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Apartments & Villas
Spanish Property: Construction & Renovation
By Kyero
Jan 21, 2004, 03:58

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The delights of Spain

The average construction price of a Spanish property ranges from 700 to 900 per m2. It is entirely possible to spend more or less than this although these figures are an accurate reflection of the cost/quality balance that most are seeking. Usually the quality of the primary components (structural, services and general installation) does not greatly influence the building cost. However, secondary components (building finishes, special details and decorative elements) do cause substantial price variation. Typically, owners tend to spend an additional 25% to 50% of the amount spent on internal spaces on the immediate environs of the house. For a new build project on a rural site, it is only necessary to add the cost of site conditioning and the introduction of service installation (drinking water and electricity). Below is an example of costs based on a 150m2 house and using an average 800/m2 construction rate.

Home construction (150m2 x 800) = 120,000
The surroundings (35% of the house cost) 35% x 120,000 = 42,000
Total cost = 162,000

Restoration costs
Total project costs for building restoration are in keeping with new build costs. Restoration costs are typically lower than new build costs by approximately the cost of acquiring the initial property. The example below is based on 500/m2.

Initial purchase of a 150m2 house with courtyard = 62,000
Restoration costs of home (150m2 x 500) = 75,000
External spaces @ 35% of amount spent on home = 25,000
Total Cost = 162,000

Where does the money go?
Typically the client instructs an architect and/or project manager to control works and an accountant to make payments. Contracts are usually held by principal contractors who, in turn, subcontract and add attendance and profit to both subcontracted works and special materials. Based on a nominal 100 spend on actual works (things you can touch or use), a standard cost breakdown would be as follows;

1. Contractor's Labour 30
2. Contractor's Materials 10
3. Contractor's Specialist Materials 20
4. Sub-Contractor's Labour and Materials 40
Sub Total 100
Contractor's attendance & profit on items 3 & 4 @ 17.5% 10.50
Architect, Project Manager, Quantity surveyor, Accountant @ 9% 9.95
Grand Total 120.45

It is possible to reduce this 20% overhead to somewhere in the region of 10% to 15% by careful selection of the primary contractor and reducing the amount of subcontracted works.

Estimating project timescales and phasing
The average design and construction project, from the moment the architects and technicians start work until the moving in day, is approximately one year which can be broken down into the phases below. This time frame can be extended by the client by creating pauses between phases and even staging the construction works though this usually leads to additional cost.

3 months - Design and cost estimation. On occasions this period may take longer if the client chooses to have specialist details, which needs more time on the design phase or preliminary feasibility studies.

2 months - Planning Permission, Building Regulations and Contracts. The tendering process will select appropriate contractors who can construct the building at the agreed cost and time, whilst maintaining the specified quality.

7 months - Construction. This period is dependent upon the complexity of the site and the building as well as the size. Penalty clause contracts are available with appropriate additional costs.

Architectural styles in Southern Spain
The province of Granada has a large stock of Moorish buildings dating back to the Arabic period. The Neo-Moorish style wealthier house normally has a central courtyard with water features or a pool to allow natural cooling in the summer, a landscaped garden filled with fruit trees, natural herbs and flowers.

The south of Spain is rich in local handmade ceramics such as tiles and pottery which enhance the Mediterranean and Moorish style and provide a sense of pleasure and tranquillity when mixed with water features.

Village architecture is of a more modest nature, typical of additive architecture with rooms added over time as need required and resulting in a charming though somewhat anarchic collection of spaces typified by beamed ceilings, thick earth or stone walls, small windows and white lime washed or vividly coloured walls.

When starting from scratch or reworking an existing building, the choice must be made of maintaining these architectural traditions or evolving them into a style and content more appropriate to 21st Century living. Both can
be valid approaches.

More information may be found at Kyero - Spanish property you'll love


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