help with?
Our contractors are highly regarded for their workmanship. Many properties on island have outdoor showers, all installed by local contractors.
4 - I don’t see many houses with garages, and I’m used to keeping my car in a garage. Do you think garages, or even car ports, are necessary on the island? Do I need planning permission for such a structure?
Garages are becoming more of a thing on St. Kitts aand Nevis. One can be added to your home. Planning permission is required.
5 - I’ve looked at many houses on Nevis and some of the gardens are fantastic. The garden of my favourite home, however, is rather overgrown. Are there people who can help redesign and recreate the tropical garden I dream about?
If a landscape architect is what you need, there are several that are based on the islands. For typical gardening services, you may hire individuals or small 2-to-4-man crews to get the job done. You may need to be a bit hands on and tell your gardener exactly what you want. Do not assume that they will design/shape the garden the way you would like.
6 - I’ve heard there are ‘tax free’ days. When are these, and how can I take advantage of them?
Leading up to Christmas, to increase spending activity among consumers, the government reduced the Value Added Tax (VAT), which it 17%. So, it is not tax free, but a tax reduction sometimes reduced as low as 5%. The government gives advance notice on when these days will occur. You will need to get started early in the morning to take advantage of these savings and be prepared for long lines.
7 - The home I’m buying doesn’t qualify for citizenship by investment. Is it possible to renovate it to a high standard, push up its value, and qualify for citizenship based on a new valuation?
If you are seeking citizenship for yourself, the home would have to qualify for citizenship at the time of purchase. Citizenship is not typically done retroactively even though I have heard of a few cases.
8 - Many of the homes here have beautiful gingerbread stylings - but they’re all made of wood. How much maintenance is required, especially considering the sun and sea air?
The wood gingerbreads are gorgeous but do require maintenance. Some builders are using other materials such as PVC or Fypon. These materials are more durable, easy to shape and require less maintenance.
9 - I’m only on island for a few months of the year and I’d like to get some redecorating done in my absence. Can you help organise this?
Yes we can. We have done several small remodeling and redecorating projects spear headed by Helene. She used to own Tropical Interiors furniture store and she has a great sense for colors and space.
10 - I love the trees around my home but some of them are extremely tall and, if they were to fall, would damage my property. Am I allowed to cut them down?
If trees are on your property, you are allowed to remove them, especially if they pose a threat. If the trees are on your neighbor’s property, you should seek permission before removing or trimming them. In the case where the trees are on your neighbor’s property, permission to trim is normally forthcoming if the branches have encroached unto your property.
What questions do you want to ask us about renovating a home on Nevis?
The pictures are of Rutherglen, a newly remodeled villa that is the perfect holiday retreat for couples or families.