Property for sale in Italy ~ RealPoint

Tuscany Property Renovation

property renovation in Italy

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Frequently Asked Questions

What planning permission will I need to obtain to carry out restoration work?

VIlla after renovationThe permission required to restore property in Italy depends on the work you wish to carry out. Let's take an example of the new owner wishing to fit new doors, windows and a central heating system or other electrical fittings. In this case an authorised Geometra (local architect/engineer) has to submit the plans/project to the local council at least 20 days prior to the commencement of the work. This type of project is called "D.I.A."

Another scenario may be you wish to make structural changes to the property such as restoring the roof or addressing problems with the walls or foundations. In this case a project has to be submitted to the council and approved by a specific department "Commissione Ediliza". Approval will take slightly longer in this case, approximately two months, and taxes of around 5% of the restoration costs become payable.

The renovation may also require a seismic study.

Note: Some of our properties already have planning permission to build. Use our search page to find your own property in Italy.

How do I deal with local tradesmen and suppliers?

The Geometra and the purchaser usually prepare a plan as to the work that needs to be done to complete the restoration. The Geometra then approaches local firms/tradesmen and invites estimates for the work. In conjunction with the purchaser a decision is made as to whom the work should be awarded to. It is worth noting that the lowest price may not always be the best value for money.

Property prior to restorationMany of our Italian properties have been built in stone, which need tradesmen who are experienced in working with this material. It is also true to say that our Geometras will approach only those firms and tradesmen who have a proven track record in this type of renovation work and whose ability and reputation for reliability are well known. The Geometras, knowing the likely cost of any restoration, will be able to independently verify the estimates for the work provided by the building contractors.

Obviously during such projects unforeseen circumstances arise where additional work may be required. We suggest that if this is the case a fixed rate per hour or fixed cost is agreed before the extra work is carried out.

Once the building contractors have been decided the Geometra will draw up a contract which will contain details of the costs, the date that the work commences, duration of the work and payment schedule (a deposit is usually payable and further payments, at agreed intervals, as the work progresses). The contract should also include a penalty clause, if the work extends beyond the agreed dates. (It should be noted that the weather may make building work impossible, so some leeway should be considered.)

In some situations the purchaser provides a safety plan of the work, this can be prepared by the Geometra.


How is a house restored?

Farm to buy in Tuscany RealPoint Property's houses are often built in the traditional materials of the area: stone and wood. Italy, has some of the most beautiful stone buildings in the world. The stone buildings in Italy were constructed over many centuries with many different kinds of stone, often with stone reclaimed from previous structures.

Although there is no single Old style of masonry, many elements are common in buildings throughout the region. The most common types of stone used are limestones, mostly light-colored (gray, buff, beige) and usually in rectangular shapes, sandstones which have a great variety of colors and textures and quarried in the hills of the countryside, fieldstone weathered building stone collected from the surface of the ground and granite, hard crystalline igneous and metamorphic rock.

Buildings for the wealthier residents were more commonly built from limestones dressed into rectangular blocks, particularly if these walls were to be sturdy enough to provide protection during the repeated invasions of central Italy over the centuries. Country villas, away from the protected main cities such as Siena and Florence, commonly have a variety of irregular stone in the walls, although they usually have large rectangular quoins in the corners. Another common feature is the use of large terra cotta bricks, both in window and door surrounds and also mixed almost randomly into the wall. Some of our Italian houses have marble stairs or window sills, more often than not the marble comes from the world famous quarries at Massa Carrara, indeed the marble used by Michelangelo for his sculpture David came from here.

The wooden beams used in the farmhouses are chestnut, oak, poplar or elm. Many of the roofs are red tiled using the traditional "Coppi" tiles. Most restorations will use the materials already 'on site'. Stone from outbuildings would be used to restore the main accommodation. Original beams would be sandblasted to restore them to their former state. Where possible terra cotta floor tiles (often hand made in older farmhouses) would be returned to look as new. If this were not possible, new tiles to do the job would be used.Italian farmhouse restored

The walls may need to be replastered and in this case the same original mixture of sand, lime and cement could be used if desired. Outside, the walls may need to be cleaned and a new mixture of cement and lime would be used for the pointing. Additional reinforcements would be added to the walls if need be. However, the most modern techniques would be used for the insulation, electrical wiring, heating and plumbing systems. Most of the properties on our site can be easily connected to the local utilities and the Geometra would also arrange for the utilities to be changed into the name of the new owners.
The restoration of farmhouses usually means a transformation of the floor plan. The ground floor, which may have been used as a cold storage area would be transformed into living accommodation and the upper floors into sleeping accommodation. Of course every building is different and we are only describing possible situations and solutions.

You will also have to think about internal fixtures and fittings such as bathrooms, kitchens and furniture. Our colleagues in Italy would be more than happy to recommend quality, which fits within your budget.

Restoration from afar?

Tuscan Farmhouse to restore

It is possible nowadays to undertake such a restoration project without necessarily being on site. The work can be followed through the use of digital photos, faxes, Emails and even videos. Alterations or problems can be immediately highlighted and all parties made aware. Visits would, of course, still be necessary but the day to day management of the work could be safely left in the hand of the local Geometra.


Click here if you are interested in Fractional Ownership Property in Italy.

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RealPoint Property Beverley, East Yorkshire, UK
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buy house in italy italian villas, italy farmhouse a place in the sun italy
buy house in italy italian villas, italy farmhouse a place in the sun italy