Here you will find answers to many problems that expats may come across when embarking themselves in building or buying a place in the sun. These solutions and explanations shown here are the result of more than 25 years of experience working as an architect in Spain. These articles have been published previously in one of the best newspapers for expats in Spain, "Costa Blanca News".
If you have a particular problem which is not covered here, do not hesitate to send me an email and I will try to respond as soon as possible... and free of charge, of course.
To tell the truth I had taken for granted that the normal thing to do when anyone wanted to build a home was to call an architect first; however that wasn’t the impression I obtained from a close friend this last August. The conversation started when this friend asked me if I knew a good local builder as he wanted to build a house.
We did look at the advantages of engaging an architect when you want to build or renovate a property in Spain and also how you can obtain value for money.
Also and on how an architect can inject imagination into your project and provide peace of mind by dealing with all the necessary paperwork specially in a bureaucratic country such as Spain.
Most reader may know about the College of Architects in Spain but few may know about the Council of Colleges of Architects of Spain (CSCAE). The CSCAE is the organization that brings together and represents all the architects of Spain since its founding in 1931.
Well, there is a similar body in Europe called the Architects' Council of Europe; again a body that represents all European architects and this body. This institution has been carrying out yearly survey on the economic trend of architecture and construction and the latest one was released at the end of January 2015.
History of the Colleges of Architects.
Professional associations date back to the middle ages. These Colleges or professional association were created in Europe in the eleventh century with the figure of the craft-guilds, and associations of workers. In Spain, the qualified associations began at universities, where graduates grouped themselves with the intended aim of defending their interests. The first Colleges that commenced operating in Spain were those related with the medical and the legal professions.
To understand the fees that a Spanish architect may charge it would be useful to understand the task of an architect in Spain although it is similar to that of an architect in the UK, there are some differences which are not normally known by the general public.
Spanish architects do include structural calculations as well as a full bill of quantities in their fees. While in the UK clients do normally pay additionally fees to the structural engineer and to quantity surveyor for these services.
This is a common fallacy heard too often not only among the expats but also among the Spaniards.
To start with, a firm of experienced architects are able to anticipate to any planning or construction problem before it occurs and will advise you well ahead of time saving you headaches and money.
Apart from good design architects have an overall picture of the project without losing site of the nitty-gritty parts.