When thinking of buying a property on the Costa del Sol, you might not have any big renovation or restoration projects in mind. Of course some people prefer to put their own unique stamp on a home, and some prefer to simply select one that most suits what they envisaged, just as it is.
On the plus side, embarking on renovations can be exciting due the element of creativity involved in personalizing, extending or completely ‘revamping’ a property. On the downside, it can be time-consuming, laborious, expensive, and you will quite probably have to comply with legal requirements before you can do it.
The laws about adaptations to property can vary all over the world, so it is something that you should familiarise with before you sign for a property if you think that you might want to make adaptations to suit your dream lifestyle. Spain has requirements about who must be involved and what qualifications they must have acquired, if you are to make any structural changes or changes to the interior distribution of a property.
Spanish laws for renovations and restorations
Who you are legally required to bring on board really depends on what you wish to do with your property. You may be required by law to hire a professional ‘arquitecto’ to oversee construction, especially if you have decided to restore or extend the property in some way – perhaps to add a conservatory or other type of room extension; an ‘arquitecto superior’ and/or ‘arquitecto tecnico’ who has been qualified in Spain and is a member of the ‘Colegio de Arquitectos’ or ‘Colegio de Arquitectos Técnicos’ associations will definitely be required. Both technical and professional architects must be insured.
Modification of previously established buildings and structures is only permitted under the supervision and direction of these qualified architects. Professional architect hire is required for serious restoration or renovations; however, less extensive or more basic renovations may require an ‘arquitecto tecnico’ and those which do not affect the interior distribution of the property will possibly not require an architect at all.
Pre-plan your changes for a smoother process
Therefore, when choosing your perfect Costa del Sol property, if you foresee the likelihood of renovations in order to make your mark on it, you should factor in the costs of hiring an architect.
These costs can vary, and it is worth noting that the architects are not restricted by law on what they charge; as is the case in many other industries, there are standards, and with architecture in Spain these standards are stipulated by the professional associations above; however these are simply guidelines that will serve as a good reference point when looking to book an architect for your restorations or renovations.
Architects will usually calculate their fees based on estimated construction costs, but as such estimates are used to calculate only the architect’s fees, the materials used and other costs incurred may well amount to more. You will agree the fixed fees with the architect ahead of any work commencing, and materials etc. will be charged on top.
If you only need to hire a technical architect for more simple renovations, they are likely to cost a lot less, as it’s only initial supervision that you’ll be paying for.
Finding a qualified, reliable architect in the first place is much more easily done through the two professional associations mentioned above. Once you have established which kind of architect is required for the kind of work you want to do, you can connect with a local architect this way safe in the knowledge that they meet legal requirements and are trusted. Or, you may wish only to hire an interior designer to help you achieve the look you envisage in your new home.
Interior design…. or just total relaxation!
Interior designing does not actually require an official qualification here in Spain, or to be registered with any particular body. Selecting a designer is best done based on references and examples of previous work. They must be careful not to make any changes to the distribution of your home, in order that an architect is not required to oversee it.
Due to the lack of regulation with interior designers, their fees will be arbitrary and so you may need to assess these for value yourself. Bear in mind that unlike architects, they have no legal responsibility, so there may be no comeback if you have problems with the work they’ve done.
It can be equally as much fun to do this kind of design work yourself, even if it is slower, more tentative, and ‘trial and error’.
You do have one more option, of course… choose your perfect property on the Costa del Sol just as it is, and you need not lift a finger! Paradise Marbella has a vast number of jaw-dropping properties on our books, so the question of renovation, restoration or interior design may well never come up in the first place.
If you want to talk to us about which of these exceptional homes could be the one for you, we’ll be ready and waiting to start the journey with you.