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Building a house in Italy – A short step by step guide

Self build or having a house built in your own country can be daunting enough, but when it comes to building a new house in Italy things can get really tricky. Purchasing the right plot of land to build a new house from scratch is crucial.Building a House in Italy

If you commit to building a new house, you will be subject to stringent building approvals and regulations. If works are carried out in breach of approvals or do not comply with regulations, you may face criminal charges and prosecution. This will be a lengthy and costly procedure. It could impact future saleability of the property and in a worst case scenario may even lead to a demolition order.

You will need to deal with many professionals and legal restrictions. Building a house in Italy requires a deep knowledge of Italian law, technical aspects and working with building companies and contractors. There can be many pitfalls along the way and you are strongly advised to seek legal advice before you even start looking for a building plot.

Involving one of our legal professionals will give you more confidence in the building procedure, since they will guide you through what is a very complex project. Relying on our legal expertise and knowledge of Italian building laws and regulations will give you certainty and peace of mind that your entire self build project is managed properly.

Steps involved in the building procedure:

  1. Check the possibility of building on a specific plot of land. This can be ascertained from its Certificate of Intended Use, and by investigating the presence of any restrictions related to zoning and urban planning.
  1. Once you have purchased the plot of land, the design of the property must be carried out by a technical expert – architect, surveyor, engineer – according to the provisions of current legislation, with particular regard to energy saving and efficiency. During this phase, it is highly recommended to define, in detail, the specification list of materials and finishes, so that relevant contracts can be drawn up.
  1. Subsequently, you have to apply for related planning and building permit and/or appropriate authorizations. These applications will need to be submitted to the Municipality on whose territory the plot of land sits.
  1. The next key step is choosing the building company which will carry out the building work, specifying a detailed list of the works and the project as previously drawn up by a technical expert. To do so:
    1. Our lawyers will provide you with a solvency check on possible building companies. It is vital to check the financial status of building companies so as to eliminate the risk of choosing a company that may become bankrupt during your building project.
    2. It is advisable to request at least three building companies for quotations, to have genuine benchmarks.
    3. Usually for a new construction, there are at least four different types of companies involved, (excavation, construction, electrician, plumber), but for easier management it is advisable to contract the works to one company which will sub-contract the works. This is important in order to have only one point of contact on site.
    4. It is mandatory to check tax compliance of the building company, through DURC (Documento Unico di Regolarità Contributiva). This is a single document showing that the company is in compliance with employees’ social security contributions.
    5. You should avoid nominating a project manager related to the building company. In this way, any conflict of interest is avoided.
  1. At this point, it is essential to have a legally drafted building contract. This is critical as it ensures you have all the legal guarantees and protections throughout your build.
  1. Building works can commence once the property owner, project manager and building company have been defined and all the necessary documentation has been submitted to and approved by the Municipal Technical Office.
  1. A Safety and Coordination Plan (Piano di Sicurezza e Coordinamento) must be drawn up pursuant to Legislative decree 81/08. A Safety Coordinator (Coordinatore della Sicurezza in fase di Esecuzione) must be appointed to oversee the building phase. All the companies involved in the building phase must comply with the provisions of this document as well as prepare their own Operational Safety Plan (Piano Operativo di Sicurezza, POS). Particular attention must be given to waste management produced on the construction site. All waste must be treated in accordance with local disposal regulations.

As you can see, building a new house in Italy from scratch is not a straightforward process.

Should you need further information concerning the process of building a new house, feel free to contact De Tullio Law Firm at the following email address: