Le Marche Property Restoration and Rebuilding Guide
Repairs to a building in Italy are essentially classed in the same way as in the UK. Minor repairs to the roof, replacement of a few tiles for example can be carried out by the householder or the local small builder. This also includes replacement of windows and shutters with like for like and most internal building work and decoration.
Also exterior painting or rendering is considered repairs except in the historic centres of villages where advice needs to be sort from the Comune, before carrying out even minor exterior works on old buildings. Going in person to the local Comune offices is always the best way to proceed and if possible take someone who is knowledgeable about Italian building work and planning.
Restoration and Rebuilding
Restoration in Italy is very different to the system we are used to in the UK. All restoration and rebuilding projects have to be overseen by either an architect, surveyor/geometra or structural engineer. On big and more complicated projects it is always best to use the more highly qualified Architect or structural engineer rather than a Geometra. Often a Geometra is used because clients will think that they are much cheaper than using a fully qualified Architect, but I would always advise the use of an Architect where possible as their costs are not normally that much more than a Geometra's. Also Architects are much more highly qualified to handle complex rebuilds of derelict properties than a Geometra.
Whether using a Geometra or Architect they will all prepare the necessary plans, obtain planning permissions and usually undertake to project manage the work. Their fees are usually between 8% and 12% of the total project value. It is very important to get fixed quotes before a project begins.
Planning permission is obtained from the local Council/Comune, but it has been rare to get permission for extensions once the property is registered with the Comune. Some Comune are extremely strict on the granting of planning permission for even minor changes to an old or derelict property. Changes to the planning laws in Italy and Le Marche are going through in the summer and autumn 2009 to allow extra volume to be created where a property is restored using modern Eco friendly materials and standards of build.
Swimming pools do seem very popular with foreign buyers and usually there is no problem in obtaining planning consent with most Comune, but a few Comune can have restrictions such as Ripatransone in southern Le Marche so it is always best to check.
Building work in Italy has to be carried out by a registered builder and it is illegal not to use them on anything other than minor works. The builder will also have full insurance and all new electrical and plumbing installations will have to be signed off by a fully qualified professional
Once the project is completed and the building work on the property is finished, the geometra or architect applies to the Comune for the Habitability/Abitabilita Certificate. This will show that all the work on the property has been carried out in accordance with Italian law by registered electricians, plumbers and other professionals such as engineers and geologists where required. It also shows that that property complies with the necessary building regulations that operate in that local Council/Comune. The Comune has 30 days in which to check that the property complies with the law, but usually they do not bother with a visual check and so the Certificate is automatically granted.
Please do contact us for details on the complete range of Le Marche property restoration and rebuilding services that we offer our clients.