by | Oct 23, 2023 | Investment | 13 comments

We at Reef Property have constructed villas in Lombok for both living fulltime and earning rental income with our first two villas being constructed in 2018 and our most recent villa in 2023. We learnt a lot during the process and want to pass on some first-hand tips if you too are considering building or purchasing a villa in Lombok. So here’s our 5 tips for Building a Villa in Lombok

Tip 1: Don’t underestimate the cost of infrastructure

If you’re going it alone, i.e. you are considering purchasing a piece of land and planning on building a villa in Lombok, make sure you understand what its likely to cost to install the required infrastructure. Many sites in Lombok are ‘greenfield’ and don’t benefit from the type of government provided infrastructure you may find in your home country. The trap many find when building on their own piece of land and not as part of a managed development, is the cost of infrastructure can be overwhelming. Think drainage, electricity, water, waste, retaining walls (especially if you’re building on a hill) and access roads. Going it alone will reduce your ability to share these costs, so get quotes on these essential items before you focus on your house construction to ensure you understand the total cost for building a fully functioning home.

Tip 2: Select your contractor carefully

We have been extremely lucky to have experienced hardworking teams on our sites, but we know others who build in Indonesia have not had such a positive experience. While we say we were lucky, we also made sure to do our homework. So our advice is this; before jumping in and building a villa in Lombok, take the time to view the building team’s previous work, confirm that specific team members will be involved from those projects and pay particular attention to who will do your plumbing and electrical work. Also make sure to run a tender process to make sure you are getting competitive quotes. The same goes for buying from a developer, check out their track record and confirm what contractors they will use. 

Tip 3: Regularly visit your site (if possible)

No matter how much planning goes into your build we recommend you visit your site as often as possible to get the result you desire. This should be a prerequisite for a build anywhere, but many people in Lombok attempt to develop their dream home in absentee. We know living here for an extended period is not possible for everyone. If you cannot be in Lombok during construction but still want that awesome villa we recommend partnering with an experienced developer in the area or consider purchasing a completed villa. There are also experienced project managers in Lombok that can oversee your site if you are not able to visit.

Being near the site makes sense for a whole number of reasons. But for us, living around the corner has meant we’ve been able to:

  • Identify small problems before they become large ones
  • Adapt and change parts of the design at short notice
  • Choose materials, colours and furniture items as construction progresses
  • Ensure the villas are completed on time and on budget
Tip 4: Obtain a detailed building quote and agree contract terms with your builder upfront

It may seem obvious but we can’t stress enough the importance of agreeing the building cost and contract terms upfront. Before we entered into an agreement with our builder, we went through several iterations of the quote. Confirming exactly what was in and what wasn’t and gaining an understanding of the type and quality of materials that would be used. Leaving your quote too vague just opens you up to problems in the future. Also check in with others who have used the contractor to ensure they delivered on time and on budget. Once you’re happy with the quote make sure you get a contract drafted up so that both parties are on the same page regarding payment terms, timing, retention and warranty.


Tip 5: Use an Experienced and Reputable Architect

Using an experienced architect to design your villa and masterplan the site is crucial to get things right from the outset. During each of our builds, we used an experienced architectural firm based in Lombok which gave us the added comfort of knowing that they understood our particular location, the local building approval process and the potential constraints of building a villa in Lombok. Choosing a local architect also means they can check out the progress of your build and make sure its being constructed as per the original design and plans.


Finally, Indonesia has many skilled and extremely hardworking tradesmen who are a pleasure to work with, along with fantastic natural materials. We constantly remind ourselves how lucky we are to be able to build our dream home in this most beautiful, tropical location!


If you are interested in seeing some of the villas we have built you can view them here.

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