Finishing a renovation

07/08/2009 - 15:42

I renovated an apartment using an architect as the project manager.  The architect was an aquaintance who spoke good English, so I assumed he would be easy to work with, but he was also very inexperienced - this was his first solo project.  That did cause a lot of problems because he was basically learning on our job.  The renovation was finished in October 2007 and I paid the architect the agreed percentage for his work.  I knew that there was some paperwork outstanding but I didn't press the architect to finish it because the whole process was so stressful that I was just happy it was finished.  The architect finally got in touch with me this week to discuss what was outstanding.  The form to let the comune know that the work is completed needs submitting.  There is a fee for submitting this.  Then there is some work that needs including in this which he said a geometra usually does and they would charge around 500 Euros but he is willing to do it for us for 300 Euros.  (I would have thought this would be included in his percentage fee for the job).Then the plumber and the electrician need to complete something to certify that their parts of the job were completed according to the law.  He thinks this might be a problem for the foreign electrician to complete.  He said that he is not qualified to write out this declaration for the electrician to sign - so he doesn't know what to do about this.  I guess that he is thinking about getting another electrician in to inspect the work of the first electrician so that he can write the declaration!And on the proforma for the completion of the work there is a question that asks whether the work comes under law 10/91 about energy efficiency and if so, the relevant certificate needs including.  He does not know whether our project falls under that law.  He has asked a lot of people and some say it does and others say it doesn't - both apparently with good reasons.  He doesn't want to tick the box that says it doesn't fall under the law in case he is wrong.  But to get the certificate he has a quote from an engineer for 700 Euros.  (Our apartment is about 65 square meters).  This seems excessive to me.Altogether it was a shock when I thought there was just some paperwork outstanding to suddenly find I might have to pay well over 1000 Euros more.  If anyone has any advice or opinions about any aspect of this I'd be grateful!



VeniceLaura.There is a post started by Ram, either on page 1 or page 2 of the piazza explaining the energy certification introduction/rules etc. Regarding the costs you were quoted for it, that seems very high. Normally it is around 3 - 3.50 Euros per sq mtr + IVA. Hope this helps.

 Hi VeniceLaura, sorry to hear about your predicament. Let's try to turn all the negative into positive.Your choice of professional appeared to be right at the time you made the decision. You knew him, he spoke English, he was locally available. He looked ideal. Unfortunately, a university degree does not guarantee that the professional is going to perform in a satisfactory way. Lack of experience, lack of self-assurance... they all seem to be complicating this case. This is something that you cannot change and there is no point in lamenting your decision.Regarding his fees, it is difficult to ascertain the situation. Do you have a written contract? What does it specify? Didn't you have a retention clause by which some monies were held until the completion of the works? Again, perhaps it is too late to look into all this.As for the fees owed, try to find out whether those are the architect's or the ones requested by the Comune to complete all necessary certificates and which would not have been included in the professional contract as they are ancillary.Licensed electricians and gas fitters have to complete their own certificates. This is the reason why they are licensed. If you employed someone who was not licensed, you are going to need that certification. You should have been told, though, before engaging a foreign tradesman who could not furnish you the appropriate paperwork.As for compliance with energy certification, your architect has to sort this out. Granted that in Italy, some things are more difficult than in other countries; however, he has a professional duty to fulfil.Basically, you need to have a talk with him and clarify these issues. He has to clearly explain to you what has to be done in order to finish the works and have all the relevant paperwork.  Best wishes,

I am also planning on some renovations on my apartment in Trieste. I have no idea where to begin and from reading your post I can see there are some pitfalls to beware of. I also have a friend here who has introduced me to a contractor who specialises in such work. Until I hear back from him I am not sure what legal steps I need to make or what fees are involved.