It is quite common to fall in love with an irresistible house that will however require a few renovations here and there to make it suit all your needs. You may as well have landed on a nice house at an extremely good price but with additional restoration or renovation costs to make it habitable. Whichever the case, here a few tips to make your home renovation exercise easy and successful.

• Before you start working on any home renovation project, it is important to first understand that laws and costs regarding this exercise are not the same in all regions and that they change over time. It is therefore advisable to carefully check the current laws and costs of renovation in your region before you begin the work.

Photo from gnuckx

• As a foreigner, you may not speak Italian quite fluently making it difficult to know where to start or end. In this case, you will need to consult your real estate agent:
– He or she will advise you on matters regarding costs, materials, and best renovation practices in the country.
– Your real estate agent will help you get a good and trustworthy home renovation company capable of providing you with the highest quality of work at the most reasonable price, or connect you to other professionals such as the local Architetto (Architects) and surveyors, locally known as Geometra.

• A reputable architect or surveyor will provide you with all the important details regarding your renovation project.
– He or she will give you the best information on costs and materials and will further assist you running and supervising the entire project.
– The architect or surveyor will also draw up plans for the entire project according to the way you want it done.
– He or she will also provide you with accurate estimates of costs and duration of the renovation works.
– The professional is further well informed of the charges levied by the Town Council, or “comune”, for renovation projects.

Before you start on your home renovation works, be informed that you will be required to apply for approval to modify or restore an existing building. The permission for this kind of work, just like in other construction projects, is granted by the Local Council to either the owner of the home or the person in charge of the work such as an engineer or surveyor. However, renovations that are considered as routine maintenance do not necessarily require permission from the council and are simply the home owner’s responsibility.

Keep in mind that when dealing with a countryside town council or that of a less populated town, you will encounter fewer restrictions than in densely populated urban centres like Florence or old town centres with many historic homes and less space to extend your property renovation works.

• It is very important to sign a contract with your chosen builder before the work begins. The contract should entail all the costs involved, the work schedule, and terms of payment for the intended work. In as far as costs are concerned, keep in mind that in Italy you are normally charged for renovation works on a per-square metre rate which varies depending on the region your property is located. Time is another important consideration but generally most renovation works usually take between 6 months and a year depending on factors such the property’s size and the magnitude of the project. There are also a few building tax benefits on work and materials required to renovate a home in Italy. Check this out too.