SO you have found your perfect fixer upper home in Valencia and now its time to put your own stamp in it. Here we consider the main points that you must have in mind when starting a building project.

The best way to start your building project begins even before your purchase your home. Get your lawyer to make your purchase subject to a positive survey.

The romantic feelings you may have to recapture a home’s former glory will be short lived if the property is found to have a major structural defect that could derail your project before its even started. Tell your surveyor that you plan to refurbish and specifically ask that any red flags from an urban planning and structural prospective are raised.


Get costings from right from the time you are viewing the property. If possible, bring your architect and builder to view the property before you have committed to the purchase. This will ensure that you are not making any false assumptions as to how much it will really cost to make your project a reality.

Take your time picking your builder and do not simply go with the cheapest option. Have your architect review the quotations. Go with a builder that has a positive reputation and that is properly resourced to get your project done on time. Have your lawyer carry out company checks on the builder. It is essential that he or she checks that proper insurance is in place and that all workers are correctly employed and covered to work at your property.

Once you have picked your builder, have your lawyer draft a well-balanced construction contract that sets out realistic time frames to get the job done. The contract should set out clear payment terms whereby payments are made as milestones are met and certified by your architect. The contract should place a clear obligation on the constructor to deliver a habitation certificate on completion.

At SWAN we assist our clients to successfully complete their construction projects. In the case that a dispute arises we will work to find a workable solution. This commitment is backed up with many years’ experience in construction litigation should the dispute come before the courts. If you need legal assistance in English please contact Martin Hayes directly.

For information on Swan Partners visit For information specifically relating to expat services please see

SWAN Partners C/ Pizarro, nº 1, 4º-15ª. 46004 Valencia (Spain) + 34 96 334 89 83

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