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, it’s likely that you will 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 own insurance in place before they start work on your project.

Licences & Permits
Permits and licences are required for the following projects:
Obra mayor: for new or restoration projects (that involve major construction).
Obra menor: for renovation projects. (that involve 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 fulfils habitability regulations – issued by the Autonomous community
Licencia de Primera Ocupación: is a Licence of Initial Occupation – This gives approval for 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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