Guide to Italian property restoration

The key to Italian property restoration is to know what you are taking on, understanding the costs involved and having a reliable project team in Italy to carry out the work. The cost of renovation depends on many things, but as a guide a full scale farmhouse project will come in at between 750-1,200 Euro per m2. Realpoint can advise you on all aspects of restoring Italian real estate and put you in contact with architects, building companies and tradesmen who have carried out work for other clients.

Realpoint can help with all aspects of restoring an Italian house. We'll put you in contact with architects and builders who have renovated the Italian homes of other buyers.

What type of work does the property require?

Some common scenarios are:

  • The property is a new build on a plot of land.
  • The property has structural problems and needs to be partially or entirely rebuilt.
  • The property is structurally sound but needs a new roof, plumbing system, rewiring or a heating system.
  • The property has no structural problems but needs modernisation such as  the installation of a central heating system or new bathroom.
  • The property is ready to move into but requires minor work such as painting and decorating.

We advise that you have a structural survey carried out before you purchase. Realpoint can arrange this for you.

The Project (Progetto)

Floor Plans

The project is managed by a surveyor (Geometra). In consultation with you, the surveyor will outline options to achieve the restoration that you want. He will make suggestions not only on layout, but also on the quality and prices of materials, so you can choose to suit your budget.

The surveyor draws up a restoration project plan (Progetto) that includes the design plan, an engineer's report and a report on the anti-seismic measures to be put in place. The surveyor will compile a detailed list of the unit and metric costs of materials. (Computo Metrico)

Some regions allow an increase of up to 15%-20% of the floor area when restoration is carried out.

The project is submitted to the local council for approval. This usually takes a couple of months for major restoration projects, but for work classed as maintenance, such as installing a new bathroom, it can start within twenty days.

Approval is valid for a period of two years. Within that time the work must have commenced, otherwise an extension for a further year has to be sought.

Building Companies

The surveyor or architect can suggest building companies to carry out the work. Compare the estimates, negotiate on quotes, and ask to see examples of previous work. We can assist you through this phase.

The contract with the chosen building company will contain details of the work to be carried out, the cost, the date work commences, duration of the work and payment schedule. A deposit is usually payable when the work commences, 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.

Renovation Costs

Project Work 

Depending on the amount of work and quality of the finish required, a very rough guide would be €1,250 per square meter for major renovation work and €500 per square meter for minor work. Prices are negotiable.

Swimming pools cost around €25,000 to install. A project must be submitted and approval given by the council.

Surveyor (Geometra)

The surveyor fulfils multiple roles for the client, giving advice on restoration, drawing up and submitting the project, dealing with planning issues with local council, directing and checking the work of the building company and tradesmen. The surveyor is also responsible for site health and safety during the work.

Surveyor fees range from 10%-15% of the cost of the project.

Urbanisation Tax

This is a tax paid on building work. Nominally for services such as lighting, roads. The amount of tax payable is a percentage of the cost of the work for restoration that requires a project. The percentage varies from council to council. Some councils, keen for non-Italians to invest in their areas, will reduce the amount of tax they ask. 

Restoration From Afar

It is possible to undertake a restoration project without being on site. The work can be followed remotely through the use of videos and images. Visits are still necessary of course, but the day to day management of the work could be left to surveyor.

Realpoint can introduce you to local, reputable surveyors, builders and tradesmen who have already carried out work for other clients.

Contact us for an initial call, or send us your requirements, so we can suggest the perfect Italian home for you.