Now you are the proud owner of a property in Italy! What next?
If you bought an older house, chances are there are a number of renovations and restorations to be done.
Seek the help of professionals
The first step to doing renovations on an Italian property is to find an engineer, architect, or surveyor – a geometra in Italian – that is the first port of call in any major renovation project and your guide through the duration of the restoration.
Where do you find a reliable professional figure? The best way is to get a recommendation from your estate agent or from your future neighbours.
He will help you identify the scope and price of the work required. He will help with all the paperwork applications and the planning of the project and will see the renovations through to the end. There are lots of rules and regulations with which to comply. It is best to leave the job to the professionals, restrict your input to letting them know what you want.
Choose a reliable team
Once you have identified what you want done on your property and have drawn up a budget, you now need to gather a good team of workers to get the job done. Again, recommendations from the estate agent and/or neighbours is a good way to go. They will be able to suggest you someone personally known to them.
Be aware that the person or team you want may not be available immediately, good builders can be booked up for a long time.
Communicate clearly and precisely what exactly you want done to the property. It is best to have a written and signed contract with all specifications clearly understood by both parties. Keep in mind that making changes could lead to confusion and also an increase in budget.
Make patience your mantra
Allocate a fair amount of time to get the job done. Keep in mind that in Italy, most work could be at a standstill in the month of August as most people are on holiday.
You have your geometra, you have drawn up plans and a budget, the builders are hired and the work has started. It is important to be available for the duration of the project. If any questions arise, you will be better able to address them personally. Keeping an eye on the ongoing job will also ensure that should any changes be necessary or should there be any disparity between the projected work and the actual implementation, you will be on hand to catch and correct mistakes.
The job has been completed to your satisfaction, you love the new tiles, the wooden beams and the covered terrace. It is time to move in and start living the Italian dream, welcome to your new home!
And always remember… Rome wasn’t built in a day!