Spring time is the best time of year to renovate a property, especially in Puerto Peñasco. Whether you are re-doing a kitchen or adding on more living space, be sure to take the following steps to ensure your project is done right! Also in Mexico, there are steps you should take to ensure your contractor meets Mexico’s labor laws or you can face fines and un-welcomed trouble.

Have a plan
Having a plan is as important especially if you are adding an addition or renovating a kitchen or bathroom. Renovating a home is serious business so you must have a plan that helps to accurately quote the project and to determine the steps for completion. When I say the word, “plan” I mean an engineered drawing or blue print, depending on the scope of work that will guide your contractor from start to completion. Choose a company that has design services so you benefit from single source responsibility and can see the results before you begin work. Not all projects require a design but if you are adding an addition or renovating a bathroom or kitchen for example, we encourage you to spend a little extra money on a design. You will make up that money saving on materials, time and eliminating any costly mistakes.
Hiring a Good Contractor
When it comes to making major renovations to your home you will want to ensure you are hiring a reputable company that follows all Federal labor laws, who acquires all necessary permits and knows and understands any HOA rules and regulations.
Most Americans do not realize this but Mexico is highly protective of worker’s rights and medical wellness and it’s the hiring company’s responsibility to ensure those rights are respected. A reputable company abides by all Federal Labor Laws which includes workers being paid a federally mandated minimum salary and the hiring company must pay into the Social Security Insurance system. This is very important because the Social Security system here is similar to workman’s comp insurance in the states. But the difference is if a worker is injured on the job the government will pay for their medical costs so long as the company they worked for follows the laws and pays into the social security system on behalf of the worker. However, if you hire a company that does not follow the labor laws and a worker gets hurt on your job you are liable for their medical bills and you can be fined. The problem is many contractors do not follow the law to keep their prices low but they do so to your detriment.
Buyer Beware
To avoid paying for an injured worker and being fined, ask prospective contractors if they directly employ their workers or if they use sub-contractors. If they directly employ workers ask them for this month’s Cédula de Determinación to prove that they pay into the social security system. If a company uses sub-contractors we recommend choosing a different company because the contractor will have no control over his sub-contractors labor practices it’s like rolling the dice. You want to focus on hiring a company that directly employs its workers, follows the labor laws and pays into Mexico’s social security system. Again do these things to protect yourself because you will be responsible for any accidents requiring a doctor’s visit plus be fined and even have your job site potentially shut down. You will pay a little more for a reputable contractor but in the end the job will be done right, on time and budget while following Mexico’s stringent labor laws.

About the author: Joseph Sanchez is president of Rocky Point Home Builders a design/build contractor specializing in custom home design, construction and renovations. He resides here in Puerto Peñasco with his wife and two children and is originally from Chicago.

Pictured is a conceptual render of a great room renovation. Having an engineered design allows you to see how your project looks before it’s finished.

Garage Design – Choose a company that has design services so you can stay on time and most of all on budget.