Construction and Development

The Cayman Islands is a perfect destination for investors to develop their projects or for just everyday home owners to build their dream vacation home. Cayman has spent considerable money and time to develop one of the finest professional Planning Departments in all of the Caribbean. Cayman follows the Southern Florida Dade County Building codes which includes some of the strictest set of building codes in North America. An investor does not have to worry about compromising their efforts to develop and construct a project just because they have ventured offshore to a new foreign market.

Quick Link: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Construction & Development

All property is registered under a unique block and parcel number so every owner is registered on file at Lands & Survey Department. The government guarantees the right to ownership and the records are made public to anyone for inspection. Under inspection, the records will reflect any liens, charges or restrictions on the property. Since the buying process is guaranteed and easy, the process of purchasing a property can take less than a week when there are no special conditions in the offer to purchase.

Cayman Islands has a contractors association which requires all member contractors to be licensed. The Cayman Government Planning department has strict requirements for plan submission and once construction begins, has a step by step procedure for onsite inspections. There are numerous professional drafting services, talented architects, land surveyors and quantity surveyors on island to assist with every aspect of design through completion.

Grand Cayman now offers piped city water to all areas of the island, doing away with the expense of a rainwater cistern structure. Planning regulations permit 7 story buildings on the Seven Mile Beach and a maximum 3 stories elsewhere. Residential regulations allow a maximum of 25 % site coverage with the building footprint. A High Water Survey is required for plan submission on all beach front property. This survey established setbacks for structures from the sea which is normally set at 100 ft. Other setbacks for residential homes are 10 ft on the sides for one story, 15 ft for two story and a 20 ft setback from road frontage.

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The Planning Department of the Cayman Islands is very helpful and knowledgeable on all conditions in Cayman. They readily invite potential investors or property buyers to stop by their office to discuss your concerns and answer any questions.

If you have any questions regarding land purchase, development procedures or building costs, please email us at and we will try and provide you with the answers.

Residential Construction Q & A

The above information are guidelines only and this info should be confirmed by your local architect, builder and/or Cayman Planning Department. We accept no responsibility for wrong information.

A: You can budget US $ 150 / sq ft for a rambler style home. $ 200/250 for a nice home with some upgrades. $ 300 + to fulfill your dreams.

A: Yes, you can as long as it is your home. You will have to use licensed service subcontractors for electrical and plumbing.

A: Yes, you can but recommend having them hook up with a local architect to submit the plans etc. You do need a local licensed structural engineer to do the foundation drawings.

A: Residential submission takes between 2 and 5 weeks depending on complexity of the design.

A: There are two types of approval. 1) approval in principal which requires a site plan, floor plans and elevations. This approval confirms you can build what you want on your land according to the submitted drawings. 2) Building “ Red Card” Permit: requires a full set of drawings including all those in item 1 plus: electrical, plumbing, structural, pool and landscaping detailed drawings. Approval on these results in the issuing of a building permit which is good for one year.

A: You can budget between US $ 35,000 to $ 60,000 for a pool and average deck area.

A: You can budget US $ 10,000 for a few items, with most average packages going for US $ 25,000

A: Yes, you can supply whatever you like. Of course all materials are subject to an import duty starting at 20 % of invoice including duty on off island inland and ocean freight costs.

A: There is a 20 ft setback from the frontage road: 10 ft on sides for one story; 15 ft on sides for two story; 50 ft back from canal edge; 75 ft back from sandy beach; 50 ft back from ironshore. Pools may be appealed for 50 ft set back from sandy beach.

A: We would not recommend this. It is difficult to obtain insurance for wood structures and resale is also very difficult. Concrete block or SIP construction is preferred.

A: A 3000 sq ft home will take approximately 12 months once plans are submitted to Planning.

The above information are guidelines only and this info should be confirmed by your local architect, builder and/or Cayman Planning Department. We accept no responsibility for wrong information.

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