Contractor Goes to Spain for Vacation

My husband, Jim Tibbs, and I recently were in Spain on the beautiful Mediterranean island of Mallorca. We were both amazed by the buildings, restaurants, shops and hotels.  With the city’s desire to maintain the 16th century architecture while upgrading the amenities for retail, hospitality and commercial, I can see that it would pose a lot of problems for remodeling contractors.  

This old city’s elected officials listened to architects and engineers who say that it was possible to keep the best of the old while upgrading to meet current building codes.  The end result was breathtaking. This is an island that gets over a million visitors a year.  This is the land of Antoni Gaudi, so it is reasonable that a high value is placed on architectural preservation.  

I was happy to see that energy efficiency during the residential remodeling process is not only important but by statute is required for any residential building that is for sale or for rent for four months or longer. 

• Energy Certificates are required when selling or renting a property for 4 months or more.

• They take it very seriously; all real estate agents must advertise the energy certification of buildings or homes sold or under lease and show this information on all websites, real estate portals, and printed media.

Renovating Property in Mallorca?

We looked into what goes into renovating property in Mallorca.  Remember, we are just dreaming. I think renovating property in Mallorca would be an exciting project and I was lead to believe a lucrative one too. We found out that US dollars go a lot further in Spain.  If we renovated property in Spain, I could see Jim and I vacationing in Mallorca for the years to come. 

We found that the permits required in Mallorca are much the same as in Berkeley.  “Major Licenses are required for new and large restoration projects.  Permits are issued by the Town hall (Ayuntamiento) and calculated as a percentage of final (estimated) construction fees plus the difference based on actual cost. You will need to check with the Environmental Protection Authority to assess exactly where the property lies.” That sounds a lot like Berkeley, doesn’t it?

How to Choose your Architect in Mallorca.

I enjoyed reading about how to pick an architect in Mallorca:  “Choose a charming one. It will be an essential quality in all the face to face meetings with local and regional planning officers and choose someone with a good track record, thorough knowledge of the regulations and with a good command of English.”

Renovating property in Mallorca looks like it is the same as in Berkeley.  You can go T&M or fixed bid and they caution you to be careful because estimated costs are hardly ever the final costs.

They have something called Residual Valuation (calculated value minus costs minus time) to figure out how much you should be paying for property you are renovating in Mallorca.

 Calculating Costs for Renovating Property in Mallorca.

It is interesting how similar the thought process is between Mallorca and Berkeley.  “You will need to make detailed calculations according to the specific property you are planning to renovate. Site preparation, professional fees, structural issues and system, quality of finishes and design all have varying costs.”  

Well that’s it. We had a wonderful time dreaming about being licensed remodeling contractors on the island of Mallorca, Spain.  That may well be for another day.  For now it is back to work here in Berkeley and the Bay Area. 

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