Furnishing, Renovation & Maintenance

Renovation and Refurbishment

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Building Work

Unless you are buying somewhere brand new or that has just been recently refurbished, you will likely need to enlist the help of some building and renovation companies to bring your vision to life.

According to Spanish building regulations, the buck starts with the architect – they ensure that all security measures are met. From there you will need to find contractors, the architects may make recommendations (as they will be working very closely with the constructors), however, it’s best to shop around to compare quotes and to consider the likely service and reliability that you can expect from each company. (References are always worth checking out.)


Contractors are paid monthly – once the architect has assessed their work, whereas architects are paid at the end of each completed phase.


Ensure that both the architects and the contractors have their insurance in place before they start work on your project.

Licences & Permits

Permits and licenses are required for the following projects:

– Obra mayor: for new or restoration projects (that involve major construction).

– Obra menor: for renovation projects. (that involves minor construction).

The fee for these permits is calculated on the final estimated cost of the project and they are issued by the local Ayuntamiento (town hall).

– Solicitud de Licencia: a permit to request construction works.

– Celula de Habitabilidad: or a Certificate for Habitability in English – Certifies that the construction fulfills habitability regulations – issued by the Autonomous community

– Licencia de Primera Ocupación: is a Licence of Initial Occupation – This approves construction and allows permission for utilities.

Home Energy Efficiency Certificates

Now, along with many other countries in Europe, in Spain homeowners are required to obtain an ‘Energy Efficiency Certificate’ for any property that is rented out.

There is a rating system for A-G that dictates the cost. A technician comes to the property to carry out the test with specialised software and makes recommendations for improvements. You can apply for this online direct from the government here.

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