10 Nov, 2010 @ 09:00
1 min read

Let’s build

HAVING gained your Licencia de obras mayor and agreed a price with the contractor you are almost ready to start building.

At this stage many people believe that the architect’s job is done. But this is not the case.

The architect also co-ordinates site safety and ensures the contractor prepares the Plan de seguridad y salud.

To watch the carefree manner in which some builders approach construction it is hard to believe health and safety legislation has reached these shores. And clients are often surprised to find themselves called before a judge to account for injuries and fatalities of workmen building their homes.

If you do not check that your builder has the correct documents you could find yourself not only criminally but also financially responsible.

So, in order to get your house built correctly the architect must make regular site visits to check workmanship and progress.

He also obtains materials’ purchase certificates from the builder and instructs him to carry out quality control tests to show the materials used comply with legal requirements. Shoddy workmanship can mean more than just a few unsightly cracks.

Lastly, the architect sorts out the final account with the contractor, including any additional items or omissions. And then he can prepare those all important documents, including the Certificado final de obras, that enable you to get the Licencia de primera ocupación.

At last you have the house of your dreams.

Contact Liam Kellehar at [email protected] or on 690 721 141

Jon Clarke (Publisher & Editor)

Jon Clarke is a Londoner who worked at the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday as an investigative journalist before moving permanently to Spain in 2003 where he helped set up the Olive Press. He is the author of three books; Costa Killer, Dining Secrets of Andalucia and My Search for Madeleine.

Do you have a story? Contact [email protected]


  1. My architect turned himself into a Limited Company and became the main contractor, without telling me. He then failed to pay the builder, and I ended up in court, sued by the builder.
    Needless to say the project was not properly completed.
    My view of architects is somewhat affected by that experience.
    € 35,000 for drawing a picture of a house ?

  2. Another strange article this one. Again, it’s all totally meaningless. For example, it says you have to ensure you have the correct paperwork, but as we all know, to definitively know this is almost impossible to ascertain. People who have had all the correct paperwork, who have been living in their homes and paying taxes for years and years, who has ecrituras, nota simplas and all manner of other paperwork, were still deemed “illegal” retrospectively. Having an architect is meaningless in Spain, just like having a lawyer and a notary lol.

  3. The comments made by Liam are somewhat light. Any building project requires a Health and Safety plan drawn up by a designated technician (pricipally Aparejador) who will visit periodically to ensure procedures are adhered to. He is contracted by the owner/promoter to whom he is responsible.
    To start your construction you need to negociate the terms and conditions with a Contractor preferably after some competitive bidding and for which you need documents that the Architect is normally not contracted to provide. Time scale and recourse for breach of contract are not normally an Architects interest, he frequently has close (too) ties with the Contractor. An owner is advised to negociate the final account directly or with a separate expert. Claims control is essential.
    I could go on but all this is an extensive subject.
    Keep the Faith, projects here can be perfectly well controlled to the Owners requirements.

  4. Must be honest, I have been working alongside some Ärchitects here in Spain
    and I tend to agree with the readers comments. I was trained by top Architects in the UK in the old fashioned way, this is not the case here. To obtain ARIBA
    full status used to take years of study, somehow, I think here, its a far shorter learning curve, and yes the designs are copied and pasted. My advice is choose the eldest most experienced Architect you can find.

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