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Buying Land

Many long-term endeavors involve the use of real property and most times present the option of purchasing.  In some cases land and building will be needed and in other cases only land.  Today we will discuss a few key areas concerning the purchase of land which should be given careful attention.


  • Use of the land: Dominica, although a predominantly mountainous country with vast acres of forest, has areas which are flat and areas that are sloping. Many people are charmed by the idea of having flat land but a sloping lot may be quite convenient for your endeavor.


The local planning authority has separated land use into categories: residential, commercial, industrial, institutional, agricultural, tourism and urban development, wildlife, conservation/forestry and protected lands.  The type of land that you purchase should coincide with your plan for the land.  You would not want to buy a piece of land located in a residential area for the purpose of building a factory.


Check with the physical planning authority to find out if the desired area has any restrictions or if the land is fit for your purpose.  It may be considered a hassle, but this may save you from troublesome situations in the future since you will ultimately need permission from the Physical Planning Division to build any structure or feature on the land.


  • Budget your money wisely: When purchasing land there are government and other associated fees that the vendor as well as the purchaser have to pay. On a typical land (and building) transfer in Dominica the purchaser pays 4% stamp duty, 1% assurance fund and 2.5% judicial fee of the purchase price or value, whichever is greater.  Often times a lawyer and a surveyor have to be engaged and paid a fee during this transaction.  All these must be factored into your budget.


  • Surveys are essential: A land survey plan provides information on the dimensions, access and boundaries of the land. A topographical survey will come in quite handy in providing more information about the gradient of the land allowing you to plan better.
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Home Office

“Make Thousands of Dollars Working From Home!”


You’ve been seeing these ads around right?  Although many of these turn out to be scams there are quite a few genuine “work from home” jobs.  There is actually an increase in remote jobs within many common industries like sales and marketing, real estate and information technology where the concept of working from home falls quite conveniently.


Working from home provides much convenience but in order to be efficient in performing duties, persons are encouraged to have an appropriate work area which will allow them to separate office work from house chores.  Today we share 5 simple tips to assist you in working effectively at home.


  1. If you have an extra room, a garage or an area that is seldom used, dedicate that area for working or convert it into an office. You may consider adding another room if there’s sufficient yard space.  This will actually increase the value of your home.


  1. Once the space is set out, choose the most appropriate furniture and fitting (be mindful of the size of your designated office space). Your health may be the top contributing factor to the furniture you choose.  If you are one of the people who complain of back pain and eye strains, consult your doctor before choosing your furniture and equipment (computer etc.).  If you are not, you should still choose wisely to reduce your risk of suffering from those ailments in the future.


  1. Get all distractions away from your office space. Televisions, games and even house hold chores are common distractions.  Take the television and similar devises away.  Ensure your office chair is not facing areas like your kitchen where you may spot some dirty dishes staring at you.


  1. An organized office encourages efficiency. An office desk with draws would be useful for some storage and should be considered when choosing office furniture.  Depending on the amount of documents you need to store, consider investing in a filing cabinet or shelves.


  1. Personalize your office space. Don’t over accessorize so that it creates a distraction, remember we are eliminating distractions, but a little personal touch, say something that inspires you, can go a long way.


You need to make sure that your work space or office at home has the right location, furniture and setup to allow you to be physically and mentally prepared to perform your duties most efficiently.

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What’s In a Roof? Roof Options Available

The Gable Roof – is triangular in shape; also known as pitched or peaked roof and are very popular.

Pros: Gable roofs will easily shed water and snow, provide more space for an attic or vaulted ceilings and allow more ventilation.  Their simple design make it easy to build them and cheaper than more complex designs.


Cons: Gable roofs can be problematic in high wind and hurricane areas.  If the frames are not properly constructed with adequate supports, the roof can collapse.  High winds can also cause materials to peel away from gable roofs.  If there is too much of an overhang, winds can create an uplift underneath and cause the roof to detach from the walls.


If a gable roof is used in high wind areas, be sure proper braces are used and have the roof inspected after a large storm to ensure no damage occurred.


The Hip Roof – Slopes on all four sides which are all of equal length and come together at the top to form a ridge.

Pros: Hip roofs are more stable than gable roofs.  The inward slope of all four sides is what makes it more sturdy and durable.  They are excellent for both high wind and snowy areas. The slant of the roof allows snow to easily slide off with no standing water.  Hip roofs offer extra living space for vaulted ceilings or an attic.  They also provide more ventilation and are able to make additions, such as dormers or a crow’s nest.


Cons: Hip roofs are more expensive to build than a gable roof.  It’s a more complex design that requires more building materials.  Also, additional seams can make it easier for water leaks to form if a roofing system is not properly installed.


The Saltbox Roof – is one with two stories in front and one in the back, having a pitched roof with unequal sides, being short and high in front and long and low in the back.  The front of the house is flat and the rear roof line is steeply sloped.

Pros: The slope makes it easy for water to run off, making the saltbox roof good for areas that receive heavy rain.  The asymmetrical design makes it more durable than a simple gable roof.   It adds more living space by making a home one and a half to two stories.


Cons: The design can be tricky, which makes the building costs higher. Although more living space is provided, it isn’t as much as a regular pitched roof.  Also, some of the rooms may have slanted ceilings.


The Flat Roof – It appears to be completely flat but has a slight pitch to allow for water run-off and drainage.  Though generally used in industrial or commercial buildings, this style roof can be found on houses.

Pros: Easy to construct and requires fewer building materials, keeping costs down. It allows for more living space on the roof for a patio, garden.  Heating and cooling units can also be placed on flat roofs, keeping them out of sight. The design is also conducive for installing PV solar panels for a more energy efficient and energy independent home.


Cons: The low pitch makes flat roofs more susceptible to water leakage. They are not advised for high rainfall or high snowfall areas.  Although the upfront cost of building a flat roof is less expensive than a pitched roof, they can be more expensive in the long run due to maintenance and ongoing roof repair and replacement costs.

Ensuring a flat roof is waterproof is imperative. Using material that is continuous with no seams is the best.  The most common materials used are tar and gravel, roll roofing, metal sheets, PVC, TPO, and rubber membrane.


The Butterfly Roof – It is a V-shaped roof constructed of two tandem pieces which are angled up on the outside.  The midsection is angled downward where the two pieces meet into a valley.  The overall effect is of a butterfly’s wings in flight.

Pros: The upper angle of the outer edges allows larger windows to be used.  This gives the home more natural light, lower heating bills in the winter and brings an open feel to the design.  The valley in the midsection of the butterfly roof allows rainwater to be collected, making it beneficial for high drought areas.  The butterfly roof lends itself to an environmentally friendly home design, as PV solar panels, water collection systems and natural light can all be easily incorporated.


Cons: The complexity of the design makes the butterfly roof more expensive.  Not only are the upfront costs higher than conventional roofs, but the maintenance will also be more expensive.


Using a solid, continuous membrane with no seams is the key to keeping a butterfly roof watertight.  Other options are to use metal, organic materials or solar panels.

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Small Spaces: The Reward of Choice

A recent article revealed that the size of a typical home from the 1970’s has grown from an average of 1,600 square feet to now 2,500 square feet while family sizes have in most cases lowered in numbers over time – with two working parents in the home – a statistic to which most of us can relate.  The logic for many is that size represents greater success or so we tell ourselves. We have essentially considered less of our own individual needs and more of the desire to “keep up with the Jones’”. What we fail to realize is that bigger spaces don’t often satisfy our personal requirements or objectives instead much effort is spent on outfitting extra spaces that may never be fully used.


Evaluation of ‘space needs’ becomes very important for any family considering to build or renovate.  This was most evident in a recent renovation for a client where a space evaluation yielded the need for an additional bathroom; more specifically a half bathroom/powder room. The project though started with a far greater want of space, as the matrix of needs vs. wants developed it was soon realized that wants far exceeded the needs column and an appropriate balance had to be achieved.  With two bathrooms   already within the main house and a growing family plus the focus on outdoor living and entertainment the need for more bathrooms translated into a real functional                requirement.  Once the clients were convinced the project scope became a reality. The overall dimensions of 6’ x 8’ meant materials were in small quantities so the ability to showcase finish styles that could not normally be afforded for larger spaces were now a reality.


The client had the desire for some time to modernize their home but could not afford, now was the opportunity to take this approach and run with it for this new bathroom addition.  Finishes included Group 2 nicely finished porcelain wall and floor tiles, a        rectangular vessel sink mounted on a wooden vanity overlain with a corian countertop, an elongated comfort toilet, and a special streamlined sink faucet for more regulated flow. Choice of lighting was an important decision as a balance between energy          consumption and lumination needed to be made.  A selection was made to use recessed LED lights. This turned out to be a great choice to highlight the level of finishes chosen and blend with the colour scheme.


Oftentimes, smaller projects are better funded in contrast to the budget constraints    witnessed for larger projects.  So the next time you’re considering a home improvement project, a half bathroom remodel/construction may be the solution.

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News: Millenia Realty offers sales professionals the opportunity to be part of its Real Estate Sales Affiliate Network.

Millenia Realty has been operating as a broker in Real Estate sales and rentals on the Dominican market since 2010.  Over this period, we have earned the reputation of being trustworthy, fair, flexible and creative.


After doing business the conventional, same ole, same ole way all these years, we realized that both the broker/in-house agent commission-based structure and the broker/fixed salary employee structure often shortchanges the customer and typically disappoints the agent/employee.


We have concluded that a model that allows for complete flexibility and control by the sales person with a parallel commission split will address the inefficiencies and laissez-faire attitudes that we have seen in the conventional model.


This new model forms the basis of the Real Estate Sales Network that we recently launched.   This network offers independent sales professionals who are interested in the fast-paced and lucrative real estate sales business with an opportunity to fast-track their own business by utilizing our brand, our well-established online presence, among other benefits.


The flexibility of agents running their own businesses while they utilize our services lends itself to greater motivation and freedom which will improve on agent commitment and therefore increase client satisfaction.


Anyone interested in using their sales knowledge and experience to develop their own profitable real estate business should contact us to discuss how to join our Sales Affiliate Network.  Millenia Realty’s office is located on 24 Church Lane, Pottersville, Dominica.  We can be reached via email:; phone: (767) 614-1806.

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Choosing Interior House Paint Colors

When painting the interior of your home it is important to stick with a cohesive color scheme throughout the entire home (remember to keep the exterior in mind as well). Before selecting paint colors it is also important that you consider what the individual rooms will be used for since color has been proven to have an effect on our mood. Certain colors can also affect the appearance of a room in terms of how large or how small it looks and feels.

Today we share a few tips to help you select the right paint colors for the interior of your home.

  • If you want the room to feel energized or comfortable use warm colors such as red, yellow or orange. Warm colors tend to work well when used in rooms that host a lot of activity, such as family rooms or living rooms. Muted shades of these colors would be best as the main color as brighter paint colors can make a room feel overwhelming when they are used too much and too often. Instead, use these brighter tints of warm colors as an accent.
  • Cool colors such as blue, green, and purple are ideally used to give a room a relaxing feel by creating a calming sensation. Cool colors are great options for bedrooms as well as sitting rooms but using darker shades such as deep green or navy blue can help the room feel more grounded giving the space a cozy feeling.
  • To give a room an open feel or to make it feel larger than it actually is, consider using lighter tints such as pale yellows, blues or even white. Because light colors have minimal visual weight our eyes are not drawn toward them as they would with more vibrant and darker shades. When painting a room keep the ceiling in mind. Using light colors for the ceiling can create the illusion that the room is taller than it is.
  • Since darker colors draw our eyes towards the walls they make rooms feel smaller and more intimate. If you have a home library or a study you might want to use dark colors to create a quiet, intimate atmosphere.
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Step in style!

The front entry steps of your home are the first things visitors see, and this will undoubtedly be used by visitors and neighbours to form an impression of the inside of your home.  There are a few simple ways you can change the look of your steps and make your home more appealing and welcoming to visitors.


Clean & simple – The quickest, cheapest and simplest way is to keep your front steps clean.  Sweeping, at least 3 times a week, and hosing down at least once a week will prevent build up of dirt that can cause your step to look ugly.  The use of a power-wash is quite effective in getting your step to be spotless.


Be decorative – Add some decorative touches to your front steps.  A decorative doormat with a fun pattern for the top step will instantly give the entryway character and personality.


Add some color – Whether your steps are wooden or concrete, a fresh coat of paint can instantly update a tired, worn entryway.


Hide the concrete – Capping concrete steps with elegant stone works will give new life to a concrete step. Using tile is also a great option. Tiles provide great design versatility.


Add a railing – If your front steps don’t have a railing – or the railing is showing its age – adding one can instantly change their look.


If you decide to give your steps a makeover, be sure to share your before and after photos with us!

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Preparing A Concrete Floor For Painting

The building was complete and the floor was painted. The owner of the building walks in later in the day and sees a well painted floor with bumps. Bumps – the concrete was not evenly spread out. The owner anticipating a well prepared, aesthetically pleasing floor needed the bumps gone. The work men brought in a grinding machine to refine the surface.


Now if you’ve used a grinder you will know that they produce dust. So the work men proceeded to grind down the bumps on the floor. While trying to solve that problem the other perfect areas were collecting dust. At the end of the exercise, the entire area had to be hosed down and repainted. What does this mean? Extra material and labour were used which could have been avoided.


Painting can bring new life to the floor surface. With the right preparations it can be done using allotted money and time.


A good way to prepare for painting a floor is to do appropriate repairs in advance. This includes ensuring the area is flat and smooth enough to give the desired look e.g. fill up holes, grind down bumps and repair cracks or other imperfections. You can also attend to areas on the wall that need some work, maybe there are holes to fill.

Carefully clean the surface before you begin to paint. Paint has a tendency to collect particles in its path such as dust and dirt. These particles can be very apparent under the painted surface. What could also happen is, the paint will stick to the debris instead of the floor and will soon after peel off. If you are repainting the floor, you can remove the existing paint by chisel scraping, scarifying, scabbling etc. For new concrete floors, remove any curing agent residues or laitance (the weak layer of cement and aggregate fines on the concrete surface).


In addition to dust and dirt particles the floor should be free from other substances like water and oil. A degreasing agent can be used to remove oil and other substances.


Generally, the right preparation brings the best results, and that applies to painting a floor.

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Embracing the Independence Season

As we celebrate our independence season we heartily embrace the opportunity to use this time to celebrate our unique creole culture with colourful wear, the Wob Dwiyet or colourful outfits, dishes like Fig and Codfish and events like Market Day with A Difference.


It is also not unusual to dress up our homes or business places in the colourful fabric that is readily available during the independence season.


We not only showcase our culture with the bright and flamboyant colours that we wear during this time but we also bring to light the cheerful characteristics of our local people.


What we also do to celebrate our independence and culture is make changes to the clothing that we wear and our environment.  There is an array of natural items and fabric that are readily available for designing outfits and lighting up our buildings.  I won’t talk about outfits because this is something I believe is well taken care of by our people.  There is however quite a few small changes that we can make to our surroundings that will reflect our culture and make use of local items whether we choose to make them ourselves or purchase them from local vendors.


A simple change that can be made is to place a bowl filled with seasonal fruits like tangerine and oranges on the table in lieu of the vase of flowers.  This not only has to be a decoration but we can take the opportunity to share with a friend or customer.


An easy and cheap way of getting into the independence is to change up the curtains.  Put a bright colour curtain, one made in madras or even a simple white curtain with spots of madras or different colour cloth.  This can be done in just the main area of the building.


A bright coloured or madras coloured throw pillow can also be a cool way to spice up the living room, waiting room or other appropriate areas for the season.  Putting just one or two elements can change the whole feel of a room.


Decorate using items with natural themes.  The independence season is one of the times we tend to be more involved in local activities, enjoy local dishes and utilizing local items.


Let us show off our culture in our attire as well as our buildings.

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What is sub-contracting?

A contractor awarded a construction project may hire another person or company who will report directly to him, to perform some aspects of the work listed in the construction specification.  This is similar to outsourcing, where a business hires an external party (company or individual) to perform general tasks like typing. On many projects, particularly building projects, it is common for work to be performed by subcontractors.  Common reasons for doing so are:


  • It costs the contractor less money than if he were to perform the work in-house
  • He requires specialist advice or expertise e.g environmental specialist
  • His team is not able to perform the job as well as a specialized workman
  • The contractor may need to focus on other crucial aspects of the project
  • He may require additional resources e.g. if he is working on a multi-site construction project
  • To avoid problems in construction – specialized workers tend to have more knowledge and training in their field and will most likely perform the work better.


A typical example of subcontracting is a contractor who builds a house and hires a painter to perform the painting aspect.


If the subcontractor finishes his part of the job as specified or better yet if he performs above expectation, the contractor can hand over the completed project within allotted time and budget.  Efficient subcontractors can also build a reputation of being reliable which means increased possibility and opportunity to be hired for other projects.


Once the contractor and subcontractor form a good and reliable working relationship, and recognize the importance and contribution of each other and the importance of team work, this will no doubt be beneficial to them both.  One benefit of sub-contracting is that it contributes to economic sustainability.  Subcontracting spreads work among companies and persons.  For example, revenue is generated into smaller companies if a larger company, probably dominating the market, sub-contracts one or a few smaller companies. This keeps a flow of money.


The influence a subcontractor has on the project may be crucial in terms of productivity. The contractor remains accountable for successful completion of the project even though he has assigned or contracted external parties to perform part.  The legal agreement between the contractor and sub-contractor and between the contractor and project owner will govern their relationships, but usually the project owner is not involved in co-operation between the contractor and subcontractor.


Although problems may occur, say, for faulty work or late delivery, efficient subcontractors operation will benefit all parties to the project including the project owner.  Subcontractors or subcontracting plays a vital role in the construction industry.