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  • Writer's pictureRoger Hampton

8. Building permission and building start!

Updated: Nov 17, 2021

In September I noticed that I began to get a little impatient. The clock was running. The thing is, at this time the Superbonus deadline was set for June 2022. That meant that the work must be finished before. Diego and Stefano said there was still time, but I didn’t like it. Almost at the same time the confirmation of the permission came, so did the news of a probable extension to the bonus. Fantastic! However, with the permission for construction came also the invoice. It was so much more than either I or Diego had anticipated. I mean, I am used to the local authorities and planning departments fees, but this was way above anything I have seen before for a single family home. We had planned with 5 to 6 thousand euro, but it was three times this. There was a special regulation in the municipality about change of use which was the cause. There was nothing else to do, except pay and move on. Perhaps we can make up some of the savings elsewhere at a later stage, but it was a big hit and a lot of our contingencies vanished overnight. However, although the granted permission came as a two sided blade, cutting through the bureaucracy and my wallet at the same time, the main thing was we could start!

The official document arrived on the 27th of September and everything was now in place. A new member of the team was a health and safety officer, who would ensure that everything would go as it should and the contractor started a week later, with the preparation of the site, removing a lot of the vegetation that was invading everything, fencing where it was necessary and the all important building site sign. The old garage was removed (a good gust of wind would have probably blown it over anyway after we removed the vegetation) and it was soon time to start dismantling the building. As I have said before, we want to reuse as much of the material as possible that is worth using. This did not include the side buildings on the house. These were very poorly built and the materials used were of no real value. The excavator made short work of these, although a specialist firm came to remove the materials that could contain asbestos. It is important that these don't just end up in landfill!

The autumn school break was upon us in Norway and simultaneously with the start-up in Italy and I decided to travel down with my daughter for a few days to check on things and have a few meetings with both bank and Diego. It was nice to have some quality time together, even though the weather broke and we were met with wind and rain. We decided to visit some kitchen stores to investigate the possibilities and get some catalogues, when the weather was at its' worst. At least this design decision could wait (classic versus contemporary) as it will be a while before we need to decide this point. Any of you out there have any suggestions for Italian mid range kitchens?

Another couple of design decisions that have to be addressed long before the kitchen is the colour of the mortar and the windows. Windows are notorious for causing delays in building projects. I see so many programmes on TV were the hopeful self-builder realises too late the lead time on the delivery of windows. Although we are early thinking about this, it is better early than late, especially in the current climate where materials of all sorts seem to be in short supply. We had taken some colour swatches with us to check out some alternatives against the brickwork. We explored the village also for renovated facades to look at alternatives. The brick colour is the same throughout. We found the colour of the mortar almost immediately. A warm antique beige, which goes especially well with the brickwork.

One decision made, 999 to go!

I hope you are enjoying the posts. Tell me what you like and/or dislike about them. I know a lot of you are Norwegian (my home), is there anything I can explain better or needs translating? Do any of you dream of a place in Italy? Can I help you begin to realise your dream?

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Nov 16, 2021

I really enjoy reading your blog. You give imoprtant and usefull tips. It is exciting to follow your story and the progress. I look forward to the next post😊

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