Building your Dream House in Panama – Part 2

In Part One of Building Your Dream House in Panama we talked about what to do before starting construction. Here we deal with what to do as construction progresses. 1. Insist on seeing the construction permit before your builder starts anything. Check the property description on the construction permit against your title and against the map you obtained from the Catastro office.

3. After construction, always do the walk through. The builder is responsible to hand over the house ready to live in. Check every detail and take your time. Better yet, walk through the house by yourself and take notes before you walk through with the builder. Look for cracks, the exact same building materials that you specified, evenness of steps, etc. Bring a level to check vertical and horizontal alignment. The builder is required to do “touchups” after you sign off but nothing major. If you let a crack go that means you are letting your foundation sink into the ground. Fixing that is not a “touchup.”

4. The occupation permit is the final and definitive piece of paper you need in order to move into your new home. The Fire Department must declare your house “livable” and issue a permit. They will fine you if move in without getting the permit and the permit protects you against being sued in case of a fire.

Watch for Part Three

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