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Home: Properties arrow Restore house in Italy

 Restore house in Italy

The renovation of an Italian farmhouse asks for particular project attentions that must take into account the present architectural characteristics and local rural typology.

To restore a house in Italy you must respect several laws:

-    the energy saving, which is defined with the isolation of the building, of the characteristics of the frames and the construction of the installations;
-    the acoustic, defined on the grounds of the noise and the position of the building;
-    the seismic situation, that involves an adaptation of the construction to the seismic normativeness; actually it interests the ruins.
-    the respect of the original architectural tradition; the consent is expressed by the Building Commission that values the architectural aspect on the grounds of the regional laws and those local.

 restore house in Italy restore house in Italy restore house in Italy

House renovation is a difficult task and you should always consult an architect  (or geometra) and a builder before going in for a house renovation. An architect can suggest different designs for your renovation and a builder can help you with the final renovation process. You may also want to consider using tools that evaluate property prices and find out what your house will be worth after the renovations.

If you are planning to renovate your house than you will need help of a few other people. House extension is a difficult task and cannot be performed alone. The help required depends on how you are planning to renovate it. But still there are a few persons whose help is very essential. These include an architect (or geometra) and a builder. Apart from these two you will need a carpenter if you are planning to get a new furniture in your house, an electrician for all the electrical work and a plumber for all the drainage and piping work. An architect and a builder still remain the two most important person in the house renovation process. The architect can help you by giving you some fine designs for your house extensions. He is a person who plans all the renovation work after you approve a particular design. The builder will help you with the final building process of the planned design. Let us now look into details the renovation works.

The Marche ’ farmhouses or “casa colonica” were generally built about 100 - 200 years ago. There were built of bricks o stone. The 1950s saw a move to plastering over the external stonework. A lot  of properties have such plastered external walls and removal of this plaster will reveal beautiful stone.

Ceiling heights in a casa colonica will generally be lower than modern standards and may have to be increased if you intend to augment your income by having apartments or a bed and breakfast business providing accommodation for paying guests. In this case the roof may need to be raised. The old roof will be dismantled sometimes with the option of reusing the original tiles which will allow you to retain the traditional roof style. The raising of the roof is carried out by placing a band of re-enforced concrete upon the top of the stone walls and used to support the new wooden roof beams. In many cases the new roof insulation will be covered with tongued and grooved boarding which once varnished gives a very pleasant feature and removes the need for a new traditional ceiling. This is known as “tetto a vista”.
Normally the new roof will be modified to include an overhang from the walls of about 1 metre thus offering some protection to the walls and windows from the weather.
In many cases the original internal ceilings will be of the vaulted brick style. Many go to great lengths to preserve this charming feature.

As mentioned previously many of the external walls may have been plastered, in which case one has the option of removing the old plaster and revealing the original stone work.  This operation is generally done by hand with the original stone being restored to its natural colour; some pointing may also be required at this stage. It is important to ensure your builder has an expert on hand to carry out this type of operation.

The internal walls will also be plastered and this plaster can be removed if so desired. Generally however the internal walls are re-plastered with some natural stone left visible as a feature.
Internal walls are of two types, supporting and partition. If a supporting wall is removed it will need to be replaced with an RSJ or steel beam which can have an adverse effect on the cosmetics of the operation. Partition walls can easily be removed or repositioned.

Windows will probably need replacing, however if in reasonable condition they may be restored. Your builder or Geometra will introduce you to a carpenter who makes and repairs doors, windows and shutters.  The carpenter will also make dummy windows and door surrounds used during the rebuilding operation. It is advisable to choose double glazed windows as this will reduce heating costs during the winter.

Outside buildings may be permitted to be converted into living accommodation. It is important to understand the facts about conversion and have an estimate for the conversion tax which will be payable and is calculated upon the cubic meters of the area to be converted. Your Geometra will apply for permission for conversion of such areas to your local commune.

It is recommended central heating. Modern high efficient energy boilers are advised due to the high energy costs in Italy. Heating can be supplied by old style type radiators which cosmetically speaking suit a farmhouse restoration project or an under floor heating system. Wood burners or “stuffa” can be utilized for additional warmth and are very popular in Le Marche.
The installation of a central heating system will be carried out by the plumber, who will also install new bathrooms and make water and gas outlets at strategic points around the house.

Most farmhouses in the countryside are not on mains drainage and a sceptic tank will have to be installed. These tanks do not need to be emptied as the waste is neutralized before filtering through the ground.
The builder will recommend suppliers for both floor and wall tiles and will quote from the Geometra drawings of the project, and then confirm with an on site meeting. Do shop around, and do not be afraid to ask local people for advice. Similar advice goes for kitchens and bathrooms which generally speaking are cheaper here than in other parts of Europe. The range of styles available is bewildering. Again the kitchen supplier will work from a drawing at first and then confirm with an on site meeting.

It is advisable to go for a complete electrical rewire with a contractor who can also handle the heating and boiler requirements. Be precise about the position and height of all electrical points. In Italy you pay for the size of the electrical connection you need in kilowatts and we recommend you go for 3 or 6 Kw and not the standard 1.5 Kw otherwise problems will be incurred if you have several appliances on simultaneously.
We recommend that any landscaping work to the gardens be done while the builders are on site and before they clear the site itself. Install any external electric points for lighting etc at this time.  It’s important that your quotation from a builder includes the removal of all building rubble from the site.

If you decide to have a lawn or landscaped garden, consider the installation of an irrigation sprinkler system as the Italian sun is not good for a beautiful lawn and gardens.

House renovation is a task where you may change the interiors of your house to make it look different and better than earlier. You can probably go for altogether different interiors. You can even extend your house a bit in terms of the area. You can also go for some different colour combinations for the walls of your house. Thus there are many possible ways by which one can renovate his house. At last it depends upon the owner, how he wants his house to look like.

 

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