How to prepare yourself to building a house in Italy — 5 things to keep in mind.
As many of you know Italy is very particular about its bureaucracy. Although building a house in Italy is a wonderful project, it can also turn into your worst nightmare. It is therefore important that you are well prepared and well informed before heading into this project.
Location & building permit
Finding the perfect location is one thing but before you buy any piece of land you need to make sure that you can actually build on it. Do not trust your gut or what the seller is telling you. Check this information with the commune (the municipality)! The best solution is to ask in advance for a building permit. Do not buy a land without the approval that you can build on it. After having the building permit, you need to keep in mind that from the time your building permit is approved by the commune you will need to wait 90 days before you can start building. Italians can be very particular about this.
Structure & Design
Italians are, also, very particular about their traditions and their landscape. So, if you plan on building a very futuristic house chances are you will never get the building permit and if you do the entire town will hate you for building something so different. Make sure you design a house that is not too controversial and suits the décor. Another important is detail about the house is the structure. Remember that Italy is a country prone to earthquakes and so your house needs to have a strong base that will ensure your house will survive in the case of an earthquake.
Builders & Timing
Before you hire builders get as many recommendations as possible. Check their financial status. You don’t want to hire a company that will go bankrupt halfway through your project. When you have found the right builders that are reliable and financially stable, make a contract with them. In this contract make sure you have a timeline. Italians are known to drag things along. Having a timeline in the contract will help you and them to keep the project going on time. Ask your architect to help you making the contract he will know how the process should run. Don’t be impatient. Building a house can also take a long time. And remember that in August nothing will happen. This is the Italian holidays and you should consider that in your planning.
Since you are the owner of the land you will also be responsible for the waste that is produced on your land. This means that you need to work out a system with the builders to make sure you manage the waste properly. Some comuni will ask you for some plan so be prepared to make one. Here again your architect should be able to help you with that. This is an important issue in Italy and so you will need to pay close attention to it.
Your financial situation
Before you start this project make sure you are financial prepared. Before hiring anyone ask for a price quotation. But make sure you have extra money. You need to expect to be paying more than what the price quotation says. Building a house is a huge project and even if you plan out every detail there still might unexpected events and extra costs. So, make sure you plan large. You don’t want the project to be stopped halfway through because you cannot pay the electrician. If necessary, ask for financial advice from your bank.
As you can see building a house in Italy can be quite a complicated situation but if you plan ahead and check all the boxes your project should have no problem running smoothly.