I am a builder but I am used to wood construction. Here in Panama, everything is made of masonry and tile. You will not find any carpeting here, either.
You will have to get local talent to do these jobs for you. People who have remodeled have been frustrated for the most part because of the "mañana" mentality (putting off tasks for later) so things do not exactly happen as scheduled. Therefore, remodeling can be a bit frustrating.
People end up buying a house they like just the way it is because if you are going to remodel, you should be ready to accept the fact that it is going to take a while. Things do not go exactly on schedule in Panama.
There are some places in Panama where the land is so valuable that people buy a property on a piece of land and then demolish the existing structure and re-build from scratch. For this type of remodeling, of course, you would have a significant project. However, if you’re just remodeling, for example, to add a studio or to enlarge the terrace, remodeling in Panama is pretty straightforward.
We have engineers and architects here in Panama who can be hired for your remodel and companies in Panama that specialize in remodeling. The companies specializing in remodeling obviously charge more than just finding someone who says they can do the job and giving it to him. However, if you hire an independent person who is not with a company, you’re taking a chance that, even though they show up today, they may not show up tomorrow, and your remodel will take longer. However, if you contract with a company, your relationship with your contractor and the job will be more structured and professional.
If you contract with a legitimate company, you should receive a warranty that states that if anything goes wrong, that company will fix it. If that company doesn’t honor their warranty, you can take them to ACODECO (English translation: Panamanian Consumer Protection and Free Competition Authority). Taking your complaint to ACODECO is almost like suing your contractor. ACODECO will try to get the contractor to do what he agreed to and can penalize them if they don’t. However, you can’t take independent workers to ACODECO.
You can trust that Best Places does not manipulate content to sell you anything. All opinions in the Community Q & A and Expat Stories are those of its authors, not Best Places.