One step closer to paradise

The building process

...from finding a plot to a finished house, this is how it works…

A rule of thumb is that when you build, you will come closer to your dreams than if you buy a completed house. A good start is to contact us for a discussion about what you would like and your budget. We can then give a preliminary answer if you will be able to get it, or if you have to change something in your requirements.

The next step is to come here and look at lands. Housing design is of course no problem to do from a distance, but a place must be experienced. A place is more than just the looks of it, it can be “home” for some and not mean anything at all for others.

To buy building land in Sicily

When the plot is found, a technical investigation has to be done to ensure what can be built or not. So far no charges. A geometra will help to bring in documentation and information, and make a statement about how much can be built, number of floors, etc. However, it is not at this level possible to receive a definite plan about the house design, since lastly it is the municipality who make decisions based on the permit application. This means that there may be a need for detail adjustments later in the project. But here we get the big picture – how much can be built and in broad terms how it can be designed, and if there are constraints of various kinds.

If the information at this stage is satisfying, it is time to buy the land. The procedure is the same as when buying a house. A tip: Until the end of 2012 rates are low to buy agricultural lands to build on. Thereafter, the tax will rise quite dramatically.


The project/building permission

When land is purchased the project administration begins. This phase is what is called “the project”. Now, the drawings are done in cooperation with the architect. When these are completed, it is time to apply for a building permission. This is a complex procedure, with several authorities involved. Apart from the actual house, the seismic conditions need to be investigated, the forestry need to check that the natural flora and fauna are not negatively affected etc.

  • The entire project must be submitted to the municipality in four copies.
  • It needs also be submitted to “Sopraintendenza” in the region’s headquarters to have it approved from a landscape point of view. Three copies here, and a lengthy administration period in most regions
  • The project must be presented to the Forestry Commission in three copies plus three copies of a geologica/seismic investigation conducted by a geologist, containing also descriptions of water and sewage solutions. Also here there is a significant administration period.
  • Description of electricity solutions needs to be presented to the municipality.
  • The house’s technical structure/materials should be described in the project and approved.

But as I said earlier, this entire phase is managed by a responsible Geometra.

As I guess you understand, there will now be a waiting period. How long it is depends on the municipality where the house is to be built. It can range anywhere between four months and 1.5 years.


The construction phase

When all decisions are in place, the actual construction is started. The design and largely also the material choices are already done. This phase is a lot faster. Everything is already booked and ready and from start to completion around two months are required. If you do not choose to be present to supervise the construction, we can provide project management that several times a week will communicate, send pictures etc.



When you have bought the land, you pay the cost for the project/building permits. This money is deposited in a special account and we administrate all payments. We have chosen this model as it considerably simplifies the administration for you and we can keep a better control over the entire project.

When the project is completed and approved the cost for the foundation, electricity, water/sewage, floor tiling, any solar panels, interior painting, kitchen and and bathroom are paid into the same account. This money is paid to the vendors at different times.

For the house 50% is paid at the start of construction and 50% when the house is completed.

Does it still seem complicated? Let me explain. Your contribution to this is:

  • Choose the land where you want your house
  • Draw/describe your house in broad terms, and let our architect do the technical work
  • Let us evaluate that you can do what you want on the site where you want to do it
  • Buy the land personally or through a power of attorney to us or someone else who speaks Italian
  • Make an online payment for all administration concerning building permits
  • Wait for the building permit to be completed.
  • Make an online payment for all “around costs” and another for 50% of the construction cost
  • Answer questions about materials, etc. during construction period
  • Accept the results and pay the remaining 50% of construction cost.

We are responsible for all administrative work, all communication with involved professionals, companies and authorities. You do the nice part which is about taste, liking and creating your dream home. All costs and payments will be known in advance.

Create your own dream home
Building in Sicily
The building process
Costs for building a house in Sicily
About our Dammusos

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